This Keith Haring Fellowship Will Train Nurse Practitioners in LGBT Health

By | November 14, 2019

A pioneering fellowship program—the first of its kind in the nation—will train nurse practitioners to meet the complex needs of the LGBT community. It’s the result of a partnership between Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and the Keith Haring Foundation.

A nurse prepares a patient for a blood draw at Callen-Lorde’s Thea Spyer Center.

A nurse prepares a patient for a blood draw at Callen-Lorde’s Thea Spyer Center.Courtesy of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center

The Keith Haring Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Fellowship in LGBTQ+ Health will have a home at Callen-Lorde’s brand-new site in downtown Brooklyn—at 40 Flatbush Avenue Extension—which is slated to open in 2020. It will mark Callen-Lorde’s fourth clinical site and nearly double its capacity.

According to a Callen-Lorde press release, the program launches with a $ 2.5 million donation by the Keith Haring Foundation. The gift will establish the Keith Haring LGBTQ+ Health Equity Endowment to fund the fellowship.

A Callen-Lorde webpage devoted to the new program states that the fellowship’s mission is “to train postgraduate nurse practitioners to provide high-quality, patient-centered, culturally responsive and compassionate primary care to LGBTQ+ communities in all of their diversity.”

Associate director of transgender medicine, Zil Goldstein, NP, counsels with a nursing coordinator about a patient chart.

Associate director of transgender medicine, Zil Goldstein, NP, counsels with a nursing coordinator about a patient chart.Courtesy of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center

Haring Fellows will commit to a 12-month program comprising a full schedule of training, patient care and teaching. The program’s goals are to:

  • Increase the number of LGBTQ+ sensitive primary care providers and increase access to LGBTQ+ care that is comprehensive, team-based, patient-centered, coordinated, accessible, high quality and safe.
  • Increase primary care workforce retention through improving confidence, capability and job satisfaction.
  • Develop leadership qualities to improve clinic and patient outcomes through quality improvement, population health and/or research.
  • Advance skills for creating organizational change to transform health care systems to be LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming.
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Nurse practitioners differ from registered nurses in that they need at least a master’s degree (compared with an associate’s degree). What’s more, nurse practitioners can see patients on their own, much like doctors do. Also, they can diagnose and treat illness and prescribe medicine.

The Callen-Lorde Community Health Center is named after LGBT health advocates Michael Callen and Audre Lorde. Callen, who died of AIDS-related illness in 1993, was also a songwriter. His work was the subject of a recent fundraiser. For more, read “Revisit the Legacy and Music of AIDS Icon Michael Callen.”

Keith Haring Foundation

Keith Haring was an artist and LGBT advocate who died of AIDS-related causes in 1990. Many of his graffiti-style images appear in LGBT and HIV awareness campaigns, like the one above.

“Keith Haring was a visionary in the fight against HIV/AIDS, raising awareness, challenging stigma and engaging hearts and souls through his art as a person living with HIV,” said Wendy Stark, executive director of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in the press release about the fellowship. “The Keith Haring Foundation continues his legacy, and this landmark grant to Callen-Lorde will significantly impact culturally competent health care access for LGBTQ people for years to come.”

To learn more about the iconic artist, click #Keith Haring.

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