LGBTQ Center for Health Excellence

One in ten people in the U.S. are LGBTQ, and this population will grow as that number is twice as high among young people. LGBTQ people experience widespread discrimination resulting in adverse physical and mental health. Public health is key to addressing these inequities; however, the field lacks the infrastructure to prepare learners to have the necessary skills to protect the health of this marginalized population and to be leaders in the field.

The LGBTQ Health Center of Excellence is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute.

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About the center

Mission

Advance health equity for LGBTQ communities.

Approach

Working with partners across Harvard and around the world, we focus on training to prepare the next generation of LGBTQ health leaders, research to expand the evidence base of LGBTQ health, and dissemination to inform policy­makers, healthcare providers, and the larger public about how to improve LGBTQ health most effectively.

Leadership

Brittany Charlton

Brittany Charlton
Founding Director, LGBTQ Health Center of Excellence; Associate Professor, Harvard Chan School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute

“Ongoing discrimination and an unprecedented wave of legal, political, and societal threats is inflicting severe damage on the mental and physical health of LGBTQ people. We need more funding for research to document the resulting health inequities, more training for health professionals to recognize and address the unique needs of the LGBTQ community, and a stronger focus on developing and promoting policies to support the equality, dignity, and humanity of every human being. The need is urgent, and the time is now.”

Affiliates


Training

Student Scholarships
The LGBTQ Health Equity Fellowship supports tuition for students focused on LGBTQ health. Inaugural fellows: Inkyu Kang, MPH candidate in Quantitative Methods; Ishan Saha, MPH candidate in Health Policy

Mentoring Program
To address the needs of professionals focused on LGBTQ health, we have adapted some of the best mentoring practices and evidence-based curricula into three parallel programs—one for faculty mentors, one for emerging mentors including fellows, and one for student mentees. The next faculty, fellow, and student cohorts will be selected in 2024–2025.

Courses
Several courses led by faculty at Harvard Chan School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute already include LGBTQ health content. New courses—such as those focused on LGBTQ research methods—are in development for the upcoming academic year.

Service or Innovation Projects
Funding is available to support community-engaged service projects or innovation projects. Inaugural awardees will be selected in 2024–2025.

Faculty Development Training
In teaching, faculty must ensure their curricula, pedagogy, and classroom environment are LGBTQ-inclusive. A new training is in development that will help faculty learn to do this most effectively.

Dean’s Working Group
With support from the Dean’s Office at Harvard Chan School, this working group includes members from across the School and aims to advise leadership on fostering inclusivity and enhance training, research, and dissemination opportunities related to LGBTQ health. Inaugural leaders: Brittany Charlton and Jarvis Chen, faculty; and Kimberly Harris, staff.

Research

Field Practice Projects
Funding is available to support field practice projects related to LGBTQ health. This could include support for a practicum, field immersion, or fieldwork. Inaugural awardee: Nepantla Canizzo

Research Projects
Funding is available to support research projects related to LGBTQ health. Inaugural awardee: Payal Chakraborty

Conference Stipends
Conference stipends support students and postdocs presenting, organizing, or moderating at professional conferences. Inaugural awardees: Claire Wynne, Landon Hughes

Dissemination

Public Events
There is a rich tradition of public events in the center’s two parent organizations. Examples include the 2023 Harvard Chan School Alumni Weekend and the 2022–2023 seminar series on LGBTQ reproductive health. Several new events are in development for the coming year.

Community Gatherings
Connecting our students, staff, faculty, and postdocs to one another through community gatherings can help reduce isolation, provide support and resources, allow people to find role models, and form a sense of community and belonging. Several events are in development for the coming year.

LGBTQ Health Voices Fellowship
This fellowship aims to increase the impact of LGBTQ public health leaders by amplifying their voices and shaping the public discourse. Fellows will learn to engage the public about LGBTQ health issues including via op-eds, social media content strategy, and more. Inaugural fellows: Ash Alpert, Nicholas Andrysiak, Tabor Hoatson, Ivan Hsiao, Anna Hu, Jade Lin, Jack MacDonald, Sarah McKetta, Corey Prachniak, and Tina Purnat.

Commencement Awards
The LGBTQ Health Equity Award recognizes the work of students, faculty, staff, or postdocs who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting and improving health for LGBTQ people. The award is presented annually during the School’s awards celebration at Commencement. Inaugural winners: S. Bryn Austin, faculty; Colleen Reynolds, student.


Additional Harvard Resources in the Longwood Medical Area

School-wide offices
Harvard Chan Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Harvard Medical School Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs

LGBTQ AND ALLIED FACULTY AND STAFF
Harvard Chan School
Harvard Medical School

Medical education
Harvard Medical School LGBTQ Societal Theme

Student groups
Harvard Chan Student Sexuality and Gender Association
Harvard Chan Intersex and Trans Justice Student Society
Harvard Medical School LAHMS


Support us

Join us in achieving health equity for LGBTQ people. We have several ways that you can contribute.

“We need to cultivate a new generation of LGBTQ leaders. We need their expertise, innovation, and fresh perspectives to enact real change. There’s an opportunity at Harvard to make a lasting impact on our community.” Michael Dillon, Former PwC Partner and Chief Diversity Officer

Make a gift through Harvard Chan School

You can give online using the “Select a Fund” menu. Select the entry titled “Other” and enter LGBTQ Health Center of Excellence in the text box. Give via Harvard Chan

Make a gift through Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute

An online form will be available soon.

Donations by check are accepted

Please send your check made out to either parent institution with ‘LGBTQ Health Center of Excellence’ in the memo and send it to: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute Inc, Attn: Misc. Cash Receipts Department 4th Floor, 1600 Crown Colony Drive, Quincy, MA 02169

Additional opportunities

You can also support us by donating stock, making a bequest, creating a charitable annuity or trust, or directing a donor-advised fund or family foundation grant. Start by contacting Robin Hoey at Robin_Hoey@hphci.harvard.edu.

Partner with us

Please contact us at lgbtqhealthexcellence@hsph.harvard.edu to find out how to partner with us.