Arkansas Conference for Medical Sciences to Focus on LGBT Health Open to Providers & Public

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uams_smBOSTON, Mass.—Harvey Makadon, M.D., Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School will deliver the keynote lecture at “Providing Optimal Health Care for LGBT Patients,” a day-long conference at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) focusing on health care disparities in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population. The free conference takes place Jan. 16 and is open to health care professionals and the general public. It is sponsored by The Fenway Institute, the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs, and the Arkansas Primary Care Association.

“LGBT people have disproportionately high rates of tobacco use, HIV infection, encounters with violence and homelessness, elevated rates of depression and suicide attempts, and reduced access to preventive health services,” Makadon said. “A critical step in dealing with these disparities is to educate providers on how to provide optimal care for LGBT people.”  [pullquote]“LGBT people have disproportionately high rates of tobacco use, HIV infection, encounters with violence and homelessness, elevated rates of depression and suicide attempts, and reduced access to preventive health services,” —Harvey Makadon, M.D., Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute. [/pullquote]

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., will welcome participants, then Billy Thomas, M.D., vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, will give an overview of LGBT health and health care.

“The focus of the conference will be on the health disparities among the LGBT community,” Thomas said. “Our target group is primary care physicians, but we want to open up the conference to the public in order to educate people on the wide health care gap that exists in the LGBT population.”

The conference includes several panel discussions featuring Daniel Knight, M.D., chair of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine; Sara Tariq, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine; Gary Wheeler, M.D., branch chief of infectious diseases for the Arkansas Department of Health; Kate Stewart, M.D., professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the UAMS College of Public Health; Shannon Starr, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at Louisiana State; Jeffery Neal, M.D., from the Department of Psychiatry in UAMS College of Medicine; and Craig Wilson, director of Access to Quality Care at Arkansas Center for Health Improvement. [pullquote]“Our target group is primary care physicians, but we want to open up the conference to the public in order to educate people on the wide health care gap that exists in the LGBT population.”[/pullquote]

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute 10th floor Walton Auditorium. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. To preregister and to see an agenda, visit cda.uams.edu. For more information call the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs office at (501) 686-7299 or Kim Blann at (501) 686-7358. Direct information, registration and conference agenda can be found here.

UAMS is the only comprehensive academic health center in Arkansas, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. 

The National LGBT Health Education Center provides educational programs, resources, and consultation to health care organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, culturally responsive, cost-effective health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The Education Center is a part of The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, based in Boston, MA, and works with a national network of faculty, advisors, and collaborators representing medical and public health universities, community health centers, and leading government and non-profit organizations.

[From a News Release]

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