COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Equitas Health's Institute for LGBTQ Health Equity and the Ohio AIDS Coalition will host 450 activists, academics, community members, health and social service professionals at a Midwest conference to address health disparities affecting the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS community. The conference will take place at The Ohio State University - Fawcett Center October 20-21st.
The conference follows the recent announcement by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) designating the LGBTQ community as a health disparity population. LGBTQ people suffer higher rates of illnesses like cancer, depression, and HIV; as well as face barriers to care such as a lack of culturally competent providers, discrimination and shaming when accessing healthcare. The designation is an important step to encourage more research to develop evidence-based interventions to address LGBTQ health disparities, a critical focus of the Transforming Care conference. According to a 2014 Gallup Poll, more than 9 million Americans over the age of 18 self-identify as LGBT. An estimated 304,000 Ohioans, including 39,000 transgender individuals—are members of the LGBTQ community.
"An individual's sexual orientation or gender identity shouldn't determine their health outcomes or the quality of care they receive," said Julia Applegate, Director of Equitas Health's Institute for LGBTQ Health Equity. "Through more than 50 sessions, this conference is a unique opportunity for professionals and community members to come together to share not only research and best practices but practical information like family planning, wellness activities and health and safety initiatives for this population," said Applegate.
Highlights of the conference include:
Harvey J. Makadon, MD, Director of Education and Training Programs at The Fenway Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is providing the keynote address on "Achieving Health Equity: Meeting the Healthcare Needs of LGBTQ People."
Gayathri Chelvakumar, MD, adolescent medicine physician at Nationwide Children's Hospital, is presenting on "Addressing Reproductive Health Needs of LGBTQ Youth."
Equitas Health (formerly AIDS Resource Center Ohio) is a not-for-profit community-based healthcare system founded in 1984. Its expanded mission has made it one of the nation's largest HIV/AIDS, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) healthcare organizations.