The idea of a welcoming health practice that can address the specific needs of LGBTQIA+ patients seems simple enough, but in reality, it requires a deep level of knowledge and skill.
Ask yourself: If a patient comes to your health center asking for an HIV prevention plan with prophylaxis, are your clinicians trained to respond? Or, if a patient is seeking gender-affirming care, can your front office staff and the clinical care teams support their needs?
Fenway Health, a FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) in the Boston area, has earned their positive reputation for providing 50 years of exceptionally innovative, equitable, accessible health services for sexual and gender minorities. Their highly skilled teams also provide 360 degrees of transformational research, training and technical assistance to guide other FQHCs and look-alikes do the same.
Their programs are designed to train staff and upgrade operational practices and health center systems in ways that help health centers and look-alikes recognize the needs of marginalized and struggling LGBTQIA+ patients and provide them with tailored and appropriate care and services. Fenway Health also operates the Fenway Institute. Among other efforts, it offers policy research, identifies services and protections for LGBT aging patients, and operates the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center.
If your FQHC is ready to reflect and consider how “welcoming” your clinic really is, then take steps to address the complex needs of your LGBTQIA+ patients, you can begin with the comprehensive range of educational programs, resources and consulting services offered by the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Resources Center.
Or, consider one or both of the upcoming sessions they’ll host at NACHC’s Community Health Institute (CHI) conference (August 22-24 in Orlando, FL). Your health center can make an important difference in your patients’ lives, and ultimately, save more lives.
At the CHI Conference, look for these sessions:
1) Access to Gender-Affirming Health Care for Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth: Best Practices for Advocating for Your Patients and Clients – Learn about pediatric transgender care and how health centers can support efforts in the face of current legislation – for the entire clinical team
(2) See the Forest AND the Trees: TelePrEP as a Point of Access for Health Centers– Understand what the new PrEP clinical guidelines mean for health centers; and discover what services will look like in the future with the introduction of new medications, injectables, and other innovations in care.