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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

PITTSBURGH – Recognized for his work and efforts surrounding diversity and inclusion between the LGBTQ community and medicine, Geisinger physician Aliasgar Chittalia, MD, MHA, was recently honored with the 2019 Pennsylvania LGBT Leadership Award at the Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Unity Summit in Pittsburgh.

Presented on behalf of the National Diversity Council, the award recognizes Dr. Chittalia’s leadership and commitment to providing inclusive and respectful quality care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The award honors those who are taking action to effect inclusion and building better relationships with LGBT patients in medicine as well as inclusion of LGBT colleagues in the workplace.

At Geisinger, Dr. Chittalia leads efforts in unifying patients’ and members’ sexual orientation and gender identity with Geisinger’s electronic health record (EHR). Having this information in a patient’s electronic health record helps to provide the most appropriate care and guides physicians and staff in addressing patients correctly. 

“I’m part of a very committed and motivated team at Geisinger who have inspired me to drive this initiative,” Dr. Chittalia said. “At Geisinger we are committed to taking care of all our patients with respect and dignity. Up to 15 percent of the United States population identify themselves as LGBTQ, and there is significant disparity in the health care that is provided to this community.  Geisinger wants to ensure that we understand our patients well so we can take better care of their health care needs.”

Dr. Chittalia’s work included designing an inclusive care EHR, comprised of having a patient’s preferred name, preferred pronoun, gender identify, sex observed at birth, and family inclusive values. Having this information available to clinicians and care teams supports health maintenance and clinical decision making. 

“We want all our patients to feel welcomed, accepted, understood and safe, and we want our staff to be culturally aware and medically knowledgeable,” Dr. Chittalia said. “Sexual orientation is an important part of the medical history because it can have implications on health. Many patients identify themselves different from their birth sex or sex on their government identification, so it is important to ask these questions. Patients aren’t required to answer the questions if they feel uncomfortable doing so.”

Geisinger continues to enhance efforts to make health care more inclusive and address diversity in the workplace. Geisinger’s G-PRIDE (Geisinger – People Ready for Inclusion, Diversity and Equality) employee resource group is a source of support for LGBTQ employees that also works to educate and enhance understanding surrounding LGBTQ issues. In 2019, seven Geisinger hospitals were recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Healthcare Equality Index as Leader facilities for LGBTQ health.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

Dr. Aliasgar Chittalia
Dr. Aliasgar Chittalia, sitting in his Mountain Top office, was honored with the 2019 Pennsylvania LGBT Leadership Award for his leadership and commitment to providing inclusive and respectful quality care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals at Geisinger.

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