Health Sciences Diversity

PRIDE Health

Welcome to PRIDE Health, the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Allies) Affinity group for UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences (Medicine, Dental Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health and Rehabilitation Science and Public Health). PRIDE Health exists to serve and support our faculty, staff, students, residents, fellows, and providers, fostering an inclusive, open and affirming environment within which to practice, work and learn.  Through PRIDE Health, we assemble socially, act locally and disseminate information on issues pertinent to our members and those whom we treat and teach. 

If you are a newcomer to Pitt/UPMC, or are considering joining us, please consider reaching out to a member of our PRIDE List, a group of individuals who wish to connect and be a resource to others whether for mentorship, academic collaboration or social support. Please contact Mary Ann Merranko to join the PRIDE List and get on our mailing list.

We believe that PRIDE Health serves our workplace and colleagues well, and makes our community that much more welcoming.  Please join us!!

Dena Hofkosh, MD, MEd
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs, Department of Pediatrics
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


The mission of PRIDE Health is to serve faculty, staff, students, residents, fellows, and providers in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) community and its allies throughout the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Health Sciences and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to create a safe, visible, and vibrant environment for education, research, mentoring, support, and advocacy.


  • Foster connections among LGBTQI faculty, staff, trainees, students, and allies to create stronger LGBTQI communities, advocacy, and resources at multiple levels throughout the Health Sciences Schools, the University and the Health System.
  • Create a network of interested individuals for professional support and mentoring.
  • Develop greater visibility for high quality scholarship and research about LGBTQI health issues.
  • Improve healthcare for members of our community.
  • Educate the health sciences community about the unique health disparities and concerns of LGBTQI patients.
  • Enhance recruitment of talented LGBTQI faculty, staff, fellows, residents, and students seeking a safe and nurturing community.

The PRIDE List

The PRIDE list provides a database of LGBTQI and our Allies in the PITT and UPMC community. This resource is meant to connect current and incoming members of our community by a wide range of academic, clinical and other interests. Check the PRIDE list and connect with members by email or phone! If you are interested in being on the PRIDE list, e-mail us today!

PRIDE Health Newsletter

Keep up with the latest news and views. We have many exciting additions to the newsletter including a partner spotlight, important health care news, and a link where you can join the Visibility Project - PRIDE List.

PRIDE Health Spring Newsletter 2016

PRIDE Health Summer Newsletter 2016


Thursday, March 29th, 2018 - 6:00 pm
William Pitt Debating Union (WPDU)

PITT Debate Team to Host Panel: "What does it mean to be trans and why does it matter?  A discussion across disciplinary boundaries". This event seeks to explore common ground among medical, critical, and activist perspectives.
On Thursday, March 29 at 6:00 pm in Ballroom B of the University Club, invited guests will engage in a dialogue and debate about the past, present, and future of advocacy for trans health concerns.  Bringing together medical practitioners, scholars in the humanities, and community activists, the event seeks to highlight both challenges and opportunities for speaking across disciplinary boundaries in support of healthcare access for transgender persons.  Panelists include: 

  • Kristen Eckstrand, MD, PhD; UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Morgan Faeder, MD, PhD; UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Mecidine
  • Cori Frazer; Pittsburgh Center for Austistic Advocacy
  • Sandra Lynn Nelson; University of Pittsburgh Departments of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies (GSWS)
  • Marty Seltman, MD; Metro Community Health CenterCiora Thomas; SisTers PGH, Proud Haven, and Pittsburgh LGBTQIA Advisory Council
  • Ciora Thomas; SisTers PGH, Proud Haven, and Pittsburgh LGBTQIA Advisory Council

The event is free and open to the public.  Gender-neutral restrooms are available at the venue.  Complementary food and beverage will be served prior to the event.  The event is sponsored by the William Pitt Debating Union, which is housed in the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh.  It is part of the Marcella L. Finegold Memorial Public Debate Series, which funds conversations on issues of concern both to the university community and the broader public.  This will be the kickoff event for the third Finegold topic area, "Addressing Inequality." Previous topic areas were "The Future of Pittsburgh" and "Healthcare Issues".  For additional information, please contact Eric English @
See Flyer

Friday, March 16th, 2018, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The University of Pittsburgh PQP Presents "LGBTQIA+ Professionals Mixer and Fundraiser".  Come mingle with faculty and staff from the University of Pittsburgh and our esteemed guests.  The event will take place at ELEMENT BAR, 5744 Ellsworth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232.  The Pitt Queeer Professionals is an affinity group of University of Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff.  Our purpose is to ensure an inclusive campus environment and to raise the collective voices of LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff.  Proceeds benefit SisTers PGH.  For additional information, please email m.p.campbell@pitt.eduSEE FLYER 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Center for Bioethics & Health Law welcomes Sahar Sadjadi, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, and of Anthropology and Sociology Amherst College on Thursday, February 15, 2018.  Dr. Sadjadi will present her lecture Preempting "The Breasts that Will Have to Be Removed" Puberty Suppression and Pediatric Gender TransitionThe event will be held in Room 4014 Forbes Tower from 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm.  The lecture is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact  *NOTE:  Enter Forbes Tower from Atwood Street to take the Atwood Street elevators to the 4th floor.  The room is directly opposite the elevator.  FLYER

Monday, November 27, 2017 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Crisis Center North presents "Telling Our Stories and Those From Around the World".  This event will take place on Monday, November 27, 2017, at the New Hazlett Theatre Center for Performing Arts, #6 Allegheny Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Time of the event is 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm.  Explore stories of the LGBTQA+ through words and art.  Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General, and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine will be the keynote speaker and will address violence affecting the LGBTQA+ community. As Physician General, Dr. Levine has made significant strides combating the opioid epidemic and advocating on behalf of the LGBTQA+ population. She spearheaded the efforts to establish opioid prescribing guidelines and establish opioid prescribing education for medical students. She has also led an LGBTQA+ workgroup for the governor’s office which has worked to create programs and processes that are fair and inclusive in healthcare, insurance, and many other areas. Recently, Dr. Levine was recognized as one of NBC’s Pride 30, a national list of 30 people who are both members of and making a difference in the lives of the LGBTQA+ community.

In addition, the art exhibit “Where Love Is Illegal” by award winning photographer Robin Hammond will be on display. Hammond is the recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Fund for Humanistic Photography, a World Press Photo prize, the Pictures of the Year International World Understanding Award and four Amnesty International awards for Human Rights journalism.

The exhibit explores the stories of members of LGBTQA+ community around the world who have faced oppression for their sexual or gender identity. Those who are photographed, through the global storytelling campaign, choose how they want to pose, what to wear and how to present themselves. They hand write their stories and letters to be shared with the world. The project also invites the LGBTQA+ community to share their own stories through a global social media campaign and through local anti-stigma campaigns, developed in conjunction with Hammond’s team.  “Stories Coming Together” is open to the public at no charge, though donations will be accepted and appreciated. Appetizers and live entertainment by pianist Kelly Kirschman will be provided. Please RSVP online at or by contacting Michael at or 412-364-6728.

This event is sponsored by Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network, the FISA Foundation, the Staunton Farm Foundation, the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Greater Pittsburgh, the Board of Crisis Center North, and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

About Crisis Center North
Crisis Center North (CCN) is a non-profit counseling, referral, and educational resource center that serves victims of domestic violence (DV), their children, and teens involved in violent dating relationships in the northern and western communities of Allegheny County. The mission of CCN is to empower victims of domestic violence and cultivate community attitudes and behaviors that break the cycle of violence.
In fiscal year 2016, CCN handled 1,714 Hotline calls, provided Counseling, Advocacy and Case Management services to 2,061 DV victims, delivered Primary Prevention Education programs to 13,106 middle and high school students, and hosted Community Prevention Education programs for 1,348 participants from employer, law enforcement, church, healthcare provider and other community groups.  Crisis Center North marks the 40th anniversary of its founding in 2018. The agency’s 24-hour toll-free hotline may be reached at 866-782-0911. Local callers may use 412-364-5556 CCN is online at

June (Pride month) has been a very busy one for PRIDE Health.  Over thirteen PRIDE Health members marched in this year's Pride March in downtown, Pittsburgh on Sunday, June 11th, 2017.  (see photos above).  Kristen Eckstrand published a book, see attached.  You may download and use freely.  We welcomed ten new members to PRIDE Health, including students, trainees, faculty and providers.  Please see the new profiles on the PRIDE List on this website. 


Attention PRIDE Health Members:

I am a fourth-year medical student at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the founder of the organization OutCare Health (, the nation's comprehensive LGBTQ health resource. The core mission of OutCare is to facilitate a shift towards healthcare equality.  Although many LGBTQ-competent healthcare providers exist, many of these individuals are unidentifiable to the public. To improve transparency, we have created a comprehensive, up-to-date nationwide provider directory known as the OutList (, which boasts over 530 (and rapidly growing) culturally-competent providers across 38 states!  We are actively searching for providers to join our OutList. To join the many others who acknowledge and understand the unique health needs of the LGBTQ population, you can simply join here: It only takes a few minutes of your time and there are no costs involved. We have over 3000 website visitors per month who look to the OutList to find a new provider just like you.  Please spread the word to your colleagues about OutCare! Our goal is to become the nation's primary resource for LGBTQ healthcare. If you have any questions, I can be contacted using the information below.  We look forward to your support!
Dustin Nowaskie // Founder
P: 317.437.7180

Article by Laura Arrowsmith, September 2017 Health Affairs, "Go Back To California: When Providers Fail Transgender Patients


WQED television station will premiere a new local documentary, 'Authentic Lives,' profiling Pittsburgh's transgender community at 8:00 pm on January 25th.  Rebroadcasts will air on Monday, January 29th at 7:30 pm and on Tuesday, January 30th at 12:30 am. For more information on the program, please review this article.  

University of Pittsburgh Year of Healthy U

This year Pitt is studying, recognizing, and appreciating practices that promote good health, showing how a cross disciplinary understanding of health can lead to better lives. The Year of Healthy U will advance our understanding of health in all its forms and renew our commitment to fostering a healthy community.