December 13, 2018 | ° F

Robert Wood Johnson becomes first N.J. hospital to offer specialized LGBT care

Photo by Jason Ye |

On Jan 30. Robert Wood Johnson will open PROUD Family Health in Somerset, making it the first hospital in New Jersey to offer specified care for LGBT individuals.

The introduction of PROUD Family Health at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital's (RWJUH) Somerset Family Practice on Jan. 30 will make it the first hospital in New Jersey to offer specialized primary care services for the LGBTQIA community, according to NJ Advance Media.

PROUD, which stands for Promoting Respect, Outreach, Understanding and Dignity, will include primary medical care for children and adults, hormone therapy and HIV care, according to an RWJUH press release.

There will also be health education, counseling, support groups and referrals for specialty services such as behavioral health services.

“From routine physicals for preventive care to hormone therapy and contraception, we will ensure that each patient receives professional, compassionate care without judgement,” said Lalitha Hansch, program director of the RWJ Somerset Family practice.

PROUD Family Health is comprised of employees at RWJUH’s New Brunswick and Somerset campuses, “who help create a positive working environment for LGBTQIA employees and who also lead LGBTQIA outreach and advocacy efforts,” according to the press release.

All employees at RWJUH Somerset have undergone LGBTQIA sensitivity training, according to the press release.

Yesterday, the RWJUH Somerset campus received the Pride Center of New Jersey’s 2016 Community Partnership Award for supporting the state’s LGBTQIA Community, according to the press release.

“We recognized the health care needs of the LGBTQIA community were not being met and in many cases, LGBTQIA individuals were traveling outside of New Jersey for their medical care,” said Michael Antoniades, president and chief executive officer of RWJUH. “PROUD Family Health will offer them the care they need close to home.”

The Somerset campus and the Pride Center of New Jersey initially launched a Transgender Family Support Group in March 2016, which was the first of its kind in the region. It was designed to help partners, spouses and families better understand and accept their transgender family members, according to the press release.

RWJUH has received other awards in recognition of providing, “culturally competent care and reducing healthcare disparities,” according to the press release. 

The hospital has been honored by The Human Rights Campaign as a “leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality,” and in 2015 was recognized by the American Hospital Association with the Equity of Care Award. It was additionally named as one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s 50 Out Front Companies for Diversity.

PROUD Family Health will be open on Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m.

“We want every patient who comes through our doors to feel welcome and to be able to get the care that they need at all stages of their lives,” said Tony Cava, chief administrative officer of RWJUH’s Somerset campus. “We are proud to be leading the way in New Jersey in providing primary health care services for the LGBTQIA community.”

Alexandra DeMatos is a School of Arts and Sciences junior double-majoring in journalism and media studies and women's and gender studies. She is the copy editor of The Daily Targum

Alexandra DeMatos

Alexandra DeMatos is a correspondent @ The Daily Targum. She is a senior, majoring in journalism and media studies. Follow her on Twitter @DeMatosA for more. 

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