Founder, Dr. Nowaskie in partnership with his husband and co-founder, Jordan Nowaskie, launched what was then OutCare Indiana after they noticed a recurring theme amongst the LGBTQ+ community in Indiana: Most of them did not see doctors because they feared the physician would ask them questions about their sexuality and judge them for their response. Access to quality healthcare is often difficult for the LGBTQ+ community. Culturally-competent healthcare organizations and providers do exist nationwide but are typically hard to find, especially in rural communities. In an effort to improve LGBTQ+ healthcare by making such resources transparent, OutCare Health was founded in May 2015.
OutCare is the nation’s first comprehensive resource for LGBTQ+ healthcare offering a provider and healthcare resource directory, mentorship, medical education reform, and provider training. OutCare’s most notable endeavor, the OutList, is an online, nationwide directory of healthcare providers who identify as culturally-competent in the care of the LGBTQ+ population.
The OutList aims to improve access to quality care and is easily searchable by those looking for a new healthcare provider. OutCare’s Mentor List recognizes individuals who are willing to serve as mentors and offer consultation of school, career, research, or other academic pursuits for students, staff, and faculty. OutCare’s provider training and medical curriculum reform aim to educate and set a new standard in LGBTQ+ healthcare. OutCare supports the public, academic, and medical communities. At the community level, OutCare distributes informational brochures and pocket references to students, faculty, staff, providers, organizations, and clinics. OutCare also staffs community events to educate the public of the resources available to them. At the academic level, OutCare works with curriculum committees to implement educational reform and provide annual cultural competency training. Through these projects, OutCare promotes awareness, provides up-to-date information and education, and increases the cultural competency of students and providers so that the future healthcare workforce can deliver better LGBTQ+ care.
OutCare has been an invaluable database for communities and providers alike. Impact so far includes 2,000+ OutList providers across 50+ specialties in all states, 500+ nationwide public resources identified, 100,000+ educational materials distributed, 10,000+ monthly website visits, and 15 state-specific teams formed. In light of the pandemic, we launched our OutTalk series dedicated to discussing important issues in LGBTQ+ healthcare. This series focuses on diversity and intersectionality, bringing together community members, leaders, and healthcare organizations. OutTalk aims to address barriers and gaps in care through critical and innovative thinking.