Last week we held our first-ever LGBTQ Health Disparities Symposium at Monmouth University to explore current efforts, challenges, and future reforms to address health disparities within our community.
We welcomed over 200 healthcare professionals for the daylong event, and the Symposium featured several expert speakers discussing health disparities including substance use and abuse, LGBTQ aging issues, transgender health, HIV/AIDS, and more. In his keynote address, Dean Perry Halkitis of Rutgers University School of Public Health issued a call-to-action for healthcare reform in support of LGBTQ New Jerseyans and a radical transformation in how we address the spread of HIV/AIDS and STIs.
The Symposium’s foundation was largely rooted in the work we’re doing with the Asbury Park Community Patient Empowerment Project to support the health needs of low-income LGBTQ people in the Asbury Park area.
We are incredibly appreciative of our partners on the Community Patient Empowerment Project: VNACJ LGBTQ Health Center (a division of the Prevention Resource Network), The Community Health Center (a division of the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group), The Center in Asbury Park, and the Jersey Shore Medical Center’s HIV & AIDS Ambulatory Care Clinic (A-Team).
Garden State Equality would also like to thank all our sponsors and partners for helping to make this event possible: Provident Bank Foundation, Monmouth University, Stockton University, Rutgers University, and Gilead Sciences. We truly appreciate your efforts and contributions to helping improve the quality of care for LGBTQ New Jerseyans.
And to you, our members, thank you for helping us do this critical work. Expanding access to affirming healthcare for LGBTQ New Jerseyans is a cornerstone of Garden State Equality’s program work.
Bianca Mayes, MPH, CHES
Health & Wellness Coordinator
Garden State Equality
PS – This year’s LGBTQ Health Symposium was such a success that we are already planning next year’s. Stay tuned for more information!