UAMS Hosting Jan. 16 LGBT Health Care Event

By Nate Hinkel

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute 10th floor Walton Auditorium. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. To preregister and to see an agenda, visit For more information call the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs office at (501) 686-7299 or Kim Blann at (501) 686-7358.

The conference, “Providing Optimal Health Care for LGBT Patients,” is sponsored by the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs, Arkansas Primary Care Association and The Fenway Institute.

It features keynote speaker Harvey Makadon, M.D., director of the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute in Boston and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. His lecture, “Taking a History of Sexual Health – Recognizing the Risk,” will be at 9 a.m.

“LGBT people have disproportionately high rates of tobacco use, HIV infection, encounters with violence and homelessness, elevated rates of depression and suicide attempts, and reduced access to preventive health services,” Makadon said. “A critical step in dealing with these disparities is to educate providers on how to provide optimal care for LGBT people.”

UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., will welcome participants, then Billy Thomas, M.D., vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, will give an overview of LGBT health and health care.

The conference includes several panel discussions featuring Daniel Knight, M.D., chair of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine; Sara Tariq, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the UAMS College of Medicine; Gary Wheeler, M.D., branch chief of infectious diseases for the Arkansas Department of Health; Kate Stewart, M.D., professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the UAMS College of Public Health; Shannon Starr, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at Louisiana State; Jeffery Neal, M.D., from the Department of Psychiatry in UAMS College of Medicine; and Craig Wilson, director of Access to Quality Care at Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.

“The focus of the conference will be on the health disparities among the LGBT community,” Thomas said. “Our target group is primary care physicians, but we want to open up the conference to the public in order to educate people on the wide health care gap that exists in the LGBT population.”

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.