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Thrive Health Connection announces innovative program for transgender individuals in Kansas City area

Media Contact:
Caroline Huffman
816 561 8784

“Our Bodies, Our Minds:  The Mental, Physical, and Interpersonal Effects of Transition”
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 22, 2019) — Thrive Health Connection, formerly Good Samaritan Project, is announcing an innovative program for transgender individuals living in the Kansas City area. This psycho-educational program is being done in collaboration with the LGBTQ Patient Advocacy Program at Truman Medical Center, Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, and The Transgender Institute.
Thrive Health received funding from the Prime Health Foundation for this programmatic initiative. This program for transgender individuals will provide educational information and support for a group seeking knowledge and resources, particularly as it relates to their sexual health.  Different topics will be presented and discussed using cultural sensitivity, including impact of hormonal therapy, having adequate protection from HIV and STIs, dating, coping and social norms, and transitioning in the workplace. Positive interactions with appropriately educated professionals may serve as opportunities to establish rapport between transgender individuals and the healthcare community. 
Studies estimate that over 28,000 individuals in the Kansas City area are transgender. Transgender individuals face a number of challenges on their journey to living as their self-identified gender. Many transgender individuals do not have access to the healthcare system due to unaffordable health care coverage, homelessness, and hostility of trained healthcare professionals. When members of the transgender community do access medical treatment, most experience discrimination, transphobia, and fear of being diagnosed with a mental illness. There is also fear of transphobia from healthcare providers that can cause stress that interferes with the recovery from other health concerns, including risks of contracting HIV/ AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
“We are definitely seeing more transgender individuals coming to Thrive Health for care management as well as for educational interventions and HIV/ STI testing,” Chief Executive Officer Caroline Huffman said.  “We have created an impactful legacy in the Kansas City area over more than three decades.  Our programs, core services and focus have changed over the years, and we need to continue to be responsive to the needs of the community.  What better way to honor that legacy than to continue to offer more innovative programming to meaningfully support the holistic health and lifestyle needs of transgender individuals? The opportunity to work on this collaborative program that can have measurable impact is very exciting.” 
About Thrive Health Connection
Since 1984, Thrive Health Connection has provided exceptional care in the community to those affected by HIV/AIDS with the goal to educate, empower and enrich lives. A regional healthcare leader and influencer, Thrive Health offers holistic and integrated health and wellness services to individuals affected by HIV and other STIs, LGBTQ communities, and those seeking a welcoming and affirming health community.  Thrive Health provides medical case management, mental health counseling, and prevention/outreach/ testing; acceptance, hospitality, respect and inclusion are the values that define the organization. In December, 2018, Thrive Health moved to 5008 Prospect Avenue, into one of the two ZIP codes in the Kansas City area with the largest population living with HIV/AIDS and the lowest life expectancy. Thrive Health has some of the highest viral load suppression numbers in the KC metro area, state of Missouri and the nation. Thrive Health offers an inclusive and dignified approach that puts the individual at the center of their care decisions.  For more information, visit thrivehealthkc.org.