Hospital will be first in N.J. to have LGBTQIA health center

Published Thursday, January 26, 2017




by: Dave Hutchinson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com 

SOMERVILLE - Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset will become the first hospital in the state to offer specialized primary care services for the LGBTQIA community when it opens PROUD Family Health at the RWJ Somerset Family Practice on Monday.

The services, designed to address the unique health care needs of the LGBTQIA community, will include primary medical care for children and adults, hormone therapy and monitoring, HIV care, health education, counseling, support groups and referrals for specialty services such as behavioral health services, the hospital announced in a news release Wednesday.

"We recognized that 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, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. "PROUD Family Health will offer them the care they need close to home."

The acronym PROUD stands for Promoting Respect, Outreach, Understanding and Dignity.

The Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset is hosting a Transgender Family Support Group, the first of its kind in Central Jersey.

While Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is the first hospital in the state to tailor care for the LGBTQIA community, medical practices catering to the community exist in the Garden State.

In June 2013, Dr. Howard Grossman, opened what is believed to be the first medical practice in the state geared towards the LGBTQIA community in Millburn.

Rutgers University has a LGBTQ and Diversity Resource Center to address the needs and concerns of students and patients.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has been previously honored for reaching out to LGBTQIA community, including recognition by The Human Rights Campaign as a leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality, according to the release.

Last March, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset and The Pride Center of New Jersey launched a Transgender Family Support Group - the first of its kind in the region designed to help spouses, partners and adult children better understand, accept and cope with their transgender family members.

On Sunday, the hospital will receive The Pride Center of New Jersey's 2016 Community Partnership Award presented for contributions and support to New Jersey's LGBTQIA Community.
 
PROUD Family Health will be open on Mondays from 6-9 p.m. For more information, call 855-776-8334.

Dave Hutchinson may be reached at dhutchinson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @DHutch_SL. Find NJ.com on Facebook.