A new directory of organizations and individuals providing identity-affirming services for sexual and gender minorities, also known as LGBTQ+ people, is now available in Hawai‘i, the Department of Health announced Tuesday.
Sexual and gender minorities are disparately impacted by health and social issues, including infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis, and STIs, according to recent reports from the Department of Health.
“The SGM Services Directory is important because right now fear is still a barrier to going to the doctor,” said Itai Bradshaw-Lang, project lead for the directory. “The way the SGM and non-SGM community as a whole immediately reacted with such enthusiasm to the idea of the directory was really inspiring and beautiful. We are building a better future for everyone, and easy access to knowledgeable services are a part of that.”
Services are broken down by island and type of medical practice such as mental health or gynecology. For example, a specific Kaiser Permanente medical provider is listed with contact information for each island.
While most services are medically related, the directory also includes real estate offices, religious services and more. Those self-identified organizations and businesses actively work to make their locations a safe space, the department said.
Services were also able to rate themselves on SGM knowledge and the directory indicates whether they have completed some kind of SGM education in the last 3 years.
“Through national and local data, and in conversations with our SGM communities, we know that culturally appropriate care is essential for sustainable, meaningful, and positive health outcomes,” said Thaddeus Pham, DOH Co-Chair of the SGM Workgroup. “We look to the thoughtful and insightful contributions from our workgroup members and community stakeholders to continue projects like these to better serve our SGM ‘ohana.”
Click here to read the current version of the SGM Services Directory or go to their website. Medical providers and businesses looking to be included in the next directory can inquire at those links as well.