Larner Marches with Academic Medical Center at Pride Vermont Parade

September 16, 2019 by Jennifer Nachbur

LGBTQ community members and allies filled Burlington's Church Street and downtown area with smiles, rainbow flags, and bright colors on Sunday, September 8, at the 2019 Vermont Pride Parade and Festival. The Larner College of Medicine was one of more than 90 organizations that participated in the event, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and had the largest attendance to date.

For the first time ever, members of the college joined with the UVM Medical Center, UVM Children's Hospital, and UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences to represent the academic medical center. Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., his wife, Jean Page, and UVM Medical Center CEO Stephen Leffler, M.D., walked together with more than 100 people, most wearing t-shirts stating "We Take PRIDE in Your Health" on the front, and Larner medical students wearing their short white coats.

"I have been helping organize our medical student group for several years . . . but we have never had so many individuals come out in support of Pride from each of the organizations," said Pamela Gibson, M.D., associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and co-advisor of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. 

Former UVM Children’s Hospital patients (with adult supervisors) rode in the back of a UVM Medical Center truck decorated with rainbow-colored streamers and "We Take PRIDE in Your Health" banners on its front and back that led the academic medical center procession. 

Marchers distributed headbands, bubbles, rainbow stickers, and Larner College of Medicine “PRIDE” and “Diversity, Unity, Excellence, Respect, Inclusion” pins to parade participants and spectators.

"As I stood at the back of our procession . . . I was taken aback by the sheer number of individuals in white t-shirts and white coats, and by the energy," said Dr. Gibson, who added that "I felt a camaraderie and connection to my fellow employees and trainees who were present that day to walk in solidarity for our LGBTQ community."

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