New NY State Funding Aims to Increase Transgender Primary Care Providers

Callen-Lorde has received a grant from the New York State Department of Health to provide transgender healthcare training to medical professionals. The goal of Transgender Clinical Scholars Training Pilot Program is to address the severe shortage of providers who deliver healthcare to transgender people across the state.

“Transgender people often struggle to find medical providers who are knowledgeable about their specific care needs,” said Asa Radix, MD, PhD, MPH, Senior Director of Research and Education at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. “This funding will allow Callen-Lorde to establish an innovative specialty program in transgender health, one of the first of its kind, and increase the number of clinicians who have the necessary competencies and skills to provide quality care to trans and gender diverse people.”

Several studies have documented that health professions students do not receive adequate training in transgender health. Even when medical and nursing schools provide LGBTQ+ health in the curricula, the inclusion of transgender medicine may be minimal or absent. The median time dedicated to teaching LGBTQ+ content in medical schools is only 5 hours, and for nursing schools is just over 2 hours.

The transgender healthcare training grant was allocated in the New York State budget passed by Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders in May of 2023.

Expanding the number of providers who can deliver transgender primary healthcare in New York is increasingly important as other states across the country enact bans on transgender healthcare. Callen-Lorde has a track record in providing premier LGBTQ+ healthcare training through the Keith Haring Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Fellowship in LGBTQ+ Health.

“Callen-Lorde has always been a place of refuge for LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV who often face discrimination in healthcare settings. We must expand that refuge to as many places as we can,” said Anthony Fortenberry, Deputy Executive Director at Callen-Lorde.  “Thanks to the grant from the New York State Department of Health we’re going to be able to do just that.”

The new program begins against the backdrop of state legislatures around the country introducing anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

According to the Movement Advancement Project: 

20 states have banned best-practice medical care for minors seeking gender-affirming care

11 states have enacted shield laws protecting access to gender-affirming healthcare. The New York State Legislature recently passed a safe haven law protecting access to gender-affirming healthcare and shielding healthcare providers from out-of-state investigations. The law is awaiting Governor Hochul’s signature.

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