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#BWLGBTI Day 3 Part 2: Community-based research is still important

dwayne

 

 

Dwayne Steward

LGBTQ Health Advocate
Columbus Public Health

 

 

We’ve come to the end of the LGBTI Health Research Conference at Baldwin Wallace University. This has been a very life-changing experience, for which I am truly grateful. Being in the room with so many experts that have and are currently making groundbreaking changes in the country, and around the world, regarding the inclusion of LGBTI communities in health research has been phenomenal. I can’t thank the Network for LGBT Health Equity enough for this amazing opportunity.

Jacob Nash
Jacob Nash

The conference began it’s last half with two lively panel discussions. The first was “Community Perspectives Regarding LGBTI Health” featuring Jacob Nash (transgender activist and director of Margie’s Hope), Alana Jochum (Equality Ohio’s Northeast Ohio Regional Coordinator) and Maya Simek (program director for The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland). Jochum made some very interesting points regarding how LGBTI health research has made historic advances in LGBTI rights possible. She referenced several court cases that have used the statistics compiled by researchers, several in the room, in major courtroom arguments for marriage equality. Her examples helped further illustrate the need for the work of those attending the conference. Nash and Simek put out calls to researchers for more specified research studies on marginalized populations and offered insights on the health issues they’re seeing among marginalized populations. They both reiterated the need for more collaboration between activists and health researchers.

The conference officially ended with “LGBTI Health and Human Rights in International Settings” with a very dynamic panel of LGBTI health community organizers from Latin America and India.

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“LGBTI Health and Human Rights in International Settings” Panel

Wendy Castillo, a community organizer from El Salvador who has done work providing safe spaces for lesbian and transgender women, spoke at length about the tragic murders that continue take the lives of transgender women regularly in El Salvodor and the struggles organizations there face with trying to keep transgender women safe. Daniel Armando Calderon and Alejandro Rodriguez, both community organizers around issues facing the MSM community in Columbia, discussed how they try to decrease barriers for “heterosexual MSM’ and other special populations needing HIV care and other health services.

Vivek Anand, of Humsafar Trust, closed out the conference with more detail regarding his efforts regarding the recent re-criminalization of homosexuality in India. His organization has courageously come to the forefront of attacking this law that was passed by the country’s Supreme Court after massive efforts from religious leaders. I thinks it quite admirable that the work he’s doing is heralding and sometimes dangerous, but he faces it head on with an upbeat attitude. He ended his presentation with a video of Gaysi‘s (an LGBT advocacy organization in Mumbai) #notgoingback campaign, one of the efforts to build awareness and garner support for repealing the law. The upbeat video, featuring Pharrell Williams’ massive hit song “Happy,” is a perfect representation of Anand’s bubbly activist spirit.

And thus we end our time together my friends. Please always remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King that I used to start this blog series, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Let’s never end this very important conversation!

Conferences · Cultural Competency Trainings · Data · Funding · LGBT Policy · Research Studies · Resources · scholarship

#BWLBGTI Day 2 Post-Lunch: Revisiting sexual health

dwayne

Dwayne Steward 
LGBTQ Health Advocate
Columbus Public Health

After lunch at day 2 of the LGBTI Health Research Conference at Baldwin Wallace is all about sexual health. Historically this would have been the bulk of such a conference as this. As most of us know, pathology-focused research on homosexuality and gender diversity, along with the stigma associated with the HIV/AIDS epidemic forced LGBTI healthcare into a sexual health box for many years. It’s interesting to see that the pendulum is swinging back the other way in some ways as we as LGBTI healthcare workers/researchers are now having to convince certain communities that sexual health is still an important factor of the LGBTI health experience.

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Dr. Anthony Silvestre, professor of Infectious Disease and Microbiology at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, opened with a lunch-time keynote on the history of sexual health research, reminding us how far we’ve come regarding the study of sex and sexuality in this country. He than joined Dr. Brian Dodge, Indiana University-Bloomington School of Public Health, for the “LGBTI Health Training” seminar track, which included a lively discussion on the changing landscape of HIV and intersectionality in public health research.

There was definitely a lot of talk about training program models in Indiana and Pennsylvania, but through the lens of sexual health research. Dr. Silvestre spoke on University of Pittsburgh’s LGBT health certificate program along with several other LGBT-focused specialized programs the university offers, including a post-doctorate program that specialized in MSM (men who have sex with men) healthcare.

Dr. Dodge made several interesting conjectures about the study of sexual health saying, much of the conversation regarding sexual health has been risk based. “We need to be including more about the actual pleasure of sex and begin taking a more sex-positive approach. It is okay for gay sex to be enjoyable,” he said. He went on to say that programs should take a more competency-based approach to better prepare students for their post-college endeavors.

My fellow Network for LGBTQ Health Equity scholarship recipients Heru Kheti (middle) and E.Shor (right).
My fellow Network for LGBTQ Health Equity scholarship recipients Heru Kheti (middle) and E.Shor (right).

Dr. Francisco Sy, director of the Office of Community-Based Participatory Research and Collaboration at the NIH/National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), took a moment to educate the audience on the NIH grant process and how to best navigate their grant application process. But the day’s real winner was Dr. Erin Wilson’s presentation, “HIV Among Trans-Female Youth: What We Now Know and Directions for Research and Prevention.” Dr. Wilson, who is a former NIMHD Loan Repayment Program (LRP) recipient and research scientist currently with the AIDS Office at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, quickly (due to time constraints) spoke on her ground-breaking NIH-funded research on the social determinants of health that led to high HIV-infection rates for transgender female youth in Los Angeles.

The statistics Dr. Wilson reported were pretty staggering. She prefaced much of her presentation by saying her studies were very specific to L.A. and she had no research to show that this was reflective of the national transgender female population. She reported finding that transgender females in L.A. were 34 times more likely to contact HIV than the general population and at the time of her study nearly 70 percent of transgender female youth in L.A. participated in sex work. As a result of her work The SHINE Study was created, the first longitudinal study of trans*female youth that still continues today. Though nearly 40 percent of transgender females in L.A. are living with HIV only 5 percent are youth. “We have a great opportunity to get ahead of this disparity and create some real change,” she said.

That’s all for today my friends. Check back tomorrow for a full report on Day 3 of the Baldwin Wallace University LGBTI Health Research Conference (#BWLGBTI)!

Conferences · Cultural Competency Trainings · Data · IOM · LGBT Policy · Presentations · Resources · scholarship · Updates

#BWLGBTI Day 3 Part 1: The IOM Report

dwayne

 

 Dwayne Steward

 LGBTQ Health Advocate
 Columbus Public Health

 

 

 

Back at Baldwin Wallace for the last day of the LGBTI Health Research Conference and the morning is being spent on very detailed analysis of the Institute of Medicine‘s National Institutes of Health-commissioned 2011 report “The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding” The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding.”

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Dr. Walter Bockting, of Columbia University who served on a committee that penned the report, returned to the stage to offer a brief history of the document, it’s findings/recommendations and next steps. Most striking was that the main point made by the study, which is there’s a general lack of research when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity, a fact many of us are very much aware of, but I think the impact of this report is in the robust list of recommendations the study produced for NIH. Here are few:

  • NIH needs to implement a comprehensive research agenda.
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity data needs to be collected in all NIH federally-funded research.
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity data also needs to be collected in electronic medical records.
  • Research training should be created by NIH that is specific to sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Encourage NIH grant applicants to address the inclusion or exclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity. (This is already a requirement for other marginalized groups, such as racial minorities.)
  • Identify sexual orientation and gender identity among the NIH official list of minority populations with disproportionate health disparities.

Dr. Bockting himself said at one point what I’ve been thinking since I read the study months ago, “A year ago I was skeptical about if we would receive the support needed to see these recommendations through. Without support it will be very difficult for us to make any progress.” However he went on to say, “But things are really beginning to look up and I think we’re going to begin making some strides.”

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(From left) Dr. Alexander, Dr. Bradford and Dr. Bockting

Dr. Bockting’s statements were overwhelming verified later by Dr. Rashada Alexander, a Health Science Policy Analyst at NIH. She discussed how NIH was responding to the IOM report, most notably the creation of the NIH LGBTI Research Coordinating Committee whose task is to create a national strategic plan for sexual orientation and gender identity research. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that this group existed and will be releasing their strategic plan by the end of the year. She also went on to discuss a funding opportunity announcement NIH has released specific to LGBTI health research and and other efforts of the NIH regarding LGBTI health.

It’s very empowering to know that our federal government is taking an intentional approach to studying LGBTI health, especially when this was something that wasn’t possible just five years ago.  I feel as if I’m watching systemic change take place right before my eyes. It’s a very exciting time to be an LGBTI health researcher!

Conferences · Cultural Competency Trainings · Data · LGBT Policy · Presentations · Resources · scholarship

#BWLGBTI Day 2: Perfect time, perfect place

dwayne

Dwayne Steward
LGBTQ Health Advocate 
Columbus Public Health

As I continue into the second day of the LGBTI Health Research Conference at Baldwin Wallace University, it struck me as pretty powerful that the BW’s president Robert Helmer opened the first day of seminars with the words “this is the perfect time and the perfect place for this [conference].” (BW Provost, Dr. Stephen Stahl also reiterated this sentiment just after lunch with saying, “this conference is at the core of founding values.”) This stayed with me throughout the morning as we heard from such innovative speakers such as Dr. Eli Coleman who, just through all of the heralding stories he shared, showed his longstanding impact on changing the American perspective on LGBTI health research. Dr. Coleman, who is currently the director of the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, also left me with a new mantra: “Without rights we will not have [good] health.”

Dr. Eli Coleman
Dr. Eli Coleman

After Dr. Coleman’s keynote address, the morning continued at a rapid-fire pace, with a revolving door of one prestigious presenter after another. Here are a few brief notes on the presentations I thought most intriguing.

  • During the “Translating Research into Policy and Heath Interventions” seminar track Kellan Baker, associate director of the LGBTI Research and Communications Project at Center for American Progress, gave a very interesting look at how political advocacy has led to inclusive research, highlighting the work of HIV/AIDS advocates during the 1980s. Baker went on to show that though there have been strides made concerning LGBTI political inclusion, there’s still so much more to be done. I found it interesting that between 2002 and 2010 there was absolutely no inclusion of LGBTI communities in any federal health research because of the change in presidential administration. This silence prompted the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association to create a sexual identity and gender identity specific companion report to the National Institutes of Health 2010 Healthy People report. Now in their 2020 Health People edition we see two LGBTI-focused reports because of such advocacy efforts.
  • Vivek Anand, Executive Director of Humsafar Trust in Mumbai, India, also took the stage during the “policy and health interventions” track and wowed myself an the audience with the grassroots, community-based research he’s been conducting in India, despite the country still criminalizing homosexuality. “On-the-ground work and community-based research is still crucial…if we are not out in the community and visible we will not be counted,” he said. Humsafar has fund-raised thousands of dollars and build several LGBT organizations in India, providing countless services and research for a nearly invisible community.
Vivek Anand
Vivek Anand

A brief break led right into a seminar track on “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Intersex Data at Population and Clinical Levels,” which I personally found rather enthralling. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of evidence-based research that exists regarding adding sexual orientation and gender identity to medical forms and records.

  • Joanne Keatley, briefly detailed research from the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at University of California-San Francisco that highlighted the groundbreaking work she was involved with to make the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention start collecting transgender data in 2011. She also stressed the importance of including transgender female-to-males in HIV research, as much of their studies showed that this is an affected demographic, despite current perceptions.
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The many words for “transgender”
  • Karen Walsh, an intersex activist, detailed the importance of intersex research and how to include intersex information collection in an accurate and affirming fashion. I learned so much on the intersex community that I was not aware of, including most who are intersex receive some sort of surgical interventions as children but surgery is often medically unnecessary.
  • Dr. Jody Herman, of the Williams Institute at University of California-Los Angeles, and Harvey Makadon of Fenway Health’s National LGBT Health Education Center, also provided invaluable examples of specific language and formats that can be used on forms to capture sexual health and gender identity. If you are a healthcare provider that values inclusion I highly recommend visiting their organizations’ websites.

Stay tuned for more post-lunch recaps!

Conferences · Cultural Competency Trainings · Data · Presentations · Research Studies · Resources

Baldwin Wallace presenting first LGBTI health conference with class

dwayne

Dwayne Steward
LGBTQ Health Advocate
Columbus Public Health

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” It’s become a mantra I’ve come to live by. It is the starting of and building upon conversations that matter that truly leads to change. This mantra is even more present as I head into the LGBTI Health Research Conference today though Saturday at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.

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As the LGBTQ Health Advocate for the City of Columbus in Ohio, a seasoned journalist and full-time activist, I often find myself in the midst of important conversations. Conversations about improving the health of gender and sexually diverse communities, and how we can increase access to care for deeply marginalized populations. I was hired by the city just over a year ago to create the Columbus Public Health LGBTQ Health Initiative and in our first year we’ve already made massive impact with the development of our Ohio LGBTQ Youth Safety Summit, implementation of citywide healthcare provider-focused LGBTQ cultural competency training and the creation of a robust community engagement platform, just to name a few. To say LGBTQI healthcare is a passion of mine would be a gross understatement.

The LGBTI Health Research Conference will be an excellent opportunity to bring the best minds in the field together around the healthcare issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex populations, which I hope will lead to helping decrease health disparities of LGBTI individuals in places like my Midwestern hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

“It is hard to download all that is known about LGBT health in a day and a half, but we are really interested in getting people together to build connections that will hopefully lead to building more work towards LGBT healthcare,” said Dr. Emilia Lombardi during a phone interview leading up to the conference. Dr. Lombardi is an Assistant Professor within Baldwin Wallace University’s Department of Public Health and one of the conference’s lead organizers.

Dr. Lombardi went on to tell me she’s been working with supporters such as Cleveland State University and MetroHealth Medical Center for more than a year to bring the university’s first conference focused on LGBTI health to fruition. Prestigious presenters from the National Institutes of Health, Harvard Medical School, The National LGBT Health Education Center and Fenway Health are just a few of the organizations presented on the schedule.

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Dr. Lombardi said the Institute of Medicine’s groundbreaking 2011 report, “The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding,” (commissioned by the National Institutes of Health) was a major step by the federal government that led to the creation of the conference.

“NIH asked the Institute of Medicine to bring together experts in LGBT health to discuss the need,” she said. “The NIH has even put forth a new effort to support more LGBT-related health research. It’s very encouraging to know that our federal government supports us.”

I arrived in Cleveland to a beautiful reception at MetroHealth with a keynote by the health institution’s CEO,  Dr. Akram Boutros, which is no surprise as MetroHealth has housed one of the nation’s leading LGBT health clinics for nearly a decade. Though I’m definitely impressed by the high-caliber of speakers BW was able to procure for their first LGBT health conference. I’m looking forward to an unprecedented weekend of immersion into the health research of LGBTI communities. (With maybe a little Gay Games fun as a side bonus.) Continue to check this blog for more coverage of the conference from me and a few colleagues as this amazing weekend continues!

Cultural Competency Trainings · Data · LGBT Policy · Resources

Press Release: LGBT Cancer Survivors’ Voices Spotlight CRACKS in Health CarE SYSTEM

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by Liz Margolies, LCSW 

Director, National LGBT Cancer Network

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUNE 11, 2013

CONTACT: Cathy Renna, 917-757-6123, cathy@rennacommunications.com

 

LGBT Cancer Survivors’ Voices Spotlight

CRACKS in Health CarE SYSTEM

 

MAKES PRACTICAL, LIFE-SAVING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROVIDERS

New York, NY….June 11, 2013….The National LGBT Cancer Network released a new report today that uses the direct experiences of cancer survivors to paint a stark picture of the effect of discrimination on LGBT health. The free, downloadable booklet, “LGBT Patient Centered Outcomes,” uses the findings to suggest practical recommendations for improving health care for LGBT people.

“When we asked cancer survivors to tell us what they wanted health care providers to know, we were saddened, angered and moved by many of their stories; cancer is enough of a burden, no one should have to endure the discrimination, alienation, and, in some cases, less than adequate care because of who they are,” said Liz Margolies, Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network. “For many of  the survey respondents, cancer treatment is both the same, and scarier.”

4482499Quotes from study participants highlight her point:

“I was never out during the whole process to anyone. I had no one in the hospital or doctor visit me for fear of my gayness being discovered and then the doctors ‘accidentally’ not removing all the cancer lesions.”

“… It is important to know where it is safe to bring a partner, because my family hates me and even my mother told me right before the surgery that she hoped I would die in surgery and that she wished I had never been born.”

“As an alone, aging senior, I am also dealing with fear of rejection by being “out” even though I was very “out” when younger and in a partnership.”

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“Although my doctor knew all about me, each encounter with new people—with blood draws, ultrasound, breast x-ray, etc.—had the basic anxiety of the procedure and layered on to that, the possibility of homophobia and having to watch out for myself.

“Being a Lesbian facing having your breasts cut off, it would be good if they did not assume you were concerned about how “men” would see you in the future!”

“I believe my perceived orientation allowed my caregivers to give superficial care, and my own latent shame allowed me to accept a quick and incorrect diagnosis of health.”

Dr. Scout, a co-author and the Director of the Network for LGBT Health Equity at The Fenway Institute noted the direct relevance to the new patient centered care movement. “Data continue to show satisfied patients, that is patients who feel safe and understood during health care, stay healthier. This is why patient-centered care is best. But for LGBT patients, their care often falls short of being patient-centered and sometimes it’s blatantly patient-intolerant,” continued Scout.

“This new report is not about theories, it is based on the lived experiences of people who can teach us about how to make things right for LGBT patients. These stories show us exactly what is needed to improve the climate for LGBT people in all areas of health care, not just cancer care,” said Margolies. The report highlights recommended suggestions for each section, including some that are newer to the field. “We clearly saw the need to actively monitor LGBT patient satisfaction. This is a new idea, and we’ll be including suggestions on how to do this in all of our cultural competency trainings now,” said Margolies. The report also highlights innovative recommendations about family support and the need to nurture LGBT employees. The biggest recommendations are the pillars of most current LGBT cultural competency trainings: to actively convey welcoming through outreach, policies, environment, and provider trainings. An estimated 50% of the hospitals in the country have now passed LGBT inclusive nondiscrimination, often quietly and without fanfare. “Passing a policy without promoting it doesn’t create change,” said Dr. Scout. “And LGBT people need change in health systems now.”

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“These people spoke up about sometimes heart wrenching experiences because they wanted healthcare workers to know how to make care better for others.  I hope everyone in healthcare will listen,” concluded Margolies.

The National LGBT Cancer Network works to improve the lives of LGBT cancer survivors and those at risk by: educating the LGBT community about our increased cancer risks and the importance of screening and early detection; training health care providers to offer more culturally-competent, safe and welcoming care; and advocating for LGBT survivors in mainstream cancer organizations, the media and research. For more information, visit http://www.cancer-network.org.

The Network for LGBT Health Equity is a community-driven network of advocates and professionals looking to enhance LGBT health by eliminating tobacco use and other health disparities by linking people and information. The Network is a project of The Fenway Institute in Boston. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. For more information visit https://lgbthealthlink.wordpress.com/ and fenwayhealth.org.

Download the full report HERE

Check out the National LGBT Cancer Network website

Action Alerts · Cultural Competency Trainings · LGBT Policy · social media

After Quite a Long Time: Federal Cultural Competency WIN!

by Scout, Ph.D.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
with additional reporting from the esteemed Daniella Matthews-Trigg
 

Sometimes you really do have to wait for good things to happen. So if you didn’t catch the news earlier this week we wanted to start your weekend off by reporting on the progress of a few different action alerts we ran back in… can you believe it, 2010.

Back then the Office of Minority Health was asking for input on their Cultural and Linguistically Appropriate Services. We were happy to oblige and ran a few different action alerts urging people to write in with smart ideas on how to include LGBT people in the standards for the first time. See our action alerts below:

The National CLAS was originally published in 2000, and provides a framework for all health organizations to address diverse populations, and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care. The standards aim to advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate healthcare disparities. Importantly, hospitals and healthcare groups really pay attention to these standards.

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What we’re very happy to report is we now have culture! The enhanced National CLAS Standards have adopted an expanded definition of culture that now includes sexual orientation and gender identity. The implementation blueprint even urges trainings and data collection no less! Read more details in this great post from our friend Kellan on all the different changes here: New Health Services Standards Ensure Respect For LGBT Patients. Or poke around the new standards directly on the federal Think Cultural Health website.

Mostly, for all of you that wrote in back in 2010 that you wanted sexual orientation and gender identity to be included, we just wanted you to know, the long wait was worth it!

Cultural Competency Trainings · LGBT Policy · Pride · Resources · State Work

DO Ask Do Tell: St. Louis Veterans Hospitals initiate LGBT cultural competency training program

Icon_2011 Headshot
 
Sherrill Wayland, MSW
SAGE: Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders
Metro St. Louis
 
 
 

Five years ago when SAGE Metro St. Louis first started providing outreach and trainings, the Veterans Administration (VA) St. Louis Health Care System was one of the last places we expected to be. Fast forward to 2013 and we find the VA St. Louis Health Care System as one of the leaders in creating LGBT welcoming health care in Missouri.

In 2012, the VA St. Louis Health Care System held the first ever St. Louis Veterans PRIDE Celebration. A standing room only crowd of Veterans and employees packed the room to hear a panel discussion, in which SAGE Metro St. Louis participated. At this meeting, SAGE extended a welcome to the employees to have a representative join the Missouri LGBT Health Roundtable, as a part of the Missouri LGBT Health Access Project. In turn, SAGE was asked to join the VA St. Louis Health Care Systems, LGBT Advisory Council as an ad hoc committee member.

Over the years, SAGE has received calls from LGBT Veterans, fearful that they would not receive care from the VA if their LGBT status was known during the time when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was in force. We also field calls from LGBT Veterans who feel they have been treated in a discriminatory or unwelcoming fashion. Today, we have a direct linkage to the VA St. Louis Health Care System that allows us to assist LGBT Veterans with gaining welcoming care in an environment that truly honors ALL Veterans.

Over the past year, the work at the VA St. Louis has grown to include a robust offering of LGBT Health Cultural Competency Trainings provided by VA St. Louis employees and SAGE. We are currently in the process of developing a schedule of trainings for SAGE to present on a monthly basis.

With the commitment and dedication of the St. Louis VA staff, LGBT Veterans health care and access is a priority. SAGE Metro St. Louis will honor the St. Louis Veterans Administration on June 1, 2013 with the first annual “SAGE Community Cares” Award for excellence in service to the LGBT community.

The groundwork established in partnership with the VA is invaluable as we begin moving forward with sustainable policy change initiatives that will positively impact our LGBT Veterans. Like many we understand the value in building partnerships to advance our movements, and while addressing the LGBT Veterans is mandated by the federal government, having a strategic partnership established will serve as a cornerstone in advancing LGBT health inclusion efforts at both VA hospitals in St. Louis.

“Our LBGT program includes comprehensive care and ongoing education of staff and health care providers about the unique healthcare concerns of our LGBT Veteran community. We believe all staff who are knowledgeable about the health care concerns of our LGBT Veterans are better able to serve our diverse Veteran population. As the Deputy Director of the VA St. Louis Health Care System,  I am extremely proud of the commitment our providers have shown to our diverse (Veteran) patient and employee population.”      – Marc Magill, Deputy Director

Cultural Competency Trainings · LGBT Policy · Resources · webinar

Missed the Trans Health webinar Last Week? It’s okay, we’ve got you covered.

 
 
The Network for LGBT health Equity
An insider’s view of informative info…
Reporting on HHS’s Transgender Health Webinar
 
 
 

In the interest of keeping you in the loop, we wanted to provide some updates and resources about something GROUNDBREAKING- Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted a first-of-it’s-kind webinar, called “A Healthy People 2020 Spotlight on LGBT Health: Transgender Health”!

Managed by HHS and launched in December 2010, Healthy people 2020 is a set of 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. One of the overarching goals of Healthy People 2020 is to “Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups”, andddddd Healthy People 2020 is way cooler than in past decades because it includes a section on LGBT Health!

Map of America

“During the past 2 decades, 1 of Healthy People’s overarching goals has focused on disparities. In Healthy People 2000, it was to reduce health disparities among Americans. In Healthy People 2010, it was to eliminate, not just reduce, health disparities. In Healthy People 2020, that goal was expanded even further: to achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.” (read more HERE)

As you can see above, this decade’s Healthy People is kind of our jam. And good news! If you missed the webinar (or if you would like to relive the experience), you can listen to a recording HERE! It comes highly recommended, not only because it was informative and relevant, but because it was also momentous and full of some seriously inspirational names in Transgender Health!

Blogs en español · Cultural Competency Trainings · Data · Publica En Espanol - Posts in Spanish · Puerto Rico · Research Studies · Technical Assistance

High alcohol and tobacco rates for Puerto Rico LGBTT communities / Altos niveles de consumo de alcohol y tabaco en las comunidades LGBTT de Puerto Rico

Blog Written by:

Ms. Sophia Isabel Marrero Cruz, Community Advocacy & Empowerment Advisor and Mr. Juan Carlos Vega, Coordinator, Citizens’ Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health of Puerto Rico

The content of this blog puts in perspective the high rates of alcohol and tobacco consumption in LGBTT populations in Puerto Rico. We thank the Latino/a and LGBT CDC-funded National Networks for their continuos support to local community health advocates and facilitators in Puerto Rico working pro LGBTT health equity and in the development and distribution of the survey instrument. 

Según los resultados presentados en el 2011 de la Encuesta sobre la Salud en la Comunidad LGBTT en Puerto Rico, un 39% usa tabaco y un 74% consume alcohol. En comparación con la población general de Puerto Rico, el consumo de tabaco y alcohol es mayor. Los individuos de las comunidades LGBTT también reportan haber tenido problema con el sistema de salud pública y privada, lo que nos hace asumir que, también carecen de un sistema de apoyo efectivo para manejar este tipo de problemática. Con la esperanza de lograr una reducción en la población LGBTT con mayor nivel educativo, como sucedió en la población general, hemos estado trabajando para formalizar una iniciativa dirigida a atender este asunto.

La Asociación Nacional de Lesbianas y Homosexuales Profesionales de la Adicción, NALGAP, por sus siglas en ingles, ha determinado que las personas LGBTT consumen alcohol, tabaco y otras drogas por las mismas razones que el resto de la población.  Aunque reconoce que la probabilidad es mayor debido a las tenciones provocadas por el prejuicio y el rechazo en general.  La NALGAP ha identificado 5 factores específicos de abuso de sustancia en los adolecentes de las comunidades LGBTT:

  • pobre precepción de si mismos
  • un sentimiento de no-pertenencia social
  • falta de aceptación
  • falta de modelos sociales a seguir
  • falta de espacios para socializar abiertamente con sus pares, fuera de bares, pubs, discotecas etc.el riesgo de contraer el VIH

Desde el 2011 hemos participado del Programa de Apoyo para Comunidades Libres de Drogas de la Oficina de Políticas Nacionales para el Control de Drogas.  Luego de haber participado de eventos y entrenamientos, nos dimos cuenta que mejor será trabajar la temática durante la 2da Cumbre Puertorriqueña en Pro de la Salud LGBTT que se estará llevando a cabo en Puerto Rico a finales de junio del 2012.

Por tanto, el reto más difícil de la Alianza Ciudadana en Pro de la Salud LGBTTA pudiese enfrentar, no es lograr que los individuos de las comunidades LGBTT disminuyan el consumo de alcohol y tabaco. El reto está en poder alcanzar a nuestros jóvenes y adolecentes.  La falta y/o poca información cualitativa y/o cuantitativa específica a este sector de la población, los efectos directos del estigma, el discrimen y el prejuicio institucionalizado, la falta de una política pública sobre asuntos de las comunidades LGBTT, entre otras, hace de este uno muy difícil, pero no imposible.

La Oficina de la Promoción de la Salud del Departamento de Salud de Puerto Rico está lista para presentar datos relacionados a las comundiades LGBTT que han buscado el apoyo de la Línea Telefónica para Dejar de Fumar, Déjalo Ya.  Urge entrenar al personal del Departamento de Salud, las operadoras telefónicas de la línea de cesación y a los encuestadores/as del BRFSS-PR en competencia cultural LGBTT básica.  De esta forma traeremos un cambio sistemático a nivel Isla que nos permita recibir servicios de salud sensibles y combatir los efectos negativos en la salud por el consumo de alcohol y de tabaco en las comunidades LGBTT en Puerto Rico.

Dentro de una estructura de tiempo y espacio, existen coyunturas que podemos lubricar para hacer cambios sociales, culturales e institucionales que mejoren la calidad de vida para las comunidades LGBTT y para tod@s en Puerto Rico.  Gracias a todos por su apoyo!

Fuente/Source: Diaz-Toro, Elba and Vega, Juan Carlos. "Health profile of a convenience sample of LGBTT communities: Findings from the community-base groups LGBTT health initiative survey of Puerto Rico from November 2009 to November 2010", Washington, D.C.: American Public Health Association Poster Presentation on October 31, 2011.