June 28, 2021

Providers and their LGBTQ+ patients – the importance of creating an affirming environment

For many in the LGBTQ+ community, fear of discrimination and harassment can get in the way of seeking medical care when they are sick and can put them at increased risk of serious health problems, including kidney disease. In this episode, we discussed how to create an inclusive and affirming environment in a healthcare setting for LGBTQ+ patients such as how a provider earns trust, what qualities a gender affirming provider has, understanding patient’s identities, how you can make your dialysis units more comfortable for LGBTQ+  patients, and how HCPs can participate in advocacy. Our speakers are Dr. Dinushika Mohottige and Dr. Mitchell R. Lunn, two experts in sexual and gender minority health, as well as living kidney donor and the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history, Rep. Brian Sims.

In this episode, you will hear from:

Dinushika Mohottige, MD, MPH:

Dr. Mohottige is a Nephrologist and Medical Instructor in the Division of Nephrology at Duke University Hospitals. She received a B.A. in Public Policy and a Health Policy Certificate from Duke University in 2006, where she was a Robertson Scholar. She then earned an MPH in Health Behavior/Health Education from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, followed by Internal Medicine and Nephrology training at Duke University. She now works under the mentorship of Dr. Ebony Boulware and Dr. Clarissa Diamantidis to engage in patient and community-centered, inequity-focused research around the impact of socio-structural factors on kidney health and kidney transplantation.


Mitchell R. Lunn, MD, MAS, FACP, FASN:

Dr. Lunn is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. As an internist and nephrologist with a strong interest in technology and sexual and gender minority health, Mitch’s research is designed to characterize the health and well-being of these populations. Mitch is the co-director of PRIDEnet, a participant-powered research network of SGM people that engages SGM communities at all stages of the biomedical research process: research question generation and prioritization, study design, recruitment, participation, data analysis, and results dissemination. He currently serves on the American Society of Nephrology’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


PA State Representative Brian Sims:

Brian Sims is a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 182nd district. Elected in 2012, Sims is also a lawyer and activist on LGBTQ+ civil rights. Sims is the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history. In January of 2020, he donated his kidney to his friend. He has been vocal about supporting organ and tissue donation. Currently, he is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2022 election.

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