UPMC Health Plan has expanded its efforts to connect its LGBTQ members with appropriately trained healthcare providers by launching a new LGBTQIA+ Affirming Provider designation within its online provider directory.
“This new, easy-to-use resource will provide our LGTBQIA+ members with additional confidence that UPMC Health Plan’s network includes providers who understand the unique healthcare needs of our LGTBQIA+ members,” said Kim Zynn, Vice President, National Network Development and Strategic Expansion, UPMC Health Plan. “The training and designation process reflects much collaboration among our own providers, UPMC Health Plan clinical and Member Services leaders, and external, national experts with experience in affirming health care.”
A new LGBTQIA+ Affirming Provider search filter and icon allows healthcare providers to identify as having completed special training on how to validate LGBTQIA+ patients’ experiences and create a safe, supportive environment for them.
“We are really grateful because they are hearing us. For a lot of folks, this is going to become a sanctuary, so we have to start building in that direction,” Dena Stanley, founder of TransYouniting, told KDKA-TV.
UPMC Health Plan members can find providers who have earned the LGBTQIA+ Affirming Provider designation in the “Find Care” provider directory on upmchealthplan.com. Members can also find these providers in the “Find a Doctor” directory on upmc.com
LGBTQIA+ Affirming Providers earn the designation by completing online training modules and the LGBTQIA+ Affirming Provider designation attestation. The training modules were developed with the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center, which focuses on interdisciplinary center research, training, education, and policy development with a focus on national and international health issues—especially related to LGBTQIA+ communities. The training content was further informed by LGBTQIA+ focus groups, known provider champions, and needs identified by the UPMC Health Plan LGBTQIA+ Member Services team.
“We are ecstatic again,” Stanley told KDKA-TV. “We are hoping that that’s what’s going to continue to happen, that they are continuously training their staff.”