When first funded in 2016 with help from the Albert Einstein Society, the Pride Clinic (as it was known then) was launched with one outpatient therapist seeing patients a couple of hours each week. With research demonstrating members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community do not typically seek out healthcare services, the team who submitted the grant proposal to the Albert Einstein Society to fund the clinic felt strongly that the old saying “If you build it, they will come.” would eventually prevail.
“There’s a tremendous need for healthcare services geared to the LGBTQ+ community, so it’s wonderful to be able to expand our services, thanks to the generous grants from the Albert Einstein Society and EcoMedia,” says David Jaspan, DO, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Einstein Healthcare Network and one of the original Albert Einstein Society grant requesters.
Seeking to fill the healthcare and health education void that influences the health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community, the Pride Program also offers comprehensive training and education throughout the network to ensure competent care is offered across all settings. Specialized components of the Pride Program seek to create a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community to access physical, social and emotional care.
Support for this population is needed and being sought. As patient Robyn Ryan explains, “In the transgender community, too many of us have our guard up…the strongest thing we are looking for as transgender people are allies. We don’t have that support on the outside and that is why I came to the Pride Clinic.”
“We look at LGBTQ health as a discipline because of oppression and the experience of how that impacts health access,” explains Parker. “So often, like any other marginalized community, LBGTQ folks are at greater risk for adverse health outcomes because they don’t have the external support their straight counterparts do.”
According to Jaspan, the Pride Program is here to stay at Einstein and will only continue to grow as new funding opportunities are identified. “Our vision is that Pride is more than just a program. Pride should be and will be in every department and every division of the network.”