GLMA’s 30th annual meeting witnesses Lebanon-MASH’s first

This September I attended GLMA‘s 30th Annual Conference in San Francisco, California. It was as expected rich, eye-opening, insightful, motivational and educational. This year’s conference, hosted in the city “where it all began”, was the largest to-date with nearly 450 attendees and over 60 educational sessions distributed over 5 days and offering up to 19 CME (continuing medical education) credits.

As usual I was Tweeting and Facebooking live. Check my official Page‘s timeline for details (just scroll down to September 2012) or view photos from the event here.

During the conference, GLMA announced their new tag line. The Gay & Lesbian Medical Association will now be known as GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, or simply “GLMA”. “The shift recognizes that all health professionals and our supporters have a role in improving the health and well-being of LGBT people and that GLMA is an organization that welcomes and serves everyone who shares in that belief” stated the post-conference newsletter.

This year six countries were represented including Canada and Lebanon. One Lebanese medical student was flown from Lebanon to attend this conference sponsored by a generous donation from two Lebanese physicians. This student along with 7 Lebanese physicians, including myself, convened on the side of GLMA to launch the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health: Leb-MASH. I would like to thank GLMA president Dr. Desiray Bailey and executive director Dr. Hector Vargas for meeting with founding members to discuss potential  collaboration between GLMA and Leb-MASH. I will share more details about this ground-breaking organization once structuring matures and its work commences.

The Annual Conference in Numbers*• 445 Attendees
• 139 Speakers
• 46 Concurrent Workshops
• 23 Oral Research Presentations
• 18 Poster Research Presentations
• 9 Plenary Presentations
• 19 Credit Hours
• 19 Exhibitors
• 10 Formal Networking Events
• 36 States represented
• 6 Countries represented
• $13,000 raised for the Lesbian Health Fund*Source: GLMA Newsletter

“These are not just numbers though. They represent increased knowledge of LGBT health and better care for LGBT individuals. Participating in the 30th Annual Conference provided you with the latest in LGBT health information and the tools you need to make a difference in the lives of the LGBT individuals and families for whom you care” stated the post-conference newsletter. You can view the full program from the conference here.

As usual, the conference ends with GLMA’s signature event, the Gala Banquet & Achievement Awards Recognition. This year the gala was hosted at the Green Room in the San Francisco War Memorial. GLMA recognized and honoured six individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the LGBT community and their exemplary commitment to improving the quality of health services for LGBT people. You can view a list of this year’s recipients and see photos from the evening by clicking here.

Next GLMA meeting is scheduled for September 18-21, 2013 in Denver, CO, USA. It will again host the second annual meeting for the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health. If you or someone you know are interested in advancing the health of sexual minorities in Lebanon, or the sexual health of all Lebanese, I urge you to join GLMA’s 31st annual meeting and attend Leb-MASH’s second annual meeting. Be part of the change, get the tools to enable you to make a difference in the lives and health of many.

Categories: Health, Human Rights

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