HFHS Launches Collaborative to Enhance Research on Healthcare Needs of SGM Youth

BY BTL STAFF

DETROIT - Henry Ford Health System recently launched a collaborative with the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, Affirmations in Ferndale, and the Trans Sistas of Color Project in Detroit to enhance research aimed at addressing the specific healthcare needs of sexual and gender minority youth.

Supported by a funding award from the Eugene Washington Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Engagement Awards program, the Rainbow Collaborative comprises SGM youth patients, families, community stakeholders and researchers in Detroit. The REC, Affirmations, and the TSOCP will support the Rainbow Collaborative by recruiting participants.

"Sexual and gender minority youth have specific needs that the healthcare community is only beginning to understand. Research has shown correlations between sexual and gender minority status and depression, suicide attempts, bullying, illicit drug use, and increased rates of HIV," said HFHS pediatrician and Rainbow Collaborative lead Maureen Connolly, M.D.

"Any effort to develop and study interventions aimed at addressing the health needs of sexual and gender minority youth must be grounded in the lived experiences of these young people, and relevant to their health concerns."

The Rainbow Collaborative provides a forum, which meets on a bi-monthly basis and prioritizes the input of SGM youth. Development of a research agenda will take place in stages, and will be facilitated by SGM youth community leaders to maximize patient and stakeholder input.

The Rainbow Collaborative is part of a portfolio of projects that PCORI has funded to help develop a community of patients and other healthcare stakeholders who have the knowledge, skills and partnerships to participate in and advance patient-centered outcomes research and patient-centered comparative effectiveness research.

"This project was selected for PCORI Engagement Award funding for its commitment to improving the capacity for patients and other stakeholders to engage in patient-centered research and its potential to increase the usefulness and trustworthiness of the research PCORI funds," said PCORI Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer Jean Slutsky.

"We look forward to following the project's progress and working with Henry Ford Health System to share the results."

Upon completion of the project, a community symposium will be held to share results of the developed research agenda. The Rainbow Collaborative will create a strategic plan to disseminate the information further and execute future comparative effectiveness research to benefit the SGM youth population.

To learn more about the Rainbow Collaborative, please contact Dr. Connolly at mconnol1@hfhs.org.


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