Working at the Center has galvanized my commitment to the LGBTQ community and given me a place to grow and feel at home. It has also reaffirmed my appreciation for the diversity we represent and shown me that we are a social justice organization first and foremost.
My desire to work with my community and make a difference is what brought me to the Center. I had been working in for-profit financial services and wanted to pivot my life toward helping LGTBQ people move forward in their lives and get the care they need instead of growing some company’s balance sheet.
Our community has long had a history of stepping-up in times of crisis, and our patients and staff have really done so during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the pandemic began, the way I carry out my duties in Health Services has changed. Our number one priority is the safety of our patients and staff as we ensure that they have access to the same level of care they received pre-COVID.
We shifted 90 percent of our business to being handled through technology, like telehealth, which required and received a huge commitment from the IT and Health Information Systems departments.
During times when we’ve been short-staffed, I have helped a bit with phones and scheduling. I recently spoke with a client whom I hadn’t spoken with in more than 10 years. Back then, she was newly diagnosed with HIV and coming off from a really bad meth addiction. I was so happy to hear that she has been sober for over eight years, gone through her gender transition, and is back in school this semester to finish her degree.
We are an extremely resilient, perseverant community and are on the cutting edge of providing care to our community. Nothing stands in our way of helping each other. It gets very challenging at times, but we will prevail no matter what obstacle is put in front of us. Failure is not an option!
Some days can be very, very difficult—and you feel overwhelmed—but you’ll never question the impact of the work you are doing.
Hometown: Baltimore/Washington D.C. area
Year Started Working at Center: 2008
Staff Position: Director of Operations, Health Services