Equal Healthcare for all LGBTQ+ Community in Jersey City
PFLAG supports families of people in the LGBTQ+ community and educates the general population by advocating on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community.
PFLAG Jersey City, has made healthcare for LGBTQ+ individuals a central part of their mission by devoting time and energy to gathering data, disseminating literature, and talking to people about the importance of informed healthcare equity. Fundamentally, PFLAG wants to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community gets access to quality healthcare.
PFLAG was aware of healthcare encounters where members of the Jersey City LGBTQ+ community did not have appropriate treatment. Therefore, they tried to gather data on how to better inform healthcare workers of how an LBGTQ+ individual can have an impact by systemic bias, and how to improve interactions with the LBGTQ+ community. To improve health outcomes, members of PFLAG Jersey City realized that they had to translate anecdotes into tangible data that could help healthcare providers improve training, and empower the LGBTQ+ community – particularly the younger generation – to advocate for their needs.
HealthierJC + PFLAG
The PFLAG program closely aligns with the HealthierJC mission to expand access to quality education, promote fellowship, and build future community leaders. In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the contribution of PFLAG in advancing a Culture of Health in Jersey City.
PFLAG sought partner with HealthierJC to build a sustainable Culture of Health by assessing obstacles faced by the Jersey City LGBTQ+ community when accessing healthcare. Their mini-grant request focused on the development and analysis of a LBGTQ+ outreach survey. The survey objective was to provide insights needed to move toward a stronger, more tolerant community that actively supports and can deliver LGBTQ+ health equity.
Jersey City LGBTQ+ Health Survey
Pre-Covid, Jersey City community members participated in the survey online via Survey Monkey, as well as in-person. To optimize response rates, the survey was distributed at public events, such as Jersey City Pride, to both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ individuals. Based on these initial survey responses, it became evident to PFLAG that people clearly respond best to in-person survey distribution. Moreover, while PFLAG planned a second round of data collection, following the onset of COVID, physical survey distribution at health fairs and similar venues was no longer a viable option.
In survey feedback, participants thanked PFLAG for undertaking the project. Many LGBTQ+ individuals do not feel listened to when they talk to a doctor. Respondents hoped that participation in the survey would help improve the quality of local LGBTQ+ healthcare services. In addition to their survey responses, experiences shared directly with the PFLAG team informed specific LGBTQ+ health care center recommendations.
PFLAG survey results provided a broad breakdown of gender orientation and age among the respondents. In addition, even though the majority seemed to have insurance, most seemed to struggle with finding quality healthcare that aligned with their gender orientation.
A demographic profile of PFLAG survey participants are included below:
Other key survey takeaways included:
- Lack of insurance for young females aged 25-34 during their prime reproductive years. After they turn 26, many people do not have coverage by their parents insurance, and entry-level jobs typically do not provide health coverage.
- Limited STI prevention guidance for bisexual encounters with both sexes.
- Respondents choosing not to inform the doctor about their sexual orientation.
- Doctors that are not knowledgeable or do not fully address LGBTQ+ orientation. Some do not even ask about sexual behavior, or they limit the discussion to HIV testing, and no other STI prevention.
By conducting this health survey, PFLAG sent a clear message to the Jersey City LGBTQ+ community that their healthcare experiences matter and HealthierJC is committed to achieving health equity.
Moving forward, PFLAG seeks to collaborate with their partner HealthierJC to conduct more healthcare awareness surveys and possible events to ensure the Jersey City LGBTQ+ community receive compassionate health care from local medical practitioners.
For more information on PFLAG, please visit the organization’s website at https://pflag.org/ or call their local number at (571) 969-3015