To educate, empower, and support all who advocate for the physical, emotional, and psychological wellness of LGBTQIA communities.
The Southern California LGBT Health Conference was created by a group of healthcare professional students across Southern California looking to bring attention to the healthcare needs of LGBT communities in Southern California. The purpose of this conference is to educate students and healthcare professionals in LGBT health issues by providing a forum for the discussion of new trends in LGBT health care issues and for cultivating inter-professional networks.
The Southern California LGBT Health Conference was conceived from a lack of health care education during a time of ongoing health disparities in LGBT communities. Health disparities among LGBT people, especially in communities of color have continued to persist despite advancement in medical care:
- LGBT adults are less likely to have health insurance coverage
- LGBT adults are more likely to delay or not seek medical care or get prescription medicine
- Lesbian and bisexual women are less likely to receive mammograms
- LGBT adults are more likely to have cancer
- LGBT youth are more likely to be threatened or injured with a weapon in school.
- LGBT youth are more likely to be overweight.
- LGBT youth are more likely to experience psychological distress and need medication for emotional health issues
- LGBT youth are more likely to have suicide ideations and attempt suicide.
Krehely, Jeff. “How to close the LGBT health disparities gap.” Center for American Progress (2009): 1-9.
Buchmueller, Thomas, and Christopher S. Carpenter. “Disparities in health insurance coverage, access, and outcomes for individuals in same-sex versus different-sex relationships, 2000-2007.” American Journal of Public Health100.3 (2010): 489-495.
Medical schools in the U.S. for example only allocate an average of 5 hours of curriculum to LGBT health issues – with HIV/AIDS being the predominant topic. In a recent study, nearly three quarters of 132 surveyed medical schools in the United States and Canada gave themselves grades of “fair,” “poor,” or “very poor” for the integration of LGBT content in their curricula.
There is clearly a need to train competent and compassionate health care practitioners in LGBT inclusive healthcare if we wish to address systemic issues in health care disparities affecting LGBT communities. Of increasing importance is the recognition of health care delivery systems through interdisciplinary teams of health care practitioners involving: physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, social workers, and public health. Southern California is in the prime position to lead the way in LGBT health care. The region is home to many vibrant and highly diverse LGBT communities and is also home to a large number of health professional schools, students, and professionals – all with unmet needs in LGBT inclusive care. We believe our annual conference is an important step forward to addressing the gap in LGBT health education to provide future health practitioners the tools, skills, and abilities they need to improve the health of LGBT communities.
Member institutions include students from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Keck School of Medicine at USC, Western University School of Health Sciences School of Osteopathic Medicine, UC Irvine School of Medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine, UC Riverside School of Medicine .
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