Students lead effort to improve health care for LGBT patients
By Alex Branch
Health profession students from across the state will convene at UNT Health Science Center to discover more effective ways to meet the health care needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients.
The UNTHSC student organization Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Ally Alliance organized the Out for Health Conference Feb. 1-2 in the Medical Education and Training Building.
The conference is held annually at different Health Science Centers around the state.
“The LGBT community has gained a great deal of acceptance in recent years but health care is an area where more progress is needed,” said Matthew Mitts, a conference organizer and second-year student in the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
While some LGBT patients encounter deliberate discrimination in health care settings, the majority of challenges they face are likely fueled by a more benign lack of awareness by providers, Mitts said.
Studies show that many providers don’t ask patients about their sexual orientation because it is a sensitive issue and they don’t want patients to feel singled out, he said. However, studies also show the majority of LGBT patients don’t mind discussing their sexual orientation with providers.
“In fact, sexual orientation can be important to their health care,” Mitts said. “We hope to promote ways for health care providers and their patients to discuss sexual orientation in a manner in which both are comfortable.”
Learn more about UNTHSC’s people and programs by signing up for the weekly HSC Insider email.
The conference will begin with a social event Feb. 1 and include city leaders active on LGBT issues. The following day will feature 14 speakers divided into two tracts — one focused on adolescents and adults; the other on pediatrics and geriatrics.
Already more than 150 people have registered. UNTHSC student organizers partnered with INCEDO, the university’s accredited office of continuing education, to offer continuing education credits to professional health care providers who attend.
The conference organizing committee includes TCOM students Marcus Villarreal, Ava Moorhead, Michael Petrus-Jones, Katelyn Tate and Anusha Hussain.
By Sally Crocker In light of new state guidelines issued last week, HSC public health expert Diana Cervantes offers some tips on how to conduct July 4th gatherings and other summertime activities with friends and family. The advice comes after the Texas Governor’s Office closed bars and ...Read more
Jun 30, 2020
By Sally Crocker New HSC faculty member Charlotte Noble, PhD, MPH, and her family moved from Florida to Fort Worth in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when little was yet known about the reach of the virus, its outcomes and how long it would last. Months later, as states like Texas...Read more
Jun 29, 2020
Mayor Betsy Price and HSC share a mission to create solutions for a healthier community. Price, first elected Mayor in 2011, has consistently promoted strategies and activities that improve the fitness, health and well-being of Fort Worth residents. Her devotion to elevating the city’s over...Read more
Jun 29, 2020
By Diane Smith When Patricia Gwirtz, PhD, FACC, FAHA, retires from her post as Associate Dean of Education at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences on June 30, she leaves the campus with bragging rights – she has taught physiology to every medical student since 1982. Dr. Gwirtz also...Read more
Jun 29, 2020