To overcome such problems, the Handbook, which is published by Harrington Park Press in New York, covers a wide range of issues that practitioners who serve LGBT communities often encounter, including the inequities in health care services available to sexual minorities; the overt prejudice they often face as well as discrimination, disdain, or outright denial of services; the assumption by health professionals of risk factors based on sexual or gender orientation rather than individual behaviors and health history; the higher incidence of reproductive cancers; the confidentiality of medical records; and employment issues, to name just a few.
"For a health care practitioner who is not a researcher, this type of information is extremely difficult to track down," explained Mr. Shankle. "That is why we assembled the best and brightest people in public health to help us pull together the handbook from the available research." Mr. Shankle hopes that the breadth and scope of research in the Handbook will give practitioners the confidence and competence to give real-life Bree Osbournes and members of other sexual minorities the evidence-based help they need.
Mr. Shankle served as chair of the LGBT Caucus of Public Health Workers, in official relations with the American Public Health Association, from 2001 to 2003, and his research interests include LGBT health issues, HIV prevention in young adults and public health technology integration. He also is a founding board member of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, Education and Research Trust, Inc., and is a member of GSPH's Center for Research on Health and Sexual Orientation.