Ms. W: Included

A Member Story

At AbsoluteCare, our goal—our role—is to embrace diversity in every form. And that diversity goes beyond the outward appearance of skin tone, ethnicity, accent, dress, and all other apparent signs of difference. Though it’s been a long time coming, society is just coming to terms with the concept of pronouns. But we have provided gender-affirming care from the start.

This means our transgender and nonbinary members are addressed by their preferred names and pronouns, not by what’s visible to us.

Ms. W is a member with HIV. She was referred to us by her health plan, but she had not yet visited our center in New Orleans. Our community health worker reached out to her with a personal invitation, presenting all array of services. She let our outreach team know that she had been out of her HIV medications for at least two weeks before she came in for her first visit with Nurse Practitioner Mitchell Handrich.

By pure coincidence, Ms. W visited the center on the same day her provider was giving a presentation on HIV and the LGBTQ+ population, and she was able to sit in on that presentation before her appointment. This was a turning point in her care. At last, Ms. W felt comfortable seeking healthcare, perhaps for the first time in her life.

Our New Orleans resource staff is currently working to secure better housing for Ms. W, who has just begun taking her medications again and is looking forward to returning to see us in a place where she feels accepted and included.

Read more about our IDEA: Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity for All: What a Difference Diversity Makes.