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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 committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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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