Equitas Health Institute

The Equitas Health Institute is the education, patient empowerment, and research arm of Equitas Health, focusing on reducing health disparities in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) community.

We do this by developing and delivering exceptional LGBTQ+ culturally competent healthcare education and training, engaging with LGBTQ+ patients and people living with HIV, working with community based organizations, and supporting LGBTQ+ health research efforts in our region. Our work with the LGBTQ+ community encompasses all sexual and gender minorities, including, but not limited to, those who identify as pansexual, asexual, omnisexual, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and intersex.

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Cultural competency builds knowledge, awareness, skills, and capacity to identify, understand, and respect the unique beliefs, values, customs, languages, abilities, and traditions of all people in order to provide effective programs and services. The Institute for LGBTQ+ Health Equity is prioritizing moving beyond cultural competency towards cultural humility.

EHI classroom

Cultural humility is an important tool for tackling issues of health disparities and health inequities in the LGBTQ+ community. Cultural humility is a lifelong process and commitment to self-evaluation, self-critique, learning, reflection, and working in partnership with those belonging to a different culture. It also includes recognizing and addressing power dynamics in any provider-patient/client relationship.

To improve the overall safety and quality of care, organizations should aspire to meet the unique needs of their patients – patient by patient. Addressing patients and clients from a place of cultural humility increases overall engagement and retention in care, resulting in better health outcomes.

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