Apicha Community Health Center is thrilled to stand by the NIH as they formally acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community as a population that experiences and endures health disparities. The NIH has come to understand and recognize these communities as Sexual and Gender Minorities (SGM) facing unique barriers in our healthcare system.
"Mounting evidence indicates that SGM populations have less access to health care and higher burdens of certain diseases, such as depression, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. But the extent and causes of health disparities are not fully understood, and research on how to close these gaps is lacking"
How did we get here?
The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 enables the director of the NIHMD alongside the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), to determine and recognize populations that experience health disparities.
In 2011, the NIH launched the Sexual and Gender Minority Research OfficeSexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) on SGM health-related research and activities, which widely expanded the NIH's knowledge of challenges facing LGBTQI+ communities.
These factors, in addition to the extremely hard work of many organizations and activists, lead to the formal recognition that we are now celebrating!
Why is this such an important step for LGBTQI+ health care?
A really important part of providing the highest quality of primary medical care for patients, as well as for creating the most effective, supportive and comprehensive outreach programs is greatly informed by what data is available.
At Apicha CHC these data and research resources are fundamental to the needs assesments we conduct and our needs assesments inform the healthcare services. The data supporting our needs assesments gives us critical insight into the efficacy of our current services and is key in determing new services that would improve the care we offer.
The NIH's recognition is a pivitol moment for ApichaCHC and for all the people we stand by in the fight for LGBTQI+ health equality.