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Niagara County Pride to hold 2nd annual countywide LGBTQ and Elder Care Health Fair

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Wed, Mar 4th 2020 07:50 pm

Niagara County Pride (NCP) will host its second annual LGBTQ and Elder Care Health Fair from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the John A. Duke Senior Citizens Center, 1201 Hyde Park Blvd., Niagara Falls.

The event will look to showcase providers and local services available to both the LGBTQ and elderly communities. More than 40 providers participated in last year’s inaugural event. 

“We were thrilled at the overwhelming turnout and willingness of medical providers to be part of our health fair last year,” Niagara County Pride facilitator Ronald Piaseczny said. “One of the biggest challenges facing the LGBTQ community in Niagara County is knowing where to go to access medical care that is affirming of LGBTQ consumers/clients and finding care that understands the unique needs of LGBTQ individuals.“

“This year’s health fair focus is on providing information and promoting awareness around the health needs of two demographic populations, both unique in their own way, but there is clear overlap in many regards.”

A press release stated, “When it comes to elderly LGBTQ individuals, Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE) advises that studies show there are currently 1 to 2.8 million older LGBT adults in the U.S., with that number reaching 6 million LGBT older adults by 2030. Older LGBTQ adults may also have lived wholly or partially closeted lives, therefore coming out later in life poses new challenges such as estrangement from friends and family, lacking social support networks, and facing discrimination in health care/housing/community services.”

The following providers are scheduled to appear at the March 12 event: Eastern Niagara Hospital, Planned Parenthood, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, U.S. Social Security Administration, Venture Forthe Inc., Elderwood health, United Healthcare, Niagara County Department of Social Services, Niagara County Department of Mental Health and Community Health Center of Niagara.

Niagara County Pride – a satellite program of the Pride Center of Western New York – has served as the only LGBTQ social organization for Niagara County for several years. The program has hosted several successful and free events, which have been open to all LGBTQ and ally community members. Past events have included a wedding ceremony in Niagara Falls State Park and Pride Street Festival (June 2019), an annual Pride Summer Picnic, and an annual all-inclusive Thanksgiving dinner.

Monthly meetings – held 6:30-8:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at John A. Duke Senior Citizens Center – have served as a community resource for individuals to be able to have a safe space and accepting place to meet one another, share stories, and build lasting connections. In addition to monthly meetings, the program plans monthly brunch get-togethers at local restaurants, and other social events.  Niagara County Pride also offers monthly LGBTQ support group meetings in Lockport. 

For more information and/or to be a vendor, contact Piaseczny at [email protected].

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