Thanks to everyone who helped make Inclusive Health 2016 such a success! This year was our biggest conference yet, with a turnout of 169 people.

Going through the feedback forms, we’re seeing lots of appreciation and thoughtful suggestions. We’re already thinking about how we can use your comments to make next year’s conference even better!

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Continuing Medical Education accreditation

We are pleased to announce that the Inclusive Health Conference has been accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Alberta Chapter for up to 7 Mainpro-M1 credits.

We will also be happy to provide a Certificate of Completion to any audience member who requests it, including other health professionals who require proof of Continuing Professional Development!

PrEP Update

You may have heard that on Friday, Truvada was approved by Health Canada for an indication as pre-exposure prophylaxis. What this means is that physicians can officially prescribe Truvada for PrEP, and it can be covered by drug plans for this purpose. It will take some time to iron out issues of coverage and access, but this new tool for HIV prevention is moving forward rapidly.

2016 Keynote: Dr. Mark Hull

There’s a lot of buzz about PrEP, but what is it? Pre-exposure prophylaxis, an antiretroviral pill that HIV-negative people can take daily (much like a birth control pill but to prevent HIV), has been around for a few years in the USA. Numerous studies have shown that this medication, when used properly by people at high-risk for HIV, is very effective at reducing the risk of HIV infection.

Dr. Mark Hull is a national expert in HIV medicine, and is working on national guidelines for prescribing PrEP. He is an Infectious Disease attending physician at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, and a researcher at UBC.

With the drug manufacturer applying to Health Canada back in August 2015 for indication of PrEP, this will be entering the market soon as an important tool for preventing new HIV infections. Get the facts on PrEP at Inclusive Health 2016!

That’s a wrap!

Whew! Inclusive Health 2015 has come to a close. Though we’re still combing through surveys and collecting informal feedback, overall the conference went very well!

Everything ran smoothly thanks to our team of volunteers, our speakers knocked it out of the park, and there were some great discussions and questions from our diverse group of participants. Again we’d like to express our gratitude to our sponsors: the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, the Alumni Assocation, and the Medical Students Association.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s conference such a success!

Is LGBTQ health still an issue in 2015?

It’s 2015, and we’ve come a long way in terms of the respect and inclusion of LGBTQ people – both within healthcare, and in Canadian society. So it’s sometimes important to stop and ask ourselves, what do we still have to work on?

Despite strides in acceptance, research still shows disparities in the health of LGBTQ people – higher rates of smoking, lower rates of cancer screening (like mammography and Pap tests), and higher rates of anxiety and depression. There are also significant barriers to healthcare access: for instance, long wait times for transgender care.

There have also been a number of exciting breakthroughs in LGBTQ medicine, representing protective therapies that are not yet mainstream knowledge. These include the emergence of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, and the use of puberty blockers for transgender adolescents (which were validated by a recent study as safe, reversible, and beneficial). But until more doctors and patients are familiar with these treatments, they will remain under-utilized.

Lastly, there are still traces of outdated attitudes within healthcare – heterosexuality assumed as default, gay and bisexual men being seen as promiscuous, and trans people as being defined by their genitals or their chromosomes. Positive media representation is helping to shift these stereotypes, but having conversations about LGBTQ health also plays a part in making people more comfortable with these topics.

Thanks for being a part of the process to improve the health and wellness of LGBTQ people! We hope to see you at the conference.

8 More Days!

With the conference coming up in just over a week, we’re getting very excited seeing our registration numbers climb and getting our programmes ready!

If you haven’t already bought your ticket, there’s still time for online registration through Eventbrite!

Tweet us at @uofasga, or use the hashtag #InclusiveHealthUAlberta – tell us what you’re looking forward to, or what topics you’d like to see included in future years!

Registration is live for 2015!

We’ve been hard at work preparing for Inclusive Health 2015, after last year’s success!

Our second annual LGBTQ healthcare conference will be held Saturday, February 28. We’ve moved to the Matrix Hotel downtown, and hope to fill 200 seats!

We are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker will be Dr. Carys Massarella, an emergency physician and transgender advocate from Hamilton, ON: http://www.alumni.westernu.ca/alumni-gazette/spring2014/finding-your-identity.html

We will be posting our program as soon as the schedule is finalized, so check here for further updates!

Tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/inclusive-health-2015-tickets-15216595246
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/732483816859017/

This event is part of the University of Alberta Pride Week: http://www.prideweek.ualberta.ca/

1000 Thank Yous!

Dear Inclusive Health Supporters,

THANK YOU! Our conference was an immense success thanks to all of those who came out to support our initiative. A special thank you to our title sponsor the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, as well as the Alberta Medical Association’s Emerging Leaders in Health Promotion Grant, the University of Alberta Medical Students’ Association, and the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services.

We had a blast running the event, and we’ve had some great press! We look forward to hosting the Inclusive Health Conference again next year, coinciding with the University of Alberta’s Pride Week.

Here are great articles and interviews that were published about our conference:
University of Alberta News: http://news.ualberta.ca/newsarticles/2014/may/student-led-conference-destigmatizes-lgbtq-health
Edmonton Examiner: http://www.edmontonexaminer.com/2014/05/07/growing-support-for-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-advocacy-committee-suggesting-u-of-a-faculty-of-medicine-to-add-lgbtq-topics-to-curriculum
What’s Up UAlberta on CJSR Radio: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/whats-up-ualberta!-podcast/id821115886?mt=2

Until next year!

Inclusive Health Team

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