by Dr. Mazer Ally & Dr. Corlan Eboh; ACG Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

This June, the American College of Gastroenterology proudly celebrates Pride Month. Throughout the month, we will honor the invaluable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals who have profoundly influenced the field of gastroenterology.  

Each week, we will feature stories of trailblazers and innovators who embody excellence, resilience, and dedication in our specialty. These narratives not only highlight the remarkable achievements of LGBTQ+ professionals but also emphasize the critical role that diversity and inclusion play in enriching and advancing our field. 

Join us in this vibrant celebration as we recognize the inspiring impacts of LGBTQ+ individuals and reaffirm our commitment to fostering a welcoming and inclusive community for all in gastroenterology. 

Weekly Spotlight

Kira L. Newman, MD, PhD

In honor of Pride Month, the American College of Gastroenterology proudly highlights a trailblazer for LGBQTIA+ rights, Dr. Kira Newman. 

Dr. Newman is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan and a board-certified gastroenterologist who specializes in gastrointestinal infections, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and health outcomes of sexual and gender minority individuals. 

She received her medical degree from Emory University and post-graduate training in internal medicine at the University of Washington. She completed her gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she is currently on faculty. 

Dr. Newman is a trailblazer in LGBQTIA+ healthcare rights and equity. Her research interests are focused on the health and well-being of sexual and gender minority people with IBD. Dr. Newman developed the LGBTQIA+ IBD Collaborative Group, which is a research group in the US and Canada that works on understanding and improving the experiences and health outcomes of LGBTQIA+ individuals with IBD.

She has provided national educational sessions and lectures addressing health disparities and advocating for health equity for LGBTQIA+ patients. She serves as the Vice President of Rainbows in Gastro, which is a professional association for LGBTQIA+ individuals involved in GI and hepatology. Dr. Newman is very active in the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and American Gastroenterology Association (AGA), serving on the ACG Digital Communications and Publications Committee and on the AGA Trainee and Early Career Committee and Women’s Committee. 

Dr. Newman has overcome many barriers to achieve her success. Her empathy for her patients and leadership in health disparities are inspirational. Her work will provide a lasting, positive impact to the practice of medicine for future generations to come. 

Lukejohn W. Day, MD, FACG

For Pride Month, the American College of Gastroenterology proudly showcases the remarkable career of Dr. Lukejohn W. Day, whose leadership and innovation have influenced both healthcare policy and the promotion of inclusivity within gastroenterology.

Dr. Day’s extensive leadership journey includes the Chief Medical Officer at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG) and the inaugural UCSF Health System Chief Medical Officer. His strategic vision has been pivotal in implementing comprehensive healthcare policies that ensure quality care across diverse patient populations. Notably, Dr. Day led multiple initiatives to improve operational efficiencies and patient access to services, including integrating an enterprise-wide electronic health record system and designing a new outpatient ambulatory care center.

Beyond administrative excellence, Dr. Day’s research has had a direct impact on patient care. His focus on developing efficient healthcare delivery models, particularly within the endoscopy center at ZSFG, has led to significant improvements in the quality of outpatient GI consultation notes and the informed consent process for endoscopy. These advancements have set new standards for patient care in gastroenterology.

Dr. Day is also an advocate for diversity in the medical field. His involvement on various diversity committees of major U.S. gastroenterology societies underscores his commitment to increasing the representation of underrepresented minorities in medicine. He has spearheaded several initiatives, including the NIH-funded ‘Investing in the Future Program,’ which aims to inspire medical students and residents from diverse backgrounds to pursue specialties in gastroenterology.

As President of the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP), Dr. Day has played a crucial role in advancing the representation and support of Indigenous physicians. His leadership has been instrumental in increasing AAIP membership through strategic initiatives and direct community engagement. Dr. Day has developed programs that assess members’ perspectives and feedback, leading to a comprehensive plan that enhances the AAIP experience.

As a distinguished educator, Dr. Day’s contributions to gastroenterology are not limited to his administrative and research roles; he has also profoundly impacted medical education. At UCSF, he has taught and mentored GI fellows, residents, and medical students, emphasizing endoscopic procedures and patient care strategies.

Dr. Day’s leadership has not only transformed patient care and operational standards but has also fostered a more inclusive and equitable healthcare environment. His extensive work during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ensuring operational readiness at ZSFG and leading a city-wide vaccination program, are testaments to his skillful navigation of complex healthcare challenges.

Celebrating Dr. Day during Pride Month highlights his unwavering commitment to enhancing gastroenterology through inclusive leadership, educational excellence, and a dedication to improving patient care across all facets of healthcare.

Rainbows in Gastro

The ACG DEI committee proudly recognizes and celebrates the work of Rainbows in Gastro (RIG). This national organization, established in 2022, is dedicated to addressing health disparities faced by LGBTQI+ individuals (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other sexual and gender minorities). RIG’s core mission revolves around community, healing, advocacy, research, and mentorship (CHARM).  

Rainbows in Gastro focuses on the disparities experienced by both patients and healthcare professionals within the LGBTQI+ community. They collaborate with the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN).  

Among RIG’s key initiatives are modeling and disseminating best practices for the care of sexual and gender minority (SGM) patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases and developing clinical practice guidelines for clinicians. They are committed to increasing diversity, equality, equity, and inclusivity of SGM providers at local and national levels. RIG also promotes ethical research in SGM populations, actively involving community members and patients. It provides mentorship and guidance to the next generation of SGM healthcare professionals in gastroenterology and hepatology. Furthermore, RIG advocates against harmful policies and supports protective legislation for LGBTQI+ communities. 

This organization has created a much-needed space for addressing the disparities faced by our patients and our colleagues. To learn more, please visit Rainbows in Gastro: 

Victor Chedid, MD, MS

During Pride Month, the American College of Gastroenterology is proud to highlight Dr. Victor Chedid, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic’s Gastroenterology and Hepatology department, who is making significant strides in advancing healthcare for the LGBTQIA+ community within his field. 

Dr. Chedid’s leadership in founding the LGBTQIA+ Clinic in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at Mayo Clinic marks a groundbreaking step toward specialized, inclusive healthcare. His work focuses on creating a safe and understanding environment where LGBTQIA+ patients receive care tailored to their specific needs, helping to address and reduce health disparities within this community. 

In addition to his clinical innovations, Dr. Chedid has been a vocal advocate for inclusivity in medical education and practice. His presentations, such as “Developing an LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Clinic” and his involvement in the “Pride Clinic: Developing an Interdisciplinary, LGBTQ+ Inclusive Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic,” highlight his commitment to educating healthcare professionals on the importance of inclusivity and understanding in patient care. 

Recognized for his dedication and leadership, Dr. Chedid continues to inspire through his commitment to education and advocacy, ensuring that the medical community serves the LGBTQIA+ population with the highest standards of care and respect. His efforts in pushing forward these vital initiatives celebrate the spirit of Pride Month and exemplify the profound impact that committed individuals can have on transforming healthcare for the better. 

The American College of Gastroenterology celebrates Dr. Victor Chedid this Pride Month as a champion for positive change and a beacon of hope for many in the LGBTQIA+ community seeking compassionate and specialized care in gastroenterology. 

Educational Resources

Explore LGBQT+ podcast, video, and journal article resources on the ACG Blog

ACG Logo. ACG Virtual Grand Rounds Thursday 12 Noon Eastern

ACG Virtual Grand Rounds

Health Equity and DEI Module Graphic

Health Equity & DEI Module on the ACG Education Universe

ACG’s Health Equity & DEI Module features a comprehensive educational program dedicated to providing updates on diversity, equity and inclusion topics. The modules include content specifically designed to allow the learner to increase knowledge and develop strategies that can be implemented into practice.