Last week, CAMP Rehoboth and Beebe Healthcare partnered to hold focus groups designed to collect information pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community’s health issues and needs and how Beebe could help to meet those needs. Both groups were held at the McCurry Conference Center, with the first group meeting on July 31 and the second meeting on Aug. 2.
“After hearing some complaints from community members about how transgender community members were treated, doctors not prescribing PrEP and not wanting to learn about it — we talked with staff at Beebe Healthcare,” said Sal Seeley, the Health Services Director for CAMP Rehoboth. “They were open to hearing about the issues we were having. We have held very successful discussions with them about these issues, and as a result, they proposed these focus groups as a way to understand how LGBTQ+ community members experience was getting services from Beebe Healthcare.”
The turnout for the two groups was good, with most of the participants being retirees. According to Jeannie Briley-Wallo, the Patient Experience Director for Beebe Healthcare, the participants were concerned about healthcare in their community.
“The community members were encouraged to freely share their thoughts and experiences with the group, good and bad,” said Briley-Wallo. “Most of the attendees reported excellent experiences at Beebe and told us they felt very comfortable and affirmed in our care. We decided to team up because we knew CAMP Rehoboth had many contacts in the community and could help us get people interested in our focus groups.”
Seeley said that Beebe Healthcare has been helpful in creating a directory for LGBTQ health providers and that CAMP Rehoboth is working with Beebe to identify doctors who have experience working with the LGBTQ+ community and are aware of the health needs that the community faces.
Briley-Wallo said that the information gathered from the focus groups would be used to help educate Beebe Healthcare’s staff on LGBTQ+ patient concerns. Briley-Wallo also stated that she would take some of the suggestions brought up during the focus groups to physician leadership to see if there are additional services that could be provided in the local area that are presently only available in Baltimore, Philadelphia and D.C.