A local medical center last week announced it was awarded two grants to support the LGBT community.
Einstein Medical Center’s Pride Program, an LGBT-centered division, received a $50,000 grant from the Albert Einstein Society Innovative Program and a $35,000 grant from EcoMedia. The former grant allows the medical center to hire a trans patient navigator while the latter expands its mental-health and counseling services for LGBT patients.
“Einstein’s mission statement is to provide health care and education to all that we can touch, and it became clear to me, as we began to work with Pride and the community, that we were not reaching all of the patients,” said Dr. David Jaspan, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Einstein Healthcare Network. “One grant enables us to provide care to patients who feel they can’t access it because they couldn’t afford it and the other enables us to do two things: reach the trans community with a specific navigator and, more importantly, [provide] an expansion process for the entire LGBTQ community.”
Kalen McLean began working as the trans patient navigator in August. Beginning in January, he will initiate outreach to local communities and will have a presence at schools in the area. Additionally, McLean fields all phone calls, initiates all appointments and accompanies patients to appointments.
Jaspan said the need for this position stemmed from a conversation with Dr. Michele Style, who founded the Pride program. One of the program’s first patients was a trans man who had an appointment for an ultrasound. They wanted to ensure medical staff was friendly toward the patient and did not assume they called “the wrong patient.”
“From that moment on, we knew that taking care of the trans population required a different approach,” Jaspan said.
For the EcoMedia grant, Pride program leadership wanted to expand its counseling and mental-health services. Program director Mx. Libby Parker provides this support for LGBT patients but, since Parker is a social worker, they can only see patients with certain insurance. The grant would help pay for out-of-pocket expenses.
“The patients [they] see in that realm — certain insurances don’t pay for their care but we didn’t want patients to not have access,” Jaspan said. “So when a patient needs care but doesn’t have the appropriate insurance that would be covered, we use this grant to offset the cost so there is no more cost for the patient.”
For more information on Einstein Medical Center’s Pride Program, visit http://bit.ly/2BuzCq4 or call 800-346-7834.
*The original story incorrectly noted Mx. Libby Parker's pronouns. All references to their pronouns have been changed or redacted, entirely.