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Nov. 14: Talk on health issues affecting sexual and gender minorities

Karen Parker
Karen Parker

FREDERICK, Maryland—An expert on health issues affecting sexual and gender minority (SGM) communities will give a talk on Nov. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Dreiling Seminar Room in Coblentz Hall at Hood College.

Karen L. Parker, Ph.D., MSW, will discuss the growing awareness of health-related disparities in SGM populations and the steps the National Institutes of Health has taken to better coordinate related efforts across its institutes and centers. Her presentation will cover the current funding landscape, the 2016 designation of the SGM community as a heath disparities population for NIH research, recent related legislation, and next steps.

Parker is the director of the Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office at NIH. She was instrumental in the formation of the office in the fall 2015 and was appointed as director in June 2016. The office coordinates NIH research related to the health of SGMs across the NIH institutes, centers and offices. She also serves as co-chair of the trans-NIH Sexual and Gender Minority Research Coordinating Committee and has served on the committee since its inception in 2011. Parker is the former acting branch chief in the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Science Planning and Assessment. She began her career at NIH in 2001 as a Presidential Management Fellow.

Parker earned her doctorate from the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work. She completed her master’s degree at the University of Michigan and her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University.

Sponsored by the Social Work Program of the Department of Sociology and Social Work, this event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Lynda Sowbel, Ph.D., director of the Social Work Program, at or 301-696-3878.