NIH Director Statement: IOM report and research on LGBT populations


Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, National Institutes of Health

(Crossposted from NIH website)


“I want to thank the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for conducting this important study on the state of the science on the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations. This report, which was done at the request of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the first comprehensive overview of health-related research in this area. The report makes it clear that there are significant gaps in our understanding of the health issues confronting LGBT people. Effective methods for systematic collection of data from research participants about sexual orientation or gender identity are needed, and are not currently available. In response, NIH will collaborate with the National Center for Health Statistics, a component of CDC, to address and improve the methodology for collecting survey data on sexual orientation and gender identity. I have asked the NIH LGBT research coordinating committee to consider the report’s recommendations carefully, and to suggest strategies for how the NIH Institutes and Centers can support research to generate the knowledge base needed to promote the health of the LGBT community. NIH is committed to research that will benefit and improve the health of all people. Therefore, we appreciate this thoughtful report with its clear delineation of areas where there is inadequate data.”

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health

Published by Emilia Dunham, MPP, MBA

Emilia Dunham is currently a Project Manager at MassHealth/Department of Public Health, and formerly the Project Manager of the Life Skills project at The Fenway Institute, an HIV intervention study for young transgender women. Emilia worked at Fenway for 7 years, first as a Quality Control and Regulatory Assistant mainly involved with biomedical HIV prevention trials, before serving as the Program Associate for The Network for LGBT Health Equity, a network instrumental in many national LGBT health policy improvements. She is also involved with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, serving as a Steering Committee member and the Policy Committee Co-Chair, an organization largely responsible for the recent passage of the Trans Rights Bill. Additionally she serves as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, Co-Chair of the Recommendations Committee. Emilia received a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University. There she served as President of the LGBTQ student group where she planned programs such as Pride Week, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and AIDS Week. In addition, she advocated for LGBTQ inclusive policies and programming on campus such as a Gender Neutral Housing program, an LGBTQ Center and the expansion of Women’s Studies to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Emilia recently earned a Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration in health policy and management from the Brandeis Heller School School for Social Policy and Management.

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