May 2, 2008 LGBT Health Awareness Week offers information
 

May 2, 2008

LGBT Health Awareness Week offers health information

April 7 through 14 marked the MGH's first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health Awareness Week, organized by MGHers to provide information about health issues specific to the LGBT community.

The week kicked off with a panel discussion on LGBT aging. With the population of LGBT elders expected to increase by 70 percent in the next two decades, panelists — including Lisa Krinsky, director of the LGBT Aging Project, and Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality — discussed aging issues of relevance to the community.

Putting the word out: LGBT Health Awareness Week Planning Committee and other volunteers at the information table

Next, "Cancer in Two Voices," a documentary about the impact of a terminal diagnosis on a lesbian couple, gave viewers an intimate look into a loving relationship in a time of crisis. The LGBT Health Awareness Week Planning Committee then hosted an information table in the Main Corridor April 9, providing literature on topics such as relationships, harm reduction, sexual and mental health, domestic violence and cancer. Volunteers from a number of departments throughout the hospital were on hand, showcasing the variety of MGH services and providers available to the LGBT community.

A panel discussion on transgender health took place April 10, featuring social workers, community advocates and a nurse educator. Issues specific to the transgender community, such as access to health care, challenges in navigating health insurance and substance abuse were discussed. Finally, April 11 was Wellness Day at the Clubs at Charles River Park, where participants received passes for a free workout.

Jackie Slivko, MBA, PMP, MSEd, and Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, co-chairs of the LGBT planning committee, remark, "We are excited that this important cause received such a warm reception from the MGH community. In particular, we would like to thank the 63 volunteers from 36 different departments who came together to make our events such a success."

For more info about the LGBT committee at MGH, e-mail lgbtmgh@partners.org, Slivko at jslivko@partners.org or Ehrenfeld at jehrenfeld@partners.org.

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