Gayathri Chelvakumar, MD

Gayathri Chelvakumar, MD

Gayathri Chelvakumar, MD

Dr. Chelvakumar is a board certified adolescent medicine physician working in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She graduated from Northwestern University Fienberg School of Medicine in 2007. She completed her pediatrics residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in 2010, and adolescent medicine fellowship at MCW in 2013. Her clinical duties involve providing primary care and reproductive health services to adolescents. She has a strong interest in working with adolescent populations that are particularly vulnerable to negative health outcomes, including transgender youth, LGB youth, detained youth, and homeless youth. She additionally earned a masters degree in public health and has previously completed community based projects examining healthcare access and barriers to access in LGBT and homeless youth. Dr. Chelvakumar is also a provider in the THRIVE gender program at Nationwide Children’s hospital which serves the medical needs of gender diverse youth.

Presentation:  Improving Access to Care for LGBTQ Youth through Community/Medical Partnerships
Day: Thursday
Time: Breakout Session 1
Where: Hancock

Presentation Description:
This presentation will be done jointly by healthcare providers from the Division of Adolescent Medicine and the THRIVE program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and staff from Kaleidoscope Youth Center.

LGBTQ youth are at higher risk for certain adverse health outcomes compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers. These disparities are in part related to unique personal, cultural and structural barriers to accessing healthcare. Key barriers to accessing healthcare that have emerged from the literature and from local data that we have gathered in these populations include: ability to pay for healthcare services, lack of transportation, low understanding/prioritization of healthcare services, and mistrust of healthcare providers. Fear of discrimination and previous negative healthcare experiences may also affect health seeking behaviors of LGBTQ youth.

When surveyed, LGBTQ youth placed as much importance on provider qualities and interpersonal skills as provider knowledge and experience. Youth indicated the importance of addressing not only health risks, but also wellness and health promotion, within the context of home and family during healthcare visits.

Healthcare providers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) have partnered with Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) over the past 2 years to develop programs to build relationships with youth and with each other to help address some of these barriers and achieve health equity in this population.

Presentation Objectives:
1. Recognize health disparities that exist in the LGBTQ youth population.
2. List some common barriers to accessing healthcare for LGBTQ youth.
3. Describe how medical/community partnerships can help address these disparities and barriers to care.
4. Describe the benefits of medical/community partnerships.