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From supporting trans youth with their emotional well-being to championing inclusive healthcare practices and improving sexual health services for the queer community, the Welsh healthcare sector is full of LGBTQ+ healthcare heroes. Here we showcase a few:

Lisa Cordery-Bruce

Credit: Lisa Cordery-Bruce

Lisa Cordery-Bruce, an expert in emotional wellbeing nursing, is renowned for her dedication to the LGBTQ+ community, particularly for her influential work with the youth. Across Wales, she has been pivotal in helping young individuals establish their own peer support groups, and her contributions have significantly shaped the Welsh Government’s guidelines on supporting transgender youth. Moreover, Lisa has crafted and conducted LGBTQ+ equality training programs for new employees within the Health Board.

In recent years, Lisa has increased her visibility as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in an effort to provide reassurance to others that they are not alone. She was proudly named on the Pinc List, which celebrates influential LGBTQ+ figures in Wales, for the second consecutive year in 2023, alongside esteemed colleagues and friends outside of the University Health Board (UHB).

According to Lisa, healthcare equality is often assumed, but in reality many experience discrimination and exclusion. Real progress comes from engaging with vulnerable groups like children and the LGBTQ+ community, emphasising the power of visibility and representation in healthcare settings.

Lisa is part of several positive initiatives at the University Health Board aimed at advancing equality and inclusion. Under the leadership of Rhiannon Owen, the UHB’s LGBTQ+ network has been rejuvenated, welcoming new members and volunteers to their committee. The network also offers comprehensive training on LGBTQ+ awareness, including specific sessions on transgender and non-binary issues in healthcare, available to all staff.

In a significant stride toward inclusivity, the UHB now offers the option to include pronouns on staff ID badges, a move Lisa and the LGBTQ+ network are immensely proud of, since for many in the transgender and non-binary communities, seeing a badge that respects their pronouns is a powerful affirmation of support and allyship.

Sophie Quinney

Credit: LGBT+ History Month

As the clinical director of the Welsh Gender Service, Dr Sophie Quinney stands as a beacon of advocacy and change. Embracing her identity as an openly lesbian professional, she courageously tackles gender-critical views while promoting a culture of inclusivity within healthcare. What’s more, Dr Quinney’s commitment extends beyond rhetoric as she spearheads educational initiatives aimed at enlightening all NHS staff about inclusive healthcare practices.

Having initially trained and practised as a GP, Sophie’s career trajectory took a pivotal turn in 2018 when she developed a profound interest in transgender health. This passion led her to the Welsh Gender Service in 2020, where she has since assumed the role of clinical lead. From this position, she fosters strong connections with GP surgeries throughout Wales, ensuring they are well-equipped to address the unique needs of LGBTQ+ patients.

Dr Quinney is celebrated as one of the foremost authorities in her field, her voice carrying weight and influence across medical and social spheres. Under her leadership, the Welsh Gender Service strives to dismantle the stigma surrounding transgender healthcare. This is crucial because many trans individuals find the simple act of seeking medical advice daunting, often encountering a lack of support and understanding at general health facilities. 

Sophie’s visionary approach not only enhances the healthcare landscape but also ensures it evolves to be as welcoming and supportive as possible.

Kate Nambiar

Credit: Terrence Higgins Trust

Since joining the NHS in 1999, Dr Kate Nambiar has profoundly impacted the care provided to the transgender community. Esteemed as a proud, queer, transgender, mixed-race woman, she’s recognised as both an influential role model and a deeply compassionate individual.

Kate serves in a dual capacity: at the Welsh Gender Service as a gender clinician and endocrinology specialist, and as the medical director of the Terrence Higgins Trust. Her leadership at the Trust focuses on advancing sexual health services and striving to halt HIV transmission. She is currently at the helm of the Welsh HIV Action Plan, targeting the elimination of HIV transmission in Wales by 2030.

Her medical journey began in earnest when she specialised in sexual health in 2003, following roles including speciality doctor in sexual health and HIV, and doctoral researcher at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. In 2012 Dr Nambiar co-founded Clinic-T in Brighton, an inclusive clinic focused on sexual health and contraception for the trans and non-binary communities.

Her transition to the Terrence Higgins Trust represented a pivot from direct patient care to shaping organisational strategy and public health education, which she finds exceptionally rewarding. This role has reignited her passion for HIV and sexual health advocacy, allowing her to apply her extensive expertise to impactful community initiatives.

In recent interviews, Kate has emphasised the crucial ongoing efforts in HIV prevention, noting that while initial progress was significant, the real challenge lies ahead. She underscores the need for continued innovation to meet the World Health Organization’s goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Author WCS

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