The Los Angeles LGBT Center announced today (February 4) its participation in an innovative community-led research advisory network that will support the development of patient-centered research projects focused on addressing the health needs of transgender and gender non-conforming people (TGNC).
Known as the Four Corners: TGNC Health Research Advisory Network, participating organizations include the Center; Chicago’s Howard Brown Health; Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C.; and Houston-based Legacy Community Health. Led by Howard Brown Health, Four Corners will unite community members, researchers, and clinicians from across the U.S. to facilitate equitable participation of all members to contribute to a patient-led expansion of TGNC health research. Currently, the four organizations serve over 10,000 TGNC-identified patients.
“The Center is proud to be a partner in creating Four Corners,” said Dr. Ward Carpenter, co-director of the Center’s Health Services. “This groundbreaking project will bring together researchers, clinicians, and—most importantly—community members to develop a patient-led TGNC research agenda. We applaud the Network’s vision and its commitment to ensuring that this vulnerable and marginalized population has a direct voice in guiding research to reduce the dramatic health disparities suffered by TGNC individuals.”
Transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals are people who identify with a gender that differs from the identity associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey on transgender health disparities, nearly 1 in 4 of the respondents reported they did not seek the healthcare due to their fears of being mistreated as a trans person; one-third of them did not seek a healthcare provider when needed because they could not afford it; and 40% of them had attempted suicide in their lifetime—nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S. population.
“Four Corners will establish a new standard in transgender research by including community voices from the start,” said Andie Baker, vice president of Howard Brown Health’s Center for Education, Research, and Advocacy. “The groundbreaking partnership will ensure new research addresses what TGNC people need to make healthcare more relevant to their lived experience. This is urgently needed, as the TGNC community experiences disproportionate health disparities.”
Applicants who are selected to become members of Four Corners are expected to make a two-year commitment; complete a 3 to 4-hour training in research ethics, which includes a training certificate and a $100 stipend; and attend five meetings. Members will be reimbursed for all Four Corners-related travel expenses.
No prior research experience necessary to participate.
Prospective Four Corners members must submit an application in order to be considered. To download an application, visit. The application deadline is March 8, 2019.