(Image via twitter.com/teganandsarafdn)
QSPACES helped make Twitter a little more friendly for LGBTQ folks seeking healthcare information on Monday.
— QSPACES (@qspacesapp) November 22, 2017
The free online platform, billed as a “Yelp for the LGBTQ community and doctors” that allows users to rate local physicians on their LBGTQ competency, was launched this summer by Philly-based spouses Catherine Hofmann and Nic Anthony.
On Monday afternoon, the founders teamed up with the Tegan and Sara Foundation and Harvard Medical School’s LGBT program director, Jessica Halem, to talk healthcare with LGBTQ people and medical providers from around the world using the hashtag #QueerandCaredfor. Tegan and Sara are Canadian twin indie pop musicians who launched their foundation last year to support LGBTQ women and girls.
QSPACES’ Hofmann said Harvard’s Halem reached out over the summer to invite QSPACES to participate in the Twitter chat because of their relevant work.
We’ve gathered LGBTQ healthcare providers, researchers and advocates to answer your questions. Now, no one can give personal medical advice over Twitter. But we can share information and experience on the healthcare needs of LGBTQ+ people. #queerandcaredfor
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— Jessica Halem (@jessicahalem) November 27, 2017
Questions ranged from “How often should I go to the doctor?” to “What’s the best way to come out to my doctor?” Check out the whole conversation here.
A2: Even in a committed relationship, it's important to see your doctor regularly for primary care and to discuss what is going on in your life. At least 1x/year, but more frequently if you'd like. Docs love seeing healthy people too! #queerandcaredfor
— Robert Goldstein (@rgolds04) November 27, 2017
Hofmann said this morning that what continues to surprise her in conversations like this one is how many bad experiences LGBTQ healthcare seekers have faced with doctors.
“It’s almost mind-blowing that there are people practicing medicine that are not sure which tests to run, that are providing wrong information” to LGBTQ patients, she said.
#LGB youth are also:
4x more likely to be threatened or injured w weapon at school,
3x more likely to be in fights that req. treatment,
2x more likely to experience physical distress
stats from Center for American Progress #queerandcaredfor
— QSPACES (@qspacesapp) November 27, 2017
Hofmann said one of her favorite moments from Monday’s chat was a discussion about how healthcare seekers can tell if a provider is LGBTQ-friendly. Suggestions included rainbow stickers or LGBTQ magazines in the waiting room — but of course, QSPACES aims to help patients know even before they arrive.
“We’re trying to get information to people as early in that process as we can,” she said.
Two suggestions from Twitter friends for lapel pins to show you're #LGBTQ friendly. Left one is from shop.hrc, right is from https://t.co/fj1V0NbHdK
Thank you!#queerandcaredfor pic.twitter.com/XMqzwBsSdY
— Margaret Stager, MD (@DrStager) November 27, 2017
Elsewhere, QSPACES has been busy forging partnerships with LGBTQ organizations and hospital systems to expand into the Midwestern states in the coming months. And Hofmann is pitching QSPACES at LGBTQ entrepreneurship event StartOut Demo Day in New York City tomorrow in the hopes of raising capital — so far, QSPACES has been largely self-funded, and its platform was built partially via a community partnership for in-kind services by dev firm WebJunto.
Yes and No! #LGBTQ care is #primarycare. An LGBTQ person with strep throat doesn't need specialty care. To constantly relegate our care to specialists is unnecessary, expensive, and deeply invalidating. We also have unique health needs and disparities! #queerandcaredfor
— Q Card Project (@QCardProject) November 27, 2017
Hofmann and Anthony also recently launched QSPACES Trainings, an LGBTQ competency training program for local nonprofits, hospitals and the like. Learn more here.
Just wanted to say I live in a really small town, but I managed to find a primary care doctor who fits my needs.
For me, this just means he's willing to listen, defer to my specialists on things he doesn't know, and be educated.#QueerAndCaredFor
— Robin Brienne Foss (@DoppelgangerJoe) November 27, 2017
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