On March 25, 26, and 27, The Fenway Institute hosted a one-of-a-kind conference titled “Advancing Excellence in Sexual and Gender Minority Health Education: A Train-the-Trainer Course for All Healthcare Professionals.” The conference was held virtually and 140 attendees from 30 U.S. states, Brazil, Canada, the Philippines, Switzerland and Turkey attended sessions where they learned how to develop, implement and offer sexual and gender minority (SGM) health training programs.
Dr. Alex Keuroghlian explains, “This unique course is an idea that stems from years of traveling across the U.S. and around the world training healthcare staff on care for LGBTQIA+ people. We realized that the staff at healthcare organizations know their colleagues and local communities best. Therefore, we figured that if we train dedicated staff champions from organizations across the world, they can in turn train their peers and colleagues effectively, to build a large workforce ready to care for LGBTQIA+ patients.”
A panel of SGM health education champions kicked off the weekend and was followed by several foundational overviews by national experts on topics such as LGBTQIA+ Concepts and Terminology, Effective and Affirming Communication, Creating a Welcoming and Inclusive Environment, Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data, Developing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Challenges (SWOC) Analysis, Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals, and Building Your Training Skills. On the second and third day, participants spent most of their time in facilitated breakout sessions in one of five areas: 1) Achieving buy-in from leadership, 2) Creating an affirming clinical environment, 3) Creating an affirming educational environment, 4) Developing IT processes and 5)Developing meaningful measures of effectiveness, and 6) Securing funding support. In these interactive sessions, participants developed a SWOC analysis and S.M.A.R.T. goals for their work, practiced oral presenting skills, and received real-time expert feedback on trainings they had developed and delivered.
The conference was a huge success. Quotes from participants include “Thank you all for all the amazing information and experiences of the past three days,” “Thank you so much! This has been such a meaningful weekend!” and “This has been such an amazing and transformative three days – thank you to everyone!”