Through community outreach, advocacy, health education, and research, PRIDE aims to bring equitable healthcare to medically under-served gender and sexual minorities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons in the San Antonio area. We believe that all people including the LGBTQ+ community deserve access to fair and comprehensive healthcare.
Information & Resources
PRIDE, previously known as the Gay Straight Alliance, was founded by a group of students and faculty looking to create a supportive LGBTQ+ community at UT Health at San Antonio. It was officially registered as a student organization in September 2011 with Dr. Robert Esterl, and later Dr. Peter Guarnero, as the faculty advisors. Many initiatives including the PRIDE Community Clinic (PCC), Safe Space Training, and the OUT for Health Conference were started by PRIDE members. As an organization, our aim is to continue supporting and expanding these initiatives.
The PRIDE Community Clinic (PCC) was founded largely under the direction of Dr. Christopher Smith (LSOM Class of 2018) and Dr. Camille Spears (LSOM Class of 2018), and also supported by Dr. Fadi Aden (LSOM Class of 2018) and Dr. Olivia Thornton (LSOM Class of 2018). The idea for the PCC started in 2014 and led to a community needs assessment to determine if the San Antonio community required an LGBTQ+ clinic. Dr. Sean Garcia, the medical director of the clinic, received national training to learn about transgender healthcare. At its conception, the PCC was funded by private donations as well as small, student-written grants.
This clinic is part of the Student Faculty Collaborative Practice initiative at UT Health San Antonio and has since been able to receive more stable, long-term funding. In 2016, the Alamo Area Resource Center (AARC) joined with the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at UT Health San Antonio to house the PCC, a student and doctor-led effort to serve the uninsured and underinsured lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. In the fall of 2017, the volunteer-run clinic first opened its doors downtown San Antonio and continues to serve the LGBTQ+ community.
Safe Space Training is a student-led initiative that began in 2013. Now part of the MS1 curriculum as of Fall 2020, the purpose of Safe Space is to ensure that all healthcare students and practitioners can take a competent and sensitive LGBTQ+ inclusive patient history, understand appropriate LGBTQ+ terminology, and learn about some of the persistent healthcare disparities that affect the LGBTQ+ community. Preliminary data collected from these sessions shows that Safe Space has made medical students more comfortable discussing LGBTQ+ healthcare topics and understanding the specialized healthcare needs for patients in this community.
The first OUT for Health Conference was started by Dr. Chris Lam (LSOM Class of 2017) during the Spring of 2014 as a place to address the needs of the LGBTQ+ population. This conference is held yearly at various medical schools across Texas and remains an inclusive space for medical students and healthcare practitioners to discuss LGBTQ+ healthcare disparities and how we can address and eventually eliminate them.
The mission of the Student Counseling Center is to provide assistance, support and counsel to students dealing with the complex personal, social and academic demands of the professional school setting.