THE RESEARCH IS COMPELLING. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE DOING ABOUT IT.
Because of the persuasive research, and our own experiences witnessing differences in health care quality for LGBTQ+ patients, we decided to create a program to address the need for physician education on the unique health concerns of our community. With our affirmative provider database, we are increasing access to affirmative and knowledgeable healthcare providers.
Health Disparities, LGBTQ+ Stigma, Minority Stress
Research has found that most health care providers who don't identify as LGBTQ report feeling some discomfort when having to address LGBTQ specific issues with their patients, such as access to transition services for trans patients or family planning/reproductive health specifically for LGBTQ populations (Gahagan, J. and Subirana-Malaret, M. 2018).
Further, LGBTQ+ disparities in physical and mental health, health behaviors, and overall health status are shown to be linked to minority stress associated with the stigma and discrimination from having a minority status (Grant et al., 2010).
Studies have also asserted that these differences in health outcomes and quality of care can't be improved by simply improving access to affordable health care. To improve health for these people there will need to be improved provider training on LGBTQ+ health and health disparities are necessary to extend health care and high quality, appropriate health care to all LGBTQ+ populations (Jennings, L., et al. 2019).
Decreasing health disparities in our local LGBTQ+ community.
Investigating how can physicians and mental health professionals meet the health needs of the LGBTQ+ community.
Healthcare Allies of Massachusetts Corporation is engaged in compiling the latest research on LGBTQ+ health so we can pass that information on to providers and best meet the needs of our community. For everything from reproductive needs to low self-esteem, we are looking into it.
Teaching physicians and mental health professionals how to be better caretakers of the LGBTQ+ community.
There are many all-star health professionals out there who want to meet the needs of all of their patients, but they just don't know how. We are doing the heavy lifting of researching the health concerns of LGBTQ+ individuals and putting together a comprehensive training program to meet the daily needs of their LGBTQ+ patients.
AFFIRMATIVE PROVIDER DATABASE
Connecting you to a physician or mental health professional who understands and cares.
Our database includes physicians who are passionate about caring for the unique needs of their LGBTQ+ patients. They understand the stigma you may feel in your life, and they want to make sure that health care is one less thing for you to worry about. They are ready to meet your individual needs, whatever they may be.
IMPORTANT RESEARCH FINDINGS
The ideas guiding our mission.
Lower rates of primary care utilization among LGBT populations may be founded on expectations and experiences of stigma based on sexuality or gender identity. This stigma can be defined as “the negative regard, inferior status, and the relative powerlessness that society collectively accords to any non-heterosexual (or non-cisnormative) behavior, identity, relationship, or community"
Whitehead, J. et al. 2016
One of the next steps we need to take to begin to reduce these health disparities is to conduct more research that focuses on how health care is provided to LGBT populations at the health care system and provider levels and on how to design and implement interventions to improve provider training in serving LGBT populations.
Jennings, L. et al. 2019
There is a need to continue improving pathways to primary health care among LGBTQ populations, specifically in relation to additional training and related supports for health care providers who work with these populations.
Gahagan, J., & Subirana-Malaret, M. 2018
LGBT people have decreased access to care and lower rates of screenings for multiple preventable or treatable diseases Additionally, LGBT adults are significantly less likely than non-LGBT adults to have a primary care provider. Despite advances seen through the Affordable Care Act, LGBT people are also more likely to report being uninsured and unable to afford health services than their non-LGBT peers.
Whitehead, J. et al. 2016
LGB adults were 2.17 times more likely to delay obtaining health care. Transgender adults were 2.76 times more likely to report poor quality of care and 2.78 times more likely to report unfair treatment when receiving medical care. LGB individuals reported fair or poor health more often than non-LGB/cisgender adults, were more likely to have a depression diagnosis, and more likely to have a moderate to severe depression score and anxiety score.