Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nurses HEALE Curriculum

Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) has developed ground-breaking curriculum for nurses, teaching cultural competency in the care of LGBT older adults. The Health Education About LGBT Elders (HEALE) curriculum is funded through a HRSA grant. Under this grant we are able to bring this curriculum to a variety of health care and educational settings in Illinois and present it to nursing staff and students, as well as any other disciplines who would like to attend.

(Click the image for more info) 

This opportunity is particularly timely given the recent attention that LGBTQ health disparities are receiving from the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A June 29, 2011 fact sheet states, “Negative health outcomes for LGBTQ people may be due to a variety of factors, including… a lack of cultural competence in the healthcare system.” The HEALE cultural competency curriculum for nurses brings us a step closer towards closing gaps in health care for older LGBTQ adults.

After three years of working within the Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program under a grant from HRSA, we have developed a curriculum available to nursing professionals across the nation. Based on feedback to date, over 90% of participants agree that they gained new insights through participation. Evaluations show, on average, a knowledge gain of 15%. Some of the participants comments are as follows:

  • “Really enjoyed the history surrounding the LGBT community. Presenter was excellent, upbeat, true, and clearly understood the importance of healthcare overall.” – RN

  • “Increased respect for the transgender community! Having a bilingual speaker is great!” – RN,

  • “Extremely helpful program – very up to date and needed in our population!” – RN

  • “Never disappointed with this lecturer! She is fabulous. Engaging and well-versed on the topics.” – MD


Some highlights of our presentations to date include the following:



  • St. Louis University Geriatric Summer Institute, Department of Geriatrics - Plenary session describing the curriculum and its development and workshop presenting a condensed version of the curriculum.

  • Rush University College of Nursing (2 sessions) - Presented as an elective (no class credit) course for nursing students. 38-56 students attended each session and we have presented to the subsequent incoming class of nursing students.

  • Illinois Masonic Medical Center (nurse residents) - Presented to the staff and the RN residents.

  • Loyola University Medical Center (2 sessions)

  • Chamberlain College of Nursing (all-day seminar) (3 sessions)

  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (2 sessions) - Presented to social workers in radiology/oncology hospice care.

  • University of Chicago (2 sessions)



  • Saint Louis (Missouri) Veterans Administration Medical Center - We were invited to present to the hospital staff as a result of a VA employee attending our workshop at the St. Louis University Geriatric Summer Institute.

  • Capt. James Lovell Federal Health Care Center (2 sessions)

  • Hines Veterans Administration Medical Center - We presented to the staff of the hospital and six outpatient facilities beginning in January 2012.

  • Red Robin Naval Induction Center - We were the first LGBT cultural competency training done for a naval institution in the entire country

  • John J. Stroger Hospital of Cook County(2 sessions)

  • The Rothstein CORE Center

  • Chicago READ Mental Health Care Center - This facility sought HBHC specifically to provide cultural competency training for their entire staff.

  • James R. Madden Mental Health Care Center



  • The Glens Health Care Network - This network elected to make our presentation mandatory for all staff at their seven nursing/rehab facilities.

  • Benchmark Home Health Care




Download the PDFs of this training. The topics of the six “Nurses HEAL Elders” modules are:  

The curriculum is a series of six one-hour sessions and is offered at no cost to the hosting facility or the participant.
Nurses can earn 1.0 Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) contact hour for each
  in-person session they attend.

Train the Trainer Programs



If you are interested in accessing the nurses’ HEALE “Train the Trainer” program or would like to arrange for us to come to your facility to train your staff, please contact:

Cecilia Hardacker, RN
Geriatric Curriculum Manager/Trainer
(773) 572-5123

Howard Brown Health Center
4025 Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60613