This week I talked with Deb Dunn, Transgender Health Coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care in Baltimore, Maryland. This year has been the deadliest on record for our transgender community with 25 murders nationwide. Among these deaths 87% were transgender women and a staggering 95% of the transgender women killed were also women of color. Another disheartening statistic is that 74% of the murders of transgender people in 2017 were committed in states whose majority voted red in the 2016 presidential election. At Chase Brexton, Deb provides leadership and coordination of care for transgender-identified patients, establishes best practices for medical transgender care, trains other medical providers, provides consultation to external organizations on transgender-related issues including employee transition, engages in advocacy at the state level and identifies research and funding opportunities related to transgender care. She also provides primary care services to a large panel of LGBTQ patients as well as transgender/gender non-binary patients who she transitions by prescribing hormones. I talked to Deb about how her work at Chase Brexton is educating the nation on transgender health care and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.
When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in this Trump administration Dunn stated:
I believe that the largest amount of support probably will have to come from places of worship, community organizations, places like Chase Brexton because I know there’s a lot of fear of medical privilege, insurances being canceled, transgender especially services not being covered for surgeries and medications. So places like Chase Brexton which can offer services for people without insurance and also are able to offer discounted medications is going to be really needed if this happens and again just to be able to offer mental health to provide practitioners and be listeners and to have a place, a safe place for people to come that need to be heard.
Deb Dunn graduated from Howard University’s physician assistant program and holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. In addition, Deb serves on national teams of expert transgender medical professionals to write guidelines for treating and prescribing medications for adults and adolescents who are transitioning. Dunn is also part of the team that created Gender JOY (Journeys of Youth), a multidisciplinary program for transgender diverse youth, adolescents and families. The program was launched in January 2016 and as of November 2017 includes over 850 patients. Dunn has presented at numerous national conferences, engaged in strategic planning with several nonprofit organizations and volunteered throughout her local community. Chase Brexton Health Care was founded in 1978 and is a primary care provider serving a diverse group of patients at their seven clinics throughout Maryland. Chase Brexton’s mission is to provide compassionate, quality health care that honors diversity, inspires wellness and improves our communities. As a Federally Qualified Health Center they provide a range of clinical services from primary medical care to behavioral health services to pharmacy with more than 400 staff members working as a team to put patients at the center of their own care, empowering them to live their healthiest lives.