Over 250 scientists, public health professionals, students, and healthcare providers braved the rain for the 5th Annual National LGBTQ Health Conference. With the goal of creating a dialogue between researchers and practitioners and fostering professional development and networking opportunities, the conference focused on six themes, namely HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Adolescent Health, Violence and Trauma, Suicide and Mental Health, and Intersections of Race/Ethnicity and LGBTQ Health. Over a quarter of the attendees received travel scholarships meant to increase the participation in science by traditionally underrepresented groups, such as women, transgender and gender non-conforming people, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities, among others.
Conference attendees enjoyed keynote addresses from Dr. Laura Kann, Senior Scientist and Chief of the School-Based Surveillance Branch in the Division of Adolescent and School Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Ilan Meyer, Williams Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy at The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, as well as plenary sessions featuring Dr. Karen Parker, Director of the NIH’s Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office, and Dr. Bianca Wilson, Rabbi Barbara Zacky Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute.
On Friday and Saturday, participants had the option of attending sessions on a wide range of topics including “Contemporary Issues Around LGBTQ Adolescent Health,” “HIV Related Stress, Disclosure and Prevention,” and “Trans and GNC Health & Well-Being.” Saturday’s poster session featured over 75 posters showcasing LGBTQ health topics from a wide variety of perspectives. Throughout the weekend, attendees used the hashtag #LGBTQHealthConf to post photos, pose questions, and share presentation takeaways.
Early career professionals, scholars, and graduate students were invited to attend a Professional Development Institute hosted on Sunday at Center on Halsted. Attendees could choose to join the service track or research track for presentations, workshops, and lunch with industry experts, funded scholars, and NIH program officers.
The conference was sponsored by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, The Calamus Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Northwestern Medicine, Third Coast Center for AIDS Research, and Northwestern University Office of the Provost. More photos will be uploaded and the conference schedule will remain on the conference website.
ISGMH would like to thank Center on Halsted, conference speakers and volunteers, and the sponsors for their support in making this conference possible! ISGMH looks forward to continuing to bridge research and practice in order to improve the health and wellbeing of sexual and gender minority communities.