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Helping LGBTQ Patients Feel Heard

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Nurse Practitioner Peter Taylor

Nurse practitioner complements robust Gender Care Program with mental health expertise

Years before Peter Taylor was a nurse practitioner specializing in LGBTQ care, he was a caregiver at the bedside of his partner, who was dying of late-stage HIV/AIDS. That heart-wrenching journey brought him to University Hospitals, where both patient and caregiver were treated with dignity and respect.

Here at UH, Peter finally found doctors and nurses who truly listened to his partner. They involved Peter in caring for his loved one. Their collaborative and compassionate approach inspired his career path, leading him to become an integral member of the LGBTQ provider team.

“They really let me be involved in and participate in his care,” says Peter Taylor, APRN-CNP, whose choice to become a nurse practitioner specializing in psychiatry was informed by those agonizing months at the bedside, advocating for his partner. “They took the time to explain things to me and to pay attention to and address my partner’s concerns.”

Peter is trained in Gestalt psychotherapy, which emphasizes personal responsibility and an individual’s relationship to all the stimuli in their environment and a focus on the present. With his experience at the bedside as a caregiver, he noticed how UH physicians and nurses really listened to – and heard – the concerns and wishes of him and his partner.

“I paid really close attention to the language they used and their tone of voice,” recalls Peter, who holds two master’s degrees in nursing, a bachelor’s degree in English/film studies and an MBA in entrepreneurship, all from Case Western Reserve University. “They actually paid attention to my approach, and they listened to – and really heard – me.”

University Hospitals offers innovative gender and sexual diversity services to address the medical, emotional and social needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual patients, as well as those who are questioning and and/or exploring their identity. UH seeks to resolve health disparities, noting that the LGBTQIA+ population has been less likely to have a primary care physician or receive preventive care and has higher rates of substance abuse, mental health issues and suicide.

Culturally competent care was a draw for Peter, who came to UH from Metrohealth Medical Center, where he had been working toward becoming a psychiatry provider for its twice-weekly Pride Clinic. He is now part of UH’s robust and comprehensive LGBTQ & Gender Care Program, which covers primary and preventive care, specialized surgical care, fertility and reproductive services and behavioral and mental health expertise.

“Peter brings a tremendous level of expertise and commitment to providing mental health services to the LGBTQIA+ population,” says Shubham Gupta, MD, a reconstructive urologist who serves as Director, Surgical Gender Affirmation Program, UH Urology Institute. “He has established himself as a leading voice caring for and advocating on behalf of this population. We are fortunate to have him as a part of our comprehensive care team.”

“As nurses, we’re taught to listen,” says Peter, who typically works out of multiple offices across Northeast Ohio but is now working from the home he shares with his husband and adopted son. “Once you understand where our patients are coming from and you really give them that time, they will do whatever is needed.”

Peter extends an open mind and a listening ear to all brothers and sisters on a journey to find their true selves. While he has a number of established patients already, his practice is focusing on care of the LGBTQ patients for ongoing mental healthcare.

“We as a community have historically felt so devalued by people who look at LGBT as an aberration,” Peter says. “In our program, I can assure them they will never be judged. They will be 100 percent supported in their goals and their dreams by a cohesive group of providers, and support staff who offer unconditional support, recognition and respect for any and all members in the LGBT community.”

Related Links

Click here to learn more about UH’s LGBTQ & Gender Care Services.

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