Wednesday, June 27, 2012

LGBT Scholarship Fund Hits the Mark!

The Network Scholarship Fund is now fully endowed! The Network Scholarship will be offered during the February 2013 application period.  Depending upon market performance – it will be for $1000. Applicant requirements have not yet been established, but one proposal is that the candidate be a member of their school's LGBT organization. Thank you, Frank Gainer, for being a driving force in leading the scholarship fund!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New LGBT Health Site!

As part of LGBT Health Awareness Week, the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute has launched its new website providing resources to enhance top quality care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, The website will include interactive learning tools for health care staff and clinicians to optimize their care of LGBT people throughout the nation and around the world.
“We have both the responsibility and the opportunity to make sure all people receive effective and sensitive health care, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that starts with providing health care organizations and clinicians with the tools they need to provide that care,” said Harvey Makadon, MD, Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The new website will be a repository of up-to-date information on resources and relevant publications, and will include a calendar of Fenway’s Education Center’s events, as well as archived webinars. An active blog will highlight current LGBT health news and other items.
The site will also include a directory of the Education Center’s faculty, who are a team of LGBT health experts from key organizations that provide training and technical assistance, webinars, medical school grand rounds, and consultation on creating strategic change.
The launch of the website comes during National LGBT Health Awareness Week (March 26-30), sponsored by the National Coalition for LGBT Health. Since 2003, this event has been a powerful call to action to recognize health as an essential part of the LGBT social justice movement.
“We hope this new website will be a meaningful way to engage health care staff and clinicians to use our tools and resources and create on-the-ground change in community health centers and other health care organizations,” said Makadon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

AOTA Annual Network Meeting

If you are going to Indianapolis for conference this year, please join us at the Network meeting on Friday night, from 7 until 9 PM. We will be meeting in the White River Ballroom D and refreshments will be served.

Also, make sure you stop by the MDI booth in the exhibition hall. For a $5 contribution to the LBGT scholarship fund you can get "leid" and show your support!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

National Resource Center on LGBT Aging--Who Knew?

I was doing some research for my OTD and happened upon this amazing website dedicated to LGBT aging issues. I urge you to visit it and here is the link:

The site has pdf downloadable handouts and brochures that discusses various facts and figures about aging LGBTs. Here is the link for that:

It would be great if we could contribute an article to this amazing website! Is anyone interested in helping me write one?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Great Article!

 The July 10, 2010 issue of Advance for OT ran this great article: Caring for Gay Teenage Patients

This is so needed! When my daughter was in high school not so many years ago (5) one of her good friends missed nearly an entire year due to depression. When he finally returned to school, he was ready to announce that he was gay. Luckily most of his friends stood by him and he went on to become an advocate at the local PFLAG group, went to college and presumably is living happily ever after. Another teen at the swame school did not fare so well and committed suicide. His father did not attend his funeral because he was gay. I wish that story was not true, but it did happen.

I realize we are all busy, but consider making an appearance at a local high school Gay-Straight Alliance or volunteering your time at a gay teen center. You are needed!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Evidenced-Based Mission?

There was some discussion at our annual meeting about the mission of our group. There was a general feeling that homosexuality is a lot more accepted nowadays, making it is easier for young members to come out--therefore there may not be a high level of support needed. However, I found this article, from 2008, that sheds some light on attitudes toward our gay, lesbian and bi patients. There are a few interesting points to be made. For one, while there are a majority, 67%, who feel comfortable with GLB patients, that also means there is a significant percentage, 33%, who would feel uncomfortable! This is an unacceptable number in a profession that emphasizes inclusivity and cultural acceptance. We still have work to do!

Another interesting point is that only 11% of OTs and COTAs said they received training on GLB issues and 19% received education about GLB issues! Seems like something we might advocate for in school curriculums...or better yet for inclusion in the NBCOT exam, which would be an incentive for schools to offer programming. Just a thought...comments are welcome below!
 ABSTRACT: Occupational therapists and other allied health professionals face diversity with their clients, including sexual orientation. The purpose of this study was to determine the preparedness and comfort level of occupational therapy practitioners in working with gay, lesbian, and bisexual clients. A 23-item survey was mailed to 1,051 practitioners in a midwestern state. Eighty-eight were undeliverable and 373 usable surveys were returned, yielding a 39% response rate. Most respondents felt prepared and comfortable to work with clients who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, and 48% agreed that sexuality influences occupational choices.
Twenty-nine percent agreed that sexual orientation influences occupational therapy treatment. Less than 20% of the respondents, however, received education and used inclusive language in their documentation, and only 14% reported having resources and support services for clients who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Effective education and policy-making strategies are necessary to ensure an accepting therapeutic environment and respect for the role of sexual orientation in the intervention process.
Javaherian, H., Christy, A, B., Boehringer, M. (2008). Occupational therapy practitioners’ comfort level and preparedness in working with individuals who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Journal of Allied Health, 37, 150-155.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2011 Meeting Minutes

Here's a video of our group at AOTA conference! OK, so if you were there you know this was not our group, but it WAS taken at conference! Hey, maybe next year...

That being said here are the minutes from our business meeting:

Network for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in OT
Meeting Notes

20 individuals present for meeting

Completed introductions

Kay gave report on updates with Network
  • No longer doing written newsletter; decided to do electronic only and no longer collecting dues
  • Need to keep website updated because it has not been updated in a few years
  • We have OT Connections site
  • Wanda reported that people have joined the group but no other activity on site
  • Multicultural Diversity and Inclusion (MDI) group is looking to become a more active group rather than a meeting of leaders of different diversity groups; will be developing mission and action plan
  • We may need to review mission of our organization and explore mentoring students, new therapists, etc.
Frank gave update on Scholarship Fund
  • Need to get to $25,000 in order to have it be endowed
  • Worked with AOTF to clarify criteria so that it would be available to any student member of Network (rather than open to all)
  • Currently have $6000; all money raised this year will be matched
  • Discussed fundraising potential and how to keep track of membership since we no longer collect dues
  • Wanda will put information about matching funds and donating money to scholarship on OT Connections and send invitations to those whose email addresses we have

Discussed visibility of group
  • Discussed Facebook group
  • Discussed how having boas at meeting helped draw people in during past meetings

Karen and Shep gave additional information on MDI meeting
  •  Trying to collect multicultural information on AOTA member application in future so that can get contact information for people
  •  Developing website for MDI to disseminate information and link to specific groups

Discussed the beginnings of the LGBT Network group and how issues have changed over time
  • Kay reported that she has the original records of the Network
  • Discussed having AOTF house this; Peggy reported that University of Minnesota had LGBT Library and houses many documents such as these
Kay reported that she has had 5 people contact her in the last year to ask about transgender issues. Discussed mission of organization and how focus of issues have changed
  •  Transgender issues
  •  Being “out” at work seems to be much less of an issue except potentially with clients
  •  Discussed student perspective

  •            Peggy Martin and Pat Cheney as co-chairs
  •            Wanda Mahoney as secretary
  •            Micheal Nardone will remain as treasurer
  •            Kay Blose is willing to remain as MDI liaison

Submitted by Wanda Mahoney