According to the 2018 Pennsylvania LGBT Health Needs Assessment, more than 1 in 4 LGBT people had not come out to any of their healthcare providers, often due to fear of a negative reaction. Further, nearly a third of respondents reported that their healthcare provider was slightly or not at all competent about LGBT health issues. In partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NNLM MAR), Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is working to remove barriers to care for LGBT people.
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is a leading agency when it comes to health promotion for the LGBT community. Through a mix of behavioral change, clinical changes, and policy changes, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center works toward health equity for the LGBT patient population in Pennsylvania.
The organization has provided training on promising practices in caring for LGBT clients to nearly 150 staff members at addiction treatment centers throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. The training content addressed how minority stress contributes to higher rates of substance abuse in the LGBT community, what barriers to care exist for the population, and how addiction treatment specialists can deliver affirming care that supports recovery.
“I think the training did a great job at clearing up appropriate terminology to use, as well as how to be LGBT aware and supportive as it pertains to our client base,” one participant reported.
In addition to providing education to healthcare providers, the organization has promoted health literacy among healthcare consumers. Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center operated an all-gender-inclusive outreach campaign designed to fully educate LGBT people about cervical Pap tests. This program was developed in response to research findings that showed LGBT community members who were assigned female at birth were significantly less likely to be up to date with cervical Pap tests, as compared to the national average. The campaign included visits to public libraries to deliver information about recommendations about cervical Pap tests, local LGBT-affirming healthcare providers, and consumer health resources like MedlinePlus.
For the team at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, the most valuable feature of their partnership with NNLM MAR is the connection to data-driven resources and learning opportunities. Webinars on key topics like consumer health information justice are critical to both staff and program development. The organization is keenly aware of the power that data has to better educate its community members, drive improvement in its programming, and support advocacy efforts aimed at promoting health equity. The nonprofit’s commitment to data-driven health programming is exemplified through its partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to implement a biannual needs assessment used to measure health disparities impacting the state’s LGBT population.
The organization’s successful partnership with public health professionals in state government has earned it recognition. In 2019, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center was recognized by the Pennsylvania Commission on Women with the Breast Cancer Community Partner Award. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health honored the organization with its 2017 Rural Health Program of the Year Award.
Learn more about Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center at www.bradburysullivancenter.org. More information about health disparities impacting LGBT Pennsylvanians can be found at www.livehealthypa.com/LGBT.
Written by Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center staff for the Spring 2020 edition of The MAReport quarterly newsletter.