Diversity of Patients: What does this mean in Guilderland, New York?
Often, when considering the term diversity, we tend to think of populated areas having a combination of different races and ethnic backgrounds. Although this is undoubtedly a significant component of diversity, there are several other elements to take into consideration. Relative to the average US city, Guilderland is more diverse, the majority race in Guilderland is still caucasian or white (69.7 %). Asians are the second most popular race, at 20.5 % of the population. Other races, including Blacks and Hispanics, make up much smaller percentages (4.9 % and 2.7 %), and therefore, the overall demographic or racial distribution of Guilderland could be described as Caucasian and Asian.
Consequently, there are no particular services and facilities for people of color or minorities within Guilderland, but rather the concept of diversity takes on a distinct connotation. Sexuality/gender identity, religious beliefs, and disabilities are focused on in greater depth. Therefore, these group identities become of central importance in the Guilderland community, resulting in a plethora of pertinent healthcare resources/services. Let us delve deeper into the healthcare provisions that are available for each group.
Resources and Services for the LGBTQ Community
The Pride Center in the Captial Region is the closest place in Guilderland if an individual who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community seeks to acquire a more personable and understanding form of care. Located on 332 Hudson Ave in Albany, the Pride Center’s mission is to promote the all-inclusive well-being of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and genderqueer people. For example, on their “resources” section, there is a series of listed health resources for a person who may be struggling with HIV or AIDS: the Albany County Department of Health, the Albany Medical Center AIDS program, and the NAMES program. They also list additional links and resources for LGBTQ individuals who have battled domestic violence and need relief/ support, such as the Equinox Domestic Violence Services. Besides these few concrete examples, their resources section contains various places/centers that can guide a confused LGBTQ person who may feel uncomfortable addressing their standard primary care physician/provider. Furthermore, the presence of their youth groups can indeed reassure an LGBTQ member, such as trans talk groups, women’s pride groups, men’s pride groups, and other mental health facilities.
Religious and Spiritual Services
The St. Peter’s Hospital has a reasonably extensive health plan that involves spiritual or religious care. The hospital’s ultimate end goal is to foster a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere for a patient during hospitalization. With this in mind, it is highly integral to have culturally competent and intelligent medical personnel who will value and adhere (to the best of their ability and within hospital limits) to a patient’s religious background and religious beliefs. The St. Peters Health Partners is a primarily Catholic institution, and thus, most of their special services apply to Christians and, more specifically, Catholics. To illustrate, they have something referred to as, The Anointing of the Sick, which is a spiritual service directed to Roman Catholic patients that aims to strengthen these patients’ mind and soul during their health crises. Another Roman-Catholic specific service that St. Peters offers is the Sacrament of Reconciliation that celebrates the conversion and empowerment of God’s forgiveness in a public worship setting. Despite the lack of definite or specified religious services for Muslims, Hindus, and other less common religious faiths, St. Peters is still very religiously tolerant/accepting. It allows the visiting of all religious leaders/other clergies who may aid patients in their hospital adjustment process.
Disability Centers and the COVID-19 Obstacle
The Center of Disability Service possesses several close locations (for disabled adult services) both within and near Guilderland:
- 437 New Karner Rd, Albany
- 1164 Western Ave, Albany
- 6141 State Farm Rd, Guilderland, 2 Charles Park Rd, Guilderland
In terms of adult services, the center attempts to supply adults with disabilities with sufficient resources and new living ideas to create a more meaningful life and provide them with a stronger sense of independence and purpose. For child services/care, they teach and educate children with disabilities about critical life skills while equipping them with support regarding physical/intellectual obstacles. The St. Margaret’s Center is an exemplary model of a center that offers 24/7 medical care for chronically ill or disabled children and has an array of medical provisions ranging from dental services and skilled nursing care to various therapies.In the light of COVID-19, St. Margaret’s center has established an “All Hazards Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan” and a “Pandemic Emergency Plan” that strictly covers remits like infection control, monitoring, surveillance, staff education, isolation, and more. In an effort to heighten safety measures and the safety/well-being of all staff, patients, and visitors, the center has promised to implement and enforce four fundamental policies:
- Screening all visitors who come to the residence for illness and who have traveled to high-risk parts of the US to determine if they are eligible for visitation.
- Each facility will have a sign-in/screening point of entry for ALL visitors.
- Restricting outings involving highly populated areas.
- Limiting visitation from non-critical persons and regularly screening the workforce.
All in all, albeit Guilderland may not be perfect, but, it is still working towards a brighter future by ensuring there are the proper healthcare resources for diverse populations.