Celebrating LGBT Health Awareness Week 2016

March 28 marks the beginning of LGBT Health Awareness Week, a yearly reflection on national LGBT health advancements and the continuing need for culturally competent care models. Launched by the National Coalition of LGBT Health, LGBT Health Awareness Week is a time to celebrate the enormous progress made in improving healthcare for all. It’s also a time to examine what still needs to be done to create a world where all LGBT people have access to affirming and comprehensive care.

Here at Fenway Health, we’ve spent four decades providing LGBT people with the highest quality care available. To celebrate LGBT Health Awareness Week this year, we’re shining the spotlight on some of our programs and services that both address the unique health needs of LGBT patients and help us continue our lifelong work of ending the crippling stigma and health disparities faced by the LGBT community. Here’s a look at seven areas where Fenway is proud to be a leader in LGBT healthcare!

HIV/STI Counseling and Testing

Fenway staff administered over 2,600 HIV tests in 2015.

“Today’s fight against the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections is more important than ever before, because of new advances in HIV treatment and the rise in popularity and efficacy of PrEP,” said Dwayne Steward, Community Engagement Coordinator at The Fenway Institute. “The next wave of the movement must focus on health inequity if we are to move the needle towards a world without HIV.”

OB/GYN and Alternative Insemination (AI)

Fenway OB/GYN patients made over 1,000 visits in 2015. Our AI program has helped with the conception of over 500 babies since its formation.

“I think that marriage equality has made a big difference in helping LGBT people feel more comfortable with having children and being out,” said Liz Coolidge, Coordinator of Fenway’s LGBT Family and Parenting Services and AI Program.

Transgender Health

Fenway’s Transgender Health Program currently serves over 2,000 patients, more than 80% of which are treated with gender affirming cross-sex hormone therapy.

“Our program coordinates care for transgender patients at Fenway by providing referrals, resources, and roadmapping,” said Cei Lambert, Transgender Health Program Patient Advocate. “We help navigate the process of pursuing hormone treatments, name change and gender marker change, getting letters for surgery, and finding transgender competent behavioral health care, among many other services.”

Behavioral Health

In 2015, the Behavioral Health department provided services to over 4,400 clients, who made nearly 42,000 patient visits over the year across the three Fenway sites.

“We offer individual and group psychotherapy, psychiatry, substance abuse treatment, and short-term interventions through our innovative integrated behavioral health in primary care model,” said Jane Powers, LICSW, Director of Behavioral Health at Fenway. “Behavioral health is critically important to overall health for everyone, including LGBT people who may face significant health disparities.”

Family Medicine

In January 2016, Fenway Health launched its Family Medicine Program at our 1340 Boylston St. offices. We are now able to treat patients of any age and provide truly lifelong care.

“Fenway’s patients and their families are increasingly looking for care that responds to them as individuals, in their unique family and social situations,” said Karen Kelly, MD, Lead Physician for Family Medicine. “Our Family Medicine providers are in an ideal position to manage the totality of patients’ health and also find the right mix of specialized care when they need it.”

Violence Recovery Program (VRP)

Throughout 2015, Fenway’s VRP helped over 200 LGBT survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, hate violence, and police misconduct.

“Our clients are so resilient, and they inspire me with their capacity to survive,” said Cara Presley, Violence Recovery Program Manager. “It’s an honor to not only bear witness to that healing process, but to help it along.”  

LGBT Youth Care

Over 1,500 young people ages 12 to 29 were seen by medical and behavioral health providers at our Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center in Chinatown in 2015. Many were at-risk or street involved youth in need of sensitive and non-judgmental care.

“At the Borum, our medical team collaborates closely with our behavioral health team, which allows us to provide amazing all around care to our patients,” said Molly McHenry, Nurse Practitioner at the Borum.

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