On October 26, the Alberta Health Services (AHS)  Sexual and Gender Advisory Group, Calgary Zone provided a “Report Back to Community”  on what the advisory has managed to accomplish over the past year to build capacity within health services delivery to the LGBTQ* community in Calgary.

HIV Community Link has had the privilege and honour to have been elected to act a one of two community co-chairs along with two AHS staff co-chairs bringing together other members from the LGBTQ community to provide input, recommendations and health care experiences with the decisions and policy makers within the AHS systems. The result was the Guide to Creating Safe and Welcoming Spaces for Sexual and Gender Divers (LGBTQ*) People”.

The original plan for the advisory was to come together for a one year term and see what could be addressed to create improved safety and service delivery to all Albertans with a particular focus on Sexual and Gender Diversity. Part of this process was to invite presenters from within AHS to inform advisory group members on internal systems and how best to navigate them. One of the critical areas of knowledge the advisory group felt community members may need was a better understanding of the “Patient Concerns Resolution Process”. This link allows an individual to provide feedback on personal experience within the system that may been positive or negative in nature yet both allow AHS to learn from and make changes to systems that may be negatively impacting community members seeking services that are safe, respectful and competent.

We were pleased to learn through the report back that the Sexual and Gender Advisory Group will be continuing for the year ahead as a result of the successes and guides that have been created by community for AHS to incorporate into their services. It is the hope of the advisory group to build upon what has already been achieved and continue to provide the knowledge and experiences of the LGBTQ* community to better improve upon and build the capacity and cultural competence within of AHS staff and service delivery.

Mark Randall
HEAT Program Coordinator
HIV Community Link