By Steve Blanchard
Moffitt Cancer Center’s ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ+ community is in the spotlight this week. The National Diversity Council announced it will be presenting Dr. Julian Sanchez with its 2019 Florida LGBT Leadership Award. And the cancer center will host its first ever LGBTQ+ Oncology Awareness Symposium on Friday, March 22. The symposium will include clinicians, patients and other medical professionals with the goal of sparking an open dialogue about how to best communicate with and treat patients from this population.
“The LGBTQ+ community is underserved and the best way for us to correct that is to provide the proper education,” said Dr. Desirée Chachula, Moffitt’s Diversity and Inclusion manager. “This symposium will put a spotlight on a community that includes our neighbors and our friends. Better serving LGBTQ+ people with cancer is the motivation behind this symposium.”
Chachula added that Sanchez’s work alongside his Moffitt colleagues to shed light on the health disparities affecting the LGBTQ+ community is partly responsible for this week’s symposium. It is also why she nominated him for the National Diversity Council’s Florida LGBT Leadership Award.
“Dr. Sanchez’s continuing outreach to the LGBTQ+ community exemplifies the inclusive principles at Moffitt’s core,” said Chachula. “His clinic is dedicated to the unique needs of LGBTQ+ patients with cancer. Sanchez has developed partnerships with community health clinics, primary care providers and local health departments to extend the reach of the anal dysplasia clinic, becoming a local screening resource among gay men.”
Sanchez, who is a gastrointestinal surgeon at Moffitt and associate professor of surgery at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, will receive his award June 7 during a Diversity Summit in Orlando.
For more information on Friday’s LGBTQ+ Oncology Awareness Symposium, click here.