Campus Invited to Presentation on Improving LGBT Patient Care

By Nancy Dockter, MPH
Diversity Process Coordinator
Center for Diversity Affairs

Harvey Makadon, MD, 
Director of the National LGBT 
Health Education Center

Next week Harvey Makadon, M.D., director of the National LGBT Health Education Center at the Fenway Institute in Boston and clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, will be at UAMS. This will be a return trip for Makadon, who visited UAMS last October.

The campus is invited to hear his presentation, “Providing Optimal Care to LGBT Patients: What Clinicians Need to Know,” at 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, in the Jo Ellen Ford Auditorium in the Reynolds Institute on Aging, with broadcast to the Arkansas Area Health Education Centers and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The event is sponsored by the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine (DFPM) and the Center for Diversity Affairs. It is part of DFPM Grand Rounds and is approved for continuing education by the Arkansas Nurses Association.

The purpose of Makadon’s visit will be to meet with medical center leaders about possible ways patient care at UAMS could be improved for patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. In addition, Makadon will meet with academic leaders to discuss the development of curricular content that addresses the health concerns and disparities affecting LGBT patients.

According to the guide, Improving the Health Care of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People (The Fenway Institute, 2012), which Makadon co-authored, addressing these issues are important for two reasons. In the United States, about 9 million people (or about 3.8 percent of the population in 2010) identify as either lesbian, gay bisexual or transgender, making it likely that most clinicians do encounter LGBT individuals. In addition, due to anti-LGBT bias or discomfort towards LGBT patients on the part of providers, as well as structural-level factors (e.g., lack of insurance for same-sex or domestic partners), these patients are in general marginalized from the health care system, which in turn contributes to the poorer health many experience.

Makadon is the lead editor of The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health, published by the American College of Physicians in 2007.  In addition to writing numerous articles and chapters of LGBT health, he was on the Institute of Medicine’s LGBT Health Committee, which in 2011 published The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. He is currently the LGBT Advisor in Harvard Medical School’s Office for Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs. Makadon is a recipient of the Community Service Award and the Harold Amos Diversity Award at Harvard Medical School.

Improving the Health Care of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People and other resources on LGBT health care can be found on the website of the National LGBT Health Education Center.