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2016 Ron Holt Civic Engagement Award

On Wednesday, April 27, I had the honor and privilege of presenting the annual Ron Holt Civic Engagement Award to a graduating senior at Wayne State College (WSC) in Wayne, NE.
 
The award was created to showcase a graduating WSC senior who has served as an exemplary role model and contributed to the service ethos of the college campus and community at large during their college career. Selected students must have participated in at least one Service‐Learning academic or co‐curricular project/event while at WSC and have maintained good academic standing with a GPA of 2.5 or higher while in college. 
 
All of the applications received were excellent making the committee’s decision a very difficult one.
 
In addition to receiving a certificate and a ribboned medallion, the winner of this year’s award received a crystal trophy along with an gift of $500. The winner was also recognized during graduation commencement May 7, 2016. 
 
The two finalists each received a certificate, a ribboned medallion, and a crystal trophy along with a gift of $250.  
 
The winner of this year’s award is Dasirae Sieh (second from left). In providing a personal narrative that describes her philosophy about service, Sieh wrote in part: "My philosophy regarding service can be summed up into one word: selflessness. Genuine service reaps neither benefit or recognition".
 
The two finalists were Brandon Whitten (third from left) and Alexandria Filipowicz (second from right).
 
In providing a personal narrative that describes his philosophy about service, Whitten wrote in part: "Service is the opportunity to use an individual's skills and knowledge to help a community...it is an act of selfless giving."
 
Filipowicz wrote in part: "I believe in a world where we should spread our love through the help and service that we give to others...I will continue to give to others in the future."
 
It was such an honor to recognize such amazing stewards of Service-Learning and civic engagement.
 
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Radio Interview on Resources and Risk Factors for LGBT Youth Suicide

On September 18, 2015, I had the honor and privilege of being interviewed by Brandon Carmody of Gay News Radio. The topic was on LGBT Youth Suicide. We discussed many issues relative to the topic of suicide, including signs and symptoms of suicide, general risk factors for suicide, specific risks for suicide in the LGBT community, and resources & hotlines that are available for youth and adults.
 
The recording "Doctor Ron Holt" can be found at gaynewsradio.org/guests 
 
I always love the opportunity to show compassion through education. Knowledge gives us the power to make a difference in the communities we live in and serve.
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The 2014 KCUMB Alumni Service Award

On Monday, October 27, I had the honor and the privilege of being the recipient of the 2014 Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) Alumni Service Award.
 
The awards reception was held at Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle, WA.
 
The award was presented by Drs. Marc Hahn, Joel Feder, and Jane Lampo. Dr. Hahn is the President and CEO of KCUMB, Dr. Feder is the President of the KCUMB Alumni Association and Dr. Lampo in the University's Vice President of Institutional Advancement.
 
The Alumni Service Award honors an alumnus who has demonstrated leadership and outstanding service to the University and to the osteopathic profession. 
 
It is such a honor to be recognized for my community service to the public and the University on LGBT issues and civil rights. I feel so fortunate to be recognized for my life's passion.
 
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The 2014 Rural Pride Summit at Wayne State College

On September 19, 2014, Wayne State College (WSC) was the proud host of a LGBT #RuralPride Summit. 
 
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, in collaboration with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and The True Colors Fund, engaged with WSC to host the third stop in the LGBT Rural Summit Series. The summit offered rural Nebraskans a unique opportunity for USDA and other federal agencies to share information relating to policies, programs, and services that exist to protect, promote and strengthen LGBT rural communities. Many topics were discussed during the summit, including legal issues and nondiscrimination in rural LGBT communities; LGBT youth in rural America; LGBT health disparities; and community partnerships/cross movements advocacy. 
 
The USDA and community partners had informational tables set up in the lobby throughout the summit on topics relevant to LGBT rural communities. 
 
Over 100 people attended the Nebraska summit allowing collaboration and networking across the state.
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The 2014 Ron Holt Civic Engagement Award

On Wednesday, April 30, I had the honor and privilege of presenting the inaugural Ron Holt Civic Engagement Award to a graduating senior at Wayne State College (WSC) in Wayne, NE.
 
The award was created to showcase a graduating WSC senior who has served as an exemplary role model and contributed to the service ethos of the college campus and community at large during their college career. Selected students must have participated in at least one Service‐Learning academic or co‐curricular project/event while at WSC and have maintained good academic standing with a GPA of 2.5 or higher while in college. 
 
All of the applications received were excellent making the committee’s decision a very difficult one.
 
In addition to receiving a certificate and a ribboned medallion, the winner of this year’s award received a crystal trophy along with a check for $500. The winner will also be recognized during graduation commencement May 10. 
 
The second and third place finishers received a certificate along with a ribboned medallion, which is suitable for wearing at graduation to recognize their Service-Learning and civic engagements while students at WSC.  
 
The winner of this year’s award is Boone Evans (pictured above) who is a science major from Herman, NE.  He will graduate with a concentration in chemical sciences and eventually plans to attend graduate school in Chemistry. He was an active volunteer in Rotaract, which stands for Rotary in Action. He was nominated by Dr. Engebretsen who wrote a very strong and compelling nomination letter - in part she wrote “While many students participate in Service-Learning as a course requirement, not all students embrace a philosophy of ‘Service Above Self’, the motto of Rotary and Rotaract. Boone has distinguished himself as exemplary of this motto. Many students join clubs. Many participate in club activities, but few internalize the spirit of service as Boone has.”
 
Through Rotaract, Boone actively participated in numerous volunteer activities, including highway cleanup; serving meals to citizens of Wayne; making holiday cards for seniors; working with the ‘LifeServe’ Blood Center as part of their blood drive; and helping raise monetary funds to assist with the building of clean wells for the impoverished population of Zimbabwe in Africa. In addition to his volunteerism in Rotaract, he has held office positions in other clubs and activities, as well as volunteered for various science competitions on campus during all four of his college years. 
He actively participated in two Service-Learning projects: Lifespan Development Class and the seventh annual Elderfest.
 
In providing a personal narrative that describes his philosophy about service, Boone wrote in part: “As humans, no matter what our background, we can analyze our lives and understand when change is needed. Once we have recognized that change is needed, we can work to make the change we wish to see. The belief that we can enact change in our world is hope, and hope can lead to the most powerful and beneficial change. Hope can set us free from racial discrimination and social stigmas, and can give power to impoverished and broken peoples. I believe hope can be spread among communities and across continents through service.” 
 
The second place recipient was Jackie Keller who is an education major from Norfolk, NE. She will graduate with an endorsement in K-12 vocal music education. Her volunteer work included music performances at The Oaks, The Careage, and The Senior Citizen Center. She also actively participated in two Service-Learning experiences: K-6 Music Method’s Class and 7-12 Music Method’s Class.  
 
The third place recipient was Vickie Nielsen (pictured above) who is a student athlete from Fremont, NE. She will graduate with an applied human and sports physiology degree and plans to attend physical therapy school after graduation. Her volunteer work while a Wayne State student included NSAA wrestling hydration and body fat assessments; tornado relief; and the teammates mentoring program. She also actively participated in two Service-Learning courses: Cardiac Rehabilitation and Life Span Development.
 
It was such an honor to recognize such amazing stewards of Service-Learning and civic engagement.
 
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The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Total Health Care Extraordinary Contribution Award

On Friday, April 12, I had the honor and the privilege of being a recipient of Kaiser Permanente's (KP's) LGBT Total Health Care Extraordinary Contribution Award.
 
The awards dinner was held at the Omni hotel in downtown Los Angeles, which was the host hotel for KP's first national LGBT health symposium April 12-13.
 
It is such a deep honor to be recognized for my medical education on LGBT health by the very colleagues who also strive to provide the best culturally competent care to the LGBT members we serve.
 
The award was presented by Drs. Michael Tome, Maria Carrasco, and Mateo Ledezma. Dr. Tome is the area medical director of KP Los Angeles, Dr. Carrasco is the regional physician lead for culturally responsive care, and Dr. Ledezma is the clinical director of the Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Care for LGBTi Health Equity.
 
According to the award program, the extraordinary contribution award is given to a "person or group, either within Kaiser Permanente or from the community, who has demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to improving total health awareness in the LGBT community. This person, or group, should be recognized by his or her peers as a person that has contributed significantly in closing health disparity, promoting awareness, and improving overall total health care in the LGBT community."
 
I feel so fortunate to be recognized for my life's passion.
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Highlights of the 2013 CESCaL Conference by Alix Sabin

Gay Sexuality: Biology as a Destiny
A presentation by Ron Holt, DO at the 2013 CESCal conference  By Alix Sabin, TPMG
Kaiser Permanente Ideabook  (Reposted with permission of A. Sabin)
 
Ron Holt, DO, a clinical psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente’s South San Francisco Medical Center, presented a workshop at the 4th annual national educator conference. The conference, hosted by San Diego State University’s Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership (CESCaL), held Feb. 15 – 17 in San Diego, focused on LGBTQIA youth. The conference was attended by more than 600 K-12 educators, administrators, counselors, LGBT educational leaders and interested community members.
 
LGBTQIA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex And Ally.
 
The conference has become increasingly important over the years because when students don’t feel safe, they are less likely to learn, more likely to give up on school altogether, and, in worst case scenarios, even take their own lives. According to recent data, 8 out of 10 LGBT youth are harassed at school, have a dropout rate nearly 3 times the national average and are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide compared to their straight peers. As the only national educator conference that focuses on LGBTQIA youth, it has been endorsed by the National Education Association and recognized by President Obama.
 
Dr. Ron Holt's workshop helped conferees compare and contrast the definitions of sexual orientation and sexual behavior; describe the spectrum of sexuality in the general population; identify that sexual orientation is not a choice; describe how genetics plays a role in male homosexuality; list the current biological theorieson causation of male homosexuality; and identify neuroanatomical differences between homosexual and heterosexual men.
 
Another interesting presenter was Betty DeGeneres, Ellen’s mother. She accepted an award for Excellence in Advocacy for Safe, Welcoming & Inclusive Schools for the recent public service announcement she filmed for PFLAG. “I enjoyed my career as a speech therapist but I think I would have loved being a school counselor,” DeGeneres said to rousing applause. “Although even with all the training I would have gotten fired, because I would have wanted to call those bullies the little jacka**es they are.”
 
 
Dr. Holt has been a staff psychiatrist at KP since 1997. The focus of his work is in diagnostic assessment and psychotropic medication treatment. He also provides consultation to other medical providers in the hospital around coordinated care of members with coexisting medical and psychiatric needs. In addition, he is passionate about ending bullying and suicide, enhancing the knowledge of medical providers regarding LGBT healthcare and educating the public about the consequences of homophobia.
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Cable TV Interview on my Advocacy for LGBT Youth

 
I had the privilege of being interviewed by David Perry for the show "10%" on cable TV. The "10%" show focuses on individuals who are making a difference in the LGBT community.
 
We discussed my advocacy for LGBT youth, including the need for openly gay role models in rural America; the lack of training physicians have on LGBT healthcare; and the difficulties LGBT youth encounter in the coming out process.
 
LGBT youth are at higher risk for emotional and physical health issues due to internalized homophobia and society's pressure and stigma against the LGBT community.
 
We can make a difference for our youth through compassion, education, and mentoring. Together we will make a difference. 
 
 
 
 
 
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Supporting Students - Saving Lives

This past weekend I had the honor of attending and presenting at the 4th annual National Educator Conference Focused on LGBTQIA Youth. The tagline for the conference was "Supporting Students - Saving Lives".  The conference was presented by The Center of Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership (CESCaL).
 
According to the conference booklet, the Mission of CESCaL "is to promote excellence in the field of school counseling and to assist school counselors and site administrators as they design, implement and evaluate school counseling programs to best meet student needs. Supporting Students - Saving Lives is a division of CESCaL and provides national conferences, training opportunities, consultation and support for educators seeking knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to advocate for LGBTQIA youth."
 
I presented a workshop entitled: "Gay Sexuality: Biology as a Destiny". This workshop helped audience members compare and contrast the definitions of sexual orientation and sexual behavior; describe the spectrum of sexuality in the general population; identify that sexual orientation is not a choice; describe how genetics plays a role in male homosexuality; list the current biological theories on causation of male homosexuality; and identify neuroanatomical differences between homosexual and heterosexual men.
 
Over 75  attendees made the workshop standing room only and included K-12 educators, administrators, counselors, LGBT educational leaders and interested community members from across America. Click on "Supporting Students - Saving Lives" link above to view written comments of the attendees.
 
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