TOLEDO, Ohio — ProMedica has launched a new program to be more inclusive for its LGBTQ+ patients.
"I know had I been able to sit across the desk from someone who looked like me or identified like me, it would definitely make things a lot easier," Ericka Taylor said.
Taylor has had positive experiences seeking medical care in Toledo as a trans woman, but believes there are definitely places for improvement.
Once a month beginning in June, a new committee will be meeting through ProMedica with the goal of providing higher quality care to LGBTQ+ patients at all their facilities.
"How do we educate staff on pronouns and just what those letters mean in that acronym?" said Greg Braylock, Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at ProMedica.
Research plays a big role in this program. It will help ProMedica figure out what services are most needed.
The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has found LGBTQ+ youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide.
Elderly members of the LGBTQ+ community tend to be more isolated and lack social services and competent providers.
LGBTQ+ individuals also have higher rates of alcohol, tobacco and drug use.
Taylor is hoping with community involvement, they will be able to provide more wraparound services like education on name and gender marker changes for trans individuals.
"That information came to me because of who I knew and it's almost like a secret society, it's a special knock you have to know," Taylor said.
ProMedica is looking for community members to participate on the new committee, which will be holding its first meeting in June.