The Equitas Health Institute’s virtual 2020 Transforming Care Conference on LGBTQ+ HIV & Health Equity opens Wednesday, October 14 with Jessica Halem’s presentation of “Mourn the Dead & Fight Like Hell for the Living.” As a stand-up comic, Halem shared the stage with Margaret Cho and opened for Lady Gaga at NYC Pride. As the former inaugural LGBTQ
Outreach & Engagement Director at Harvard Medical School, Halem oversaw double-digit growth of first year students who self-identify as LGBTQ and secured a $1.5M grant to integrate sexual and gender minority health equity into Harvard’s curriculum.
“I spent 15 years working as a professional stand-up comic. There is no better training and experience than comedy and improv skills for diving into uncharted waters with optimism and compassion,” explains Halem. “I love to teach others in healthcare how basic improv techniques can sharpen their communication skills. The challenges we face are too important – we must learn new tools to reach new audiences.”
The theme for this year’s Transforming Care Conference is The Invisibles. In its fifth year, the Transforming Care Conference will focus its attention on how public health narratives about LGBTQ+ and HIV communities often exclude lesbians, bi & pansexual people, transgender men & women, non-binary people, people living with disability or mental illness, people of color, asexual people, and Black & Latina cisgender women. In “Mourn the Dead,” Halem will map important points in the history of American LGBTQ+ health to underscore how the healthcare system continues to fail patients and providers, encouraging participants to become part of the solution.
“I believe we can all be agents of change to ensure LGBTQ+ patients receive better care,” declares Halem. “No matter where we work in the vast healthcare system, we can be the change.”
The 2020 Transforming Care Conference on LGBTQ+ HIV & Health Equity is sponsored by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Gilead, University Hospitals, Columbus Public Health, Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery, United Healthcare, Planned Parenthood, and OhioHealth.
Columbus Underground serves millions of readers across Columbus and Central Ohio. Founded in 2001, our forward-thinking, editorial news platform grants readers 24/7 online access to current events and happenings in their ever-changing city.
All content copyright ColumbusUnderground.com unless otherwise credited.
Subscribe to the Columbus Underground YouTube channel for exclusive interviews and news updates!