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How UTMB is working to meet its LGBTQ+ patients' needs

National LGBTQ Health Awareness week is March 21- 25. Its goal is to encourage speaking openly about LGBTQ+ health, “providing an umbrella under which to discuss and raise awareness of mental health, trans health, and ending stigma through accessible, affirming, and inclusive healthcare services so that everyone can fully live their truth and a healthy life.”

UTMB strives to provide high-quality health care to all patients, including care and services tailored to the needs of LGBTQ+ community members. This commitment to care means continually working to build upon those offerings through physician and staff education, training, and community engagement.

“(Patients) want to work with physicians that are respectful, and not just supportive of LGBTQ+ communities, but knowledgeable about what their specific needs are,” says Savannah Parks, LGBTQ+ Patient Navigator for the UTMB Health System. “So ‘responsive’ isn't just support -- it's experience in providing to this community and being able to meet them where they're at in their needs.”

Parks is often a first point of contact when LGBTQ+ patients and their families seek care at UTMB. She helps identify resources and connects patients with providers who are comfortable with and informed about LGBTQ needs, including evaluation for transgender hormone therapy and LGBTQ+ family planning.

Parks is the creator of UTMB’s web pages for LGBTQ+ patient resources. This includes links to articles and agencies addressing LGBTQ+ health care needs and listings of self-identified LGBTQ+ responsive providers, as well as a newly developed page for transgender care services available at UTMB.

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