Arjun Rangarajan, MBBS, MPH, a project manager in the BWPO, says attending a recent talk at BWH with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy, a leader and advocate for the LGBT community, inspired him to attend more events hosted by the BWHC LGBT & Allies Employee Resource Group.
“I appreciated hearing from the attorney general as well as our hospital leadership about the importance of supporting our LGBT community at the Brigham,” Rangarajan said. “While the LGBT population faces unique challenges when it comes to receiving quality health care, this series is one important way we can continue to educate colleagues about best practices in LGBT care.”
Healey’s talk, which coincided with a National Coming Out Day event at BWH, was the first in a new LGBT Speaker Series. The joint effort between BWH and BWFH recently launched to highlight high-profile advocates working on health care issues facing LGBT patients and providers, according to Pothik Chatterjee, MBA, director of Business Development and Strategic Planning in the BWPO and chair of the BWHC LGBT & Allies Employee Resource Group.
“These talks are meant to be inspirational springboards for attendees to reflect on how they care for LGBT patients and what they can do to improve,” he said. “It’s been eye-opening to hear from speakers about effective and thoughtful ways to incorporate a patient’s LGBT identity into their physical and mental health care.”
Beverly Hardy, Innovation Strategy manager at the Brigham Innovation Hub, attended the talk with Healy to learn more about how BWH supports the LGBT community and to show her support.
“The Brigham family draws strength from our diversity by having more empathy and understanding for our patients’ needs,” Hardy said. “The speaker series demonstrates leadership’s commitment to fostering a welcoming community in which we learn from each other and share experiences.”
Since the series’ first event, the employee resource group has also hosted an interactive discussion with Harvey Makadon, MD, FACP, director of Education and Training Programs at The Fenway Institute. Makadon spoke about the challenges and best practices regarding the collection of sexual orientation/gender identity (SO/GI) patient information in Partners eCare and ways health care systems can use the information to address health care disparities.
Following that talk, the employee resource group formed a working group to ensure BWH care providers are aware of SO/GI options in Epic. The group is also coming up with techniques to help clinicians and patients comfortably discuss sexual orientation and gender identity.
The next two talks in the series focus on behavioral health for LGBT veterans and on diversity, inclusion and LGBT visibility. The latter will feature Dani Monroe, the first chief diversity and inclusion officer at Partners HealthCare, as the guest speaker.
Meghan Doherty, LCSW, an Inpatient Psychiatry social worker in the Department of Psychiatry at BWFH, has been working with the employee resource group to organize the next talk, which will be held at the Faulkner.
“The series has helped us see that patients, their families and staff are noticing the hard work of the employee resource group to educate the community about LGBT care and how we can continue a high level of engagement,” she said.