Resource Spotlight: Pride and 2SLGBTQIA+ advocacy 

June 16, 2023
 

Written by Holly Wingate

This article was written and researched by a CSHP student member for Interactions, our biweekly newsletter. Crafting these pieces not only helps students gain in-depth knowledge of specific conditions, treatments, and resources, it also helps them hone their skills in research, critical appraisal, evaluation, synthesis, and writing – all of which will serve them well in clinical practice. The Professional Practice Team works with the student to select topics that are of interest and utility to both the student and to you, the reader. We hope you enjoy this piece by one of our future colleagues! Let us know what you think: If you would like to provide any comments or constructive feedback for our students, please email us at practice@cshp.ca

Background

In Canada, the history of Pride month begins with homosexual acts being decriminalized with the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment act, and receiving royal assent June 27, 1969.1 Understanding and celebrating the history of Pride Month is still important today. Pharmacists can advocate in many different areas for 2SLGBTQIA+ patients, however it is important that we put the onus on ourselves to close any knowledge gaps. While school provides us with a good baseline of knowledge, it is not our patient’s responsibility to educate us in our knowledge gaps–we must be self-directed to learn about 2SLGBTQIA+ care discrepancies, gender-inclusive care, Pride Month history, and stay up to date with 2SLGBTQIA+ news. Once educated, we will be in a better position to advocate for the 2SLGBTQIA+ population in whatever our professional and personal environment is. This “Resource Spotlight” contains tools for staying up to date with 2SLGBTQIA+ news to provide the most inclusive care for 2SLGBTQIA+ patients. To learn more, see the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) recent Clinical Pearl: Student reflection on Pride Month & 2SLGBTQIA+ Advocacy During Pharmacy School

 

CSHP Resources: Student Clinical Pearls and Resource Spotlights 

Clinical considerations and creating safe spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ patients 
Then PharmD student Jessica Sheard used her platform during her fourth year CSHP internship to discuss 2SLGBTQ+ population discrepancies across Canada. In this, she discusses how hospital pharmacists can help to create inclusive, safe spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ patients. This includes using inclusive communication through correct pronouns and refraining from using gendered terms and undergoing training for 2SLGBTQ+ specific care. Finally, Jessica describes important clinical considerations for 2SLGBTQ+ patients, including kidney function test considerations for transgender patients, and VTE risks in transgender women on estrogen therapy. One can access her article here. Jessica also provides a Resource Spotlight which provides resources for implementing these practices in your professional environment. This spotlight can be viewed here

Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy
In this clinical pearl written by Abdi Kadir, a previous student with CSHP, gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) and drug dosing considerations are discussed for patients who are transitioning. Both masculizing and feminizing hormone therapy are discussed, as well as the role of anti-androgen therapy, and clinical considerations of therapy such as VTE risk, hormone cessation, adolescent treatments, and laboratory changes. One can review the clinical pearl here to learn more about GAHT. To supplement this clinical pearl, a resource spotlight highlighting references a clinician can find useful for learning more, can be reviewed here

 

CSHP Article: The Hospital Pharmacist’s Role In 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusive Patient Care

In this article, Dr. Jessica Sheard refers to care inequities many 2SLGBTQ+ patients experience, including abusive language, refusal of care, and prejudice, and how these affect one's health. She then describes how hospital pharmacists are in the most unique and ideal position to care for 2SLGBTQ+ patients. She offers easily implementable suggestions to providing inclusive spaces through communication and sincerity. Finally, Dr. Sheard discusses important clinical factors pharmacists need to be aware of with 2SLGBTQ+ patients to provide complete and safe care. One can access this article here

 

CSHP Articles Featured in Hospital News

Pharmacists as EDI Champions: Reflections of a Pharmacy Resident on the Role of Pharmacists in Minimizing Health Inequities for Underserved Populations 
As a pharmacy resident himself, Zack Kennedy aims to utilize his platform to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), and advocate for underserved populations, in hospital pharmacy. While not specific to 2SLGBTQIA+ populations, Zack Kennedy reflects on his experiences in this article as a hospital pharmacy resident observing many pharmacists in action, and how while pharmacists often work quietly behind the scenes, they play such a vital role in enhancing outcomes for underserved populations, specifically. This article speaks to all underserved populations, and therefore can be applied to populations affected in a reader's specific area, such as the 2SLGBTQIA+. Zack discusses personal examples where he feels those precepting and working with him acted as EDI “champions”, and concludes with action statements for any pharmacist, pharmacy leaders, and organization or other healthcare professionals. One can view his reflection here

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in HIV care: An Approach to Stigma 
Caitlin Olatunbosun is a clinical practice leader with Alberta Health Services who works in the area of HIV with a passion for pharmacy roles and addressing health inequalities. In this article, she describes HIV treatment improvements within the last 40 years, however, she also exemplifies the impacts that HIV stigma can have on patient outcomes, especially for men who have sex with men, persons who have been incarcerated, and people who inject drugs. She discusses the different types of stigmas which affect patients living with HIV, and how EDI can be applied for these patients as a way to breakdown stigma and provide safe and effective care. Read Caitlin’s article here

 

External Resource

Online Materials
Looking into national associations such as the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), is a good place to start when looking for supplemental learning materials, as they often offer free resources or memberships and are trustworthy sources. The CPhA is the national voice for Canadian pharmacists, that began in 1907 when fifteen pharmacists came together to act on issues affecting their profession. Through advocacy and leadership, they’ve enabled connection and collaboration. The CPhA actively empowers pharmacists to drive positive change in health care, by providing them with tools and knowledge needed, with the vision of a thriving pharmacist profession and a healthy population. They have many resources on their website, including a recorded webinar on their website called Smashing Stigma: LGBTQ+ Engagement in Pharmacy Practice available for viewing.  

News Outlets
For more than a decade, the Observer Media Group has led the digital reinvention of Canadian Media and are the owners of Canada’s National Observer (CNO). Founded in 2015, CNO publishes investigative reporting, in-depth analysis, solutions journalism, multimedia features, opinion and daily news coverage. They have a special focus on how governments and industry make decisions as well as the factors that influence their policies. The CNO strives to meet a high standard of ethics and to build trust and a loyal, engaged audience through transparency, accountability, and evidence-based reporting; they are committed to producing journalism that is accurate, fair and complete. The CNO offers many different resources, including podcasts, newsletters, special reports, and differing news streams. Included on their website is a stream dedicated to Queer news which can be found here.  

Founded in 1985, GLAAD is the world’s largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization in the USA. Their aim is to increase media accountability and community engagement that ensures authentic LGBTQ stories are seen, heard, and actualized. Among other advocacy actions, GLAAD has a news media and rapid response program. This program works with print, broadcast, and online news sources to make headlines that build understanding and move LGBTQ acceptance forward; when other news outlets get it wrong, GLAAD responds to demand fairness and accuracy. You can see their news section here, where one is able to sign up to be a part of their rapid response email list. 

Community Centers
Be aware of what your community offers for 2SLGBTQIA+ members and use your platform to promote these local resources. One can also obtain resources from these centers, such as infographics or brochures, and keep them at your pharmacy for patient access. Below are a few examples of local resources in a few of the major Canadian cities. Each of these community centers offer different resources and there can be more than one community center in each city. 

  • OUTSaskatoon strives towards a bolder, braver, and safer future by providing support services, youth housing, and education and research services through a harm reduction, culturally informed, equity-seeking, and community-based approach. They offer counselling, peer support, and inclusive health care access for 2SLGBTQIA+ members, including a sexual health clinic, PReP clinic, and a trans care fund. For professionals, they offer workshops and training sessions on differing topics, which change with time. At the time of writing, OUTSaskatoon is offering gender-based violence (GBV) education sessions; for pharmacists, this training is useful to stay up-to-date on topics that one may not be familiar with in the workplace, and to ensure one is providing the safest care possible. 
  • Queerios is a program in Ottawa, Ontario, which offers drop-in sessions for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth between 12-18 years old, as well as straight and cis youth who want to support their peers. They focus on social activities, positive mental health, skill-building, and connecting youth to resources in their community. They provide on-site counselling to all youth, as well as art programs, sports, games, and a nutrition program. If this program is near your workplace, keeping their Programming Calendar on-hand will be beneficial for your youth patients who may benefit from a program such as this.  
  • The 519 is a City of Toronto agency committed to health, happiness, and full participation of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. This agency offers many unique programs to serve the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities in Toronto and beyond, including housing services, anti-violence initiatives, webinars and trainings, recovery specific groups, community-led programs, and programs specific for youth and older adults. For pharmacy professionals specifically, there a 2-hour webinar course dedicated to Fostering Queer and Trans-Inclusive Environments at Work and Home, that one can sign-up for; the next webinar is June 20th, with once-monthly dates following that.  
  • Qmunity is a non-profit organization out of Vancouver, British Columbia, that works to improve queer, trans, and Two Spirit lives by providing a safer space to 2SLGBTQIA+ people and their allies to fully self-express. The many programs offered include counseling, peer support, employment support programs, trans ID clinics, and services specific for youth and older adults.  
  • The Centre of Sexuality in Calgary, Alberta, has been actively providing sexual health education, training, and counselling services since 1972. They have many 2SLGBTQIA+ programs such as the Healthy Relationships Program for 2SLGBTQIA+ Youth which promotes resiliency and well-being through exploring identity, stigma, prejudice, coming out, and more; this program may be useful for one to promote to their youth and teenage patients in their workplace to provide allyship and a safe space. 
  • The Pride Centre of Edmonton is a place of support where people of all attractions, identities, and expressions can meet new people, express themselves, and be part of a caring community. This center offers volunteering opportunities, resources, counselling, sensitive and expert information, and referrals for those seeking help. These resources can be accessed in person and online, and one is able to sign up to their online newsletter via email to stay up-to-date. In the pharmacy, keeping the master list of Affirming Health & Care Resources for patients could be extremely beneficial for patients who are trying to find inclusive physicians, specialists or dentists, as well as counselling, physical therapy, childcare, social groups, and more, within Edmonton and area. 

 

References 

  1. History of Canadian Pride. Queer Events; 2021 [cited 2023 Jun 1]. Available from: https://www.queerevents.ca/canada/pride/history 
  2. Why Is Pride Month Celebrate in June? Encyclopedia Britannica; 2022 May 27 [cited 2023 May 29]. Available from: https://www.britannica.com/story/why-is-pride-month-celebrated-in-june 

 

CSHP Clinical Pearl and Resource Spotlight Links 

Sheard J. Clinical Pearls: Clinical considerations and creating safe spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ patients. Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacist; 2022 Jun 15. Available from: https://www.cshp.ca/Site/Content/News/news-items/Clinical-pearls-safe-spaces.aspx 

Sheard J. Resource spotlight: Clinical resources and creating safe spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ patients. Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacist; 2022 July 27. Available from: https://www.cshp.ca/Site/Content/News/news-items/Resource-spotlight-creating-safe-spaces.aspx  

Kadir, A. Clinical pearls: Gender-affirming hormone therapy. Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists; 2021 July 5. Available from: https://www.cshp.ca/Site/Content/News/news-items/clinical-pearls-gender-affirming-hormone-therapy.aspx

Kadir, A. Resource spotlight: Medication for transgender patients. Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists; 2021 July 13. Available from: https://www.cshp.ca/Site/Content/News/news-items/resource-spotlight-medication-for-transgender-patients.aspx

CSHP Featured Article Links

Sheard, J. The Hospital Pharmacist’s Role in 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusive Patient Care. Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists; 2023 Jun 6. Available from: https://www.cshp.ca/Site/Content/News/news-items/Inclusive-Patient-Care.aspx  

Kennedy, Z. Pharmacists as EDI Champions: Reflections of a Pharmacy Resident on the Role of Pharmacists in Minimizing Health Inequities for Underserved Populations. Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists; 2023 Jun 6. Available from: https://www.cshp.ca/Site/Content/News/news-items/Pharm-EDI-Champs.aspx  

Olatunbosun, C. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in HIV care: an approach to stigma. Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists; 2023 Jun 6. Available from: https://www.cshp.ca/Site/Content/News/news-items/EDI-HIV.aspx