PA Medical Society Work Group addresses access, research and education
A 2013 Gallup poll estimates that more than 250,000 self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals live in Pennsylvania, and numerous studies show that LGBT people have, on average, worse health outcomes than non-LGBT people. These studies have linked poor outcomes to disparities in access to healthcare, discrimination, and underinsurance… not to mention an unfortunate lack of funding for research that addresses LGBT health issues.
Recognizing the need for improvement, the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) has formed a statewide Work Group tasked with developing a strategy to help PAMED members address these important issues. PERSAD Center Executive Director Betty Hill, MPM, has joined the group and will collaborate with stakeholders from across the state to focus on three areas:
- advocating to expand access and eliminate healthcare disparities for LGBT Pennsylvanians
- advocating for future research efforts that are specifically designed to investigate LGBT health issues
- making information on LGBT health issues available to PA physicians
“PERSAD Center has been responding to the needs of LGBT people for decades. We are keenly aware of how discrimination and stigma negatively effect health, so it’s a great honor to be asked to contribute our expertise to the Work Group. As PERSAD expands our medical services, we are particularly motivated to help Pennsylvania physicians and healthcare providers to develop best practices to better serve LGBT people”, says Betty Hill.
The PAMED Work Group hosted its initial meeting on February 17, and is on a fast track toward generating recommendations and a report by October 2016.