The MetroHealth System’s PRIDE Clinic is the first in the Cleveland region devoted to serving the health needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Launched in 2007, PRIDE Clinic at MetroHealth’s Thomas F. McCafferty Health Center provides primary care that respects the unique health care needs of the LGBT community.
Research by GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality suggests that, due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression, LGBT individuals often experience barriers to receiving appropriate care. Without competent and targeted care, this community’s health suffers. In response, MetroHealth created PRIDE Clinic as part of a commitment to removing barriers, improving access, and providing quality health care for all LGBT patients in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Anyone can receive care at PRIDE Clinic; patients who do not identify as LGBT will also find comprehensive care. However, the team is dedicated to addressing the sensitive issues of sexual minorities and their families and friends. These issues include disease risk reduction and prevention, chronic disease management, behavioral health services, transgender health services such as hormonal medical care, sexually transmitted disease (STD) screenings, and more.
“[PRIDE] Clinic is a direct result of how our outstanding faculty listens to patients and then develops services to meet their needs,” said Akram Boutros, MD, president and CEO of MetroHealth.
Within one year of its establishment, PRIDE Clinic had more than 100 patients. Clinic staff began participating in local community events and joining forces with regional agencies. Since then, the clinic has treated several hundred patients and provided thousands of teaching and clinical hours, exposing staff to the health concerns of LGBT people.
And patients became the greatest teachers. According to the clinic’s director, Henry Ng, MD, MPH, the patient base actually served as “community professors” to teach students, residents, fellows, and other health professional trainees about their experiences and needs. Feedback from trainees and students underscore that patient stories “made their educational experiences rich and rewarding, and have made them feel more skilled in caring for LGBT populations,” Ng said in his blog.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) recently honored Ng with its 2013 Leadership Award for his work spearheading PRIDE Clinic and his dedication to improving care for the LGBT community. Commenting on Ng’s recognition, the HRC Cleveland Steering Committee Co-Chair Suzanne Hamilton said, “Cleveland is fortunate to have [his] support in helping to raise awareness that everyone deserves to be treated with equal levels of dignity and respect.”
For more information about MetroHealth’s PRIDE Clinic, please contact:
Henry Ng, MD
Assistant Program Director, Internal Med-Pediatrics
Clinical Director, PRIDE Clinic
The MetroHealth System