Discussion Summary: Community Care for LGBTQ+ Health

LGBTQ+ communities have long known that health is more than a good doctor and a prescription pad. Being well requires safe environments, supportive caregivers, and a meaningful social circle. This communal knowledge is echoed today by the Surgeon General’s warning on how loneliness and social isolation derail our health. This Connecting Conversation features programs with a community care approach—supporting patients and clients with more than just medicine.

Recording of panel on February 28, 2024.


Audrey Davis, Cancer Support Community, Senior Director – Health Equity
Audrey Davis has over a decade of experience creating and managing programs focusing on the intersection of behavioral wellness and health outcomes, emphasizing innovative approaches to systems integration.

Andre Ford, Colours Organization, Executive Administrator
Andre Ford transitioned to community-focused work in Philadelphia after eight years of military service. He is currently a lecturer on non-profit management at the University of Pennsylvania, and actively involved in various community advisory boards addressing AIDS research and mental health.

Luna Gayeski, Plume, Program Manager
As Plume’s Community & Wellness Program Manager, Luna Gayeski applies their background in counseling and HIV care to center connection and community in LGBTQ healthcare.



Understanding the Landscape:

    • Audrey Davis highlighted the Cancer Support Community’s dedication to providing free psychosocial support services to cancer patients and their loved ones, reaching diverse communities across various locations.
    • Andre Ford emphasized the Colours Organization’s commitment to creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth, addressing HIV awareness, and focusing on holistic wellness, all while acknowledging the importance of listening to the community’s needs.
    • Luna Gayeski, representing Plume, showcased their health tech startup’s transformative efforts in healthcare for transgender individuals through clinical care and community programming.

Themes Addressed:

    • The discussion touched on the layers of disconnection faced by marginalized communities.
    • The importance of culturally competent care was underscored.
    • The impact of not being seen by professionals in healthcare was discussed.
    • The panelists stressed the significance of forming real relationships, creating intentional connections, and recognizing the energy derived from social interactions.

Calls to Action:

    • Active Listening: Healthcare practitioners, advocates, and allies must prioritize active listening to understand the unique needs of LGBTQ+ individuals. Recognize the importance of diverse voices and experiences.
    • Culturally Competent Care: Advocate for and implement culturally competent care in healthcare settings. This includes training programs, awareness campaigns, and policy changes that promote inclusivity.
    • Community Building: Emphasize the significance of forming real relationships and creating intentional connections within communities. Foster a sense of belonging and support.
    • Addressing Loneliness: Develop strategies to address loneliness and isolation, especially within LGBTQ+ and cancer communities. Consider community-specific programs that cater to the unique challenges faced by these groups.
    • Digital Inclusion: Address digital divides by ensuring equitable access to healthcare services, especially in remote or marginalized areas. Leverage technology to reach and support individuals, addressing disparities in healthcare access.
    • Advocacy for Funding: Advocate for increased funding for organizations working on the front lines of LGBTQ+ health. Support initiatives that focus on community care and well-being.
    • Shared Decision-Making: Encourage healthcare practitioners to actively engage in shared decision-making and respectful care. Involve patients in the decision-making process to ensure their needs and preferences are considered.

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