Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Health director keynotes inaugural LGBT health symposium
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond
2016-08-23

This article shared 971 times since Tue Aug 23, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Since Northwestern University launched its Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing—described as "the first university-wide institute in the country focused on LGBTQ health"—in February of this year, its vision ( "To be an international leader in research that fosters understanding of the development and experiences of sexual and gender minority ( SGM ) individuals and improves the health and wellbeing of the SGM community" ) is well underway.

A key component in the realization of that vision is combining the talents of researchers and scholars across a spectrum of disciplines to create the kind of collaboration and leadership which will "Promote innovative, multidisciplinary research to improve the health and well-being of SGM individuals and communities."

In the fall of 2015, the National Institutes of Health ( NIH ) opened a Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office.

The NIH's 2016-2020 strategic plan "To Advance Research on the Health and Wellbeing of Sexual and Gender Minorities" is designed to promote and support "The advancement of basic, clinical, and behavioral and social sciences research to improve the health of people whose sexual orientations, gender identities/expressions, and/or reproductive development vary from traditional, societal, cultural, or physiological norms."

It was only fitting that, as part of Northwestern's very first State of LGBT Health Symposium held at the university's downtown campus on Aug. 17-18, NIH Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office Director Karen L. Parker, Ph.D., M.S.W. was invited to deliver the keynote address.

Ahead of the symposium, Parker and Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing Director Dr. Brian Mustanski, Ph,D. sat down with Windy City Times to discuss the present and future work of both the NIH office and the Institute.

"When the [NIH] office was established, we had been working for many years on some of these issues," Parker noted. "The NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Coordinating Committee has representation across 27 institutes and centers. The strategic plan was released around the same time as the office was established and serves as our blueprint moving forward."

Parker added that the office has already honed in on a variety of key areas.

"We released a funding opportunity through the Office of the Director for administrative supplements for Sexual and Gender Minority research," she said. "That call went out last August and we reviewed applications and made funding decisions. Another objective in the strategic plan was to establish a Sexual and Gender Minority working group of the NIH council which advises the Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives."

There are six people in that working group including Mustanski.

According to Parker, the current portfolio of NIH-funded research projects is comprised of about 73 percent of grants focused on HIV/AIDS.

"That does not mean that they aren't also focused on other issues," Parker asserted, "but what we're really interested in at the office is looking at that other 27 percent and asking what some of the critical issues are where we are not funding as many projects. Things like suicidal ideation, depression and anxiety, certainly there are some big questions about the health needs of members of the transgender community engaged in the long term use of hormones."

These issues represent just a small part of the unanswered questions which, when addressed, will grow a portfolio Parker admits is presently not particularly large.

Mustanski acknowledged that researching and addressing the epidemic of violence against the transgender community, particularly those individuals of color, has been something that has fallen through the cracks.

"But it is one of the reasons I am really optimistic about the formation of the [NIH] office," he said. "This is a population that has disproportionately experienced violence and is affected by HIV and there are a lot of the same social determinants that are driving many of those issues. This office allows for opportunities for dialogue about where those issues fit at the NIH. They could bring it to the National Institute of Minority Health Disparities which takes more of a population rather than a disease focus."

"We really want to be focusing on populations and their specific needs," he added. "Not just focusing on one specific disease and ignoring all of the other issues that populations are facing."

Another major issue that has a significant impact on the LGBTQ community is one of receiving healthcare.

Transgender people in particular face the barriers of insurance companies who will not cover their basic healthcare needs and providers who have no training or even a basic understanding of trans health.

"One of the things that NIH funds is the kind of work that helps bring these issues to light," Mustanski said. "It's really the first step to addressing them. We need to understand how pervasive they are and the specific issues that people are facing so that they can be used by advocacy organizations or government agencies."

Mustanski noted that a training grant from the NIH provided to one of the Institute's faculty members has helped address precisely that.

"A lot of great data was collected on healthcare discrimination," he said. "We are working on an article on gender affirming and general health care access for trans people."

"One of the great things about this research working group we have established is that we have folks who can come to us and say 'these are the things we are hearing about'," Parker said. "So when it comes to what's happening in the doctor's office, NIH can provide funding to do research in that area which can be used to make decisions."

Another pressing concern is the growing prevalence of HIV/AIDS in sexual and gender minority populations.

"There are challenges in translating research into a way that the general public can understand," Parker said. "There's a lot of work that needs to be done there and continuing to educate people in the community who are working on the ground."

"We just got a very large 9.3 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Minority Health Disparities to do a nationwide eHealth HIV prevention and education campaign with teenage gay and bisexual boys." Mustanski added. "One of the big focuses is to make sure the education we are providing is culturally competent with all different groups."

Despite such good news, the budget stalemate which continues in Springfield has decimated the numbers of people and programs working to combat HIV/AIDS. Without organizations on the ground to apply NIH-funded research programs into workable solutions, that work becomes purely academic.

"Our institute works with nearly 20 community organizations throughout Chicago who are focused on HIV services," Mustanski said. "For the ones who have had substantial state funding it is an extreme challenge for them. Even if we solve the budget this year, there are going to be some long-term effects.

For more information on Northwestern's Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, visit: isgmh.northwestern.edu .

For more information on the NIH Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office, visit: dpcpsi.nih.gov/sgmro .


This article shared 971 times since Tue Aug 23, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Funding Equity (BLACHFE) launches 2021-09-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO IL — September 20, 2021 — Eleven African-American-led organizations have united to form the Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Funding Equity (BLACHFE). The purpose of BLACHFE is to ...


Gay News

COVID California, Puerto Rico off Chicago's travel advisory list; others return 2021-09-21
- On Sept. 22, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) took one state and one territory—California and Puerto Rico—off its weekly COVID-19 Travel Advisory, while Connecticut and the District of Columbia returned to the advisory. The ...


Gay News

LGBTQ blood donation discrimination assessed, PULSE shootings cited 2021-09-21
--From a press release - Chicago, Ill. — Last week, Reps. Mike Quigley (IL-05), Val B. Demings (FL-10), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Ritchie Torres (NY-15) received a ...


Gay News

Patrick J. Kennedy to receive award from Trilogy at virtual gala 2021-09-18
- Chicago-based Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare will present its Partner in Recovery Award to The Kennedy Forum founder, mental-health advocate and former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy as a part of its virtual 50th-anniversary gala on Thursday, Oct. 21. ...


Gay News

HHS awards $48M to health centers to expand HIV prevention, treatment 2021-09-16
- On Sept. 16, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $48 million to 271 HRSA-supported health centers across 26 states, Puerto Rico and ...


Gay News

National groups kick off #BiWeek to celebrate bisexuality+ visibility 2021-09-16
- Sept. 16 marks the start of #BiWeek, an annual digital campaign to accelerate acceptance for the bisexual+ (bi, pansexual, fluid, queer, unlabeled, etc.) community, according to a joint press release from the organizations The Bisexual Resource ...


Gay News

COVID Southern Illinois reports it has zero ICU beds available 2021-09-15
- Amid a COVID-19 surge, Illinois' southern region reported Sept. 13-14 that it ran out of intensive care unit (ICU) beds—which has delayed surgeries and resulted in longer waits for appropriate care, The Chicago Tribune reported. In ...


Gay News

Howard Brown hosting Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium on Sept. 29-30 2021-09-15
- Howard Brown Health will host its 2021 Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium in a virtual format Sept. 29-30. The conference, presented by the Howard Brown Health Center for Education, Research and ...


Gay News

COVID Connecticut, D.C., removed from Chicago's travel advisory 2021-09-14
- On Sept. 14, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) took one state—Connecticut—and the District of Columbia off its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory. The advisory now includes 48 states and three territories, as daily COVID case ...


Gay News

Men Having Babies surrogacy conference on Oct. 9 2021-09-13
- The Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. According to a press statement, more than 100 (vaccinated!) ...


Gay News

SAVOR Sunny Bowls 2021-09-11
- Looking for a comforting, healthful option for lunch? Then look no further than Sunny Bowls: Souper Food (theMart, #201.; https://sunnybowls.com/), which specializes in various soups? Part of the food court at theMART (which some also call ...


Gay News

COVID Chicago's travel advisory now includes all states outside Illinois 2021-09-08
- The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), on Sept. 8, added one state—Vermont—to its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory. The advisory now includes every state and territory in the country, as COVID continues to surge across the ...


Gay News

New safety precautions announced for 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago Oct. 2 2021-09-08
--From a press release - CHICAGO — AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) has announced proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of event will be required for all in-person participants for the 30th annual AIDS Run & ...


Gay News

COVID Rev. Jackson's wife out of hospital 2021-09-04
- Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.'s wife, Jacqueline, was released from the hospital Sept. 3 after being treated for symptoms of COVID-19 along with the minister, NBC Chicago reported. "Our mother is leaving the Northwestern Memorial Hospital and ...


Gay News

Chicago pro-choice activists outraged by SCOTUS' refusal to overturn Texas abortion ban 2021-09-03
--From a multi-organization press release - Calling it a blow to women and all abortion rights supporters nationwide, coalition calls for reversal of the Texas Law SB8, and demands "No Abortion Bans Anywhere: Not Now; Not Ever! Defend Roe!" Several Chicago groups ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.