Eskenazi Health Honored with Advocacy Award

The Eskenazi Health LGBTQ+ Victim Advocacy Initiative was recognized with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Harry Benjamin Institutional Advocacy Award, which is presented to an individual or group who has contributed significantly to the promotion of transgender health and rights through education and/or advocacy work. The award is named in honor of Dr. Harry Benjamin, an endocrinologist and sexologist who was known for his clinical work with transgender individuals and founding what is currently known as the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH).

The LGBTQ+ Victim Advocacy Initiative was launched in 2021 to ensure all transgender and gender diverse (TGD) victims of violence could connect with a culturally competent victim advocate at any time. The initiative employs a victim advocate who provides services primarily in the Eskenazi Health Gender Health Program and is available to other areas including in the Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department and the Eskenazi Health Center of Hope.

In 18 months, the LGBTQ+ Victim Advocacy Initiative at Eskenazi Health has connected 313 TGD-identifying survivors of sexual assault and violence to 626 services. Services included mental health counseling, support groups, housing, basic needs, community resources, legal services and more. The LGBTQ+ victim advocates have provided six cultural competency trainings throughout the organization. Eskenazi Health’s innovative approach to delivering services to LGBTQ+ patients through dedicated and specially trained advocates has addressed an important care gap and demonstrated the clear need for victim advocacy services for the LGBTQ+ community.

The Eskenazi Health team will continue advocating for their LGBTQ+ patients, as they encourage other states and programs to expand services for LGBTQ+ victims of violence. WPATH is a non-profit, interdisciplinary professional and educational organization devoted to transgender health. The Eskenazi Health Gender Health Program includes many skilled providers trained in WPATH standards of care. To learn more about this award, please click here.

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