The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. recently had all its employees undergo a mandatory training on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota that taught its employees how to provide appropriate healthcare services for the LGBTQ+ community in the CNMI.
The training, called “LGBTQ+ Cultural Competency and Diversity in Healthcare Training,” is aligned with CHCC’s goal to acquire accreditation from Human Rights Campaign’s Health Equality Index Program as an inclusive healthcare facility, which CHCC reportedly hopes to achieve soon.
According to Tyra Lyn Sablan, founder and president of the transgender alliance, T-Project, the training started in April on Saipan as part of a mandatory training session for all employees and on Tinian in May 2-3, 2022 and Rota on May 04-06, 2022.
The training included use of respectful language, data capture, group discussion, self-reflection, hormone replacement therapy, gender and colonialism, sexual orientation and gender identity in Pacific cultures and learning modules from Fenway Institute’s LGBTQ+ Online Learning Center.
The training was facilitated by Sablan, Plumeria Joy Aldan-Castro, Jayson Camacho, and Jordan Roiland.
Sablan said that access to timely and quality healthcare is a right every human being deserves, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, political affiliation, sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity or gender expression. She said the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender people, have long been subjected to a history of pervasive discrimination in healthcare, housing, workplace and other important aspects in life. U.S. data and CNMI Youth Risk Behavior Survey data shows that there is a prevalence of health disparities that affect the LGBTQ+ community in the CNMI, especially in our youth population.
“In the CNMI, we have no room for this kind of behavior and mentality. Our people reflect a culture of respect and love for one another. It is our responsibility as stewards of the land to preserve that culture of love and respect,” she said.
Sablan thanked the CHCC for taking its first step to preserving that culture by initiating this corporation-wide training on all three islands. “CHCC has always been an ally to our community, and we are very grateful to everyone, especially to our chief executive officer, Esther Lizama Muña, for her unwavering love, support and encouragement,” Sablan said.
“Inclusion is a crucial aspect of our culture here at [CHCC] and healthcare is essential to the well-being of a community. In order to build a more resilient community, we aim to provide sustainable solutions to empower all people of the CNMI to achieve exceptional health. These trainings are only the first steps toward the type of health justice all people in the CNMI and in the world deserves,” said Muña. (PR/Saipan Tribune)