For Immediate Release October 04, 2023

At SIH, we celebrate diversity to foster belonging, awareness and education. It provides a lens that we may otherwise not have considered as we interact with patients and coworkers.

Carrie Vine, LCSW, is the Executive Director at the Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Center in Carbondale. She helped us look at what LGBTQ+ History Month means to her community. 

"History Month is just like it sounds. It's History Month. It's when we celebrate those in our past that are prominent in history, in LGBTQ history. But Pride Month is the time of pride. It's the time of the Stonewall Riots in New York. It's the time when Marsha P. Johnson broke forth and became the march in the streets. And it became the phenomenal time that it is," Vine said. 

SIH's Director of Workplace Culture and Patient Experience works closely with a group of community members called the Patient and Family Advocacy Council (PFAC). The group helps SIH shape and improve processes.

" is kind of just a good representation overall of people within the community that can speak for the greater community. Right now, it's a really good mix of people. I think all walks of life that I've seen, people that represent bigger groups of people as well," Vine said. "I enjoy spending the time talking about what we can do better within the SIH system for my community, specifically in my LGBTQ community."

Vine and other PFAC members will help continue SIH's work of being more inclusive of all communities.


"For the Rainbow Cafe, we started off as just a youth drop-in center for, you know, youth that were kind of questioning or needed a safe place to go on Friday night. And obviously we've grown much bigger, and we have a safe place for the whole community," Vine said. "We still have the safe place for LGBTQ people, youth, families, adults, things like that. And that's kind of still where we focus our attention, but we are very happy to include anyone in the community, whether they're queer or not, they're all community."

"I feel like it's the epitome of LGBTQ culture and acceptance. People talk about their chosen family and, you know, people, their family that's not accepting of them when they come out, they're booted out of their houses or trans youth are homeless, you know, those kinds of statistics you hear all the time. And I feel like that doesn't only include people that are in the LGBTQ community. I feel like that also includes people in the straight community, you know, whether they've had a falling out or whatever. And I feel like within this community, we're here to support each other no matter what you believe, no matter what you follow, no matter your religious beliefs...we're here to support you," Vine said.