LGBT community center receives grant to develop nursing program

LGBT community center receives grant to develop nursing program

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A Lehigh Valley-based LGBT community center received a grant to develop a program for  nurses dedicated to promoting LGBT health equity.

The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center received a grant from the Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association Promise of Nursing for Pennsylvania. The funds will help the center provide a cohort program for 10 nurses.

Healthy People 2020 defines “health equity” as the “attainment of the highest levels of health for all people.”

“The LGBT community lacks health equity due in part to numerous barriers to care from the health-care systems,” said Adrian Shanker, founder and director of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, in a statement.

The program is dedicated to developing champions of LGBT health equity, promoting LGBT health and providing health-leadership opportunities for nurses.

Shanker said this cohort program is the first step in restructuring the health-equity framework.

“The [current] health-equity structure wasn’t made for LGBT people. Health- care professionals don’t learn about LGBT-specific health needs,” Shankerhe said. “Nurses are on the health-care frontlines. We want to help develop these nurses into leaders in their community. The goal is to have these nurses sit on nonprofit and government boards championing LGBT equity.”

The eight-month-long nursing cohort program will start in February 2018 and finish in September 2018 with eight weeklyand include monthly meetings. The two-hour meetings will cover information needed in order to provide better knowledge on treating LGBT patients. The program is looking for high-quality candidates who are interested in learning and expanding their knowledge about LGBT health equity. Ten applicants will be chosen, including one from a nursing baccalaureate program and one from a nursing associate’s or diploma program. Established nurses are encouraged to apply as well. Each program participant will receive a $400 stipend upon completion of the program.

The principle mission of the cohort is to promote more inclusion in health-care practices with the hope of attracting applicants who already have a strong background working in diversity and inclusion. Shanker’s goal, along with the organization that funded the program, is to help prevent the outcomes of inadequate health-care treatment. This group is left vulnerable to a system that does not speak to the unique health needs of the LGBT population.

“We want these nurses to be champions of health equity for LGBT people in their own fields of study as well as beyond,” Shanker said.

Visit for more information. The deadline to submit an application is Jan. 8.

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