By Taytum Sanderbeck
On October 18, IGHS’ Luis Gutierrez-Mock received UCSF’s Chancellor's Award for LGBTQI Leadership. His dedication to advancing LGBTQI equity through local and statewide COVID-19 response, as well as his dedication to equity and inclusion throughout his career, make him an invaluable leader at UCSF and throughout the communities he serves.
Gutierrez-Mock has supported California’s COVID-19 response since the start of the pandemic through his work at UCSF’s Pandemic Initiative for Equity and Action (UPIEA). While training contact tracers and case investigators through the California Virtual Training Academy (VTA+), a project of UPIEA, Luis led efforts to improve the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data.
Gutierrez-Mock recognized that this type of data was not only often missing, thus creating an information gap on understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on disadvantaged groups, but the way this data was being gathered was not always respectful to clients. To make sure data questions were being asked sensitively and respectfully, Gutierrez-Mock developed a training module on demographic data collection with an emphasis on the importance of SOGI, race, and ethnicity. The VTA+ has trained more than 13,000 COVID-19 contact tracers and case investigators across California and many have benefited from Luis’ work.
In addition to advancing SOGI training and capacity building, Gutierrez-Mock has also committed to improving LGBTQI health disparities through advocacy and research. He recently met with Senator Scott Weiner to discuss overcoming barriers to collecting SOGI data. To further prove the need for this work, Luis led the authorship of a paper on how inaccurate collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data by COVID-19 case investigators and contact tracers likely led to underreporting of COVID-19 cases and contacts among LGBTQI populations.
Through his accomplishments, Gutierrez-Mock has made a continuous effort to create a culture of respect and understanding across the public health community. Much of his work on SOGI data collection is now the standard for what the state will use for other infectious diseases. Gutierrez-Mock’s efforts will have a lasting impact on the health of LGBTQI communities throughout California.
The Institute of Global Health Sciences congratulates Luis Gutierrez-Mock for his accomplishments and much-deserved recognition!
Please watch this video that celebrates his achievements.