Plenary Keynote Speaker – Friday, Sept. 20 at 8:15 AM:
LGBTQ+ Inclusion: Becoming an Ally in Health Care - Christopher McLaughlin, MSW, LCSW
Perhaps more so now than ever before, social workers and health care teams are being called upon to enhance their competencies in working with LGBTQ+ clients. Data shows that LGBTQ+ individuals experience higher rates of discrimination, prejudice, and bias from healthcare providers and therefore, LGBTQ+ individuals put off health care services, even when sick or injured. The disparities across different domains that the LGBTQ+ community faces are numerous and concerning. For LGBTQ+ youth, rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation are at an all-time high. Therefore, it’s essential that health care providers seek to improve their ability to care for the LGBTQ+ community to ensure better outcomes in healthcare and other social determinants of health.
This workshop is a combined 101 and 201 training for health care professionals of all disciplines and across treatment settings who are looking to better support LGBTQ+ individuals accessing services. This training will provide an overview of terms and concepts and will focus on how to combat health care disparities for this population by increasing competencies for staff in the areas of trans-affirming practices and LGBTQ+ representation.
Chris McLaughlin, MSW, LCSW (he/him/his) – Chris is the Executive Director of the Maine Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and owner of Inspired Consulting Group, LLC. A lifelong resident of Maine, he obtained both his BA in Psychology (1996) and his MSW (2001) from the University of Maine. Chris has spent more than 20+ years as a provider and a leader in behavioral health services for youth and families across a variety of clinical settings, including treatment foster care, residential treatment facilities, public schools, private practice, community-based programs, and psychiatric hospital-based services. Chris has a passion for teaching and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maine and Husson University in Bangor. He served for four years on the Maine Board of Social Work Licensing and is a member of both the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care (SSWLHC), where he is the current Maine Chapter President and is a member of the National Board.
A lifelong learner in leadership, coaching, and mentoring, he is a graduate of the Disney Institute leadership program and the Daniel Hanley Health Leadership Development program in Maine. Chris is on the Faculty for the SSWLHC's Leadership Development Institute and holds two certifications in Diversity and Inclusion and Building a Diverse Workforce from Cornell University. Nationally, Chris was the SSWLHC’s 2019 recipient of the Eleanor Clark Award for Innovative Programs in Patient Care for his work in youth suicide prevention.
In Maine, Chris was recognized in 2019 for his advocacy and commitment to LGBTQ+ youth and was named Health Care Social Worker of the Year in 2019 by the Maine Hospital Association and the Maine Chapter of the SSWLHC for his leadership role on the award-winning “Acadia CARES” curriculum. In spring of 2020, Chris was named the University of Maine School of Social Work's Alumni of the Year. Chris has partnered with many organizations to share learnings and create space for conversations and was proud to be the 2022 keynote speaker for Duke University’s Social Work Month in March. Chris and his husband live in Hermon, Maine with their four dogs, Huck, Anna, Becky, Sawyer and are avid fans of many types of recreation and leisure during all of Maine’s seasons.