LGBT Leaders Receive Chancellor's Award at UCSF

Campus Honors Three During June 13 Ceremony


UCSF Vice Chancellor Renee Navarro, left, and Robert Daroff, chair of the CAGLBT Leadership Committee, far right, stand with Chancellor's Award for GLBT Leadership recipients Shane Snowdon and Dan Karasic after the ceremony.

Three members of the UCSF community were recognized with the Chancellor's Award for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Leadership during a ceremony on June 13.

The 2012 honorees are:

  • Dan Karasic, MD, professor in the Department of Psychiatry, who is recognized for his long and sustained commitment to improving understanding of LGBT health concerns for the past 21 years;
  • Shane Snowdon, director of the Center for LGBT Health & Equity, who is recognized in the staff category, for elevating the equality, visibility and status of LGBT people at UCSF and for being an extraordinary LGBT leader for more than 14 years; and
  • Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH, a resident in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, who is recognized for taking every opportunity to teach and mentor students and residents and for advocating for LGBT equality.

Dan Karasic

Karasic has been active in teaching and mentoring at UCSF and serving on the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on LGB issues in its early days, from 1996 to 2000. He proposed and successfully advocated that the committee become an LGBT committee by including transgender issues and he identified and recruited transgender people at UCSF to participate on the committee. Karasic was chair of the original domestic partners subcommittee, where he worked toward securing domestic partner benefits for UCSF employees.

He also has been organizing education about LGB, HIV and transgender issues at UCSF and within the American Psychiatry Association (APA). He organized a groundbreaking session at the APA's meeting in 1993 with a transexual psychiatrist Shoshanna Gillick, MD, on the topic of being a psychiatryist transitioning at work. Karasic has conducted numerous sessions on topics such as "Teaching HIV/AIDS Issues to Medical Students."

Karasic has taught about LGBT issues over the years in the Department of Psychiatry at the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. He has served on organizations, including the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, the APA LGB Caucus and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission's LGBT Advisory Committee. Karasoc is the author of more than 20 published, peer-reviewed papers.

Further, he provides care to HIV-positive and transgender patients through his clinical work, which has been consistently exemplary. He is often called upon by psychologists and psychotherapists to provide consultation on challenging cases throughout California and beyond.

In short, he is recognized for creating a supportive environment for LGBT students, faculty, and staff; elevating the status of LGBT people at UCSF; and demonstrating that UCSF is a powerful partner in efforts to improve health care disparities.

"Wherevery he goes, Dan exemplifies and elevates the leadership that UCSF has brought to the field of HIV prevention and care, transgender equality, and LGBT dignity and pride," wrote one of his nominators for the award.

Shane Snowdon

Shane Snowdon

Shane Snowdon

Snowdon leads the nationally renowned LGBT Resource Center, which organizes groundbreaking programs to raise awareness and understanding of LGBT issues through education, community building and advocacy efforts.

She also staffs the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on LGBT issues and is a valued resource across campus, the medical center and beyond. In fact, Snowdon helped establish this Chancellor's award. This year, the committee unanimously concurred that the time has come to honor her myriad contributions to and tireless advocacy for the campus LGBT community both locally and nationally.

Among some of her accomplishments, Snowdon as:

  • Served as project adviser for the Joint Commission's landmark publication "Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community;"
  • Worked tirelessly in close collaboration with colleagues at UCSF Medical Center to help the medical center to earn a perfect score on the LGBT Healthcare Equity Index for five years in a row;
  • Published "New Communication Protocols, Inclusive Policies, and Ongoing Tranining Lead to Culturally Competent Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Patients" on the online U.S. government Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research's Healthcare Innovations Exchange;
  • Lectured at the national level at many universities, health care institutions and organizations, including the University of Missouri School of Nursing, the American Medical Student Association Annual Conference and the Palto Alto Veterans Medical Center in 2012 alone;
  • Planned and convened the first National Summit on LGBT Concerns in Medical Education, among other significant contributions to national, regional and local meetings, health forums; and
  • Mentored, formally and informally, countless members of the UCSF community making important advances to education and research, including being the first in the nation to receive funding to develop pioneering LGBT curriculum in medical education.

Juno Obedin-Maliver

A second-year obestetrics/gynecology resident, Obedin-Maliver is being recognized for her LGBT leadership across education and research and her work raising the visibility and status of this community at the local, statewide and national level.

Before coming to UCSF, she attended medical school at Stanford University, where she worked to put LGBT health issues on the local and national medical school stage. She co-created a series of novel presentations, "The Real Deal from Your Queer Peers," and co-founded and served as principal investigator for the Stanford LGBT Medical Education Research Group (MERG).

In September 2011, Obedin-Maliver published a paper, "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender-Related Content in Undergraduate Medical Education," in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) a comprehensive study based on her work at the MERG, which found that few schools teach about primary care issues, such as chronic disease, unhealthy relationships, coming out, substance abuse, adolescent health and transgender-specific information.

At UCSF, she has worked to raise the visibility of LGBT issues, serving on a daily basis as an "out" UCSF resident, making herself available to medical students, residents, and staff who are struggling to balance their professional identities and their LGBT status. She also has been instrumental in planning the inaugural LGBTQ Perinatal Care Conference at UCSF.

Obedin-Maliver's recent endeavor has been to advocate to the State Legislature in support of AB 2356, a bill that would allow lesbians to use fresh sperm for intrauterine insemination to achieve pregnancy. Currently, semen from a non-sexually intimate donor must be quarantined and frozen. Frozen semen is much less effective at achieving pregnancy than is fresh semen.

Introduced this year on Feb. 24, AB 2356 was double referred to Assembly Local Government and Revenue & Taxation Committees. The bill passed the Assembly Committee on May by a 5 to 13 vote and passed the Assembly Floor on May 3 by a 50 to 24 vote, according to Equality California

Photo by Cindy Chew

Editor's note: This story was updated to include photo of recipients.