Happy New Year!Typically, we get excited by things that are new. When it comes to this year, however, many of our clients and supporters tell me that they are concerned and afraid about the new administration. While we don’t know what the future will hold, there are reasons to be concerned about how the next administration will impact LGBT people and those affected by HIV. The President-elect has stated he will sign the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would legally permit discrimination against LGBT people (and others) based on religious or moral objections. The new administration has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, through which many of our clients purchase insurance. Additionally, elected leaders in Texas have promised to pass a bill in the new legislative session that would prohibit transgender individuals from using the bathroom compatible with their gender identity.
I can assure you that whatever comes our way, Resource Center will speak out, will work with our strong allies and coalitions, and will provide you with education and information so that you may engage in discussion and advocacy. Resource Center serves more than 60,000 people annually in North Texas, and we remain steadfast in this new year and beyond to serve our community. Your support makes this possible and is needed now more than ever. Let’s move into 2017 with love, compassion and resolve to make it a great year.
COMMUNITY Resource Center inspires senior to live authentic life Clint and Johnny, Gray Pride Program Manager
Typically, “coming out” stories are told about adolescents and young adults, which overlook the many LGBT senior men and women living in silence or isolation. Research has shown that elderly LGBT people are twice as likely to live alone, half as likely to have life partners or significant others and are half as likely to have relatives living nearby. The Center's Gray Pride program provides support for these seniors and also serves as an inspiration for several community members to live authentic lives. Johnny Humphrey, Gray Pride Program Manager, recalls a particular moving event involving 85-year-old Clint from Denver. In early 2012, Clint attended the Center's monthly Gaybingo event and “came out” at the event (yes, he came out of the closet.) His wife had passed away the year before. At Gaybingo, Clint was encouraged to come on stage and was immediately embraced by the crowd. The experience was so memorable, Clint continues to participate in the Center's programs whenever he visits his family in Dallas. Just this past month, he attended the Gray Pride holiday party and caught up with old friends!
Since 2013, Gray Pride has been the only LGBT-focused senior services program in Dallas with a primary focus on combating isolation and improving mental health. Once engaged in a safe place, senior participants have access to Resource Center’s mental health counseling program and connections to other culturally competent health care providers. The Center's Gray Pride program also advocates on issues that impact seniors. Gray Pride events are free, though donations are welcome. Check the Center's calendar here for a list of events.
Jalenzski Brown, the Center’s Empowerment Programs Manager, was among a select group of individuals invited to attend the last World AIDS Day event at the White House under the Obama Administration. With the name “Moving Forward with HIV in America: Moving Strength from Our Past and Empowering Today’s Leaders", the November 29th event brought together community leaders, HIV/AIDS advocates, researchers and government and non-government officials of different ages, races, beliefs, and experiences.
Hosted by the Office of National AIDS Policy, this event created a space in which attendees could share successes and opportunities while building on best practices to achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS strategy through 2020.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ HEALTH Volunteer medical staff provide knowledge and compassion in transgender health services Dr. David Lee; Eric Klappholz, ANP-C; Jason Vercher; Dr. Patrick Daly; Peter Triporo, RN
Treatment by medical care providers who are experienced in transgender health is critical to maintaining the well being of the Center's clients. In 2015, the Nelson Tebedo Health Clinic served over 140 unduplicated transgender individuals from all backgrounds and ethnicities. Most of the Center's clients seeking transgender health services are uninsured or underinsured and the main goal is to link these individuals to HIV treatment, counseling and case management. Fortunately, the Center has a volunteer medical staff of medical doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to meet the needs of these clients.
Dr. David M. Lee grew up in Princeton, Texas and attended the University of North Texas where he graduated summa cum laude. He specializes in general Internal Medicine and HIV Medicine, and he is credentialed by the American Academy of HIV Medicine as an HIV Specialist™. David says, “Resource Center helps many of our HIV patients with insurance assistance, so I feel it is important to give back to the clinic and the community by volunteering. The transgender clinic serves a very underserved population, and it is very rewarding to help out.”
Eric Klappholz, Adult Nurse Practitioner-Certified, was born and raised in North Richland Hills, Texas and attended Texas Woman's University where he graduated with Honors and earned a Master's in Science as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. In addition, he holds a Bachelor's of Science in nursing and a Bachelor's of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. Eric says, "It is my opinion that health care is a basic right and not a privilege. As a gay man I have felt the discrimination and struggles that the LGBTQ community face first hand. One of the biggest areas in which this discrimination is felt is in healthcare. My goal as a Nurse Practitioner is to provide quality healthcare to all. It is a privilege to volunteer my time at Resource Center in the Transgender Clinic. Through this clinic transgender patients are provided a safe environment to be themselves. They can ask any questions they want and know that someone understands them and cares about their well being. I am proud to be an ally of the transgender community."
Jason Vercher is a Physician Assistant at Uptown Physicians Group and is also a certified HIV Specialist through the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Jason states that "as a gay man, I have experienced first hand the discrimination and health disparities that are commonplace within the LGBTQ communities. During my training, I interacted with many providers who would turn away transgender patients for hormone replacement. I knew that as a future healthcare provider I wanted to do better, and give back to the community that has also accepted me for who I am. I volunteer at the clinic because I think it is important for transgender patients to know that there are providers out there who are on their side and willing to be their champion and caregiver during their journey. I am also extremely blessed to have landed in such a wonderful practice where priority and great care is given to our wonderful community."
Dr. Patrick Daly grew up in Presidio and Midland, TX. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated from the Texas Tech Health Science Center in Lubbock, TX. Dr. Daly is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and HIV Medicine, and has been serving the LGBTQ community since 1986. “I am privileged to serve the community at Nelson Tebedo Clinic. It’s rewarding to participate in volunteer work to help the community members in their health care needs,” says Dr. Daly.
Peter Triporo Registered Nurse and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner-Certified, attended the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his Masters of Nursing with Honors. As a Nurse Practitioner, Peter excels in health promotion, counseling, prevention and disease management. He believes in building a strong, collaborative partnership with patients to improve their access and quality of care they receive. Transgender health is one of the most underserved populations in the United States. "I could not imagine what it must be like to not have access to care or providers that are willing to provide the counseling required to this special group of people. It is an honor to be able to provide services to this community and work with Resource Center in its vision/mission to empower our LGBT communities through advocacy and excellency of care," Peter stated.
Thank you to all the volunteer medical staff at Nelson-Tebedo! There is still a growing need to serve transgender clients. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering as a medical staff professional at the clinic, please contact email@example.com
__________________________________________________________________________________ GIVE Sponsorships for Toast to Life still available
Since its inception, Toast To Life has raised over $3 million in support of the Center’s programs and services and the generosity of your sponsorship ensures that 100% of the evening’s proceeds benefits the Center's programs and services, including:
HIV Nutrition Program: The HIV Nutrition Program helps provide essential nutrition and basic food needs to HIV-positive individuals to decrease the debilitating effects of HIV and increase medical adherence. Last year, the food pantry and hot meals program served more than 240,000 meals to 2,692 people living with HIV.
HIV Dental Clinic: The Center provides specialized HIV dental care to over 900 clients annually and is the only dental clinic offering HIV specialized services in Dallas County.
Youth First: Approximately 15,000 LGBT youth live in North Texas, Youth First is the only local LGBT-focused youth program that addresses the challenges LGBT youth face with family members, peers and fellow students. Serving ages 12-18, Youth First equips young adults with the skills they need to lead an open life.
Gray Pride: Healthy aging requires access to appropriate housing, quality health care and supportive public and private services. Such access is often denied to LGBT seniors because of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Gray Pride is the only LGBT-focused senior services program with a primary focus on combating isolation and improving mental health. Senior clients have access to Resource Center’s mental health counseling and connections to culturally competent health care providers.
Please join us in support of the 19th Annual Toast To Life - Time To Boogie on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at The Empire Room. Ticket and sponsorship information is available HERE.
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ABOUT RESOURCE CENTER:
Resource Center, a United Way agency, operates the LGBT Community Center, Nelson-Tebedo Clinic, Harold Simmons Foundation Health Campus, Youth First and United Black Ellument. For over 30 years, the Center has provided programs of interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community members and critical assistance to people living with HIV and AIDS and for their families. The programs of Resource Center promote understanding of the LGBT community and aim to eradicate the spread of HIV and AIDS.
Resource Center is a trusted leader that empowers the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities and all people affected by HIV through improving health and wellness, strengthening families and communities and providing transformative education and advocacy.