Home Forums General Discussion LGBTQ Health Care App

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    John Christopher

    Hola! I’m brand spanking new (like 18 seconds new) to this site, but I want to gauge interest in a project that is dear to me.

    The Idea:
    LGBTQ health care services in the US are hugely variable in quality, cost, and customer satisfaction. Add in the issue of insurance marketplaces, trans care, politics, and the urban/rural divide in access… and tons of LGBTQ folks aren’t getting the health-related care that they need. Fortunately, the Ivy medical schools are starting to add concentrations in LGBTQ health (https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/find-a-program-or-service/lgbt-health), and the NIH is putting research money into this field (https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/plans-advancing-lgbt-health-research).

    I want to work on an online app that utilizes databasing/mapping to give queer folks a platform to find and rate doctors in their area. Think Yelp for finding queer-friendly doctors. A number of executives and hospital CIOs in Philly have expressed interest in this project from a data perspective, and I think it would be good to get some Queer Coders on-board if anybody is interested.

    About me:
    I have a masters degree from Penn, in Philly. My thesis was in LGBT access to equitable healthcare (I have a lot of metrics and systemic knowledge of healthcare and healthcare planning), and I worked for a year in an LGBT health care center in Philadelphia. I am teaching myself to code via Harvard’s CS50 on EdX and a number of online tutorials; also open to suggestions from anybody. Currently my skill set is oriented toward the healthcare market, business development, and socioeconomic insights. Coding will be crucial in getting this project off the ground, so I am learning and reaching out to the community.

    1) Is this an appropriate question for this forum?
    2) Who else is passionate about this? What are your skill sets and/or interests?
    3) Which language(s) should I learn for a first-time web app? (I’m leaning toward Ruby on Rails for ease)
    4) Does anybody want in on this project?

    I see this as a potential beginning to a business in healthcare information for our community, and it could prove to be a powerful tool in shaping the healthcare landscape for the country. It could also turn out to be a big waste of time. So hey, I see this as an adventure in learning and making friends.


    This is definitely a project I would have interest in, at the very least, giving input on.

    I guess to give a quick rundown… I’m an expert C# developer with over ten years experience, and have touched on nearly every part of the .NET stack. Also advanced with Javascript including various frontend UI frameworks like knockoutjs. Also have experience in the health care field designing and building secure scaleable API-based applications.

    When it comes to my engagement with the queer community… I went to Eastern Michigan University for psychology where my studies were focused on the topic of gender and sexual minorities. My goal was to be a social psychologist studying the various GSM communities. I’m passionate about social justice issues and building a more compassionate world. I’m a queer, genderqueer, relationship anarchist; a rabble rouser, a spiritual humanist, a burner, a hippie, and all around dismisser of absolutes. 🙂

    As to what things I would end up recommending you learn for this project… That would be highly dependent on the talent pool that you can attract to support the needs of the application. FWIW, you can’t go wrong with focusing on learning javascript first and foremost, since you’d be learning a language that can be used as a basis for both frontend and backend application development. Within javascript, Node.js is a quite powerful and capable on the backend side if you aren’t able to bring in a person with an existing expertise in another language, and on the frontend ReactJS is currently the place to be for designing interactive web-based applications like what you are looking to develop.


    John Christopher


    First, sincere apologies for my insanely late reply. It’s a long story, but I ended up taking a job a couple states over while also applying to PhD programs out West. Life happened and I put everything non-essential on a back-burner while arranging the necessities. My PhD applications are finalized, I’m settled into the new living arrangements with job in-hand, and am now back up and running with this project. (Finally)

    Second, thank you for the insights! I’ve been slowly dabbling in JS for the past few months, and am about to seriously jump into this now that my schedule is opening up again. For me, the web development aspects of this seem to balance equally with the social/statistical product that this would create. So while I learn JS, Node.js, and ReactJS, I would absolutely be down to discuss your experiences with the GSM communities and your expertise. Either here or via some other form of social media.

    Similarly, I’d be happy to share some of my work. I’m currently constructing a Map (via Google) of the locations for LGBT equitable healthcare facilities. Linking to this data via Google Maps seems like the most intuitive route for the present.

    Additionally, it seems natural to brainstorm the importance of information for the LGBTQ communities in choosing healthcare services. Depending on your time commitment and interest presently, discussing a 1000-mile analysis/road-map could be good.

    Let me know if you’re still interested in this project. Apologies again for being so insanely late to reply.


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