On Saturday, September 22, at San Francisco's Green Room, Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project (FAP), will receive an Achievement Award from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA). The award will honor Dr. Ryan's work as Executive Director of the San Francisco-based Family Acceptance Project (FAP), a community research, intervention and education initiative to study the impact of family acceptance and rejection on the health, mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Dr. Ryan's research has found that family acceptance can greatly reduce LGBT youth's risks of depression, suicide, drug abuse, and HIV infecton.
Dr. Ryan will receive her award at GLMA's Gala Banquet & Achievement Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the LGBT community. Recipient individuals or organizations are honored for exemplary commitment to improving the quality of health services for LGBT people; for improving the professional environment for LGBT healthcare workers; or for contributing significantly to gains made by the LGBT civil rights movement.
The Achievement Awards are part of GLMA's 30th Annual Conference, running from September 19-23 in San Francisco. For full details on the conference including a list of Dr. Ryan's fellow honorees, see the press release below.
WHO: Caitlin Ryan, the Director of the the Family Acceptance Project, comes from a background as a clinical social worker, having worked worked on LGBT health and mental health since the 1970s, and AIDS since 1982. After her clinical training with children and adolescents at Smith College School for Social Work, Caitlin pioneered community-based AIDS services at the beginning of the epidemic, working at AID Atlanta and serving as Washington, DC's AIDS chief; initiated the first major study to identify lesbian health needs in the early 1980s; and has worked to help LGBT youth since the early 1990s.
Throughout her work with LGBT youth in the 1990s and early 2000s, Dr. Ryan noticed a significant gap in the existing materials and approaches that had been developed to support LGBT youth: by and large, they did not acknowledge that parents could be a source of support for their LGBT children, and that many parents simply were not aware that their attempts to protect children from a cruel and discriminatory world were being received by their children as rejection. Thus, in 2002, she developed the Family Acceptance Project with colleague Rafael Diaz, with the goal of promoting family members as a vital resource that could reduce their LGBT children's risk of suicide, depression, drug abuse, HIV infection, and more.
Among the key materials FAP has developed to advance this goal are the pamphlet Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Children. This pamphlet - currently available in English, Spanish, and Chinese, and being translated into further languages - encapsulates FAP's approach to families - one which Dr. Ryan often describes as "meeting people where they are." Supportive Families informs parents and those who work with children on: how family acceptance reduces an LGBT child's health risks; which specific rejecting behaviors can do the most harm to an LGBT child; which accepting behaviors can most benefit the child; and which resources to use and how to find them.
Supportive Families has been highly acclaimed. In May of 2012, it was included in the Best Practices Registry of the US' two leading suicide prevention organizations - the first ever such designation for suicide prevention materials aimed at LGBT youth. Recently, FAP released a new version of Supportive Families aimed specifically at Mormon families, featuring LDS language and religious terms. A version aimed at Jewish families is in development.
WHAT: GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality will hold its annual conference in San Francisco, from September 19 to 23, 2012. At the conference, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)and allyhealth professionals will attend workshops and plenary sessions on a wide range of health and healthcare issues affecting the LGBT community, and will have the unique opportunity to network with fellow professionals from across the United States and other parts of the world.
This year's conference will weave political and social issues through sessions addressing LGBT health and policy. Keynote speaker Mary Wakefield, Administrator of the Health Resources Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services, will share how the Affordable Care Act and other federal policies address LGBT health needs, and Grant Colfax, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, will share the latest on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and efforts to implement the strategy. Prior to joining the White House, Colfax was the Director of HIV Prevention in the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Other plenary topics and speakers include:
Health and Wellness of Older People who are LGBT and/or People of Color organized by SAGE — Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders
the Evolution of Transgender Health and Practice for the Stanley Biber Memorial Lecture on Transgender Health organized by UCSF's Center for Excellence for Transgender Health
GLMA's Newly Released Recommendations for LGBT Inclusion in Health Professional Education
Groundbreaking Results of a Longitudinal Study of Planned Lesbian Families for the Kimberly Clermont Memorial Lecture on Lesbian Health
How Health Professionals Can Support the Needs of LGBTQ Youth
A Case Study of 5 States, including California, Implementing Health Care Reform in Ways to Address the Health Needs of LGBT People
the Family Acceptance Project, the first evidence-based family intervention model of wellness, prevention and case for LGBT children and adolescents
The Annual Conference also will feature workshops and original research on a broad range of LGBT health topics.
GLMA's Gala Banquet and Achievement Awards Recognition on Saturday, September 22, at the Green Room of the San Francisco War Memorial, will honor six pioneers for their outstanding contributions to LGBT health and the LGBT community. The Kinsey Sicks"America's Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet"will perform at the Gala Banquet. (Ben Schatz, a founder and member of the Kinsey Sicks, is also a past GLMA executive director.) The GLMA Achievement Awards are sponsored with a generous contribution from Pfizer.
The 2012 GLMA Achievement Award recipients are:
Peggy L Chinn, RN, PhD, FAAN, Professor Emerita, University of Connecticut School of Nursing
Bobby Kelly, MD, AMSA/GLMA Achievement Award Recipient
Dennis J McShane, MD, Founding GLMA President
Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, Founder & Director of the Family Acceptance Project
Lyon-Martin Health Services & Dawn Harbatkin, MD, Executive Director/Medical Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights
For more information, including a complete schedule, see the official GLMA 30th Annual Conference site at www.glma.org/conference. Aetna and Cigna are lead sponsors of the GLMA Annual Conference.
GLMA 30th Annual Conference
September 19-23, 2012
Westin San Francisco Market Street
50 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
For a complete list of speakers, award recipients and programming, see www.glma.org/conference.
Registration will be available onsite.
GLMA is the world's largest association of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)and allyhealthcare professionals. Since 1981, GLMA has been working to ensure equality in healthcare for LGBT individuals and healthcare professionals through advocacy, education, research and referrals. Please visit our website at www.glma.org .