District strengthens care for diverse communities
New appointment as District marks International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia.
Erin Heine (they/them) is passionate about enhancing the health and wellbeing of Sydney Local Health District's diverse communities.
"It's important to really engage with the members of our LGBTIQ+ communities who use our services, to ensure their voices are heard," Erin, the District's new Priority Populations Programs Manager for LGBTIQ+ and Men's Health (pictured left), said.
They are dedicated to applying their skills and knowledge to support health services and clinicians deliver high-quality, safe health care and continually improve to meet the needs of diverse communities.
The new role is another step the District has taken to further address health inequities the LGBTIQ+ communities face.
"It is a key role in developing and maintaining effective collaborations with clinical and non-clinical services and the communities," Dr Shih-Chi Kao, the District's Director of Priority Populations Programs, said.
The District is home to one of Australia's biggest LGBTIQ+ communities and is committed to delivering the NSW LGBTIQ+ Health Strategy 2022-2027
The Strategy provides direction to deliver the best care for LGBTIQ+ people and responds to the health needs of transgender, gender diverse and intersex people in New South Wales.
"Implementing the Strategy will need to be done in a really considered way that compliments what we already have in place or are progressing and align with our broader organisation goals and values," Erin said.
Erin's appointment comes as the District marks International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia.
On 17 May 1990, The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
The day is an opportunity to celebrate the LGBTIQ+ communities and raise awareness about the work still needed to combat discrimination.
With a background in the diversity and inclusion space, Erin is also particularly interested in health outcomes for young people.
Data compiled by LGBTIQ+ Health Australia shows LGBTIQ+ young people are over four times more likely to engage in self-injury, with transgender young people being more than six times more likely to engage in self-injury.
"Improving the health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse young people is something that I see as really important. Often these young people won't reach out when in crisis. They present to health services in distress and don't feel safe and are often misgendered," Erin said.