Nearly a year after its founding director resigned to work for a national LGBT rights organization, the Center for LGBT Health and Equity at UCSF has a new director.
Leading it will be Larry D. Lariosa, MA, a licensed marriage and family therapist, who has also been hired as a diversity program manager and LGBT specialist in the campus’ Office of Diversity and Outreach.
He will report directly to Renee Chapman Navarro, MD, PharmD, vice chancellor of diversity and outreach at UCSF.
“We are delighted to have Larry join the Office of Diversity and Outreach,” stated Navarro in story about his hiring posted to the university’s website. “His expertise and experience in working with diverse populations makes him an ideal fit for this critical position at UCSF. I look forward to Larry working with the campus and medical center to continue and strengthen the great work that has put UCSF on the map for raising awareness for critical diversity issues including LGBT health care and equity.”
The initial hiring announcement on June 26 was largely overlooked, as it was made the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the two same-sex marriage cases.
In a recent email to the Bay Area Reporter to highlight Lariosa’s hiring, Navarro wrote, “We are so pleased to have this excellent leader as a part of the Diversity and Outreach Team.”
The B.A.R.’s request for an in-person interview with Lariosa to discuss his hiring and plans for the center going forward were denied this week. Jennifer O’Brien, executive director of public affairs at UCSF, wrote in an email that while Lariosa “is very interested in speaking with you,” he would not be able to do so until November or early December.
“He has just recently come on board and is extremely busy getting the Resource Center organized for the new academic year,” wrote O’Brien. “A few months out he will be able to talk about the efforts in progress. He currently is assessing the needs of the LGBT community on campus.”
Campus concerns about the status of the LGBT health center broke into the public earlier this year as the director position remained vacant following the departure of founding director Shane Snowdon last summer. Snowdon, who launched the center in 1998, resigned after being hired by the Human Rights Campaign to oversee its LGBT health initiatives.
The issue prompted a meeting last fall between the UCSF Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on LGBT Issues and Navarro. Months later, when word spread on campus that Navarro had re-categorized the position to being a diversity program manager/LGBT specialist, the negative reaction to the news resulted in an anonymous email being sent to the Bay Area Reporter and to aides of several gay lawmakers in Sacramento that was critical of the decision and lashed out at UCSF officials.
In both an email sent to UCSF staff and an interview with the B.A.R. this past winter, Navarro refuted the complaints about the director position being made half-time instead of the sole focus of the job. She pledged that the LGBT health center would remain a priority for whoever was hired in the position.
According to the hiring announcement, it is clear that Lariosa will be juggling numerous responsibilities in his new job. He is being tasked with designing, executing and assessing diversity and outreach programs for both Navarro’s office and campus-wide, including at the UCSF Medical Center and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
In addition to those duties will be his directorship of the LGBT health center. Lariosa will “provide sensitive, multi-faceted resources and support for LGBT students, staff, faculty, residents, post-docs, fellows and patients,” according to the announcement.
His responsibilities also include advocating for campus- and system-wide policy changes to reduce LGBT bias and increase “inclusion and visibility of the LGBT community.” Lariosa will also serve as a “consultant to units and departments campus-wide on general diversity matters as well as LGBT issues, provide focused education and trainings, and collaborate with the faculty and administrators to evaluate the curricula through the lens of diversity for all four professional schools and the Graduate Division.”
According to the announcement Lariosa has either worked for or collaborated with the now-defunct New Leaf Services for Our Community, Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center, the UCSF AIDS Health Project, the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, and the San Francisco Unified School District.
In 2011, Lariosa was appointed to both the UCSF Chancellor Advisory Committee on GLBT Issues and the University of California Mental Health Oversight Committee.
In 1998, he graduated San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Gay and Lesbian Studies. In 2002, he received a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology at UCSF.