The LGBTQ community experiences health disparities related to access to care, utilization of care, experiences of discrimination, perceptions of injustice, healthcare neglect, and inappropriate care. In addition, statistics often cite higher rates of some health outcomes, such as higher rates of mental illness and substance use in the LGBTQ community at large and HIV/AIDS for transgender women and gay and queer men (Alvy et al., 2011; Cochran et al., 2003; Coulter et al., 2015). These disparities in health and healthcare stand as an emergency beacon to both community members and organizations aimed to serve them. Organizations throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island, such as AIDS Project New Haven, True Colors in Hartford, Triangle Community Center in Norwalk, and SAGE in Providence advocate and work toward the better health of these organizations. But the question of what healthcare needs and desires among LGBTQ community members are not being met by local organizations remains uncertain. This report highlights health disparities and needs among the LGBTQ community using both previous research and the voices of community members. Through highlighting the health care experiences of community members, we illuminate some key factors that influence the health outcomes and thoughts around healthcare within the LGBTQ community.
Several of the recommendations and thoughts regarding the expansion and changes to PPSNE are simple, yet poignant fixes to strengthen the comfort and confidence levels of PPSNE staff and providers into the highly comfortable strata found in the survey. This cyclical relationship between providers and patients offers a new and expansive market and community access to Planned Parenthood, with another, often expansive healthcare organization to provide care to community members. Other Planned Parenthood locations throughout the United States offer services and amplify access through specific marketing campaigns to LGBTQ community members. Utilizing these models and heeding the suggestions of community members can offer potential success to both parties, as well as potentially working toward intangible goals, like reducing stigma, increasing awareness, and spreading positive health outcomes throughout the LGBTQ community and the general community. We encourage Planned Parenthood of Southern New England to consider these these steps, and believe that doing so will improve the health status of many LGBTQ community members by dramatically increasing both accessibility and demand for high quality clinical services at PPSNE.
Community Health and Preventive Medicine
Bastida, Christina; Clare, Rachel; McConocha, Erin; Perler, Rachel; Wilcox, Matthew; Rosato, Lauren , (Preceptor); Forsyth, Brian , (Faculty Advisor); Humphries, Debbie , (Faculty Advisor); and Kurkurina, Elina , (TA), "Planned Parenthood: LGBTQ Healthcare in Southern New England" (2017). Practice Based Community Health Research Reports. 42.