I had the honor of being interviewed by Sonoran university, my Alma Mater during pride month. Please enjoy the below article.
As we reflect on the PRIDE Month of June, Sonoran University of Health Sciences would like to recognize the incredible work being done by one of our incredible Alumni as they strive to make a difference in the healthcare of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Born in Bloomington, IL, Dr. Danielle Lewis grew up in a home centered around good health, nutritious food, and a tremendous emphasis on education. Dr. Lewis attended Illinois Central College to become a PTA and graduated with a degree in health science and management from Old Dominion University. After pursuing a career in physical therapy for fifteen years, Dr. Lewis attended Sonoran University (formally SCNM), where upon graduation spent her two years of residency focusing on women’s medicine and primary care. Dr. Lewis found her calling in addressing the healthcare needs of the 13th largest LGBTQUIA+ community, which is the Phoenix, AZ metro area.
Dr. Lewis shares a message of equity and focuses on the complex healthcare needed for this underserved community.
“I love working with the community. This is a community that is dealing with so much regarding health disparities, stigma, and discrimination. We have come a long way but have a long way to go regarding addressing these challenges. The other major challenges are that many healthcare providers may lack sufficient knowledge and training regarding LGBTQIA health. This knowledge gap can lead to misdiagnosis, inadequate treatment, or a lack of appropriate preventive care. It is crucial to ensure that healthcare professionals receive comprehensive education on LGBTQIA health issues, including understanding gender identity, sexual orientation, and the specific healthcare needs of transgender and non-binary individuals. It is crucial that we, as practitioners, create a safe space for this community.
Medical schools and healthcare organizations should integrate LGBTQIA health into their curricula and continuing education programs. This includes training on gender-affirming care, hormonal therapy, mental health support, and other relevant topics. Collaborations with LGBTQIA community organizations and experts can further enhance provider knowledge and promote culturally competent care. Transgender and non-binary individuals often face unique challenges related to accessing gender-affirming healthcare. Barriers may include limited insurance coverage for transgender-specific treatments, lengthy waiting lists for gender-affirming surgeries, and a shortage of knowledgeable providers in certain regions.
To address these barriers, policymakers should advocate for comprehensive insurance coverage for transgender healthcare, including hormone therapy, mental health support, and gender-affirming surgeries.”
Dr. Danielle Lewis is currently practicing in Phoenix, AZ. If you would like to inquire about her services, visit her here.