At the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, we see it as our responsibility to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community in Cleveland is thoroughly explored and understood. We live in a time where the inclusive collection of data and qualitative evidence is critical to service the needs of our diverse community. As such, we do our part to sponsor and facilitate various research projects dedicated to studying our community in Northeast Ohio. Over the last year and a half, we have slowly been building our collaboration with research partners. We have been deliberate about identifying and partnering with academic institutions to formulate best practices and standards around what our engagement with researchers and academics look like. We see it as our responsibility to make sure that research done on our community is carried out responsibly, and with as much input provided from community members with lived experience as possible. To date, we have successfully collaborated on 5 different research projects with a variety of institutions in Cleveland. We have wrapped up 3 of the projects, and are still running 2 more currently. Included below are some details about said projects.

1. THRiVE:
a. The LGBT Community Center is currently collaborating with a cohort of researchers at Cleveland State University called THRiVE. THRiVE is a project dedicated to researching for and developing an LGBTQ+ specific sexual education curriculum targeted at youth. The questions asked in their research studies are relevant to the overall health of our community, and enhance the wellbeing of youth and young adults. This project places an overall value on youths' access to equitable and informed education, enhanced social support, and community organizations' efforts to serve the needs of youth. This project is currently ongoing. Find more information here. 

2. Rainbow Connection:
a. This project, titled “Rainbow Connection: Continuity of Care Across the Lifespan for SGM Populations” is an NIH funded program, funneled through the MetroHealth Center for Reducing Health Disparities. The focus of this research is to investigate psychological comorbidities and social support among LGBTQ+ youth with current or past foster care involvement. The Rainbow Connection seeks to address the issue of healthcare provision continuity for youth in this demographic by better understanding where and how more culturally competent social and healthcare services can be utilized. This project is currently ongoing. Find more information here. 

3. TRANSlate:
a. TRANSlate was a project that the LGBT Center and the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Education at Case Western Reserve partnered on to address the healthcare needs of Trans Gender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) individuals in Cleveland. The overarching goal of this project was to determine whether interactive dialogues result in an increase in TGNC individuals’ confidence in, access to, and use of primary care services, as well as an increase in cultural competency for healthcare providers when it comes to TGNC primary care. Results from the project can be found here.

4. Forward Movement Project:
a. The Forward Movement Project was a research program dedicated to understanding the unmet needs related to cancer prevention and screening/early detection in sexual and gender minorities in the greater Cleveland area. The lack of culturally appropriate healthcare for LGBTQ+ individuals has led to an increased rate of people from our community developing and facing cancer without proper treatment. The Forward Movement Project is taking the first step to address these needs by gathering information around the existing disparity which links LGBTQ+ people to these increased risks. Results from the project can be found here.

5. Foster Youth Project:
a. Our Foster Youth Research Project was dedicated specifically to understanding the unique mental health service needs of the members of the LGBTQ+ community who are currently in foster care. The provision of culturally competent mental health services for LGBTQ+ youth has always been a priority for our community. LGBTQ+ youth in the foster care system face unique challenges that must be addressed through better understanding their needs. Findings from this project are meant to help tailor or develop programs for the youth in our community to ensure that the services provided for them are of the highest quality. Results from the study can be found here.

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