In celebration of Pride Month, Equitas Health launches its “We Are #Healthworthy” public awareness campaign, with a series of videos to be released on social media over the course of the month. The LGBTQ+ affirming healthcare and social service agency will also bring the “We Are #Healthworthy” message to 22 Pride festivals across Ohio and into Kentucky and West Virginia.
“‘#Healthworthy’ is where Pride and who we are as a healthcare agency serving the LGBTQ+ community intersect,” said CEO Bill Hardy. “There are many ways to celebrate being proud of one’s self as an LGBTQ+ person; one of those ways is to take care of our health,” Hardy said. “However, before we can set health goals, before we can engage in care, before we can get tested or schedule a mammogram or commit to using prevention methods, we must first believe ourselves worthy of health.”
The #Healthworthy campaign is a response to societal barriers that keep LGBTQ+ people from believing they are worthy of affirming healthcare—barriers that cause new patients and clients to arrive at Equitas Health unable to fully attend to their health and well-being. Internalized homophobia and transphobia keep LGBTQ+ people from recognizing their own self-worth. Additionally, research shows that due to past negative experiences with healthcare providers, LGBTQ+ people delay primary and preventative care, and as a result, have poorer health outcomes. Due to stigma, many in the LGBTQ+ community struggle to maintain stable housing, income, insurance, personal safety, and basic needs, which leaves them with little time, resources, or attention for maintaining health.
At Equitas Health, we start with affirming each person’s identity. Our patients and clients must understand they are worthy of quality, affordable, affirming care before they can begin to identify health goals or to take action to nurture their well-being.
The “We Are #Healthworthy” videos feature members of Ohio’s LGBTQ+ community, saying what they are worthy of. Some examples include: I am worthy of my pronouns; I am worthy of a mammogram; I am worthy of a confident smile; I
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