Indianapolis, Ind. – This month, the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health ECHO Center at IUPUI is celebrating the six-month anniversary of the launch of its ECHO teleclinic focused on providing culturally competent and medically appropriate care to members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

The program, funded by the Indiana University Addictions Grand Challenge, launched on September 12, 2018 is only the second program of its kind in the country. It has already successfully helped educate healthcare providers throughout Indiana on a variety of topics including: The Importance of Language, Development of Gender Identity, HIV Prevention and PrEP, Primary Care of LGBTQ+ Individuals, and Nutrition and Eating Disorders among others.

“Members of the LGBTQ+ community are often stigmatized and marginalized in communities, and experience higher rates of substance misuse, HIV, and hepatitis C,” states Dr. Joan Duwve, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice at Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health – IUPUI. “Many are fearful of seeking healthcare due to negative experiences with members of the healthcare team. Learning how to provide affirming and medically appropriate healthcare will enable providers to break down barriers to routine and lifesaving care for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and hopefully lead to reductions in health disparities in HIV, substance misuse, and suicide among LGBTQ+ Hoosiers.”

The school uses the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model to create a network of clinical practice and faculty expertise to enhance the knowledge and support needed to provide evidence-based, culturally competent, and comprehensive care to a diverse patient population. 

During an ECHO clinic, primary care providers from multiple locations connect at regularly scheduled times with an expert team of specialists from the Indiana University School of Medicine and Eskenazi Health through videoconferencing. Providers present de-identified patient cases to the expert team who then mentors the providers as they learn to manage patients with complex conditions. These case-based discussions are supplemented with short didactic presentations to improve content knowledge and share evidence-based practices. 

The program is free and open to all members of the medical profession including but not limited to physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, community health workers, pharmacists, and emergency medical technicians. Continuing education credits are provided to those who participate.

LGBTQ+ ECHO clinic sessions are 90 minutes in duration and are hosted on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from 2:30-4:00pm ET.

Upcoming LGBTQ+ ECHO Schedule:
3/27/2019    Feminizing Hormones
4/10/2019    Non-binary Identities
4/24/2019    Voice Therapy and Surgical Options 
5/8/2019      Assisted Reproduction and Family Planning
5/22/2019    Informed Consent for Gender Affirming Care with Coexisting Severe Mental Illness
6/12/2019    Gender Diverse Youth
6/26/2019    Legal Issues Facing LGBTQ+ People
7/10/2019    Working with Families of Gender Diverse Youth

For more information and to register for an upcoming ECHO, please click here

Jason is the Founder of FTM Magazine. 31 years old, from NY but currently residing in PA. He named himself after the red Power Ranger. Does the graphics, website, scheduling, events, and social media work here.