FERNDALE – On May 28, the new Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Health Equity Council of Southeast Michigan, geared towards systematically impacting the health of local LGBT communities, met for the first time with LGBT community organizers to begin identifying and addressing the issues that put LGBT people at risk. The Council is the first of its kind and is comprised of roughly 50 healthcare professionals.
This project comes with a three-year grant from The Jewish Fund with a goal of working towards closing the healthcare gap for LGBT people.
“We are looking to create institutional change on this and that means working hand-in-hand with healthcare systems professionals,” says Project Director Kathleen LaTosch. “We have an open invitation for representatives from key healthcare and LGBT organizations in the region to join us in this effort.”
The Health Equity Council is coordinated by Affirmations and will meet six times a year. Members of the Council include: healthcare providers, health system administrators, diversity and inclusion professionals, LGBT community organizers and LGBT community members.
“We just scratched the surface on health disparities in the LGBT community,” Council Member and Service Provider David Ponsart said. “What I know from my clients is that many of them don’t even know what services they should be getting. This is so huge it’s almost overwhelming.”