Washington, D.C., March 16, 2016: The Weitzman Institute, the innovation and research arm of Community Health Center, Inc., is launching a national program this week to improve health outcomes for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender ( LGBT ) patients by increasing the availability of culturally responsible, comprehensive primary care.
Providers from ten community health centers gathered in Washington, D.C. to initiate a learning collaborative designed to improve health outcomes for a community often facing social stigma and discrimination in healthcare access and delivery. The providers represent community health centers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas.
The first-of-its kind national effort is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the National Association of Community Health Centers; and Fenway Health, an organization focused on national and international health issues, especially related to LGBT communities.
"Our research shows that most primary care providers are very uncomfortable talking to patients about sexual orientation and gender identity," says Wanda Montalvo, PhD, RN, the associate director of the Weitzman Institute and the architect of the practice improvement collaborative. "We also learned that the electronic health record systems used by most medical practices don't have a way to capture and store information about the sexual orientation and gender identity of their patients."
"As front-line providers, health centers continually strive to provide evidence-based, culturally competent care for all patients," commented Mark Masselli, President/CEO of Community Health Center. "This groundbreaking initiative will transform LGBT care as health centers around the U.S. transform their practices into welcoming medical homes for LGBT patients."
About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary healthcare system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 130,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit www.chc1.com .
About The Weitzman Institute
The Weitzman Institute is the research and innovation arm of Community Health Center, Inc., dedicated to inspiring primary care innovation and improving health outcomes for the medically underserved. With its expertise in quality improvement, the Weitzman Institute is partnering with organizations around the globe to transform the primary care delivery system through research, training and education. For more information, visit www.weitzmaninstitute.org .