Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief, 6/23/2023

June 23, 2023
For Immediate Release
June 23, 2023
Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief 
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Taking Pride in Your Health

LGBTQ persons should have equal access to the same quality and breadth of healthcare as everyone else, but sometimes their healthcare provider may not know the unique healthcare concerns that LGBTQ people face, or worse yet may not care. Among older members of the community, past experiences with discrimination and prejudice may lead them to believe they cannot get affirming and culturally competent healthcare. In turn, check-ups and treatment for what may seem to be minor health issues are put off until they become something much more serious. 

A recent study, for instance, which was shared at an annual meeting in Chicago of The Endocrine Society, found transgender people who went to an emergency room for care tend to be sicker than otherwise similar cisgender people, and they were much more likely to be admitted to the hospital once they were seen in the ER. 

The good news is that when access to transgender-friendly healthcare is improved, the health of the transgender population is improved. Unfortunately, fear of discrimination from some medical providers is still a common experience among transgender people, who often avoid getting care until they are very sick. Everyone deserves a healthcare provider who they can be open and honest with and free from fear of stigma or bias. To find LGBTQ+ healthcare providers, visit the LGBTQ+ Healthcare Directory, a free, searchable database.  

Water Safety

Just in time for the start of summer, Chicago Park District pools will be opening for the season this Friday, June 23. Spending time at the pool or the lakefront is always a great way to beat the heat, but it’s always important to keep yourself safe in the water as well.  

  • Make sure you only swim in designated swimming areas at appropriate times and when a lifeguard is on duty.  

  • Use the buddy system at all times – Don't go swimming alone or completely unsupervised, and always call for help if you see someone in trouble.  

  • Stay aware of your surroundings, and be careful of other people, structures, or currents in the water, and make sure to apply adequate sunscreen when spending prolonged time exposed to direct sunlight.  

To register for a water safety training session or check the schedule of your local Chicago public pool, visit the Chicago Park District website.  


Helping Chicagoans Beat the Heat

Heat Watch 2023 is starting to sizzle! Our community heat-mapping study campaign is underway, with partners across the City hosting screenings of the film Cooked over the next month as a conversation starter about the 1995 heat wave and the impact of extreme heat events in different neighborhoods. The next screening will take place at Stone Temple Baptist Church on Monday, June 26. 

For those still looking to be a paid resident scientist and join "activation day" on the hottest day of the year, opportunities are still available, with the first of two in-person training options taking place on Sunday, June 25. Watch for additional engagement activities on the Heat Watch 2023 webpage

In related news, CDPH’s Director of Environmental Innovation Raed Mansour is a co-author of an op-ed in today’s Chicago Sun-Times on the impact of intensifying heat.  

Quick Hits!

  • Did you know, CDPH makes no barrier individual and family therapy accessible to every Chicago resident aged 6 and up? These services are available regardless of ability to pay, immigration status, or insurance status. Residents can call 312-747-1020 to get connected to care.