News & Events

Medical Center launches pronoun button program

Date: 08/24/2021

Bangor, Maine (August 24, 2021) – As healthcare professionals, the team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center promises to treat all with compassion, dignity, and respect no matter race, sexual orientation, background, or social standing. While progress toward true social and medical justice in our society will take time, the Medical Center has made tremendous strides in that work, and given great attention to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.

Recently, a patient came to us with an idea that we really liked and knew could make a great impact on our patient’s, staff and community. That idea has grown into a pilot program at EMMC. Starting this week, we began making pronoun buttons available at both the main hospital entrance and the entrance to the Emergency Department. The idea is that patients, community members, and staff have the option to choose a button to wear that displays their preferred pronouns. When cisgender people present pronouns, it normalizes it for everyone and protects trans and gender diverse people when they show their pronouns. Having pronouns displayed signals you as an LGBTQIA+ ally.

Sarah Joy, director, Patient Experience, says, “Listening to the voice of our patients is key to building a trusting healthcare relationship. When they come to us with a suggestion for how we can improve our care delivery, it is incredibly rewarding to see our teams jump into action and deliver a result that makes our patients feel seen and heard. Using someone’s desired gender pronouns is one of the main ways to show respect for their identity. It is incredibly rewarding to be part of an organization that celebrates and encourages all people.”