Our Mission: To create health equity for LGBTQ patients in our communities and around the world through better health care services, education, and advocacy.
What is LGBTQ Health Equity?
“Health equity is when everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible.”
--The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Like all groups that have been historically linked to discrimination and exclusion, LGBTQ people have less access to health care, have worse health outcomes, and are at are at a higher risk for certain conditions.
At The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity, we are working to understand and end the health disparities that disproportionately affect LGBTQ communities so that all LGBTQ people have “the opportunity to be as healthy as possible.”
Learn More About Health Equity
The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity is part of Chase Brexton Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center with expertise in LGBTQ health care and HIV care. Founded as a volunteer-run gay men’s health clinic in the heart of Baltimore City in 1978, Chase Brexton was one of the first clinics on the front lines of the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity is home to renowned specialists in LGBTQ and gender-affirming health care. Our experts are a sought-after voice for LGBTQ health equity issues in the media, at conferences, and on task forces around the country.
One of the first health care providers in the U.S. to meet all criteria for the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index.
We're Here to Help
Contact us today to learn how we can help you get health care, get training, or get involved.
What is LGBTQ Health Equity?
What is Health Equity?
Health equity is achieved when “everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible,” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health equity is not about creating equal health outcomes—uncontrollable factors like our genetics make that all but impossible. More so, it’s about giving every individual equitable opportunities to achieve their best possible health outcomes.
What is a Health Disparity?
The CDC defines health disparities as “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.” As a socially disadvantaged population, LGBTQ communities face health disparities that are the direct result of stigma, discrimination, and denial of basic civil and human rights.
What We’re Doing to End LGBTQ Health Disparities
- Ending discrimination, stigma, bias, and misinformation in our health care systems through health care provider training and education.
- Reducing fear and mistrust of health care systems within the LGBTQ community through affirming and informed health care services.
- Advancing our collective understanding of LGBTQ health-related issues through research.
- Improving health benefits for LGBTQ people through workplace training and public advocacy.
- Promoting the health care needs and rights of LGBTQ people through advocacy.
The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity is part of Chase Brexton Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center with expertise in LGBTQ health care and HIV care. Visit the “More to the Story” section of our site to see original press clippings, photos, and more.
Chase Brexton is founded as a gay men’s health clinic in the heart of Baltimore City in 1978. A volunteer-run clinic, it is powered almost entirely by donations from the LGBTQ community.
Chase Brexton is one of the first clinics on the front lines of the fight against HIV and AIDS. Some volunteers are threatened with job loss by their employers for volunteering at the clinic.
Chase Brexton becomes a Federally Qualified Health Center, expanding to serve all underserved communities. Despite broadening our scope, our organization continued to remain at the heart of LGBTQ health care.
Chase Brexton becomes one of only 10 health care providers in the U.S. to meet all of the criteria for the 2009 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) by the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.
Chase Brexton establishes the LGBT Health Resource Center to offer specialized behavioral health services, LGBTQ-focused support groups, and education and training for organizations seeking greater LGBTQ competency.
The LGBT Health Resource Center expands its mission, becoming The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity at Chase Brexton Health Care. The new center focuses on ending health disparities for LGBTQ patient populations through health care services, advocacy, and education on the national and international stage.
Sam McClure serves as the executive director of The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity and serves on the Senior Executive Leadership Team of Chase Brexton Health Care. She is a passionate champion of the center’s mission: to create health equity for LGBTQ patients in our communities and around the world through better health care services, education, and advocacy.
In her previous role as Senior Vice President of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), McClure led affiliate relations, external affairs, public policy and advocacy, and supplier diversity teams, as well as serving on the organization’s executive leadership team.
McClure is a nationally recognized keynote speaker, commentator, panelist, and a subject matter expert on LGBTQ Economic Development and Health Equity. An award-winning strategist, she co-created the LGBT Business Builder initiative (a collaboration between the NGLCC and the US Small Business Administration) and built local collaboration models in 13 cities. This program ultimately won a “Bright Idea Award” from Harvard University. In June of 2019, McClure was named one of 48 Legacy Leaders by BEQ Magazine in recognition of our impact in Non-Profit and Community Development.
- 2019: Named one of 48 Legacy Leaders, Business Equality Magazine
- 2017: Harvard University Bright Idea Award for co-creating the LGBT Business Builder program
- 2016: Excellence Award Finalist, Veteran Practitioner Category, Women in Advocacy
- 2013: National Disability Leadership Award, World Institute on Disability
- 2015: “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Inclusion: Business Imperative.” Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights: A Public Policy Agenda For Uniting a Divided America. Edited by Wallace Swan
Kate Bishop, the education coordinator for The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity at Chase Brexton Health Care, is a seasoned professional development trainer with expertise in working with LGBTQ populations, sexual and reproductive health care, adolescent development, intimate partner violence, and sexual trauma. She is certified as a trainer through GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) as well as SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders).
Before joining the Chase Brexton team, Bishop developed the capacity building program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s STAR TRACK Adolescent HIV program, providing cultural responsiveness trainings for agencies that serve sexual minority youth of color. Ms. Bishop holds a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from Hiram College and a Masters in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University.
Designated Subject Matter Expert (SME)*
- Serving LGBTQ populations
- Substance misuse and suicide prevention in LGBTQ communities
- HIV/AIDS and youth
- IPV, sexual violence, and trauma
- Serving sexual minority youth of color
- Cultural humility and harm reduction approaches
Keynote Speaker, Panelist & Workshop Leader
- Creating Change: National LGBTQ Conference hosted by The Task Force
- Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) Conference
- Gender Journeys: Gender-Diverse Youth Health Care Conference
- Why Women Cry HIV Conference
- “In Plain Site” IPV Conference
- Maryland’s Annual Suicide Prevention Conference
- NOLOSE Conference (Fat Queer and Trans Pride)
- National Harm Reduction Conference
- Philadelphia Transgender Wellness Conference
- National Conference of Information and Referral Professionals
- BTAN Black Treatment Advocates Network Conference
* Designations by the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), the HRSA AIDS Education & Training Center (AETC) and SAMSHA Technology Transfer Centers (TTCs).
Deborah Dunn is a family practice physician assistant and the gender-affirming health care coordinator for The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity at Chase Brexton Health Care. In addition to graduating from Howard University’s physician assistant program in 1983, she holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. In her specialty, Transgender and Gender Diverse Adult Primary Care, Dunn has completed the courses towards certification for WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health).
In her position at Chase Brexton, Dunn provides leadership and coordination of care for 4000 transgender-identified patients, establishes best practices for medical transgender care, trains other medical providers, provides consultation to external organizations on transgender-related issues including employee transition, engages in advocacy at the state level, and identifies research and funding opportunities related to transgender care. She recently served on a national team of expert transgender medical professionals to write guidelines for treating and prescribing medications for adults and adolescents who were transitioning. She also was part of the team that wrote Gender Joy (Journeys of Youth), a multidisciplinary program written for trans/gender diverse youth, adolescents, and families, which since its launch in 2017 has served more than 1,500 patients.
Dunn has presented at numerous national conferences, engaged in strategic planning with several nonprofit organizations, and volunteered throughout the local community. Dunn was named the Physician Assistant of the year 2018, awarded by the Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants.
Areas of Expertise
- Best practices for gender-affirming medical care
- Medication management for patients who are transitioning
- Health care provider training in gender-affirming care
- Employer best practices for transitioning employees
Awards & Certifications
- 2018 Physician Assistant of the Year, Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants
- Certified Physician Assistant
- World Professional Association for Transgender Health Certification (pending)
- Master of Business Administration, Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business
- Graduate of Howard University Physician Assistant Program
Monte Ephraim is the manager of Psychosocial Services and Older Adult Programming for The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity at Chase Brexton Health Care. She is a licensed clinical social worker and a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She has worked in human service for over 30 years, Her work spans from advocacy to direct support, children and adolescent services to elder programming with a multigenerational focus.
Ephraim’s training is focused on, but not limited to, trauma-informed care and LGBTQ aging. Over the years she has provided training and workshops to schools, organizations, and communities while participating and presenting at conferences for Child Welfare League of America; the Geriatrics and Gerontology Research Program at University of Maryland, Baltimore; The Johns Hopkins Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program; and others.
Ephraim advocates to raise awareness that survivors and those not yet diagnosed are more than a statistic or a suppressed viral load; their shared experiences provide a voice individually and/or in a group that promotes resiliency.
Areas of Expertise
- LGBTQ trauma-informed care
- LGBTQ psychosocial services
- LGBTQ aging
- LGBTQ elder pride
Awards & Certifications
- 2018 Heroes Among Us Award, Greater Baltimore HIV Health Services
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Graduate of University of Maryland School of Social Work
Dr. Elyse Pine is a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist and lead physician for gender-affirming (transgender) care at Chase Brexton Health Care. She earned her BA in English and Natural Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and her MD at Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her pediatrics residency training at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and moved to the Baltimore area for fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at Johns Hopkins.
Dr. Pine began working with gender variant children and adolescents while serving as an assistant professor at University of Maryland Medical Center. Gender-affirming care has been the most interesting, exciting, and rewarding part of her clinical practice. She has published research and clinical articles related to gender-affirming care, and lectures frequently. Dr. Pine is also the lead physician of the Gender JOY (Journeys of Youth) Program at Chase Brexton, which serves over 1400 transgender and gender diverse youth from ages 4-26.
Publications & Presentations
- Prevalence of Pectus Excavatum in Pediatric Transgender Patients. WPATH International Conference 2019- Poster Presentation. Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Transgender Care as a Pediatric Endocrinologist in a Community Health Care Setting: A Hybrid Model. WPATH International Conference 2019- Poster Presentation. Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Revisiting the Link: Evidence of the Rates of Autism in Studies of Gender Diverse Individuals. Strang JF, Janssen A, Tishelman A, Leibowitz SF, Kenworthy L, McGuire JK, Edwards-Leeper L, Mazefsky CA, Rofey D, Bascom J, Caplan R, Gomez-Lobo V, Berg D, Zaks Z, Wallace GL, Wimms H, Pine-Twaddell E, Shumer D, Register-Brown K, Sadikova E, Anthony LG. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2018 Nov;57(11):885-887. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2018.04.023.PMID: 30392631
- A Case of Benign Phyllodes Tumor in a Transgender Woman Receiving Cross-Sex Hormones. Richards SM, Pine-Twaddell ED, Ioffe OB, Bellavance EC. Int J Surg Pathol. 2018 Jun;26(4):356-359. doi: 10.1177/1066896917743011. Epub 2017 Nov 23. PMID: 29169272
- Cross-Sex Hormones and Metabolic Parameters in Adolescents With Gender Dysphoria. Jarin J, Pine-Twaddell E, Trotman G, Stevens J, Conard LA, Tefera E, Gomez-Lobo V. Pediatrics. 2017 May;139(5):e20163173. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-3173. Epub 2017 Apr 6.
- Insurance Coverage of Puberty Blocker Therapies for Transgender Youth. Stevens J, Gomez-Lobo V, Pine-Twaddell E. Pediatrics. 2015 Dec;136(6):1029-31. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-2849. Epub 2015 Nov 2.
Recent Awards and Notables
The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity and Chase Brexton Health Care continually lead the nation as an award-winning health care provider and voice for LGBTQ patients.
Chase Brexton makes history, becoming 1 of only 10 health care providers in the U.S. to meet all of the criteria for the 2009 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) by the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. HEI is the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities' policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.
Chase Brexton continues its long-running streak as one of the top health care providers on the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index.
The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity sponsors To Survive On This Shore, a groundbreaking portrait and interview series featuring transgender and gender older adults by artist Jess Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre. View the series.
Artists Jaimes Mayhew and Rahne Alexander select The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity as their nonprofit partner for Queer Interiors, their year-long exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Center provided gallery talks, trained the docents and employees staffing the exhibit, and coordinated field trips to the exhibit in partnership with Action in Maturity. See the exhibit.
Chase Brexton receives back-to-back perfect scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index—and surpasses all benchmarks in scoring. For example, perfect-scoring organizations are required to do 25 hours of internal training for staff. In 2019, The Center for LGBTQ Health Equity provided Chase Brexton staff with 292 hours of required, on-the-clock training in serving LGBTQ populations, as well as hosting the CME/CNE/CEU-accredited Best Practices in Transgender Care Symposium, and providing contracted training services to other health care and human service agencies.