What is an LGBTQ+ Champion?
What does it mean when a health care practitioner is considered an LGBTQ+ Champion?
“The LGBTQ+ Champion designation is a way for LGBTQ+ patients to establish primary, specialty, surgical and mental health care with providers that have specific knowledge and experience in caring for LGBTQ+ patients and their families,” says Emery Chang, MD, UCLA Health LGBTQ+ medical director and co-director of LGBTQ+ education at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
At UCLA Health, there are more than 60 LGBTQ+ Champions, or primary and specialty care providers that participate in ongoing education and professional development in LGBTQ+ health topics.
“In general, LGBTQ+ health care has historically and structurally been neglected by medical education and in aspects of health care delivery,” says Dr. Chang. “Having a LGBTQ+ Champion provider directory is really important for all health care organizations because it allows people that are looking for health care to find quality, holistic and potentially more affirming care for patients and families.”
This designation is visible to anyone seeking appointments and care.
Dr. Chang says UCLA Health is a leader in providing affirming care for LGBTQ+ patients.
“Throughout public health or other health care systems, you may not find anti-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation or gender identity, and it creates a barrier to essential care,” he says.
The LGBTQ+ Champion designation is just one of many programs and services offered for LGBTQ+ patients.
Gender Health Program: Provides primary and specialty care for general health needs and a broad range of gender-affirming treatment options.
EMPWR Program: Promotes well-being and resilience in LGBTQ+ patients of all ages. This program includes an expert team of psychiatrists and psychologists providing mental health resources, including individualized, family and group counseling.
CARE Center: In 1981, UCLA physicians reported some of the first cases of what we now know as AIDS. Since then, UCLA Health has conducted clinical trials to find the best HIV/AIDS treatments, medications and prevention tools. Simultaneously, the CARE Center runs a fellowship program for physicians who want to specialize in HIV medicine.