Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame inducts UIC nursing professor

Phoenix Matthews, professor of health systems science in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, is one of 11 individuals, along with one organization, to be inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame tonight.

Alicia Matthews

Phoenix Matthews

The ceremony at the Chicago History Museum, 1604 N. Clark St., is from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Matthews, a clinical psychologist, is known nationally and internationally for their (the nongendered pronoun Matthews prefers) research on health disparities in underserved populations. Their work is focused primarily on the development and evaluation of culturally targeted cancer risk reduction interventions in the African American and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations.

“It is a real honor to be recognized by the Hall of Fame committee for my work with and on behalf of the LGBT communities,” Matthews said. “I will be joining other UIC faculty and alumni who have been inducted over the years, and I am thrilled to be part of a larger campus community that is committed to social justice and equality.”

During their career, Matthews has received more than $5 million to support their research from federal, state, foundation and departmental funds. Matthews has served as principal investigator on four federally funded research projects and co-investigator on several others, and published more than 70 peer reviewed articles and an additional five book chapters stemming from their research on cancer prevention and control.

Matthews is currently conducting a randomized clinical trial of a culturally targeted smoking cessation intervention for LGBT smokers. It is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the National Institutes of Health.

The Hall of Fame inducts individuals, organizations, and “friends of the community.” Nominees represent all of Chicago’s sexual-minority communities, including LGBT Chicagoans past and present, living and dead, as well as those who have supported or assisted them.

“This year’s inductees, like our rosters since 1991, represent LGBT achievements in a variety of fields,” said Gary Chichester, who along with Mary Morten co-chairs the event. “Each year, the Hall of Fame spotlights some of the many who have made contributions to their own communities and to the city as a whole.”

Matthews has won numerous awards throughout their career, including a Healthy Chicago Award from the Chicago Department of Public Health for their work on tobacco cessation.

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