Change in Leadership at the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- February 24, 2009 -- The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) announced today that Joel Ginsberg is resigning his position as the organization’s Executive Director. He has held the position since 2003.

Ginsberg is widely recognized for turning the organization around and increasing its visibility.

“Joel guided the organization to its current financial stability and increased its national and international prominence,” said Jason Schneider, MD, GLMA’s President and an internist at Emory University in Atlanta. “The Board of Directors is exceedingly grateful for Joel’s contributions to GLMA. We will miss him.”

According to Schneider, during Ginsberg’s tenure GLMA played an important role in persuading the California Medical Association to reverse itself in the case of Lupita Benitez, the San Diego lesbian whose doctors refused to inseminate her, persuading the Michigan legislature to shelve proposed legislation that would have allowed health care providers to refuse care based on moral objections, and fighting back efforts to ban lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) student groups at New York Medical College and Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“Our vision for advancing the health of LGBT people has been to bring our issues into the mainstream. Joel has done a great deal to bring about the progress we’re now seeing,” said Schneider. The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Aetna, the Health Research and Educational Trust, the Joint Commission, and other health organizations have incorporated LGBT populations into their work in recent years.

“Over the past five years, the American Medical Association and GLMA have worked together to address the needs of GLBT physicians, medical students and patients while also educating physicians on the health issues faced by the population. Throughout this time, Joel Ginsberg's leadership has played an integral role in ensuring the success of our various joint initiatives,” said Michael D. Maves, MD, MBA, CEO of the American Medical Association.

A growing number of hospitals have established nondiscrimination rules and expanded staff training on LGBT health issues as a result of the Healthcare Equality Index, GLMA’s new partnership with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The Healthcare Equality Index is a voluntary hospital survey about practices relating to LGBT patients and staff.

“It’s been a privilege to be involved in the great issues of the LGBT equality movement,” said Ginsberg. “This is a gift I will always cherish.”

According to Schneider, an Interim Executive Director will be announced soon, with a national search for a new permanent Executive Director to follow.

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