LGBTQA Health Conference

June 12-13, 2018

Breakout Sessions


LGBTQ Youth Behavioral Health Risks: Erica Smith, MEd

This presentation will explore behavioral health risks that LGBTQ youth face in contemporary society, including high rates of substance abuse, depression and anxiety, and suicide. We will cover the reasons this population is at risk for these issues, how professionals can most competently work with LGBTQ youth, and some basic LGBTQ youth 101.


Tobacco Cessation Strategies for Behavioral Health: Frank Vitale, MA

This session will present specific behavioral strategies to help individuals with various behavioral health diagnoses to quit smoking.


Supervising Behavioral Health Clinicians for LGBTQ Competency: Amy Shanahan MS, CADC

In this workshop, we will explore the attitudes, beliefs and the unconscious bias that influence our interactions with LGBTQ+ people and explore the challenges and encounters supervisees may have when building an alliance with others and we will review models to consider for increasing multicultural competencies.


Substance use disorders and HIV/AIDS: Antoine Douaihy, MD and Darren Whitfield, Ph.D

This presentation will focus on risk factors, translating research into clinical practice with a special focus on  HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).


LGBTQ Health at UPMC Health Plan: Dan LaVallee, MS

This session will provide information on how UPMC Health Plan formed an LGBTQ Leadership Work Group with the goal of assessing strategies to maximize awareness and the overall experience for all UPMC members/patients in the LGBTQ community. Included the start of the Health Plan’s member service team for transgender people and specific trainings for direct care workers. We will also discuss future directions, including the idea for a provider/clinic designation as “LGBTQ Friendly” and potential partnership with an online community organization to facilitate discussion and provide the pathway for the best and most appropriate care for all individuals.


Engaging and effectively promoting LGBTQ Youth Health: Sarah Rosso, MA, MPH

This session will explore data and trends from 10 years of working with queer and trans youth in suicide prevention and building a continuum of care to move youth from safety to successful futures.


Suicide risk among LGBTQ communities: Dr. John Blosnich, Ph.D, MPH

Is evidenced-based intervention finally possible?  Over 20 years of research shows that LGBTQ populations have greater rates of suicide ideation and attempt than their non-LGBTQ peers. However, there are currently no evidenced-based prevention or intervention programs for LGBTQ people. Could there be possibilities on the horizon? This presentation will briefly review what we know about risk factors associated with suicide ideation and attempt among LGBTQ people, explain remaining gaps in data – specifically around mortality data, and summarize emerging evidence that can inform prevention and intervention efforts for LGBTQ communities.


Behavioral Health & Wellness in Trans/Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary communities: Andrew Spiers, MS

In this workshop, participants will explore best practices for addressing behavioral health concerns within non-cisgender communities and supporting holistic wellness for TGNC/NB individuals. The presentation will include discussion of social and political issues impacting TGNC/NB folks and strategies for countering marginalization, trauma, and other bio psychosocial stressors. Participants will learn about the basics of harm reduction, housing first, and trauma-informed care approaches in order to support and sustain healthy TGNC/NB individuals, families, and communities.


LGBTQ Older Adults & Issues of Long-Term Care: Dr. Vernon Ian Nathaniel and Sara Keary, PH.D

This presentation will address the physical and mental health of LGBTQ older adults and the role of aging service providers in promoting well-being among this population. Particular focus will be on long-term care settings and issues LGBTQ older adults encounter in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.


Addressing LGBT Mental Health Disparities through Trauma Informed Care: Dr. Kristen Eckstrand, MD, Ph.D

This presentation will review the mental health disparities faced by LGBT individuals with a focus on the contribution of stress and discrimination, and discuss ways of supporting the mental health of LGBT individuals using trauma-informed care.


Moving toward LGBTQ+ Clinical Competency: Nickolas Summa, MA, LMFT

This presentation will help provide understanding of best practice standards and clinical competencies for working with LGBTQ individuals and their families. In this presentation we will explore brief LGBTQ history and how discrimination and stigma are perpetuated throughout society, and more specifically, the healthcare field. This presentation will offer insights and suggestions to how clinicians and healthcare professionals can provide best practice individually and on a systemic, institutional level.


Access, engagement, and treatment of tobacco use by telephone quitlines for LGBT adults: Thomas Ylioja, MSW, LSW PhD Candidate

LGBT adults have lower rates of using evidence-based treatment for tobacco use. Telephone quitlines are a widely available resource and provide free evidence-based counseling and medications to help callers stop smoking. Increasing access to quitlines is key to reducing the tobacco use disparity for LGBT people. This presentation provides an overview of quitline services, as well as engagement and cessation outcomes for LGBT callers in Pennsylvania. Strategies to increase LGBT tobacco users access to the quitline will be discussed.

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