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Union County to Host ‘Pledge and Protect’ Training Workshop for Older LGBTQ Adult Service Providers

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UNION COUNTY, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to host Garden State Equality’s ‘Pledge & Protect’ entry-level training workshop “Introductions to the Health Care Needs of the LGBTQ Population” free for organizations and professionals serving older LGBTQ adults.

Presented in collaboration with Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Services and Division on Aging and Disability Resource Connection’s (ADRC), Garden State Equality – New Jersey’s largest LGBT Organization – will present two sessions (10:00am-12:00pm and 2:00pm-4:00pm) on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at Warinanco Sports Center in Warinanco Park, located at 1 Park Drive, Roselle. Registration is required online at www.gardenstateequality.org/pledge_uc. Please note that this workshop is specifically for service providers of older LGBTQ adults.

“The Freeholder Board is steadfast in our commitment to support the strength of our diversity in Union County and offer programs that improve the quality of life for all of our residence,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “At a time when the current administration in Washington is manipulating the Department of Health and Human Services to betray the department’s true mission by using religious beliefs to discriminate against women and LGBTQ patience, we – county, state and municipal elected officials - have to be proactive and aggressive in our efforts to support and protect our LGBTQ community in Union County.”

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Garden State Equality Health & Wellness Coordinator, Bianca Mayes offers an engaging and interactive workshop that features four parts – defines LGBTQ terms, explains the historical and current climate/context, describes general health disparities and needs, and identifies best practices for inclusion. The first of a three level program for organizations and professionals who serve older LGBTQ adults, each support staff or professional who completes the workshop will have the opportunity to sign a pledge to take affirmative steps through their organization, business or practice to make their programs more welcoming to LGBTQ older adults. Certificate will also be provided to participants upon completion of the workshop.

“According to SAGE, a recent national survey of LGBT older adults found that overwhelmingly respondents felt they could not be open about their LGBTQ identities with service providers,” noted Freeholder Al Mirabella, liaison to the Freeholder’s LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee. “This collaboration with our Office of LGBTQ Services, Division on Aging and Disability Resource Connection and Garden State Equality to present a workshop specifically addressing some of the health and wellness cultural competency concerns is vital to making health and wellness services accessible to older LGBTQ adults in our community. The Freeholder Board looks forward to welcoming two full workshops of service providers for LGBTQ older adults interested in learning more about how to better support their patients.”

Union County’s Department of Human Services, Division on Aging and Disability Resource Connection’s (ADRC) goal is to promote wellness, independence, dignity and choice for seniors and their families. It is one of 670 “Area Agencies on Aging” nationwide established under the federal Older Americans Act.

Through assessment, research, analysis and strategic collaboration, the Office of LGBTQ Services, under the Division of Outreach and Advocacy in the Department of Human Services, provides essential support that impacts the quality of life for LGBTQ people and allies through community building and human services.

For more information about the Union County Office of LGBTQ Services, contact Danni Newbury, Coordinator, at 908-527-4742 ordnewbury@ucnj.org, or visit the Union County government website atucnj.org.

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