Page 45 - Healthcare News SepOct 2021
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    After years of pioneering work at Cooley Dickinson, Aleah Nesteby is taking her passion and talents to Transhealth Northampton.
training should include all employees in the medical setting, not just direct care providers. For example, a visitor to the doctor’s office typically first speaks with someone on the front desk, then a medical assistant or nurse, and, finally, with the physician or nurse practitioner.
“Even when all the providers are trained and great to be around, if the staff aren’t trained, it can still be a negative experience for some,” she explained.
Nesteby also helps providers with more detailed
training that addresses health issues specific
to the LGBTQ community, such as hormone therapy for transgender adults and working with transgender children.
“I’ve also trained doctors on PrEP, a pre- exposure prophylaxis for HIV,” she said. “It’s a medication people can take before being exposed to HIV to help prevent transmission.”
In some ways, Nesteby has always been an LGBTQ trainer. She was studying to be a nurse practitioner back when the transgender health movement — commonly called trans health — was just beginning. Because it wasn’t included in the curriculum, she invited a lecturer to speak to her class about trans health.
“In the beginning, there were lots of things to learn and new ground to break,” she recalled.
Nesteby is now in demand as a speaker at conferences around the country, though her appearances during the pandemic have been virtual. She also participates in TransLine, an internet-based consultation service. “People
can e-mail their questions about trans health to volunteers like me, and we answer them as they come in.”
As she became established and word got out that her practice included trans health, patients would travel from hundreds of miles away
just to be seen by Nesteby. However, “as trans health has become a more accessible field and more providers have become comfortable with it, there’s less need for people to travel long distances.”
Continuing the Conversation
Reflecting on her work with Cooley Dickinson gives Nesteby a great deal of satisfaction. From training medical staff to policies to make the hospital more inclusive, she appreciates all the
“As trans health has become a more accessible field and more providers have become comfortable with it, there’s less need for p”eople to travel long distances.
progress that’s been made so far.
“While there is still work to be done, there has
been a cultural shift in Massachusetts on how we view our LGBTQ patients,” she noted.
Jeff Harness, director of Community Health and Government Relations for Cooley Dickinson, called Nesteby’s work critically important to the LGBTQ community.
“It is rare to find a primary-care provider who understands the unique health and social needs of LGBTQ patients,” Harness said. “It’s exceedingly rare to fine one who is so skilled, passionate, and caring.”
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• Environmental Due Dilligence Studies • Geotechnical Studies and Assessments • Civil Engineering Support
• Pre-Renovation Hazardous Materials
Assessment and Testing
• MCP Compliance and LSP Services
• Construction Support and Oversight
• LEEDS and IBC Indoor Air Quality Testing • and more.
Industrial Hygiene
  OCTOBER 2021 A27

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