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Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Awards Saint Louis University $25,000 President’s Grant

by Debbie Dugan


The Jesuit concept of caring for the whole person, cura personalis, informs and inspires Saint Louis University to prioritize the entire community's well-being. That’s why, in 2020, after SLU and campuses across the country experienced an uptick in mental-health crises, especially for LGBTQIA+ individuals, an interprofessional group of faculty gathered to discern how they could best answer the call. The result: SLU’s Transgender Health Collaborative (THC).

Thanks to the recent $25,000 President’s Grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the collaborative will now achieve its purpose more effectively through clinical services, research, and education by supporting SLU’s Interprofessional Transgender Health Education Day (ITHED). Designed by faculty members and LGBTQ community partners, the annual ITHED event provides foundational knowledge on transgender health and gender-inclusive communication for SLU students enrolled in clinical education or training programs. The grant funding will add more disciplines, an interprofessional case discussion and clinical skill development to the 2024 event. The grant will also support SLU faculty members interested in including transgender health-related content in their courses.

Held for the first time in 2021 and again in 2022 and 2023, ITHED has opened opportunities for essential dialogue and a sense of belonging for the transgender community at SLU, according to its organizers.

“Students and faculty have discussed the importance of cultivating a sense of belonging through advocacy at placement sites, in classes and throughout the medical system as a whole,” said Shelly Dalton, Ph.D., assistant professor in SLU’s medical family therapy program. “Outness for gender-diverse students and faculty has increased, which has been directly tied to the safety felt at ITHED by faculty and students who attended the event.”

For more information supporting SLU’s Transgender Health Collaborative, contact Whitney Linsenmeyer at 314-977-8523 or