This March we celebrated the 21st Annual National LGBTQ Health Awareness Week. This campaign hosted by the National Coalition for LGBTQ Health, encouraged us to speak openly about our LGBTQ identities and how healthcare systems interact with our community. Throughout this week, people around the country shared their stories, had conversations about barriers to healthcare, minority stress, intersectionality, inequity… as well as experiences of euphoria, affirmation, and care.
Having a dedicated time to reflect on LGBTQ health incites a range of emotions for us at the Center for LGBTQ Health Equity at Chase Brexton. Every day we witness the profound impact of affirming, accessible and inclusive healthcare to our LGBTQ patients of all ages. We see the challenges our community faces – the very real assaults of today’s political policy, the consequences of invalidation, internalization, and stigmatization. We carry with us the history of Chase Brexton Health Care which started as a gay men’s health clinic in 1978 before becoming a leader in HIV care in the 1980s and a federally-qualified health center in the 1990s. We have seen the LGBT Health Resource Center grow and transform into the flourishing Center for LGBTQ Health Equity we know today.
At the Center, our mission is to create health equity for LGBTQ patients in our communities and around the world through better health care services, education, and advocacy.
What does it mean to create health equity? It means addressing and tackling the preventable differences in healthcare access and treatment (health disparities) that LGBTQ people face. Each person’s health history, genetics, and experiences are unique to them. And that means everyone’s healthcare plan will be catered to their needs. At Chase Brexton and the Center for LGBTQ Health Equity, we offer a vast array of services and programs including primary care, dentistry, behavioral health, support groups, psychiatry, pharmacy, substance use treatment, case management, diabetes management, HIV testing and treatment, and gender affirming care. We recognize however, that Chase Brexton will not be the only healthcare provider for LGBTQ Marylanders. To work towards our mission we must educate and advocate outside our organization, broadening health equity to agencies, healthcare institutions, and employers with our training and education program.
Our training initiatives meet you where you’re at in your education journey. We provide increasing levels of expertise in areas such as fundamentals of gender affirming care and cultural humility. These virtual and in-person experiences lead by our team of subject experts are available as professional development as well as workplace and clinical training. They are holistic, empathetic, and informative, ultimately resulting in better care for your patients or staff. Explore upcoming sessions here: Chasebrexton.org/services/center-lgbtq-health-equity/trainings-and-education/training-schedule-and-registration.