Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What a success!


For fifteen years, the Rainbow Women’s Health Fair has offered access to health information and health care services to Seattle’s LBTQ community. Last weekend, the health fair was held at All Pilgrims Church on Broadway in the middle of Pride Weekend – and it was a smashing success!
Many thanks to All Pilgrims Church, all our volunteers and providers, and the community for their participation. We couldn’t have done it without you! And we can’t wait until next year!
Katie  Lama, LPN, providing glucose and cholesterol screenings

Doris Harris from the Breast Cancer Navigation Project

Two Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence find Rainbow Women’s Health Fair Volunteers!


Volunteers Gabi and Agnes do intakes for women getting their mammograms


Volunteers Kyle and Shan offered free hugs at the Hug Deli!

YWCA Volunteer and Rainbow Health Fair Committee Member Jen Peters and YWCA Women’s Health Outreach Program Manager Ingrid Berkhout.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Providers at the Rainbow Women's Health Fair!

The Rainbow Women's Health Fair is this Saturday, June 29th from noon to 4pm! Come stop by All Pilgrims Church on Broadway for free health modalities!
 
See our most recent blog posts for lists of the providers that are participating, including these fabulous folks:
 
 
Safer Sex
Seattle Girls of Leather are a tremendous part of the Rainbow Women's Health Fair! Look for them at the front entrance of the Rainbow, where they will be greeting attendees with delicious snacks. Inside, halth care professional Candace Cantrell, President of Seattle Girls of Leather, will be answering questions about safer sex. Candace has many years of professional and personal exSeattle Girls of Leatherperiences in alternative sexuality communities, making her a dynamic educator.
 
 
B.E.S.T. Energy Healing

Linda Rasmussen, an Elite Master of B.E.S.T.  Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique), will be doing a demonstration and providing B.E.S.T. treatment.  B.E.S.T. is a gentle, light touch, energy balancing treatment that promotes relaxation and improves whole body functioning. Linda has a private practice and conducts workshops to train individuals and parents to provide basic energy balancing support to their family members and friends.
 
Mammography
YWCA Women's Health Outreach conducts a mobile mammogram screening for income eligible people 40 and over, who are un- or under insured, under the WBCCHP . The mobile mammogram coach from Swedish Hospital will be on site providing breast exams and pap tests.
HIV Information

Entre Hermanos will be providing HIV/AIDS education specifically for the Latino/a community. They will be providing culturally appropriate information about disease prevention, education, support services, advocacy and community building.
 
Acupuncture
We have several acupuncturists coming to the Rainbow!
Andrew Ball is a volunteer with The Alternative Health Access Campaign. Andrew runs acupuncture clinics for both Tent City 3 and ROOTS, providing medical care to the homeless population of Seattle and surrounding suburbs. His style of healthcare is focused on empowering patients to be able to better take care of themselves physically, mentally, and energetically.
 
Taunya Mattson will be doing a five needle protocol that is used in acupuncture detoxification, and by acupuncturists without borders for stress relief in populations struck by natural disaster.  These needles are non-invasive, help with relaxation, and provide a safe introduction to what acupuncture can do.
 
Jonathan Silliman is an East Asian Medicine Practitioner, specializing in stress relief, sleep disturbance, and emotional equilibrium. At the fair, he will be offering ear/head/hand acupuncture as well as some clothed Shiatsu massage.
Dianna Dean celebrates 10 years as an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist for the queer community.  She specializes in chronic health concerns from pain conditions, respiratory, gastroenterology, and menopause, to addictions, stress, depression and other psycho emotional issues. 
 
Pap Tests
 
Cedar River Cinic is providing FREE Pap tests! This will be the first year that we are able to offer this at the Rainbow. Dr. Jules Marsh from Cedar River along with Kara Harrington, ARNP student, and Amy Boone, ARNP, from Westside Family Clinic are generously offering their time to do the Paps.
 
Yoga

The Grinning Yogi will be doing a 45-minute yoga workshop from 1:15-2pm. Come join them upstairs for a relaxing and fun session of yoga!
 
Blood Pressure
 
Morgan Manalia, a nursing student at Seattle University, will be taking blood pressure readings and answering questions about blood pressure.

Glucose and Cholesterol Screenings

Katie Lama is a nurse with SeaMar Home Health. She also does work through the Mexican consulate to provide screenings like the glucose and cholesterol screenings that she will be providing at the Rainbow. Katie has worked with the queer and trans populations for decades and is excited to provide glucose and cholesterol screenings for attendees of the health fair.
 
Nutrition Information
 
Barbara Hoppe will be tabling at the Rainbow giving folks information about nutrition. Barbara is a nutritionist, health educator, and lactation consultant. She has a great deal of experience teaching about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. Come visit her table to learn more!
 
Nutrition Demonstration
 
Golda will be doing a nutrition demonstration in the kitchen. Join her to learn how to make a healthful and nutritious smoothie!

Breast Cancer Information
 
Doris Harris from the Breast Cancer Navigation Project will tabling and providing information on how to navigate the complex experience of having breast cancer.
 
Check Your Boobies will have an information table about their program. Stop by to learn how to sign up for monthly email or text reminders to check your boobies!

 

Monday, June 17, 2013

"We promised them we would tell the world."

Last year, the National LGBT Cancer Network surveyed LGBT cancer survivors to learn more about their experiences in the health care system. More than 300 individuals from across the country participated in the survey and shared their stories.


After connecting with LGBT cancer survivors and conducting their research, the National LGBT Cancer Network made recommendations that fall beneath these six themes:

  1. Stigma plays a prominent role in LGBT healthcare. (pg. 8)
  2. The local healthcare environment determines one's experience and is highly variable. (pg. 10
  3. Disclosure [to healthcare providers] is often related to perceived safety. (pg. 13)
  4. Respecting LGBT patients means respecting their support teams. (pg. 17)
  5. The pervasive expectation of gender conformity can be alienating. (pg. 21)
  6. LGBT survivors need more culturally appropriate support and information. (pg. 24)
In the report's conclusion, they write:

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, but the healthcare system often
does, as evidenced by the many experiences reported here
by survey respondents. These experiences, while taking place
at one of the margins of the healthcare system, offer a rare
glimpse into the opportunities for change in the entire system.
A well-intentioned one-size-fits-all approach too often gives
a message of unwelcome to LGBT patients, leading those
who can avoid the system to do so, and suggesting to others
that they need to remain silent about their lives, their support
systems and their needs.
For more information and to read the recommendations, read the full report here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Who's Who at the Rainbow Women's Health Fair, Part 2!

 
Massage
Everest College is generously bringing six massage students to do free massages for folks at the Rainbow! Everest College focuses on high-demand, specialized curricula and is dedicated to the provision of an interactive learning environment created to support the professional career development of their students.
 
Health Care Reform
Community Health Plan of Washington will be providing information about their services. They are a non-profit whose mission is to deliver accessible managed care services which meet the needs and improve the health of the community. Community Health Plan of Washington is the only health plan in the state created by local community centers.
 
Hepatitis C Testing
The Hepatitis Education Project (HEP) will be giving free Hepatitis C tests! HEP is committed to providing support, education and advocacy for people affected by hepatitis and to helping raise hepatitis awareness among patients, medical providers, and the general public.
 
Pet Adoption
MEOW Cat Rescue and Adoption will be providing information about their adoption services. They promote lifelong relationships between people and companion animals, providing shelter and care for each precious life until adopted into a forever home.
 
Tarot Reading
Marcia Moonstar from Moon-Wise Astrology will be at the Rainbow doing mini-astrology and tarot readings! Marcia has been a practicing astrologer for over 20 years, blending mythology, experiential astrology, women's spirituality, and holistic healing with astrology. She gives clients insight into their career potentials and future possibilities.
 
Heart Health
Look for Hayley Grandine from The Hope Heart Institute at the Rainbow! Hayley focuses on providing heart health outreach to a variety of populations within the greater Seattle area. She will be giving out heart health information and resources to prevent heart disease.
 
HIV Peer Support
The fabulous BABES Network-YWCA will be answering questions about HIV/AIDS, providing education about prevention and how to manage your status, and handing out condoms! BABES is a sisterhood of women facing HIV together; they are a peer education and support network for women living with HIV.
 
HIV Testing
Amber Tejada from Gay City Health Project is providing free and confidential HIV tests! These rapid tests give results only 20 minutes after they are taken. Gay City is the leading provider of HIV and STI testing in King County.
 
Naturopathic Blood Pressure
Les Witherspoon, who is a naturopathic physician at Well Steps Naturopathic, is coming to the Rainbow to give blood pressure readings and brief consultations for health conditions. Les offers naturopathic primary care that is sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ individuals and their families and households. Les offers transgender individals transitional medicine as well as general healthcare.
 
Midwifery
Along with Journey Midwife Services (see our previous provider post on this blog), Simon Adriane Ellis and Laura MacPherson from Essential Healthcare and Midwifery Services are coming to the Rainbow. They pride themselves on providing quality care that is affordable, accessible, and culturally responsive. In addition to care during pregnancy and birth, they offer fertility services and reproductive care across the lifespan. They will be giving information about their services at the Rainbow.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Recognizing Depression!!


While great societal shifts have been taking place for the LGBTQ community, depression is still seen at a rate two and a half times the national average. When combined with gender issues, lesbians have an even higher rate of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse as well as higher smoking rates. The major reasons for these rates is thought to be a result of continued societal stress around issues of minority status, gender biases, internalized homophobia, and lack of familial and community support. Situations can also spark depression, bad health habits, social and work related stressors, bodily changes, all can be contributing factors. The brain can also develop glitches in it’s neuro-chemical and electrical functioning for no apparent reason. As a result of the new brain mapping technologies, exciting new theories and treatment options are being generated, showing great promise. Research is just now truly beginning to unravel how the brain works!

Depression is not just about feeling sad, it is a medical illness with a cluster of symptoms that persist for at least 2 weeks. According to the National Institute of Mental Health the following symptoms can describe depression:
 
·         Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
·         Fatigue and decreased energy
·         Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
·         Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
·         Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
·         Irritability, restlessness
·         Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including
      sex
·         Overeating or appetite loss
·         Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
      that do not ease even with treatment
·         Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
·        Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Can Depression be prevented?

While depression is very treatable, not all depression is preventable especially with unexpected chemical malfunctioning of the brain, just as with any unexpected illness. Research does show that good health habits, good eating, exercise, limited substance use like alcohol, no cigarettes, good support systems, doing more for others, internal check of automatic negative thinking, all contribute to good mental health.

 
Christie Driskell, LICSW

If you want to know more, Christie will be at the 15th Rainbow Health Fair to answer your questions.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Who's Who at the Rainbow Women's Health Fair

It's that time of year again! Over the next few weeks as we lead up to our 15th annual Rainbow Women's Health Fair, we will be highlighting our health fair providers on this blog.

To give you the first taste of the fabulous folks who are volunteering to make the health fair happen, here is a list of their impressive expertise that they will be bringing on Saturday, June 29th:

Ovarian and Breast Cancer Information
Joan Elvin, a sixteen-year survivor of ovarian and breast cancer, will be providing education and awareness materials. Joan works with the Ovarian and Breast Cancer Alliance to replace fear with fact and to empower women to know the early warning signs of ovarian and breast cancers.

Smoking Cessation and Depression
An optimist by nature and tenacious by spirit, Christie Driskell will be offering several screenings, including depression and tobacco cessation. Christie has over 25 years of experience doing clinical mental health social work both within and outside of the LGBTQ community, and she will be at the Rainbow Women's Health Fair with the door open for lively discussion, empathetic listening, problem-solving, and the opportunity to shift one's perspective.

Midwifery
Emi Yamasaki McLaughlin and Caitlin Wheaton are midwives from Journey Midwife Services, which was started with the goal of increasing access to maternity care for LGBTQ folks, communities of color, and teens. Journey Midwife Services practices shared decision making with clients so that they feel empowered and informed. Stop by their table at the Rainbow to talk about resources for getting pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy, and options for natural births.

Chiropractic Services
Interested in finding out your stress and toxicity levels? Dr. Connie Amundson will be doing hormonal and nerve stress tests, as well as chemical toxicity screenings. Dr. Amundson will be using techniques such as trigger point therapy to help patients cope with their stress levels.

Dr. Christiana Maia and Dr. Sarah Eckman from Trilogy Chiropractic Studio will be offering digital posture analysis through an iPad app! Patients will be able to learn where their posture is misaligned and view a diagram of what a more ideal posture looks like for them. The folks at Trilogy Chiropractic Studio view chiropractic care as a way to foster proper communication between the brain and the body and to treat the cause of pain rather than the symptoms.

Elder Care
Beth Davis from Home Health and Hospice will be providing information and support for folks who want to complete an Advanced Directives to Physicians document. Beth is currently working towards opening an LGBT-welcoming Adult Family Home, Pride House, to provide care and housing for those who require assistance with daily living.

Naturopathy
Dr. Kira Baum will be at the Rainbow doing a demonstration on how to make naturopathic tinctures out of common medicinal herbs that grow right here in our city! Dr. Baum's passion is to assist people in achieving their health goals in a gentle and effective way.




 

Friday, May 31, 2013

15th Annual Rainbow Women's Health Fair!






Rainbow Women’s Health Fair to be held June 29

Free massage? Free yoga? Free mammograms, pap tests, acupuncture, and more – all in an LBTQ-friendly setting? Sign me up!

Actually, for most of these services, no sign-up is necessary. Just come by All Pilgrims Church at Republican and Broadway between noon and 4pm on Saturday, June 29, the day of the Capitol Hill Pride Festival. That’s where the Rainbow Women’s Health Fair will be taking place. The goal of the health fair is to provide holistic and traditional health services and education from culturally competent providers to lesbian, bisexual, and queer women and genderqueer and transgender people, especially those with limited access to care. “It’s about empowering the community to take care of their health,” says Ingrid Berkhout, women’s health outreach coordinator at the YWCA. Since 2000, she has coordinated a team of volunteers to make the health fair happen each Pride.

Research shows that lesbian and bisexual women are less likely to get the preventive screenings they need, like mammograms and pap tests, and are more likely to experience some health issues, such as depression. Trans people of all genders face even more barriers to getting the health care they need. Yet there are very few health services in Seattle geared toward LBTQ women and trans people. The Rainbow Women’s Health Fair attempts to fill this gap, at least for one day each year.

Why attend the health fair? Ingrid offers a lot of reasons: “To experience alternative healthcare you might not know about. To get your vitals checked. To have fun, meet women, maybe find a provider, and get lots of information about LBT community organizations. To be proud of your health! Because if you’re not healthy, nothing really works.” All providers that participate in the fair volunteer their time and resources, and the planning committee focuses on recruiting LBTQ providers (or people with a long history of serving our community) to ensure that all services are culturally competent, as well as free, for all participants.

The Rainbow Women’s Health Fair was started in 1995 by the Seattle Lesbian Cancer Project. In later years, the fair was sponsored by Verbena Health, and after their premature demise, Ingrid and the fair moved over to the YWCA. Despite the many changes in our community, the fair is still going strong. This year’s fair will be the 15th (a few years have been skipped), and will include free yoga, massage, acupuncture, HIV tests, vitals checks, mammograms, pap smears, raffle prizes, and more, as well as interactive workshops throughout the day on topics like nutrition. Check out the YWCA’s LBTQ health blog at http://lbtqhealth-ywca.blogspot.com for updates.

If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Nina Cole at 206.461.4482 or ncole@ywcaworks.org. To schedule a mammogram appointment or for general information, contact Ingrid at iberkhou@ywcaworks.org or 206.461.4493. See you there!

-Sara Jaye Sanford, MPH (Rainbow Women’s Health Fair Volunteer)