American Thoracic Society Listserv

Dear ATS Colleague:

The central tenet of my year as president of the American Thoracic Society is strengthening the experience of being an ATS member and creating, or enhancing, communities within the membership. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community is one such group with medical and social needs of relevance to the work of the ATS. Dona Upson, chair-elect of our Council of Chapter Representatives and an ATS Board of Directors member, has expressed the value of creating an Interest Group within the Society to address these needs.

Issues of note that might be addressed by this Interest Group include the significantly higher number of LGBT people who use tobacco, access to care, visitation rights of life partners in hospital and clinic settings, negotiating fellowships/practice groups, etc. The Interest Group may, of course, identify other issues for discussion and action. If the Interest Group sees the need to meet at the ATS International Conference, this will be arranged for 2011.

As a first step, we would like to create a listserv that will get the conversation started. Graham Nelan, our deputy executive director for program and development, will staff this group and begin to collect names and e-mail addresses. You do not need to identify as LGBT to be involved.

If you would like to participate, please e-mail Graham Nelan with your name and e-mail address. He will create a list of interested members and begin to circulate information. Please also feel free to suggest any issues you believe should be part of the ongoing discourse we are initiating.

We hope this new Interest Group will provide a useful service to our membership and create a new community within the ATS that will eventually serve our membership and our patients and their families.

Dean Schraufnagel, MD

Dona Upson, MD
Chair-elect, ATS Council of Chapter Representatives, Member, ATS Board of Directors

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