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Dramatic decline in complaints by imprisoned transgender patients after staff LGBT training

A new study of the quality of healthcare provided to transgender patients in the New York City correctional system revealed significant areas for improvement and reported a greater than 50% decrease in patient complaints after the healthcare staff at 12 jail clinics received Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) training. Within 6 months of implementing a revised transgender health care policy, patient complaints dropped to zero, according to the study results published in LGBT Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the LGBT Health website until February 21, 2016.

In the article “Improving Transgender Healthcare in the New York City Correctional System”, Mohamed Jaffer, PA, Homer Venters, MD, and coauthors from the Bureau of Correctional Health Services, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (Queens, NY), describe their efforts to review the adequacy of care for transgender patients in the New York City jail system. The researchers identified areas for improvement in the provision of care and in staff understanding of the transgender patient population. They describe their deliberative approach to developing revised policies for transgender health care that take into account community standards and patient requests, and their efforts to gain acceptance of the new policies by both patients and staff.

“This paper is an important contribution to the sparse literature on transgender inmates in correctional settings and addresses topics that are the subject of widespread litigation,” says LGBT Health Editor-in-Chief William Byne, MD, PhD, James J Peters VA Medical Center, (Bronx, NY), and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, (New York, NY).