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Embarrassed and Outraged, Dr. Patti Zuzelo Joins AAN National LGBTQ Health Expert Panel

January 21, 2014 —

Patti ZuzeloDr. Patti Zuzelo, a clinical professor of Nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was recently selected to serve on a national expert panel within the American Academy of Nursing, dealing specifically with the health care concerns of individuals in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community. 

Part of what drove Dr. Zuzelo to be a part of the expert panel was her personal sense of responsibility to make the healthcare model more inclusive for those in the LGBTQ community.  “Cumulative personal experiences with lesbian and gay friends and family members led me on a journey of reconsideration and exploration,” Dr. Zuzelo said. “I became concerned, and in some instances, embarrassed and outraged, as I developed a greater appreciation for the barriers to good health that are often experienced by individuals in the LGBTQ community.”

Some of her responsibilities will include contributing to the panel’s efforts to reform health care by ensuring accessibility to more sensitive and respectful care for all LGBTQ patients. She will also be responsible for advocating for LGBTQ health though her non-Academy professional activities. She hopes to broaden the panel’s reach in higher education in national efforts to contribute to positive working relationships. Dr. Zuzelo also recognizes the exciting opportunity to learn from various peer experts on the panel. “I need to learn from my colleagues and from the LGBTQ community,” she said. “There is plenty for me to learn!”

Dr. Zuzelo will be presenting at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists’ March 2014 conference on LGBTQ health outcomes and nursing care quality. She hopes to use this as a research opportunity to understand what nurse educators need to create a better learning experience regarding the LGBTQ community’s health needs.

Dr. Zuzelo and the other expert panel members were chosen based on their demonstrated expertise and contributions to the field, including published work, policy papers, and other professional activities. Established in 2011, the panel serves as an essential platform for the promotion of nursing research and policy development recommendations to “reduce health inequities based on sexual orientation.”

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