Howard Brown Health to Help Launch National Research Advisory Network for Trans and Gender Nonconforming Health
“Four Corners” is an innovative project that will produce unique and essential data for transgender health
(Chicago, IL, February 4, 2019) – Today, Howard Brown Health announced its participation in an innovative community-led research advisory network that will support the development of patient-centered research projects focused on addressing the health needs of transgender and gender non- conforming people (TGNC).
Entitled Four Corners: TGNC Health Research Advisory Network, (Four Corners) includes Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles LGBT Center; and Houston-based Legacy Community Health. Currently, the four organizations serve over 10,000 TGNC-identified patients. Led by Howard Brown Health, Four Corners will unite community members, researchers, and clinicians from across the U.S. to facilitate equitable participation of all members to contribute to a patient-led expansion of TGNC health research.
“Four Corners will establish a new standard in transgender research by including community voices from the start,” said Andie Baker, Vice President of Howard Brown Health’s Center for Education, Research, and Advocacy. “The ground-breaking partnership will ensure new research addresses what TGNC people need to make healthcare more relevant to their lived experience. This is urgently needed, as the TGNC community experiences disproportionate health disparities. ”
“I’m thrilled to be part of this new research project that will help my community. I’m excited to help Four Corners provide more information about what trans people actually need to help them achieve better health. I’m looking forward to the work that can be accomplished to better the community,” said Angelina Nordstrom, a member of Howard Brown’s community advisory board and Four Corners project liaison.
Transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming individuals are people who identify with a gender that differs from the identity associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. According to a 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey on transgender health disparities, nearly 1 in 4 of the respondents reported they did not seek the healthcare due to their fears of being mistreated as a trans person; one-third of them did not seek a healthcare provider when needed because they could not afford it; and 40% of them had attempted suicide in their lifetime—nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S. population.
“With the goal of improving health and wellness outcomes for all who identify on the gender spectrum, this research collaboration will establish foundational standards for methods, recruitment and protocols when conducting transgender and non-binary-focused health studies. We are excited by the opportunity for our patients to develop research priorities as we work to better understand the health needs of transgender and non-binary communities,” said Dr. Deborah Goldstein, Director of Clinical Research and Evaluation at Whitman-Walker Health.
“This first-of-its kind research initiative will help U.S. health care providers understand the disparities in care for the transgender/gender non-conforming community – and how to bridge the gaps,” said Dr. Ann Barnes, chief medical officer at Legacy Community Health. “Hearing from TGNC patients themselves will be critical in this work. We’re excited to be part of this project alongside other leading community health centers across the country.”
“The Los Angeles LGBT Center is proud to be a partner in creating Four Corners,” said Dr. Ward Carpenter, co-director of the Center’s Health Services. “This groundbreaking project will bring together researchers, clinicians, and—most importantly—community members to develop a patient-led TGNC research agenda. We applaud the Network’s vision and its commitment to ensuring that this vulnerable and marginalized population has a direct voice in guiding research to reduce the dramatic health disparities suffered by TGNC individuals.”
Howard Brown Health envisions a future where the health and wellness of LGBTQ people is affirmed with healthcare as a human right; where progressive social policy and enlightened societal norms uplift the lives of LGBTQ people and their families; and where affordable, accessible, and culturally competent care from non-judgmental healthcare professionals is available and provided to all who seek it. Howard Brown is the largest LGBTQ organization in the Midwest, providing primary and specialty healthcare, social services, and infectious disease screenings to more than 35,000 people each year and over 5,665 TGNC-identified patients annually.
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