EXETER — The NH Foundation for Healthy Communities recently bestowed its “Noah Lord Patient & Family Engagement Award” on Exeter Health Resources to honor the work done by their LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Questioning) Advisory Council to improve the design and delivery of care for patients in the LGBTQ+ community.
Exeter Health Resources is comprised of three affiliates – Exeter Hospital, Core Physicians, and Rockingham Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice. Bobby Kelly, MD, Core Physicians (center in photo) and Neil Meehan, DO, Chief Physician Executive (second from right in photo) represented Exeter Health Resources to accept the award during the Foundation’s annual meeting last month.
Over the past several months the Advisory Council has been instrumental in promoting a welcoming, gender-inclusive culture throughout the health system. It does so by soliciting feedback and participation from patients and staff who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. For example, Dr. Kelly now offers primary care services and programs specific to this underserved population.
“Some LGBTQ individuals have unique health care needs,” says Dr. Kelly. “Our goal is to provide dignified, non-judgmental services to help ensure those needs are met with compassion and expertise.” Dr. Kelly’s practice is located at the Core Physicians office at 21 Hampton Road in Exeter.
The Council has also worked to update the organizations’ websites to include information about these service offerings and to reflect gender-inclusive language and photos. Other significant achievements include removing the words “male” and “female” from Hospital patient wristbands, changing all single-stall bathrooms at Exeter Hospital to be gender-neutral, and providing ongoing education to staff.
The LGBTQ+ Advisory Council includes staff from across the organization as well as patients and staff from community agencies.