The Equality Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of those who dedicate time, energy, spirit and whole-hearted commitment to better the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. The awards presented at the Human Rights Campaign gala dinners are the highest honor the organization bestows in the area of achieving equality for LGBTQ people.
It is with tremendous pride that I introduce our 2017 Equality Award honorees, Dr. Vicky Fraser and Dr. Chris Lewis.
Dr. Fraser is the Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. As a clinician she has cared for underserved patients including those in the LGBTQ community throughout her career. As a leader she has been a guiding light and one of the strongest advocates for the LGBTQ community at Washington University. At her direction, the Department of Medicine has created programs to support LGBTQ faculty and staff and improve care for LGBTQ patients. Dr. Fraser will tell you more about these. What I am here to tell you is that it is Dr. Fraser’s bold and visionary leadership that is truly the driving force behind all of these intiatives. None of them would have been possible without her unwavering support.
Dr. Lewis is a pediatric endocrinologist and the founder and director of the Washington University Transgender Clinic at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Starting something new is never easy, but whatever challenges came his way, Chris followed his vision, motivated by his dedication to the patients he serves. Because of Dr. Lewis, transgender and gender-expansive children and adolescents across the St. Louis area now have greatly increased access to gender-affirming medical care.
These efforts by Dr. Fraser and Dr. Lewis do more than directly impact our St. Louis community in the present; they are the pathway to reducing healthcare disparities for LGBTQ people nationwide.
Dr. Fraser and Dr. Lewis, it has been my great fortune to work with both of you. Thank you for your leadership and the positive change you have created for the LGBTQ community.
It is our honor to now stand with you and recognize you with the 2017 Equality Award.