Program: Section on LGBT Health and Wellness Program (H4400)
O0616 Oct.5: 2:27pm - Exposing and Filling the Gaps in Care for LGBTQ Youth on the Westside of Chicago
Monday, October 5, 2020
2:27 PM – 2:33 PM
In 2015 there were 11,231 homeless youth in Chicago, with 20% of those identifying as LGBTQ (Chicago Coalition for the Homeless). This percentage is presumed to be higher because individuals may not wish to self-identify as LGBTQ when seeking to utilize the shelters and support services (Durso and Gates, 2012). LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness are a population vulnerable to violence, discrimination, and trauma. One study quantified the rate of suicide attempts amongst the group of youth to be 62% (Van Leeuwen, Boyle, Salomonsen-Sautel, and Baker, 2006). The health needs of LGBTQ youth are complex and require providers who are competent, affirming, and able to provide trauma informed care. Currently, in Chicago, the majority of LGBTQ specific clinics are located on the North side of the city, making them inaccessible for most of the historically disenfranchised neighborhoods on the West side of the city. With limited access to transportation, adequate healthcare, and educational/job/growth opportunities, the primarily African-American LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, are suffering. This project centered on the creation a comprehensive resource list aimed at exposing and addressing the gaps in healthcare services for LGBTQ youth. This project entailed compiling a list of providers that were known within the LGBTQ community to be skilled and affirming when providing care. Several searches were used to identify individual providers, including: LGBTQ community members, outcare.com, WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health), GLMA (Gay and Lesbian Medical Association), and RAD Remedy. Providers were verified from these resources and compiled into a list that included information pertinent to acting as a referral base. Providers included in the list could be sorted by: institution, specialty, specific expertise, insurance accepted, payment accepted, office phone, clinic email, address of clinic, acceptance of new patients, access to transportation, and a column for additional notes about the provider. In total, the search yielded 160 providers. Further investigation showed that many individuals were duplicates across multiple resources, and once duplicates were removed, the list is comprised of 65 physicians. A second provider list was created, which includes NPs/PAs, and yielded 12 total providers. A psychology specific list was also compiled, it includes PsyD and PhD professionals, and includes 30 individuals. These findings show the lack of LGBTQ-competent care accessible for LGBTQ youth on the Westside of Chicago. The list is intended to serve as a referral base for these youth to access quality care, and transportation needs will have to be fulfilled for access to improve. The Westside of the city should serve as an area of focus for initiatives that improve access to LGBTQ competent care. Further work is needed to address the gap in providers that can take care of LGBTQ youth in Chicago.