Hudson Pride partners with CarePoint to expand Jersey City LGBT health services

CarePoint and Hudson Pride Center announce LGBT Health initiative
CarePoint and Hudson Pride Center announce LGBT Health initiative
LGBT sensitivity and cultural competency training will be stressed

Representatives from CarePoint Health and the Hudson Pride Center announced a partnership to expand services in the Jersey City LGBT health community at Christ Hospital in Hudson County. Jersey City is one of the most diverse cities in the nation according to several surveys. It also has one of the largest LGBT communities in New Jersey.

Christ Hospital is a part of CarePoint Health. The company seeks to ensure that all of its patients have full access to needed services, said a spokesman. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and State Assemblyman Tim Eustace (NJ-38) were present at the late March 2018 press conference.

Inclusive policies and procedures for Jersey City LGBT health patients and the employees at CarePoint facilities are being developed to ensure best practices. This will include LGBT sensitivity and cultural competency training. Hudson Pride Center said it will also help increase services to the LGBT community.

“Studies show that LGBT individuals have unique healthcare issues. They experience certain health challenges at higher rates than the general population,” said Dr. Tucker Woods, Chief Medical Officer at Christ Hospital. “By partnering with Hudson Pride, we will be able to work together to face the challenges and barriers to accessing needed health services.”

Dr. Woods noted that employees at the healthcare system — which includes Bayonne Medical Center and Hoboken University Medical Center — have formed “CarePoint Pride,” a group to start the work necessary to address the goals and objectives of this alliance with Hudson Pride.

Hudson Pride temporarily relocated its offices to Christ Hospital 

In March, Hudson Pride temporarily relocated its offices to Christ Hospital until it moves to its new home on Newark Avenue in downtown Jersey City. While located at Christ Hospital, the two organizations saw an opportunity to partner in the area of Jersey City LGBT health in Hudson County.

“Hudson Pride is excited to launch this partnership with CarePoint, as we know it will be an opportunity for us to bring important services to thousands of people throughout the area,” said Michael Billy, CEO of Hudson Pride Center. “To understand the disparities and inequalities that the LGBT community face within the healthcare system is the first step.”

“The second step is to create a model for healthcare for the LGBT community. It will address the unmet needs we face, but also works to break down these disparities and finally provide proper access to care,” Billy continued.

As part of the partnership, Hudson Pride will conduct an LGBT Sensitivity and Cultural Competency Training. CarePoint Health Emergency Department staff will participate. The first segment of the workshops will help participants distinguish between the concepts of sex, gender, sexual orientation, sexual behavior, sexual identity and gender expression. These areas are sometimes confused when discussing issues related to human sexuality.

The Jersey City LGBT Health training also discusses the social, mental, physical and sexual health trends within the community. It is aimed at making service providers aware of the various health issues disproportionately affecting that population.

Other initiatives being collaborated on are hormone therapy, women’s health, mental health and an overall better connection and referral system between agencies. It will create the most effective success rate for healthcare needs.

Additional programs for Hudson County LGBT community are coming this summer

In August, CarePoint Health and Hudson Pride will be hosting a Jersey City LGBT Health fair during Jersey City Gay Pride Month. Health care professionals will be partnering with Hudson Pride and CarePoint on the annual Trans Youth Camp in June also.

“Jersey City is one of the most diverse communities in the nation. Our health care system wants to be reflective and welcoming of that diversity,” said Marie Duffy, Chief Hospital Executive for Christ Hospital.

“Many people within the LGBTQ community often turn to New York City for care. That is something we want to change,” Duffy continued. “Health care should be something everyone can access directly in their community. CarePoint is proud to be part of this important partnership with Hudson Pride Center.”

“We were the first in the state to provide healthcare coverage for transgender public employees. We implemented LGBT sensitivity training for new police officers,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “Jersey City has been on the forefront of policies and programs aimed at enhancing inclusivity. I look forward to continuing to further this mission with CarePoint Health.”