artecArTEC Receives $15,000 Award For Transgender Led Research in Arkansas

The Arkansas Transgender Equity Collaboration (arTEC) will use funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in Washington, DC to partner with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, other researchers in the state and the transgender persons together to investigate ways to improve on major healthcare challenges in the community.
Little Rock, Ark. – Apr. 28, 2015 – Transgender and gender non-conforming persons are more likely to encounter discrimination in healthcare settings and uninformed providers when accessing their health care needs, which leads to unsafe environments, poor quality of care, people going without care and limited access to treatment for gender dysphoria. (http://bit.ly/XB7v3T).
ArTEC sought a $15,000 Tier 1 award from PCORI to create an active partnership for transgender community members, investigators, providers and others to begin the early stages of participatory research, focused on cultural sensitivity and quality of healthcare for transgender persons. After a highly competitive process, where PCORI gave awards to 17% of proposals, arTEC along with the UAMS College of Public Health plan to establish a research working group, then engage transgender persons both online and through a series of face-to-face regional summits on issues to be investigated through comparative effectiveness research. The data from the patient-centered outcomes and research priorities will be presented at an end-of-project statewide conference to be scheduled.
“National studies have shown half of transgender persons have had to educate their providers about their health care, but when it comes to research, transgender persons can find themselves more often subjects, not drivers or collaborators of the work, so why not empower them to lead,” said Andrea Zekis, arTEC Executive Director. “This PCORI award presents a never before heard of opportunity in Arkansas and rare opportunity nationally to have transgender and gender non-conforming persons statewide work side by side with researchers on an issue so vital to their well-being.”
“In the College of Public Health, we have been using participatory approaches to community engaged research for a number of years, especially with African American community-based organizations focused on addressing racial health disparities,” said Kate Stewart, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the college’s Office of Community Based Public Health. “This award focuses on the transgender community, which [also] experiences significant disparities in health and health care. We are excited to be partnering with the arTEC and we encourage the transgender community to be engaged throughout the research process, from deciding what we are going to research, informing how we will go about designing the study, what language we will use, and how we will interpret and disseminate findings.”
In May, arTEC will be forming the research working group and continue engaging community partners, then begin the process of hosting the transgender research discussions this summer. Stay engaged about the project, including future informational sessions, by going to www.artranscoalition.org, emailing arTEC at info@artranscoalition.org, liking the Arkansas Trans Equity Collaboration on Facebook or following @ArTransEquality

For Media Inquiries: Contact Andrea Zekis, arTEC Executive Director 501-392-4276

Key findings about transgender persons from the 2011 Injustice at Every Turn Study:
– 28% postponed medical care due to discrimination, 48% inability to afford it.
– 28% of respondents were subjected to harassment in medical settings.
– 50% reported having to teach their medical providers about transgender care.
– Respondents reported over four times the national average of HIV infection, with rates for transgender women, unemployed transgender persons and sex workers even higher.
– More than 25% misused drugs and alcohol to cope with mistreatment experienced due to their gender identity or expression.
– 41% reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population.

About PCORI, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute:
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization located in Washington, DC. Congress authorized the establishment of PCORI in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Its mandate is to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, and policy makers make informed health decisions through the funding of comparative clinical effectiveness research. The goal of their work is to determine which of the many health care options available to patients and those who care for them work best in particular circumstances.
Learn more at www.pcori.org

About arTEC, the Arkansas Transgender Equity Collaboration:
Transgender Arkansans started arTEC in February 2014 as a statewide, trans-led organization to advance justice and inclusivity for transgender and gender non-conforming Arkansans. They do this by collaborating with allies, supportive organizations, providers and other groups, which believe in promoting equality on the basis of gender identity and expression. AaEC’s mission involves building educational awareness, resources and gender-inclusive communities within the state and encouraging policies built on promoting dignity and respect regardless of gender.

Learn more at :
Arkansas Transgender Equity Collaboration
P.O. Box 251703 Little Rock, AR 72225

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