Our Mission

The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center aims:

  • To advance health equity for LGBTQIA+ people and the populations which may intersect with the LGBTQIA+ community
  • To address and eliminate health disparities for the LGBTQIA+ community
  • To optimize access to cost-effective health care for the LGBTQIA+ community
  • To improve the length and quality of life for LGBTQIA+ people by providing training and technical assistance to health care providers and staff across the globe

Our History

The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center is part of the Division of Education and Training at The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health.

The Fenway Institute (TFI) is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education, and policy development that works to ensure access to quality, culturally affirming medical and mental health care for traditionally underserved communities, including LGBTQIA+ people and those affected by HIV/AIDS. TFI is housed within Fenway Health Community Health Center (Fenway Health) (founded in 1971), which is a Boston-based independent 501(c) (3), Federally Qualified Health Center serving over 30,000 patients in three practice sites.

The mission of Fenway Health is to enhance the wellbeing of the LGBTQIA+ community as well as people in our neighborhoods and beyond through access to the highest quality health care, education, research, and advocacy. Fenway Health is one of the largest providers of LGBTQIA+ health care and HIV primary care in the country; as such, it is a leader in the field of LGBTQIA+ health and informs much of the promising practices and innovative models that the Education Center disseminates to health centers nationwide.

The Division of Education and Training was founded in 2005 to provide LGBTQIA+ competency education for health care organizations. Our initial project was to develop The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health, the first medical textbook focused on primary care for LGBTQIA+ people.

The American College of Physicians published the first edition of the Fenway Guide in 2007, and a second edition in 2015. With the Fenway Guide as a foundational document, the Division of Education and Training’s team of experts in clinical care, research, and educational programs for LGBTQIA+ people began delivering Grand Rounds and other training programs to academic medical centers, health centers, and other organizations across the country.

In 2011, the Bureau of Primary Health Care awarded us a National Cooperative Agreement, after which we formally founded the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and greatly increased our provision of education, training and technical assistance nationally.

What We Do

The Education Center specializes in providing national training and technical assistance (T/TA) to health centers in order to optimize access to quality health care for LGBTQIA+ populations.

Our program staff work with a national faculty of renowned experts to develop curricula that integrate the most current research evidence with clinical and administrative expertise and perspectives, and that highlight innovative models and promising practices in the field.

Our core content includes:

  • Teaching LGBTQIA+ concepts and terms through both didactic material and experiential activities which focus on ensuring that all staff in health centers are trained – including front-line staff, the core clinical team, social workers, case managers, administrative staff, enabling staff, and members of governing boards.  
  • Addressing unique challenges in LGBTQIA+ health, based on cumulative evidence from health disparities research.
  • Focusing attention on diverse LGBTQIA+ populations and their unique needs, such as those arising from the intersection of race, ethnicity, language, geography and age.
  • Guiding organizations in collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity (SO/GI) and recording it in electronic health records (EHRs). 
  • Collaborating with partner organizations to create and sustain a welcoming and affirming environment for LGBTQIA+ patients, students, and staff.

Our Impact