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Former health secretary to accept award at LGBT medical conference in Baltimore

Former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
(AFPGetty Images)

Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will be on hand in Baltimore this week to receive an award for improving federal health policy for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, according to a national association of LGBT and allied medical professionals.

The organization GLMA -- formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association -- expects more than 400 attendees at its annual conference, scheduled from Wednesday through Saturday at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel.

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Sebelius served as the nation's health secretary from 2009 until earlier this year, when she resigned after accepting responsibility for the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its HealthCare.gov platform.

Technical problems with the website that stopped people from signing up for health coverage under President Barack Obama's signature health law were mirrored across the country in states that launched their own websites, including Maryland.

During her tenure, GLMA said Sebelius "oversaw and led a rapid transformation in how the federal government addressed the health and well-being of LGBT people," from making sure the Affordable Care Act was inclusive of LGBT communities to establishing new regulations for hospital visitations by same-sex couples.

Sebelius also increased funding for LGBT programs, including community center trainings and a national resource center on LGBT aging, and incorporated LGBT identity more explicitly into national health studies.

"As Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius' leadership on LGBT health and equality was unparalleled," said GLMA President Henry Ng in a statement. "The LGBT community is grateful to her and we are honored she will join us next week to accept the GLMA Achievement Award."

The award will be presented on Thursday, the group said.

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