Equality Texas Foundation & Texas Health Institute Announce a New $250,000 Contract – a First of Its Kind Texas Research Capacity-Building Project to Improve the Quality of Healthcare for Transgender Texans

Equality Texas Foundation announced today an exciting new $250,000 contract awarded to the Texas Health Institute and the Equality Texas Foundation for TransFORWARD: A Statewide Transgender-Powered Research Collaborative in Texas.  The project will engage transgender Texans in a ground-breaking research capacity-building project to improve the lives and health of transgender Texans.

The Washington D.C. based Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)an independent, nonprofit organization whose mandate is to improve the quality of healthcare based on evidence,awarded a first-of-its-kind contract, research capacity-building project to connect transgender Texans with medical researchers. The Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award will build research capacity by engaging 2,500 transgender Texans in clinical comparative effectiveness research studies.

“We know transgender Texans are denied healthcare altogether or have a difficult time accessing culturally competent care. For the first time, funding has been dedicated to build capacity for research projects that will engage transgender Texans all over the state. The project will allow us to produce more useful and trustworthy research, which will ultimately lead to improved healthcare for transgender Texans,” said Lou Weaver, Transgender Programs Coordinator for Equality Texas and TransFORWARD Co-Director. The additional resources will allow an increase in the number of transgender persons participating in research. Studies show transgender Texans face barriers accessing quality, affordable healthcare whether it is routine healthcare that is unrelated to their transgender status or transition-related care.

“This is the first time PCORI has funded a research capacity-building project focused solely on transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex people,” says Ankit Sanghavi, Executive Director of Texas Health Institute and Project Lead.“Quality, evidence-based health decisions will improve the quality and length of life for transgender people in Texas and across the nation. This project directly connects transgender people, clinicians, and others who can use this information to inform their healthcare decisions.”

“Good science drives good medicine. The Institute of Medicine recognized significant gaps in medical research involving LGBTQ people in its 2011 report. The gaps are especially profound for transgender people,” said Dr. David Lakey, Immediate Past Chair, Council on Science and Public Health, Texas Medical Association. “We look forward to augmenting our existing relationship with TransFORWARD to more effectively connect medical research to physicians.”

A Research Engagement Advisory Council will be formed to guide the two-year project and eight regional groups will be created across the state where transgender patients, researchers, and organizations will participate in patient-centered outcomes research at various health institutions.  TransFORWARDis a community engagement partner with the University of California San Francisco’s PRIDE Study/net to recruit transgender Texans to participate in studies.  For more information on this project.

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.

Texas Health Institute is a non-profit public health institute established in 1964 with a mission to improve the health of all people. The organization serves as a leading voice in health and healthcare in Texas and the nation. THI’s programs and education offerings accelerate the implementation of new findings, creating opportunities for people to lead a healthy life.

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

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