LGBTQ+ Health Competency: Takeaways from the 2018 Improving OUTcomes Health Conference

Chao-Yin Chen, Ph.D.

What an invigorating conference we had October 19-20, 2018!  Over a year ago, the Vice Chancellor’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council planning committee was charged to organize the 4th Annual Improving OUTcomes LGBTQ+ Health Conference with an overall goal to inspire, collaborate, and transform.  The committee delivered.  The Friday evening kick-off program set the stage for an energizing and inspiring conference with special guests Vice Mayor Steve Hansen, Rob Stewart from KVIE’s Rob on the Road, and the world famous Dr. Marci Bowers who specializes in gender confirmation surgeries.

Our plenary speakers, Drs. Mitchell Lunn and Juno Obedin-Maliver, spoke about The PRIDE Study, the first and much needed nation-wide large-scale, longitudinal health study of the LGBTQ community.  They highlighted the importance of understanding LGBTQ people in order to transform LGBTQ health to better serve the community and reduce health disparities.

In addition to plenary sessions, this year’s conference offered 4 tracks: medical, communication, community, and institution.  These four tracks encompassed speakers from 15 institutes and community groups including three medical groups/clinics, five academic health systems, three centers, two State Universities, one public health institute, and the national Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA).  To close the conference, Dr. Jennifer Potter used her own journey to professorship to inspire all to be resilience in living the LGBTQ life.

The attendees were an integral part of this successful conference.  With most of the 100+ attendees attending this annual conference for the first time, the stakes were high in delivering an exciting and meaningful conference.  The planning team did an excellent job in creating an exciting education program as well as providing friendly and welcoming service with attention to all details for the best attendee experience.

The bar has been set high for the next  annual Improving OUTcomes Conference but we are already working hard in raising the bar even higher for next year’s conference.  Stay tuned!

– Chao-Yin Chen, Ph.D.

Dr. Chen is a Professor in the department of Pharmacology and currently serves as the Chair of the Vice Chancellor’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council at UC Davis Health.

Testimonials from this year’s attendees:

“This year was far superior.”

“I became more receptive to the range of goals of people I might treat.”

“Helpful for bringing new skills to my patient interactions.”

“I now know more inclusive ways to begin the conversation with people about their pronouns or sexual orientation for the future when it may be relevant to me in my occupation. I also feel more confident about my ability to bridge the gap between different cultures and how this may affect their view on orientation, gender and mental health in general.”

“I plan to include my pronouns in my email signature. Incorporate some of the ideas I learned about creating a welcoming environment for our LGBTQ+ clients and staff.”

“Helped me feel more confident and knowledgeable to provide competent care, lot’s of resources and new networking connections if I don’t know.”

Have any suggested topics for next year’s conference?

Comment below or forward your suggestions to the planning committee at!

About the Improving OUTcomes LGBTQ+ Health Conference

Learn more and subscribe to be notified of next year’s date at


To bring together health care and allied service providers throughout the Sacramento region to improve health outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) people and their families. We invite emerging leaders and established experts to a welcoming space to share innovative ideas, teach critical leadership skills, and form new networks with other agents of change.


This conference will bring together health care providers from the Greater Sacramento area to build transformational leadership and community with the common goal of culturally competent care for all LGBTQ+ people.


  1. Understand the basic medical needs of LGBTQ+ patients, especially those who identify as transgender and/or gender-nonconforming.
  2. Identify steps to educate and counsel colleagues and administrators on LGBTQ+ cultural competency to embed system wide progress toward more LGBTQ+ welcoming health care institutions.
  3. Increase providers’ awareness of and adherence to LGBTQ+ affirming policies and practices at UC Davis Health and beyond.

By | 2019-07-18T19:21:26+00:00 October 31, 2018|Diversity|