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It is increasingly important for centers of academic medicine to embrace inclusion for LGBTQ+ team members, as one in five of healthcare professionals who identify as part of the community believe that their academic medical center doesn't provide a supportive environment to facilitate a successful career, according to a study published in LGBT Health. The Heersink School of Medicine's is dedicated to advancing the career development of all faculty, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual or gender orientation. 

Heersink ODI's fourth faculty association, LGBTQ+. is led by Rodney Tucker, M.D., MMM, and facilitated by a core group of approximately 20 faculty members from various departments. To create a safe and protected environment for its members, the group is open to faculty at the school of medicine, including the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.

"Launching the faculty association is like unveiling the curtain—it's gradual. Hopefully, as we begin, people will feel safe to join and see the value and impact the group can have. The establishment of this faculty association represents the next step in the growth and evolution of our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts here at UAB,” said Tucker.


The LGBTQ+ Faculty Association will connect, collaborate, and contribute to a greater understanding, support, and advocacy for members of the LGBTQ+ faculty and allies. To do this, the faculty association will adopt principles of holistic diversity, equity, and inclusion within the school and healthcare community. This will be evident by ways of:

  • Encouraging communication, networking, and professional development opportunities for faculty in the Heersink School of Medicine identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Promoting interdisciplinary research and advancing the knowledge based in LGBTQ+ issues and disparities.
  • Serving as mentors and advocates for other faculty in various stages of their careers and learners at all levels who are engaged in the community.