In this episode, we speak with expert faculty and pharmacist clinicians about the state of care for sexual and gender minorities, actionable steps on creating an affirming environment, and care considerations for persons seeking gender-affirming therapy.
Dr. Alex Mills is a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist and credentialed HIV Pharmacist through the American Academy of HIV Medicine. He earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Purdue University in 2017, completed a PGY1 community-based residency with Walgreens and Purdue in Indianapolis, Indiana, followed by a PGY2 specializing in ambulatory care with The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. He is currently faculty at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy and provides ambulatory care services within Mississippi’s largest Ryan White program, and serves as director of clinical services for UMMC’s “TEAM” clinic, which provides primary and gender-affirming care to sexual and gender minorities. His clinical and research interests include the knowledge, attitudes, and practice of managing non-infectious comorbidities in persons living with HIV and LGBTQ persons.
Dr. Kyle Melin is an Associate Professor at University of Puerto Rico School of Pharmacy. He is an ambulatory care clinician and researcher in the fields of personalized medicine and substance use disorders. Dr. Melin’s formative research to understand practicing pharmacists' readiness to provide care for transgender patients informs his continuing educations for practicing pharmacists in this area. He is a passionate advocate for making healthcare more equitable and affirming for sexual and gender minorities.
Dr. Ranya Garcia is a clinical pharmacist specialist and subject matter expert in women’s health and in gender affirming care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Loma Linda. She has extensive expertise in LGBTQ+ healthcare, education, and for bridging LGBTQ+ related disparities. Her initiatives in LGBTQ+ program development has led to shifts in cultural norms and increased accessibility to resources for LGBTQ+ Veterans. Dr. Garcia frequents as a national speaker and educator on LGBTQ+ health.
Melanie R. Smith, Pharm.D., BCACP, DPLA is the Director of the ASHP Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners. In this role, Dr. Smith serves as an ASHP information resource and provides guidance to ASHP members on pharmacy practice in various ambulatory care practice settings. She also is the staff liaison to the Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners Executive Committee.
Previously, Dr. Smith was the Director, Educational Programs within ASHP’s Educational Services Division. In this role, she helped coordinate continuing educational programming for ASHP’s national meetings. Prior to joining ASHP, Dr. Smith was a Clinical Pharmacist II with United Healthcare as well as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist with the Roudebush VA Medical Center.
Dr. Smith received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Carolina and her Doctor of Pharmacy from Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed an ASHP-accredited PGY1 residency at the Lexington VA Medical Center in 2008, obtained her Board Certification in Ambulatory Care in 2011, and completed the Pharmacy Leadership Academy through the ASHP Foundation in 2015.