At Fenway Health, our staff is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of LGBT people and community members – and that dedication doesn’t stop at our doors. We’re pleased to announce that Julian Dormitzer RN, BSN, Project Manager at The Fenway Institute, has been elected Chair of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth.
Julian has been at Fenway for over three years and has recently become the project manager for the Adolescent Trials Network. The Network is focused on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention studies in patients age 12 to 26. When she first joined the Commission in 2012, she was excited by the opportunity to combine her love of government and politics with the critical work she was already doing to improve the lives of LGBTQ youth.
“I went into it not knowing much about state government or policy development, but I knew I could bring an important perspective as a nurse who works directly with youth and as someone who works for an LGBT organization,” Julian explained.
During her first year on the Commission, Julian chaired the research committee, putting her expertise from The Fenway Institute to good use. Last year, Julian become Vice Chair of the Commission. Now moving into the role of chair, she hopes to help the Commission achieve great things in 2015.
“We really want to lead our work with a racial justice lens,” she said. “We’ve always prioritized youth of color in our strategic planning, but I think we can do an even better job incorporating racial justice into our work.”
Julian also hopes to help the Commission meet the needs of youth who are not currently in school. This will include a renewed focus on the 18 to 22-year-old demographic and how best to serve their unique needs as they transition into adulthood.
There are many recurring issues that affect a large population of LGBTQ youth in the state, Julian explained, and addressing these challenges will continue to shape much of the work of the Commission in 2015. Some of these issues include homelessness, substance abuse, and access to affordable transportation.
“These aren’t just Boston problems; they’re statewide problems,” she said. “If someone doesn’t have a home or transportation to be able to access services in their community, it’s hard to have a job or go to school, and it’s difficult to stay healthy both mentally and physically. ”
With Julian as Chair, Fenway Health continues its strong presence on the MA Commission on LGBTQ Youth. Other Fenway employees serving on the Commission include Dr. Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research at The Fenway Institute; Lawrence Vinson, Youth Linkage to Care Project Manager at The Fenway Institute and the Borum; Jonathan Reveil, Evaluation Associate for the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health; Coco Alinsung, Manager of Outreach & Insurance at Fenway Health; and Dr. Miranda Balkin, doctor of Family Medicine at Fenway Health.
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