From Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine:

Putting Pride in Focus

KPSOM takes part in monthlong celebrations recognizing LGBTQ+ community

July 01, 2022

Photo illustration of Pride flag

Throughout June, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine students, faculty, staff, and leadership recognized Pride Month by participating in events and activities that brought together members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to inform, entertain, and celebrate.

  • On June 6, KPSOM MedPride held its Pride Month opening celebration and lunch. The special event, for the entire school community, featured remarks from Vivienne Hau, an admissions interviewer and Ophthalmology Student Interest Group Co-Advisor. Attendees took part in quilt-making, a photo booth, and music by queer artists on the rooftop of the Medical Education Building.
  • The 2022 KPSOM Pride Month 5K Charity Run/Walk, sponsored by the MedPride Student Affinity Group and the Student Well-Being Committee,  was held on Saturday, June 11 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and was open to all KPSOM community members. Instead of paying registration fees, participants were encouraged to make donations to local non-profit organizations supporting LGBTQ+ communities in the greater Los Angeles area, with the goal of raising $5,000 in donations.
  • Founding Dean and CEO Mark A. Schuster, MD, PhD, advocated for an end to the FDA’s longstanding policy banning gay men from donating blood in an editorial published in USA Today  on June 13, and marking World Blood Donor Day on June 14. A pediatrician and father of two, Schuster shared his personal story of how he and his husband were unable to provide a blood transfusion for their child due to the discriminatory policy. “It wasn’t because we didn’t have the right blood type, but because of the type of people we are: gay men,” Schuster wrote. He urged the FDA to remove the ban as the nation experiences the worst blood shortage in more than a decade, and to follow science-based reforms that allow more people to safely donate to the blood supply.
  • The Dean also used his biweekly schoolwide emails in June to promote The Outlist, a KPSOM tool that provides visibility to LGBTQ+ members of the school community; to share a New York Times article  on John Fryer, a psychiatrist whose masked speech as “Dr. Henry Anonymous” at the 1972 American Psychiatric Association convention paved the way for homosexuality to be removed from the list of mental disorders; and to recommend the Netflix series Heartstopper , which follows the relationship between a pair of teen boys, and features storylines related to intersectionality, being a transgender woman, and being a lesbian couple in high school, and also intense topics like bullying, homophobia, and coming out.
  • On the evening of June 24, MedPride hosted its QT Coffeehouse Open Mic Night at the Medical Education Building. Attendees shared poetry, music, and community.
  • The KPSOM Speaker Series welcomed Craig Thompson, CEO of APLA Health, for a presentation co-sponsored by MedPride and the LGBTQ faculty and staff affinity group, along with the Office of Academic and Community Affairs, on June 27. Thompson’s talk included an overview of the history of the AIDS epidemic and homophobia in medicine.