CHICAGO, Ill. — Howard Brown Health announced its participation in an innovative community-­led research advisory network that will support the development of patient­-centered research projects focused on addressing the health needs of transgender and gender non-conforming people (TGNC).

Entitled “Four Corners: TGNC Health Research Advisory Network,” (Four Corners) includes Whitman­Walker Health in Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles LGBT Center; and Houston­-based Legacy Community Health. Combined, the four organizations currently serve over 10,000 TGNC­-identified patients. Led by Howard Brown Health, Four Corners will unite community members, researchers and clinicians from across the U.S. to facilitate equitable participation of all members to contribute to a patient-­led expansion of TGNC health research.

Transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming individuals are people who identify with a gender that differs from the identity associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. According to a 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey on transgender health disparities, nearly one in four respondents reported they did not seek healthcare due to their fears of being mistreated as a transgender person; one­-third of respondents did not seek a healthcare provider when needed because they could not afford it; and 40 percent of respondents had attempted suicide in their lifetime — nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate of the larger U.S. population.

“This first-­of-­its kind research initiative will help U.S. healthcare providers understand the disparities in care for the transgender/gender nonconforming community and how to bridge gaps in care,” said Dr. Ann Barnes, chief medical officer at Legacy Community Health. “Hearing from TGNC patients themselves will be critical in this work. We’re excited to be part of this project alongside other leading community health centers across the country.”

“The Los Angeles LGBT Center is proud to be a partner in creating Four Corners,” said Dr. Ward Carpenter, co­-director of the Center’s Health Services.

Howard Brown Health envisions a future where the health and wellness of LGBTQ people is affirmed with healthcare as a human right; where progressive social policy and enlightened societal norms uplift the lives of LGBTQ people and their families; and where affordable, accessible and culturally competent care from non-judgmental healthcare professionals is available and provided to all who seek it.


Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.