In 2021, Identity, Inc. will offer limited healthcare services to better serve the health needs of LGBTQ+ Alaskans. Partnering with Full Spectrum Health Clinic and other community organizations, Identity Health Clinic addresses the need for more gender affirming and queer affirming healthcare. A 2020 health needs assessment and community roundtables illustrated a gap in services for LGBTQ+ people in Alaska. Identity Health Clinic provides low- barrier, trauma-informed, evidenced-based healthcare to meet the wellness needs of Alaska’s LGBTQ+ community. Since 1977, Identity has served the queer communities of Alaska. This clinic expands Identity’s programs that uplift the health and wellbeing of queer Alaskans.
Which of these 4 areas your does the project, program or initiative fall under?
Programmatic innovation and community connection
Why was the project/initiative/program implemented? What was the need or gap and how did it help bridge that need/gap?
LBGTQ+ Alaska wants more options and opportunities for affirming healthcare. A health needs assessment and community roundtables illustrated the unmet needs for LGBTQ+ people in Alaska, especially gender affirming care. CenterLink and HealthLink were a part of the health needs assessment. Low barrier, trauma informed, evidenced-based healthcare will better meet the mental and physical health and wellness needs of our community
Who does this project/initiative/program benefit?
Clinic will serve low-income and underserved LGBTQ+ patients in Alaska. Patients may be experiencing multiple challenges and have little or no access to healthcare.
How and when was this project/initiative/program initiated?
Starting in early 2021, IHC will provide primary care services, gender affirming care and mental health care on a limited basis, a culmination of several years of planning.
What key components made this project/initiative/program a success?
What challenges/roadblocks did you experience during the implementation and how did you overcome them?
We are still in the implementation phase. Capacity and resources have forced us to start smaller.
How has this impacted your center’s operations and local community?
With this clinic, LGBTQ+ Alaskans will be healthier and happier. Identity is growing from two full time staff and small center to housing a part-time clinic and several new part-time staff. This work will support Identity’s overall mission to advance Alaska’s LGBTQ+ community through advocacy, education and connectivity.
What are the next steps?
Over the next three years, Identity Health Clinic will expand services.
How could other centers learn from this?
Healthcare is a community effort. Health services are a natural extension of what Identityhas done for years, but it does take dedicated efforts to help the community understand that and a lot of work from volunteers, staff and partners to make it possible.
Mx. Laura Carpenter Executive Director Identity, Inc. they/them/she/her