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October 13, 2015


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Point Scholar Jamie Represents us at the GLMA Conference

October 13, 2015


I would like to write a big thank you to the Point Foundation for making it possible for me to attend the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA)’s annual conference, held this year in Portland Oregon, so that I could help spread the word among attendees about the scholarship!

The conference was a wonderful way to get the word out about Point Foundation! Many LGBTQ people who work in the health professions shared their difficulty in finding LGBTQ mentors and a community of support in healthcare, which can sometimes be a conservative field. Happily, there were many medical students and other health professions students who had either heard about Point, or currently in the process of applying to Point!


Students who were applicants to the healthcare fields were looking for mentors and a community of other LGBTQ health professions students who might be able to give advice on those applying to school like, “Should you be out?” or “Can a transgender person ask to give the admissions committee their preferred pronouns?” I shared with current students applying for the Point scholarship that most of the LGBTQ students I know in healthcare I met through Point, and that some of the fellow transgender students in health professions and I have been able to collaborate for advice and support about promoting the wellbeing of students who are gender minorities, as well as organizing for future GLMA and other LGBTQ medical events. The reception to the Point Foundation was, not surprisingly, extremely enthusiastic on behalf of those currently in medical school or applying to it, and I hope that many were encouraged to apply and get involved with Point!

In addition to outreach, while I was at the GLMA conference I worked with Ivy Gardner, another medical student at Boston University, to present the research findings of the Binding Health Project, a two-year long research project that has been entirely unfunded student research! Ivy and I, along with Masters of Public Health degree graduates Alix Corbet and Kimberlynn Acevedo began the initial drafting of the survey back in August of 2014, and John Hopkin’s School of Public Health PhD student Sarah Peiztmeier, joined our team for our statistical analysis.

glma-post-schedule-Our project is a 28-question survey which asks about the self-reported heath impacts of chest binding to adults (18 years or older) who are female assigned-at birth (FAAB) and intersex. We defined chest binding as any mechanical compression of chest tissue to achieve a flatter appearance of the chest, often for gender affirmation and expression. We knew from our communities and an extensive literature review that there was a lot of anecdotal evidence of individuals having serious health complications as a result of binding, such as broken ribs, collapsed lungs, shortness of breath, scarring, skin concerns, or decreased ability to move, breathe and exercise. Nevertheless, there has never been any formal, medical or evidence-based data or studies on chest binding, and we wanted to come together as a student research team to gather more formal data on binding with the goal of eventually creating recommendations for risk reduction if at all possible.

We received over 2,200 responses within one month of opening the survey back in March of 2015 which we felt was a huge testament to the critical nature of just how underserved we are as a community who chest binds or has ever done so in the past. We were able to present much of our research at GLMA, and it was incredibly well received. We are also currently writing a community resource and have submitted a publication to a peer-reviewed journal to get the word out about the project among our communities who bind and the medical community at large.

Thank you again to the Point Foundation for supporting me and hopefully we can continue to do outreach of this kind at LGBTQ medical events and conferences!

This blog post was written by Point Scholar Jamie Weinand[break]

weinand_jamie-2-5x3-5-202x270Jamie is from Tucson, Arizona, and after his mom died of breast cancer while he was in high school, he majored in Spanish and Biology with plans to go to medical school. At Duke University, he started the first magazine or LGBTQ women-identified individuals and their allies with an incredible team of three editors and a 23 person-review board. While at Duke he also served on the Gender Violence Intervention and Prevention Task Force to advocate against gender violence, sexual assault, and harassment on campus.

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