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Saint Louis University to Host First Interprofessional Transgender Health Education Day

Saint Louis University (SLU) faculty and graduate students from the School of Medicine, Doisy College of Health Sciences and Medical Family Therapy Program are partnering with the Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) to host Interprofessional Transgender Health Education Day on October 22 in the SLU School of Medicine and Education Union.

As public discourse on transgender and gender diverse identities has been increasing across the country, the faculty members in the SLU Transgender Health Collaborative found there was still a lack of clinical education and training regarding the ability to provide gender-affirming healthcare. The Interprofessional Transgender Health Education Day event was designed to not only educate students in clinical education programs at SLU about gender-affirming healthcare, but also to measure how effective seminars such as this can be on this topic.

The scope of the Interprofessional Transgender Health Education Day will have a broad impact as it includes training 265 future healthcare providers – 180 medical students, 15 medical family therapy students, 40 speech-language pathology students and 30 dietetic interns. Dr. Linsenmeyer spoke about the potential impact of the initiative and future possibilities. 

“We have the potential to create and disseminate a quality curriculum that can be adapted by institutions around the country,” Dr. Linsenmeyer said. “Ultimately, our vision is to train future clinicians to provide excellent healthcare for the transgender community.”

Dr. Linsenmeyer is also eager to host this event through a meaningful partnership with MTUG, an organization that is already making a huge impact in the local transgender community.

“The part we are most excited about is the opportunity to deliver this education in partnership with a community-based organization by and for the transgender community, the Metro Trans Umbrella Group,” Dr. Linsenmeyer said. “Their vision is to unite the trans community and promote education and visibility in the St. Louis metro area.”

SLU Interim Vice President in the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement Amber Johnson, Ph.D., explained how initiatives such as this are embracing inclusivity and care for all.

“When we begin to think about inclusive excellence at SLU, we must be mindful of the ways the statement, ‘race, gender, and class,’ in that order, obfuscates our most marginalized SLU communities, particularly people who are gender-expansive and disabled,” Dr. Johnson said. “The Interprofessional Transgender Education Day is a giant leap in the right direction for ensuring that our gender-expansive SLU family feels whole, welcome, seen and valued.”

Interim Dean and Interim Vice President for Medical Affairs of the SLU School of Medicine Christine Jacobs, MD, believes this type of education is important for future healthcare providers.

“The Interprofessional Transgender Health Education Day is a key opportunity for future health professionals to develop interest and knowledge in the unique healthcare needs of the transgender community,” Dr. Jacobs said.

The SLU research team will the results and their assessment of the event in the future. In addition, the team eventually hopes to expand the initiative to include even more healthcare disciplines.

The event is being funded by a grant from the Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions (ASAHP). The Interprofessional Task Force of the ASAHP and the University of Cincinnati announced SLU as one of three recipients of a grant from the Interprofessional Innovation Grant Program, which aims to support interprofessional collaboration research. The research team from SLU includes Whitney Linsenmeyer, Ph.D., RD, LD, Nutrition and Dietetics; Katie Heiden-Rootes, Ph.D., LMFT, Medical Family Therapy Program; Theresa Drallmeier, MD, Family and Community Medicine; Rabia Rahman, Ph.D., RD, LD; Emily Buxbaum, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good