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Conversations About Care

Valley Medical Group and Health New England connect with the local community to talk about improving the state of health care for LGBTQ patients. 

On Tuesday, December 6, Valley Medical Group and Health New England hosted a Forum called “Conversations about Care” focused on LGBTQ health care experiences and opportunities for improvement in the Pioneer Valley. Over 40 members of the local community including patients, health care providers and industry professionals joined the conversation and shared their perspectives and thoughts through an open and interactive discussion, facilitated by renowned LGBTQ activist and UMASS Amherst Professor Emerita Pat Griffin. 

Several key themes emerged from the conversation over the course of the evening including:

•    Improving processes that best facilitate a respectful, accepting and informed patient experience from front desk through                      interaction with the health care practitioner

•    The importance of helping to foster a patient/practitioner relationship of trust and candor

•    The need for education and training to ensure health care practitioners have baseline understanding as it relates to LGBTQ patient needs, concerns and sensitivities 

•    The importance of representation and advocacy for LGBTQ patients within the health care system, particularly given the ever-changing political landscape 

•    Greater inclusivity and/or outreach to under-represented groups (i.e., trans, LGBTQ seniors, etc.)

•    Connectivity to helpful LGBTQ health care resources, networks and support groups

Valley Medical Group’s President Joel Feinman reiterated the organization’s commitment to serving the LGBTQ community and indicated that the organization will consider both short-term and long-term changes based on the discussion at the Forum. All attendees agreed on the need for continued outreach and discussion on the topic. 

If you have questions, comments or suggestions on this subject, please feel free to contact us by clicking on the “patient concerns and suggestions” link on the bottom of our home page.

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