The Chicago Department of Public Health announced the launch of a new community action plan to improve overall health of Chicago’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Saturday.
“Chicagoans in communities across the city face similar health concerns, but there are clear disparities in health status among the city's diverse LGBT community that require specific strategies to target and address these concerns," said Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of the CDPH in a press release.
The LGBT Community Action Plan was developed in coordination with city leaders and community health providers across the across the city to serve as a supplement to Healthy Chicago, the city’s public health agenda, according to the release.
CDPH said the action plan identifies ways to address high rates of tobacco use, HIV prevention, access to care, obesity, and other concerns within Chicago's LGBT community.
Highlights of the LGBT Community Action Plan from the press release are listed below.
• Promote the collection of sexual orientation data in electronic medical records and encourage researchers focused on LGBT health to share findings and develop new LGBT health research.
• Improve the tracking of hate crimes against transgender persons, publicize resources for reporting violence, and conduct outreach on strategies to avoid violence.
• Develop cultural competency training to help educate health care providers, employers and educators on the health needs of the LGBT community.
• Increase tobacco cessation efforts in the LGBT community to address the high prevalence of smoking, which is at 30 percent, 12 percentage points higher than the 18 percent of the overall population.
• Promote inclusion of same sex couples in programs aimed at healthy pregnancies, childbirth and early childhood health.