Date: September 18, 2018

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News Releases Archive

News Releases

Lambton Public Health Adopts

This page was reviewed or revised on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 9:26 AM

Point Edward, ON - Lambton Public Health has always embraced the value of equity - a commitment to reducing barriers so all people can achieve their full health potential. Today, the department will take that commitment one step further, by identifying as a "Positive Space".

According to the Ontario Public Health Association, a "Positive Space" refers to an agency that is open and welcoming, as well as equitable and accessible to persons of all sexual and gender diversities.

In a 2016 review of its sexual health program, public health staff identified the need to gain a better understanding of the unique health concerns of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Two-Spirit, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQ2IA) people. Staff applied to Rainbow Health Ontario for a project grant, and conducted a survey to gather feedback from local LGBTQ2IA community members in 2017. 138 local residents responded.

The survey identified that while some individuals were comfortable being open with their health care provider about sexual orientation and gender expression, 40% of those surveyed said that they had not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity to their health care provider. Fear of stigma was the main reason for not disclosing to their health care provider.

"We know from our survey that many LGBTQ2IA community members are looking for assurances that their health care providers are informed and inclusive," said Dr. Sudit Ranade, Medical Officer of Health. "A welcoming environment and a strong commitment to privacy can reduce barriers such as the fear of stigma which in turn supports the health and well-being of all community members."

Declaring a Positive Space is a process that has involved education and training on LGBTQ2IA health for all staff, development of an internal policy, as well as the development of a Positive Space symbol for signage (see page 2).

For further information, contact Lambton Public Health at 519-383-8331 or on the web at www.lambtonhealth.on.ca.

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Please contact:
Rhonda Galler
Supervisor, Family Health
County of Lambton
519-383-8331, ext. 3548
email: rhonda.galler@county-lambton.on.ca