One of the core values of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is to ensure access and delivery of quality health care to all. As such, AMWA is proud to recognize Kim Templeton, MD, an AMWA past-president and founding member of the AMWA Sex and Gender Health Collaborative for her leadership on the American Medical Association Foundation Fellowship Commission on LGBTQ+ Health.
“Given the disparities in care faced by people in the LGBTQ+ community, having a national approach to address their medical needs is long overdue,” says Dr. Templeton. She was one of 15 invited to sit on the American Medical Association Foundation LGBTQ+ Commission given her decades of advocacy in promoting the need to incorporate sex and gender sensitivity as a constancy in medical education and training.
The Commission is comprised of thought leaders, educational specialists, physicians, and philanthropists, and has been charged with providing leadership and guidance in the formation and implementation of the fellowship program, including its content, direction, evaluation, and promotion. . In addition to work with the Commission as a whole, Dr. Templeton also was a member of the subgroup within the Commission that developed the initial RFP and selection criteria for those applying for the Fellowship.
“I have been advocating for personalized care for those in the LGBTQ+ community as an extension of our efforts to incorporate sex and gender differences as a standardized aspect of medical curricula,” says Dr. Templeton, professor of orthopedic surgery and the first Joy McCann Professor of Women in Medicine and Science at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City. This endowed chair was established at the UK School of Medicine’s Women in Medicine and Science Program.
After a competitive application process, the University of Wisconsin–Madison was selected by the Commission to receive funding to establish an LGBTQ+ Fellowship Program for physicians. The program was initiated with a $750,000 grant from the AMA Foundation with the aim of transforming health care delivery “to ensure that all LGBTQ+ patients receive the highest standards of care.”
“The goal of this program is to not only train individual fellows but to extend educational initiatives in this area to other learners within the institutions that receive funding,” says Dr. Templeton. This, then, extends the network of physicians who are grounded in LGBTQ+ healthcare needs. There is also the hope that this program will allow health practitioners to develop a better understanding of sex and gender differences, especially important for those in the LGBTQ+ community, identify and address specific social determinants of health impacting the LGBTQ+ community, and become more adept at connecting individuals with the right providers and services, “Dr. Templeton says.
Ultimately, the National LGBTQ+ Fellowship Program will be the catalyst for generating unified and comprehensive guidelines for LGBTQ+ health across institutions for a diverse cross-section of patients, according to the Commission members. The LGBTQ+ Honor Fund founding donors support the Fellowship and continued charitable contributions aim to make this fellowship sustainable.