On August 9, 2008, The Center OC, in collaboration with Transgender Law Center, will offer the first in a series of Know Your Rights workshops to the transgender community in Orange County. The workshop will run from 10:30am-12:30pm. This first workshop, entitled "Health Law 101" will address the legal rights of transgender patients. Workshop participants can expect to gain a better understanding of what's out there to ensure that transgender patients have equal access to health care.
All workshops in this Know Your Rights series will be free, but participants must RSVP. Participants are invited to socialize with other community members at a free luncheon after the workshop.
For transgender people in Orange County, finding competent, culturally sensitive health care is frequently a struggle. Many health care providers misunderstand transgender health care needs, and some display thinly disguised hostility towards transgender patients. Few have the cultural competency required to provide good health care to a transgender patient.
The Center Orange County has been working to change this. After receiving a grant from The California Endowment, The Center OC created The Transgender Health Program, a program that seeks to help make finding competent health care a little easier for transgender people in Orange County. One of the program's objectives is to give transgender cultural competency training to Orange County health care providers. Since early 2008, more than 100 Orange County health care providers have come through these trainings. "The provider trainings have been very well received. We have providers coming up to us after the training to tell us that they'd like to know more about the topic of transgender health care," says Esther Wang, Program Coordinator for The Transgender Health Program. "There are providers out there that recognize the need for cultural competency training in this sector."
But even with an increasing number of culturally competent health care providers becoming available to the transgender community, many transgender people still have apprehension about disclosing their transgender status or full medical history to providers. Some are reluctant to seek preventive care and are concerned about the privacy of their medical records being compromised. Many don't feel empowered enough to communicate their needs and concerns to a health care provider.
The Center OC seeks to change this, too. "To help close this gap, we believe we need to push from both sides - from the provider side and from the patient side," says Ginger Hahn, Executive Director of The Center OC. In the coming months, The Center OC will continue to provide Know Your Rights workshops to the Orange County transgender community.
For workshop location, to RSVP, or for further information, please contact Esther Wang at 714-534-0862 x105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.