In 2009, a group of healthcare providers from UC Davis came together to raise awareness about their patients who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+). These patients felt unsafe coming out to doctors and nurses who didn’t know how to treat LGBTQ+ people – or worse, didn’t want to treat them. These providers rejected the notion that our patients should have to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area to access basic, culturally sensitive care.
This group later became the Vice Chancellor’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, and spearheaded efforts to make UC Davis Medical Center the first academic health center to incorporate sexual orientation and gender identity data into its electronic medical record. Efforts have continued to increase training for staff and services for patients. As a result, UC Davis Medical Center has been designated a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign every year since 2011.
The Advisory Council hosted its first Improving OUTcomes conference in 2015 at the UC Davis Health campus in Sacramento. The response from our local community was outstanding. Over the course of two days, the conference brought together physicians, researchers, community organizers, and students of all disciplines to increase their understanding of LGBTQ+ healthcare.