The San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center (TLC) has received a $269,000 matching grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support its groundbreaking transgender healthcare initiative.
Project HEALTH: Harnessing Education, Advocacy, and Leadership for Transgender Health increases access to quality care for the transgender community through a combination of outreach and hands-on work with community health clinics and community-based advocacy efforts. The TLC has partnered with Lyon-Martin Health Services, the leading LGBT healthcare organization in the Bay Area, to facilitate the initiative.
“Getting adequate healthcare is a struggle for millions of Americans, but transgender people often can’t get even basic care because healthcare providers don’t understand their needs or simply refuse to treat them,” said Masen Davis, the TLC’s Executive Director. “Project HEALTH is a carefully crafted program designed to change that reality.”
Added Dawn Harbatkin, M.D., Medical Director/Interim Executive Director of Lyon-Martin, “far too few insurers offer coverage and there are not enough trained medical professionals to address basic needs. In fact, transgender patients come to Lyon-Martin from throughout the U.S. because they are unable to find a supportive, knowledgeable doctor in their home town. That’s why it is critical that more providers and clinics be prepared to serve this community.”
Since its inception, Project HEALTH has enacted a series of innovations in the field. The organization has engaged 11 clinics to help them improve their transgender sensitivity and medical skills for serving the transgender community; formalized a first-of-its-kind clinic-based training program in transgender health for nursing students; and helped more than 530 medical providers fully understand the healthcare needs of the transgender community.