Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) Training Sessions

Contact(s)

Gender Diverse & Primary Care

FREE Rainbow Health Ontario Training Sessions in North Bay 2020

Due to the rapidly evolving situation of COVID-19, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has made the difficult, but necessary decision to postpone:

  • Transition-Related Hormone Therapy in Primary Care Session (scheduled on April 3rd, 2020)
  • Transition-Related Surgeries: Planning, Referral & Care Session (scheduled on April 17th, 2020)

Both events will be rescheduled within the next several months and the Health Unit remains committed to enhancing the capacity to provide gender-affirming health care in Northeastern Ontario!

Registration information will be disseminated, but please check back on this site for updates.

Past Events:

  • Introduction to Gender Diversity on March 6th, 2020 - Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, & Hospital/Clinic Staff
  • Introduction to Gender Diversity on March 6th, 2020 – Community Health & Social Services, Educators

These trainings are being facilitated by Rainbow Health Ontario – a provincial program designed to improve access to services and to promote the health of Ontario’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+) communities.  The purpose of these sessions is to support health care and social service providers in Northeastern Ontario in their understanding of the health care needs and barriers faced by LGBTQ2S+ persons, and to enhance the competencies and confidence required to navigate and contribute to community-based, gender-affirming services for trans and gender-diverse persons. 

How do I REGISTER for RHO training sessions in North Bay?

Register for each session you would like to attend.  Separate registration links are listed above. 

Are RHO training sessions approved for Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credits?

Several of Rainbow Health Ontario’s (RHO) training sessions have been approved by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for MainPro+* Credits.  Transition-Related Hormone Therapy in Primary Care is worth 5.0 credits and Transition-Related Surgeries: Planning, Referral & Care is worth 5.5 credits.  Credits are not offered for Introduction to Gender Diversity.

The fourth edition of Sherbourne Health’s Guidelines for gender-affirming primary care with trans and non-binary patients was just released in December 2019.  This edition, like its predecessor, was authored by Dr. Amy Bourns, a family physician on Sherbourne’s LGBT2SQ Health Team. Rainbow Health Ontario is also in the process of updating the Trans Primary Care Guide, the online interactive tool based on the Guidelines.

Is there a need to improve our capacity for gender diverse health care in Northeastern Ontario? 

Northern Ontario Needs to Increase its Capacity

While LGBTQ2S+ people have many of the same health concerns as the general population, these health needs are affected by a number of issues that are specific to LGBTQ2S+ communities, and LGBTQ2S+ people face several barriers to accessing health care. Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) provides training to assist health care and social service providers in their understanding of these issues and to improve their skills in providing equitable and comprehensive services to LGBTQ2S+ people. When it comes to trans and gender-diverse care, primary health care, such as hormone treatment, is not currently a part of the standard medical education curriculum, and many clinicians have never seen (or believe they have never seen) gender-diverse people in their practice. Trans and gender-diverse people are often referred elsewhere, even when their health needs are routine. (Adapted from RHO Trainings).

The need for transition-related services in Northern Ontario is only growing. Over the last three years, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit’s Sexual Health Clinic has seen a substantial increase in the number of clients seeking transition-related referrals, and specialists are challenged to keep up with the demands of these referrals on their busy practices. The referrals to specialists can mean extensive wait times, additional costs to the client and barriers such as transportation to other communities to access needed care. This training places responsibility and access with HCPs. They are the experts on their patients, and if they are following their client’s journey, they are more qualified to diagnose and support.

There is currently strong and diverse leadership for gender-diverse folks in communities across the province, and RHO supports through mentorship and networking. However, many regions of the province still lack services, and RHO is working to improve that, in part through training.

What Local Voices Are Saying

In 2018, a research study was performed in North Bay called A Place for Us: North Bay Positive Spaces Research Project*. The purpose was to understand the experiences of LGBTQ2S+ identified residents regarding services, programs, and supports in North Bay. One hundred and forty people who live in North Bay or access services and/or attend events in North Bay and self identify as LGBTQ2S+ were surveyed.  Six additional interviews and three focus groups were also conducted. 

Participants were asked about their access to, use of and experience with services and supports; their sense of belonging and what they need from their community.

Research Highlights:

  • 28% of respondents indicated that they avoided health care services, and 26% avoided mental health services because they felt unsafe (meaning at risk for experiencing harm, harassment, exclusion, danger, etc.)
  • When asked “Do you think that current service providers in North Bay are safe for LGBTQ2S+ people to use?”, 16% of respondents answered ‘yes’, while 50% answered ‘some but not all’. Stated one respondent: “Staff using the wrong pronouns, not asking for pronouns, lack of safe washrooms or change rooms.  Filling out forms that only have binary options.”
  • When asked “What might discourage and/or prevent you from accessing services in North Bay?”, respondents reported the following:
    • 51% reported hearing offensive/harmful language used
    • 45% said staff are not experienced and/or skilled working with LGBTQ2S+ people
    • 43% reported staff have no positive space training
    • 37% said there aren’t any LGBTQ2S+ resources available
    • 32% said intake/registration forms do not include a space to identify pronouns, gender identity, and/or preferred name, etc.
    • 31% said staff do not ask clients/patients what their pronouns are and/or use the correct pronouns
    • When asked “Do you feel that healthcare providers in North Bay understand the unique health experiences/needs of LGBTQ2S+ folks?”, 40% of respondents were ‘unsure’ and 38% answered ‘no’. 
    • When asked about what would make them feel safer and/or more welcome accessing services in North Bay, respondents identified the following:
    • 76% said it would be better if “staff are experienced and have skills in working with LGBTQ2S+ people”
    • 66% said it would be better with “use of inclusive language”
    • 61% said it would be better if “staff have positive space training”
    • 53% cited it would be better if “confidentiality is discussed and it (is) clear that staff will not “out” me/share my identify with others”
    • 51% said it would help if “there is a positive/safer space policy posted”
    • 48% said it would help if “Intake forms ask about my pronouns, gender identity, preferred name, etc.”

*We would like to acknowledge Cameron Ghent (Executive Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator at Amelia Rising Sexual Violence Support Centre) and Meg Ramore (Local Immigration Partnership Coordinator, North Bay and District Multicultural Centre) who facilitated the research and prepared this report as a project of the North Bay Local Immigration Partnership. We also what to recognize those who participated in this project and bravely and generously contributed their experiences, insights and stories.

What Provincial Voices Are Saying

The Trans Pulse Project (Ontario) was a community-based research (CBR) project that investigated the impact of the social determinants of health, social exclusion and discrimination on the health of trans people in Ontario between April 2009 – May 2010. Data collection was completed in October 2019 for Trans PULSE Canada, a community-based survey of the health and well-being of trans and non-binary people in Canada.

Research Highlights:

    • One in ten trans people who accessed an emergency room presenting in their felt gender had been refused care or had care terminated prematurely , because they were trans
    • One in four, or 25% of trans people had been belittled or ridiculed by an emergency care provider for being trans
    • Approximately 40% of those with a family physician had experienced discriminatory behavior from their doctor at least once
    • 21% had avoided the emergency department when they needed it, specifically due to being trans
    • It is difficult for clients to start conversations about trans healthcare and to disclose to uninformed providers. 
    • It is difficult to access gender affirming care.
    • When a person has decided to access medical support to reach transition goals, but is unable or must delay, they are at high risk for suicide
    • When trans people can access medical care to transition, the suicide rate goes down and is lowest once they have been able to reach their personal transition goals

What are the objectives and who should attend the Introduction to Gender Diversity session?  

SESSION: Introduction to Gender Diversity (Foundations for all health care providers working with trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming adult clients)

Who this session is intended for:

This session is an introductory cultural humility module focused on gender diversity for all members of health and social service agencies who interact with clients.

By the end of this session, participants will:

  • Be familiar with and use respectful, inclusive language and terminology
  • Recognize the impacts of cisnormativity, heteronormativity and colonization
  • Understand the intersection of diverse gender identities & the social determinants of health
  • Recognize and address barriers to equitable health care for trans and non-binary clients
  • Be prepared to make health care spaces safer and inclusive for trans and non-binary clients

What are the objectives and who should attend the Transition-Related Hormone Therapy in Primary Care session? 

SESSION: Transition-Related Hormone Therapy in Primary Care

Who this session is intended for:

This session is for Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Physician’s Assistants and students of these disciplines – either those in a prescribing role or professionals like RNs who may be involved in preliminary assessment and discussions with clients.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Provide community-based gender-affirming services to trans and gender diverse clients
  • Take a gender focused history, assess and diagnose gender dysphoria (WPATH SOC)
  • Describe the informed consent process for initiating hormone therapy
  • Initiate and monitor hormone therapy for trans and non-binary clients
  • Utilize clinical guidelines to inform practice

What are the objectives and who should attend the Transition-Related Surgeries: Planning, Referral & Care session?  

SESSION: Transition-Related Surgeries: Planning, Referral & Care

Who this session is intended for:

This session is for Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Registered Social Workers, Registered Psychologists, and students of these disciplines, because these are the five professions designated by the Ontario Ministry of Health to make referrals for transition-related surgeries.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain transition related surgeries
  • Understand the provincial transition related surgery referral system and WPATH SOC criteria
  • Conduct surgery planning visits and make referrals for transition-related surgeries
  • Write a transition related surgery referral letter
  • Complete the OHIP Prior Approval for Funding Request form

Who is facilitating the RHO training sessions?

Facilitator (Introduction to Gender Diversity) & Co-Facilitator (Transition-Related Hormone Therapy in Primary Care and Transition-Related Surgeries: Planning, Referral & Care)

Karen Luyendyk RN MScN (Pronouns: She/Her)

Karen Luyendyk is a Clinical Educator – Trans and Non-binary Health with Rainbow Health Ontario, and facilitates training with and for Ontario health care providers to enhance care for trans and non-binary Ontarians. She has more than 30 years experience as a registered nurse in diverse healthcare settings including palliative care, complex continuing care, long-term care, mental health and educator roles.  As the parent of a ‘20 something’ Trans woman, Karen is very much an Ally advocating for change alongside community members and health care service providers as a member of Trans Health Information Ottawa and the Champlain LHIN’s Regional Planning Table for Trans Health. Karen is currently a volunteer member of the RNAO panel developing a ”Best Practice Guideline for the 2S-LGBTQIA community”, has been a volunteer Patient Family Advisor at Queensway Carleton Hospital for the past four years.

Co-Facilitator (Transition-Related Hormone Therapy in Primary Care and Transition-Related Surgeries: Planning, Referral & Care)

Dr. Blair Voyvodic (Pronouns: They/Them)

Over 40 years in medicine, Blair has aimed to support people thriving both personally and in vibrant community. At home on the Eastern edge of Algonquin Park, they have focused on trans and gender diverse health for the past 10 years as a Mentor with Rainbow Health Ontario and providing Telemedicine services throughout the province.

Will the RHO training sessions be accessible and inclusive?

The Grande Event Centre is wheelchair accessible and has barrier-free washrooms.  

The understanding at every session will be that facilitators and participants can use the washroom that matches their gender identity and/or expression. Please trust that every person knows where they belong. 

Where are RHO Training Sessions located and where can I park?

All training sessions will be hosted at The Grande Event Centre at 192 Main Street East, North Bay, ON.

 

Available Parking:

  • 180 Oak St W (Pay & Display) – 2 hours free, first entry per day and $1.50 per hour
  • 265 McIntyre Street East (Pay & Display) - $1.00 per hour
  • 127 McIntyre Street W (Levels 1-2 Parking Garage, Pay & Display) - 2 hours free, first entry per day and $1.50 per hour

 

Click for additional downtown parking options

Is there a cost associated with the RHO training sessions? Are meals included? 

All training sessions are FREE.

 

Meals and Refreshments Provided:

  • Introduction to Gender Diversity (Thursday, March 5): Dinner Included
  • Introduction to Gender Diversity (Friday, March 6): Morning Refreshments Included
  • Transition-Related Hormone Therapy in Primary Care (Friday, April 3): Morning Refreshments & Lunch Included
  • Transition-Related Surgeries: Planning, Referral & Care (Friday, April 17): Morning Refreshments & Lunch Included

What are recommended local accommodations for participants travelling from outside the North Bay Parry Sound district? 

For participants travelling from outside of North Bay there are several hotel options minutes from all training locations, including:

Homewood Suites by Hilton North Bay

495 Oak Street West

North Bay, ON P1B 2T3

 

Hampton Inn by Hilton North Bay

950 McKeown Ave

North Bay, ON P1B 9P3

 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites North Bay

1325 Seymour St

North Bay, ON P1B 9V6

 

For More Information, contact:

North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit

RHOTrainings@healthunit.ca

(705) 474-1400 ext.5384

1-800-563-2808 ext.5384

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808