Visit of Professor Tonda Hughes to the School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Systems at UCD
Friday, 24 November, 2023
The School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Systems at University College Dublin (UCD) had the distinct honour of hosting Distinguished Professor Tonda Hughes, from Columbia University New York, a renowned expert in sexual and gender minority health research. The visit, which took place from the 26th to the 28th of September and was organised and facilitated by Dr. John Gilmore, and it encompassed a series of insightful activities, including a public lecture, meetings with prominent figures, and visits to relevant organizations.
Professor Tonda Hughes is a distinguished academic and researcher whose work has significantly contributed to the understanding of health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations. She holds various academic positions and has been a leading advocate for the improvement of LGBTQ+ health. Her visit to UCD was eagerly anticipated by the academic community and various stakeholders in the field of healthcare and social policy.
Public Lecture on Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research
One of the highlights of Professor Hughes' visit was her public lecture co-hosted by UCD Centre for Interdisciplinary Research Education and Innovation in Health Systems (IRIS) and UCD LGBTQI+ Staff Network, on her illustrious career leading sexual and gender minority health research. The lecture, held on Wednesday 27th of September, attracted a diverse audience of students, faculty, clinical partners and members of the public. In her presentation, Professor Hughes shared her research insights and discussed the challenges and opportunities in addressing health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations. Her lecture stimulated engaging discussions and questions from the audience, further enriching our understanding of this critical area of healthcare.
Professor Tonda Hughes
(L to R) Professor Eilish McAuliffe (Director UCD IRIS), Professor Tonda Hughes, Dr Deirdre O’Donnell (Associate Dean for Research Innovation and Impact)
(L to R) Professor Tonda Hughes, Linda Latham (Director of Nursing, Inclusion Health, CHO Dublin East, Associate Professor Sinem Uzar Ozcetin (Associate Dean for EDI)
During her visit, Professor Hughes had the privilege of meeting with several influential figures in Irish healthcare and policy. Notable meetings included:
- Minister Roderic O'Gorman: Professor Hughes had an insightful discussion with Minister Roderic O'Gorman, a prominent advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion in Ireland. Their dialogue focused on policy measures to address health disparities and promote inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community.
- Opposition Spokesperson Senator Fintan Warfield: A meeting with Senator Fintan Warfield, the Opposition Spokesperson for LGBTQ+ Affairs, provided an opportunity for Professor Hughes to discuss the political landscape surrounding LGBTQ+ health issues and the role of research in shaping policies.
(L to R) Professor Tonda Hughes with Senator Fintan Warfield
(L to R) Minister Roderic O’Gorman, Professor Tonda Hughes, Dr John Gilmore
Visits to Key Organizations
Professor Hughes also visited significant organizations dedicated to LGBTQ+ and women's health and youth empowerment. These visits included:
- LGBT Ireland: Professor Hughes had the chance to tour LGBT Ireland, an organization committed to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals. The visit enabled her to gain insights into the services provided and the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland.
- National Women's Council of Ireland: A visit to the National Women's Council of Ireland allowed Professor Hughes to explore the intersection of gender and sexual identity, fostering a deeper understanding of the unique health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ women.
(L to R) James O’Hagan (LGBT Ireland), Collete O’Regan (LGBT Ireland), Prof Tonda Hughes, Kate Mitchell (NWCI), Dr John Gilmore
- Youth Work Ireland: Professor Hughes attended the Proud Spaces event organized by Youth Work Ireland. This event was a platform for discussing LGBTQ+ youth issues, mental health, and community support, which was particularly enlightening for her research
Professor Tonda Hughes at Proud Spaces event
The visit of Professor Tonda Hughes to the School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Systems at UCD provided a unique opportunity for our academic community and the broader public to engage with a world-leading expert in sexual and gender minority health research. The knowledge and insights gained from her visit will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on our academic pursuits, policy initiatives, and healthcare practices.
We express our gratitude to Professor Hughes for her valuable contributions and to Dr. John Gilmore for organising this remarkable event. We look forward to further collaborations and the ongoing exchange of ideas to address the healthcare needs of sexual and gender minority populations in Ireland and beyond.