Columbia University Medical Center has just launched its new LGBT Health Initiative, aiming to improve the care given to LGBT patients.
Although visibility has improved greatly in recent years, there is still very little data regarding LGBT people either medically or psychologically. Only a few studies have been done regarding the unique issues the community faces, and as of now, LGBT-specific diversity training is almost nonexistent. This means few professionals in the medical health field are equipped to assist the LGBT patients they come across, increasing the vulnerability of those already at risk.
Columbia University Medical Center intends to change that with the establishment of the initiative they say marks an unprecedented move to make use of a major medical center’s resources for the benefit of LGBT people as a whole.
Media spokesperson from Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Ellen Kahn told 429Magazine, “we applaud Columbia University Medical Center for their commitment to improving the everyday lives of LGBT youth and families.”
The ultimate goal of the LGBT Health Initiative is to conduct research that allows for pioneering new methods of physical and mental health services, more effectively train professionals, and find out which outreach strategies are most beneficial.
To that end, the center brings together professionals from multiple fields—among them educators, clinical workers and research scientists—to determine how to best support the well-being of the LGBT community.
Also included in the Initiative’s workforce are policymakers: those who work for schools, other health centers and in government.