Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people experience systemic health disparities. A remaining obstacle to growth of our understanding of LGBT health and ability to take steps to address LGBT health disparities is the lack of opportunities for interdisciplinary scientists to meet and exchange ideas about the key issues and methodological challenges in understanding sexual and gender minorities (SGM). The proposed annual Scientific Meeting in LGBT Population Health Research sponsored by The Center for Population Research in LGBT Health (the Center) at The Fenway Institute of Fenway Health will fill this gap. To be held annually in the summer at Fenway Health's Conference Center in Boston, Massachusetts, the Scientific Meeting will draw together a diverse national group of experts and promising new scientists to advance the state of the science in the study of SGM population health. Each meeting will share the core objectives to 1) exchange information about the most recent developments in SGM population health;2) coordinate cooperative research endeavors in SGM health through Working Groups sponsored by the Center;and 3) explore and seek solutions to methodological challenges in studying and estimating SGM population groups. In response to ongoing advances in the field, an Organizing Committee will annually select focused and timely topics to be addressed at each meeting by the invited speakers and key meeting participants. Areas of focus for the 2010 meeting include the health of SGM racial minority groups, chronic conditions and disabilities in older sexual and gender minorities, and child development in families parented by lesbians and gay men. The format of the proposed 2010 meeting includes scientific presentations by invited speakers, presentations of work in progress from faculty leaders of the Center, discussions of methodological problems and solutions, and working group breakout sessions. Meeting participants will include the faculty of the Center, graduate student mentees enrolled in the Center's Mentoring and Training Program, community research partners and other research collaborators. Keynote scientific presentations will be open to the public and advertised to the LGBT community. The format for subsequent meetings is expected to be similar to the proposed 2010 meeting, but will be adjusted by the Organizing Committee in response to evaluation feedback from the previous year.
The proposed Scientific Meeting will contribute to an understanding of the behavioral and social science aspects of human development. The Meeting will complement activities at Fenway Community Health funded by a Population Research Infrastructure Program award from NICHD (R21HD051178). Knowledge generated through the exchange of information at Scientific Meetings will assist minority individuals and communities to aspire to and attain healthy lives.