February 2013 is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and will see commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington. March 2013 is Women’s History Month, and this year celebrates the contributions of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The last week in March 2013 also marks the 11th annual National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health Awareness Week.
Each of these occasions brings visibility to the contributions made by Americans of African descent, women or, in the case of National LGBT Health Awareness Week, LGBT health care providers, advocates and allies in advancing equality, equity and fuller inclusion of these populations in American society.
LGBT People of Color Face Significant Health Disparities
Great strides have been made for each of these communities. Yet significant challenges remain in addressing and eliminating significant health disparities faced by all of these populations, especially for those at the intersections of race, gender and sexual orientation/gender identity. For example, lack of affordable health care and insurance and lack of culturally competent service providers have led to significant health disparities faced by many people of color.
An LGBT person of color faces the combined impact of these barriers, increasing the likelihood of negative health outcomes. Statistics on transgender persons, particularly transgender women of color, show drastically higher rates of HIV/AIDS. LGBT individuals show higher rates of acute disease attributed to avoiding and delaying screening and care for fear of perceived or actual discrimination and stigma from the health care providers treating them. These numbers rise significantly for LGBT men and women of color.
Events Highlight Commitment to LGBT Patients
Continuum Health Partners continues to move forward in our commitment to culturally competent and quality care for our LGBT patients and communities. During National LGBT Health Awareness Week 2013, we will be sponsoring a series of events and workshops focused on offering resources for delivering the best care to lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and families.
Activities will include a grand round series and two community/providers networking events:
Monday , March 18 from 5 to 7 pm at Roosevelt Hospital, 1000 Tenth Ave. Note that there’s been a change in the date and location for the first networking event. St. Luke’s-Roosevelt LGBT & Friends will jointly sponsor a networking event with Beth Israel’s LGBT Committee on April 8th, 5:30-7:30 pm at St. Luke’s Hospital, Amsterdam Avenue and 114th Street.
• Monday, March 25 from 5 to 7 pm at the Phillips Ambulatory Care Center’s Dr. Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman Conference Center, 10 Union Square East.
Each event will celebrate our progress towards LGBT health equity, and bring together our staff and providers with LGBT consumers and community-based organizations serving LGBT persons. We will distribute posters, cards, stickers and pins to employees to help promote LGBT Health Awareness Week in our hospitals and clinics.
Hold these dates on your calendar. More detailed information will available by e-mail—to add your name to the list, please contact Bwarren@chpnet.org. We look forward to seeing you there and to working with you in 2013 toward greater health equity for all.