Achieving Health Equity: Best Practices for Working with the LGBTQ Community in the Healthcare Setting

A Presentation in Honor of National Professional Social Work Month 2011

Sponsored by The Department of Social Work Programs

Darrell P. Wheeler, PhD, MPH, ACSW
Associate Professor and the Associate Dean for Research and Community Partnerships
Hunter College School of Social Work


There is evidence that hospitals, and more broadly healthcare delivery systems, are challenged by issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in the provision of competent, equitable, and evidence-based care. Developing and sustaining best practices for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Questioning) individuals and their families is a growing arena and one which has received increased focus from professional and accreditation bodies. The focus of this presentation is to support staff’s ability to understand the needs of and incorporate optimal care for LGBTQ persons.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand why it is important to address LGBTQ issues in the healthcare setting.
  • Describe and briefly demonstrate examples of resources available to healthcare providers for assessing LGBTQ health needs.
  • Assess common barriers to optimizing healthcare for LBGTQ individuals and their families/significant others 
  • Identify individual and organizational skills that promote inclusive and patient-centered care for LGBTQ individuals.


About Darrell P. Wheeler, PhD, MPH, ACSW
Dr. Wheeler is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean for Research and Community Partnerships at the Hunter College School of Social Work. His research and publications focus on the identification and exploration of individual and communal resiliency in HIV prevention and intervention, with particular emphasis on African American and Black gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. He has served on the NYC Prevention Planning Group and on review panels for the CDC, NIH, NIMH, and the University of California; he currently serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, International Journal of Men’s Health, and Journal of HIV/AIDS in Social Services. He is a Fellow in the New York Academy of Medicine and a member of the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Social Workers (National Vice President 2009-2012).


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