LGBTQA Health Conference:

Addressing Tobacco and Behavioral Health Disparities - 

Promising research-based practices      


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Pittsburgh Mariott North, Cranberry Township PA 16066


Co-sponsored by PA Department of Health, PA Department of Human Services, Adagio Health, Northwest Pennsylvania Tobacco Control Coalition, and Tobacco Free Allegheny.



This year's skill-based conference will focus on issues related to behavioral health and the LGBTQA community.



Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and asexual (LGBTQA) individuals face challenges when accessing and receiving care that may lead to preventable adverse health outcomes. A Healthy People 2020 report found LGBTQA youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide, more likely to be homeless, and have a higher risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In addition, LGBTQA populations have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use. Transgender individuals experience a high prevalence of HIV/STD, victimization, mental health issues, and suicide. Gay and bisexual men have higher chances of major depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder compared to other men.


In 2015 the National Survey on Drug Use and Health added two questions on sexual orientation (sexual identity and sexual attraction). That year's study found that sexual minority adults were more likely to have any mental illness, serious mental illness, and/or major depressive episodes. During the study year, 26.4% of those identifying as sexual minority adults received mental health services compared to 13.7% of adults identifying as sexual majorities. While this was the first year for the data collection by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse ad Mental Health Services Administration), additional years of data will allow them to track this issue over time.


The Centers for Disease Control recommends the perspectives and needs of LGBTQA people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities. In addition to considering the needs of LGBTQA people in programs designed to improve the health of entire communities, there is also a need for culturally competent medical care and prevention services that are specific to this population. Social inequality is often associated with poorer health status, and sexual orientation has been associated with multiple health threats. Members of the LGBTQA community are at increased risk for a number of health threats when compared to their heterosexual peers [1-5]. Differences in sexual behavior account for some of these disparities, but others are associated with social and structural inequities, such as the stigma and discrimination that LGBTQA populations experience.

Poster Session

This year, we have added poster sessions. Please note, at this time, the deadline to submit has passed. Those selected will be notified shortly.


Target Audience

Physicians, health practitioners, tobacco prevention and cessation specialists, mental health and additional professionals, pharmacists, county health department professionals, nurses and other chronic disease specialists who work with health education and LGBTQA populations across Pennsylvania.



Registration and light refreshments begin at 9:00 AM on June 12th; introductions and opening address begins at 9:30 AM.


A full schedule of presenters and events will be released shortly.


Cost & Registration

There is no charge to attend; however, because seating is limited we ask that you register as soon as possible. Registration will close on June 1, 2018.




If you have already registered and are no longer able to attend, please contact Breanna Adams.



room block with reduced conference rate has been made available at the Pittsburgh Marriott North (attendees are responsible for individual hotel charges.)


Continuing Education Credits

The LGBTQA Health Conference is approved for 11.5 Credit Hours (1.5 CEUs.) For additional information, please click here.


Continuing Education co-sponsored by Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC.


Handouts will be distributed via email prior to the conference. Please print handouts if you prefer to have hard copies the day of the conference. Supplemental resource material will be provided on flash drives at the conference.


Learning Objectives

By the end of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify behavioral risk factors that are associated with the LGBTQA community; particularly increased tobacco use, mental health and substance use disorders, and the risk of suicide.
  2. Identify resources and practices to utilize in order to increase engagement and inclusion of the LGBTQA community and reduce health disparities.
  3. Become familiar with the 2018 results of the PA LGBTQA Health Needs Assessment Survey.


2018 Presenters include: (Click here for presenter bios)

  • Dr. Rachel Levine
  • Dr. David Kelley
  • Erica Smith, ME.d
  • Amy Shanahan, MA
  • Dr. Antione Douaihy
  • Dr. Kristen Eckstrand
  • Dr. Vernon Nathaniel
  • Dan Lavallee, MPM
  • Frank Vitale, MA
  • John Blosnich, PH.D, MPH
  • Thomas Ylioja, PH.D
  • Adrian Shanker
  • Chuck Albrecht, MBA
  • Andrew Spiers, MA

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