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U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to create National Training and Technical Assistance Center with Assistance from Fenway and collaborators, including Howard Brown Health Center
CHICAGO (September 15, 2011) – Leaders at Howard Brown Health Center today applauded the Fenway Institute for receiving a $248,000 federal grant from a sector of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to create a National Training and Technical Assistance Center that will assist community health centers across the United States. The Fenway Institute, which is a branch of the 40-year-old LGBT community health center Fenway Health in Boston, will use the grant to help the more than 1,000 community health centers in the U.S. to develop expertise and competency in treating LGBT people in order to improve the health of LGBT people nationwide.
The award represents the first time that HRSA has entered into a national cooperative agreement with a focus on LGBT health. Recognizing the growing need to address health disparities within the LGBT community, the Fenway Institute will work to recruit leading experts in LGBT health, including the leadership, clinical and research team at HBHC, to provide seminars and consultation to health center staff members across the United States.
“It is great news to see our federal government taking these important steps to improve LGBT healthcare. The HRSA grant to Fenway Institute demonstrates a commitment to help improve the health of all LGBT people nationwide,” said Jamal M. Edwards, Howard Brown Health Center President and CEO. “We commend HRSA for its support and applaud the Fenway Institute for its work in improving LGBT healthcare. We look forward to supporting Fenway as a resource to HRSA and the national family of community health centers like ourselves.”
This grant also supports developing curricula specifically targeted to healthcare providers of LGBT populations and increasing the ability to work closely with state primary care associations to maximize the geographic reach of the project. HBHC also receives funding from HRSA to develop and provide LGBT training curricula for healthcare providers. Over the past year, Howard Brown Health Center has been developing a cultural competency training program, in collaboration with other LGBT health providers like Fenway, called Health Education About LGBT Elders (HEALE). HEALE is designed for nursing professionals to help improve LGBT geriatric care and has been provided to over 200 nurses and other healthcare providers throughout the state of Illinois last year. Upon completion of the pilot next year, HBHC looks forward to working with Fenway to expand this curriculum to other geographic regions, as well as to develop curricula which addresses all aspects of LGBT health throughout a lifetime.
“With so few institutions in the country really focused on LGBT health issues, this kind of federal support is a promising step to improve care and treatment for LGBT people. It’s a vision we share with our friends at Fenway, and we look forward to future collaborations with the Fenway Institute and to lending our expertise,” said Magda Houlberg, M.D., HBHC Vice President of Clinical Services.
HBHC continues to meet the healthcare needs of those who need it most through the Lifeline Fund –a fund to improve and expand access to HBHC’s excellent primary care and specialty services for patients who are unable to pay for their care. When patients are experiencing financial hardship, gifts to the Lifeline Fund will be used to help cover the nominal sliding scale fees that each patient must pay under federal guidelines.
Through the Lifeline Fund, HBHC’s goal is to raise $1 million to provide Charity Care for thousands of patients in need. Whether a gift of $5,000 or $5, every donation to the Lifeline Fund makes a difference and will enable HBHC to save lives. For more information about the Lifeline Fund or to donate today, please visit www.howardbrown.org.
For more information on the HRSA grant, visit: http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/pressreleases/110906lgbttraining.html
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About Howard Brown Health Center
Founded in 1974, Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) is one of the nation's largest health care and research organizations, primarily serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and its allies. With an annual budget of approximately $18 million, it is the largest such organization in the Midwest and serves more than 36,000 adults and youth each year throughout the region. As an innovative and growing patient-centered health home, HBHC provides primary medical care, behavioral health services, and specialty chronic and infectious disease services, and conducts nationally-renowned clinical and behavioral research. Its nearly 200 staff deliver culturally competent and compassionate care in a supportive environment that also includes comprehensive health, wellness and social service programs that enable and expand access to care for all LGBT men, women, youth and seniors, and their friends and families. HBHC is a multi-site operation based in Chicago and includes a main health and research center in the Uptown neighborhood, the TRIAD Health practice at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, and the Broadway Youth Center. HBHC also operates the Brown Elephant Resale Shops, which include three resale shops in Chicago's Wrigleyville/Boystown and Andersonville neighborhoods, and in Oak Park. The proceeds from the Brown Elephant help HBHC provide services to those who are un/underinsured.