Sociology News

Transgender Health

Clinic Staff Perspectives on Barriers and Facilitators to Integrating Transgender Healthcare into Family Planning Clinics

By Natalie Ingraham and Israel Rodriguez

Professor Natalie Ingraham co-authored an article on transgender care at Family Planning Clinics and how those clinics are evolving to provide services to the transgender and LBGTG communities.  Professor Ingraham and her co-authors interviewed via phone, and in person, direct clinic staff and got information by attending National Conferences on Transgender Healthcare. 

This research was done throughout 2018 to 2019 and included 25 in-depth interviews with family planning clinic staff across the United States.  Content analysis on the type of care available at clinics from public websites was analyzed using descriptive statistics.

The results of the research show that the actual medical treatment isn’t thought to be hard to perform or learn.  However, challenges occur when staff have to negotiate with insurance companies to get the benefits approved for transgender service including hormone therapy. 

The conclusion is that Family planning clinics should consider adding transgender care based on patient or community demand as an extension of existing expertise in providing patient-centered care.  Clinics should be aware that tool kits and protocols already exist to support integrated transition related care in family planning clinics.

To read the entire article  click here

Peer Mental Health

Professor Wallis Adams published a paper on peer support specialists (PSS). PSSs are a growing part of the mental health services workforce; they are employed in diverse settings and perform a broad range of roles.  Many mental health organizations have adopted a hiring system that includes peer support specialists.  The Veterans Health Administration for example currently employs several hundred peer support staff.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread implications for physical, mental, and economic health and wellbeing.  Nonpharmaceutical interventions, such as quarantine, have led to physical isolation, psychological distress, and misuse of substances.

The final version of the online survey was distributed through the NAPS Listserve, composed of approximately 6,000 individuals.  Among those who responded to the survey item, 66% (5803) reported working full-time before the pandemic.  A total of 109 respondents (9%) reported that they were laid off or lost a job because of COVID-19.

The results suggest that the work of PSS changed to adapt to the pandemic, with most respondents engaged in new job tasks, including using technology and connecting the persons, they served with community resources.  Additional technological training and equipment are needed, because PSS have been required to provide not only telehealth and remote group support, but also technological support to the individuals they serve.

Notably, almost three quarters of respondents reported positive impacts resulting from the pandemic, many related to the adoption on technologies that allowed for the provision of remote support. 

PSS reported using creative and innovative approaches to addressing the increased isolation and other adverse effects of the pandemic and closure of many programs and services.

To read the entire article click here.

Civic Organizations during Covid-19

“How Civic Organizations are helping to fight Covid-19” by Aaron Horvath and Jean Lin

Professor Jean Lin co-authored an article on civic organizations and their contribution to battling COVID-10. Profess Lin and her co-author found that non-profits are helping to sustain communities in this time of Covid-19 crisis.  The authors of this article have researched 800 non-profits.  They vary in their reactions to being vocal, to being quiet, to diminishing the threat of the pandemic.

Many non-profits have turned to virtual services, for example, church services given over the Facebook platform.  Others offer meeting with parents over the internet to give suggestions on things to do with their children while at home.  However, they don’t include how to stay safe from the virus.

Many non-profits have had to repurpose their resources and alter their mission slightly to helping the community in other ways.  For example, making and offering masks and hand sanitizer to first responders.  Non-profits have proven to be critical links in the nation’s public health infrastructure, activated in a moment of crisis to perform duties outside of their founding mandates.

There are disparities in degree or participation civic effort.  Many Non-profits have websites dedicated to Covid-19, but some do not.  Others dismissively refer to the crisis as the “Covid-19 scare”.

Although there are regional disparities, some agencies encourage communities to stay at home, even when it isn’t governmentally mandated.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, civic organizations and their virtual offerings may make the difference between community resilience and devastating collapse. 

To read the entire article click here.

New Three Year Contracts

The three-year contracts for Emilia Ianeva, Thomas Long, and Vibha Puri are up for renewal in academic year 2022-2023. Students, please contact the department chair at if you would like to comment on their performance for the contract renewal.

School to Deportation Pipeline

Dr. Duke Austin and his research colleagues Patricia Maloney and SaunJuhi Verma recently published two articles on the school-to-deportation pipeline. Existing studies evaluate zero tolerance policies and the school-to-prison pipeline. Additional research identifies the role of criminal justice systems in deporting immigrants. Their work bridges these two literatures by discussing how immigrant students navigate the criminal justice system within schools. Using interviews with immigrant students, teachers, and administrators, Dr. Austin and his colleagues address the question: How is the school-to-deportation pipeline maneuvered by stakeholders? Their study identifies how school authority figures react to and even use the fear of the pipeline to (1) either protect students from becoming criminalized or (2) exclude students from standardized exam participation so as to maintain funding sources.

 Please click the following links to read each article.