The Los Angeles LGBT Center announced Monday it is participating in a research project focused on addressing the health needs of transgender and gender non-conforming people.

The project is known as “Four Corners: TGNC Health Research Advisory Network,” and other participating organizations include Chicago’s Howard Brown Health, Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C. and Houston-based Legacy Community Health.

Led by Howard Brown Health, Four Corners will focus on leading an expansion of TGNC health research, as the four organizations currently serve more than 10,000 TGNC-identified patients.

“The Los Angeles LGBT Center is proud to be a partner in creating Four Corners,” said Dr. Ward Carpenter, co-director of the Center’s Health Services. “This groundbreaking project will bring together researchers, clinicians, and — most importantly — community members to develop a patient-led TGNC research agenda. We applaud the network’s vision and its commitment to ensuring that this vulnerable and marginalized population has a direct voice in guiding research to reduce the dramatic health disparities suffered by TGNC individuals.”

According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey on transgender health disparities, nearly one in four respondents reported they did not seek health care due to their fears of being mistreated as a trans person; one-third did not seek a health-care provider when needed because they could not afford it; and 40 percent had attempted suicide in their lifetime, which is nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S. population, the LGBT Center said.

“Four Corners will establish a new standard in transgender research by including community voices from the start,” said Andie Baker, vice president of Howard Brown Health’s Center for Education, Research, and Advocacy. “The groundbreaking partnership will ensure new research addresses what TGNC people need to make health care more relevant to their lived experience. This is urgently needed, as the TGNC community experiences disproportionate health disparities.”

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