Everyone should have a safe, comfortable home for their regular care. This is a simple principle, but sometimes difficult to apply in practice. Dr. Carolyn Wolf-Gold, medical director of the FoxCare Center for Gender Health at Suskiana Family Practice, realized this when she took her first transgender patient in 2007.
“I did not know much about transgender care, but I told him I would learn,” he explains. “I soon realized how marginalized the care of transgender people was. “Because they needed doctors who understood their identities, they often relied on trans specialists for better treatment in primary care conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.”
The Gender Health Center was developed to bring transgender health to the mainstream. This it maintained in the Susquehanna family practice, even as it expanded to include mental health, legal advocacy, research, education, and surgery teams.
An inclusive, basic practice, also raised questions about their territory. Did he greet all their patients?
With the growth of the Gender Health Center, it was time to consider the atmosphere of the practice and the decorations.
“Our team looked at the works of art in our area. Most of it was thrown at my grandparents’ house. There were Renoir prints wearing flowing dresses, pioneering pictures of households. All were white, all were young, all were capable of the body; “Everyone was thin, presumably everyone was gay,” recalls Dr. Wolf-Gould.
In order to better represent their area to their patients, who included many racial, ethnic, gender, and religious identities, Jacques Aklin Kelchlin, FNP, a practicing medical provider, decided to pursue a “medical art partnership.”
Founded in 1964, the Cooperstown Alumni Program is one of the oldest museum research programs in the country, offered by SUNY Oneonta. “And one of the best. Although I’m obviously biased, “said Cynthia Folk, a professor of material culture at the project. Folk has been involved in the program since 2000.
The collaboration offered by the Susquehanna Family Practice was a natural fit for the Cooperstown graduation program. “Serving local communities is one of our core values,” says Faulk. “We are also committed to diversifying the staff, the visitors, the content of our museums.”
Moreover, they were skills needed for the museum industry. “Universes are powerful,” explains Faulk. “The art of designing, furnishing, and displaying art in our areas affects who uses it and how they use it. Some museums give some activity. Shut up: Look: But do not run, do not make noise, do not Other museums have a completely different feeling. They want you to come, get together with your group, join the conversation. ”
“If it can happen on a museum wall, it can happen anywhere. And in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, where people are waiting in a very tense period, these challenges are gaining new weight and meaning. «
Innovation is often born of limitations. The Gender Health Center project has included some provocative restrictions.
Select the first affected image. “We had a minimal budget,” explains Faulk. “It made my students think differently about art. This was not about going to a museum catalog to find old masters. Instead, they explored online art platforms to find upcoming artists who are now making fun items. And they did a great job. ”
It was also possible to overcome internal constraints as they explained their pieces to a large audience of patients in the waiting room. “When I write museum labels, I want feedback from others,” says Faulk. “You are hindered by your own perspective, for the first time you seldom understand it correctly.
“My class itself was diverse, including individuals with different backgrounds and faith traditions. It gave students the opportunity to jump on one of the ideas, which has a very different perspective, to see how it would react. ”
The students at Cooperstown Graduate School were not the only ones to learn from this experience. Kellchlin թիմ The Gender Health Center team found the presentation of the student videos to be very moving.
“I was surprised by how excited I was about this project. First of all, Cynthia Folk’s concern for the community. And then it was beautiful to see the work of the students. We were unable to meet them in person due to the epidemic. : they only saw pictures of our area. However, they were so thoughtful in choosing pictures, presenting ideas, sharing what inclusion means to them, ”Kelchlin said.
“They had very difficult reasons this year,” says Folk. “Teaching կյանքի in life in general. For me, I like to be in space, I like to see volumes. And during that time none of us could visit the Center. surprising ման it was worth seeing how well the virtual components work. We can successfully cooperate on projects without encroaching on each other’s territories. “
When the project was over, Susquehanna Family Practice staff voted in favor of their favorite pieces. They bought three prints և can eventually buy more.
“There are now paintings on our walls that reflect racial and ethnic diversity. “If you are a person of color, or if you use a wheelchair, or if you are LGBTQ, you will see images that represent your community,” says Dr. Wolf-Gould.
The waiting room has become a place where patients sometimes learn from each other. “People are connected there. I have had several gay patients who have been grateful for the conversations there. “Some people then take steps to work on the inclusion of their lives, they tell us.”
“Inclusive artwork is one way of expressing our desire to be inclusive. We all have indirect biases that are hard to recognize և work on, no matter how much we want to deny it. When we make mistakes, it reminds us to stop, to think. և Try to do better. ”
“We are open to suggestions on how to continue this work,” he concluded. “And more works of art.”