Visits to the Stead Center are by appointment only. Please call the NCAPA office for more information. Read More »

Visits to the Stead Center are by appointment only. Please call the NCAPA office for more information. Read More »

The Pulse

  • Pride Month PA Highlight | Tonia Poteat, PHD, PA-C, MPH

    According to Tonia Poteat, PHD, PA-C, MPH, Pride Month “is an opportunity to reflect on the resistance and resilience of LGBTQ ancestors who fought for our freedom to be.”

    Dr. Poteat (she/her) grew up in a small town in central NC. She completed her undergrad at Yale, majoring in Biology with a concentration in Psychology, and graduating in 1991. During a summer internship with the National Black Women’s Health Project, Dr. Poteat met a PA providing care at the Center for Black Women’s Wellness in Atlanta. She realized that by becoming a PA, she could learn the skills needed “to provide quality care for people whom society often marginalizes, (such as) people living with HIV, Black women, etc.” Dr. Poteat attended PA school at Emory University and graduated in 1995.

    Dr. Poteat, a cisgender queer lesbian, believes that “most health professionals, including PAs, get very little, if any, training on providing culturally responsive care for LGBTQ people. In particular, very few PAs get training on providing culturally AND medically competent care for transgender people. Health professional training programs can address this by including provision of culturally responsive (and medically appropriate) care for LGBTQ people as a core competency; and state societies can require CME in this area, just like a certain number of pharmacy CME credits are required.” Dr. Poteat hopes that “as the ‘birthplace’ of the PA profession, PA’s in NC continue to innovate and advance healthcare for everyone in the state.”

    Dr. Poteat currently lives in Durham, NC, and practices at the UNC Infectious Diseases Clinic, providing HIV prevention and treatment for adolescents and adults. She also volunteers as a preceptor for the free, student-run, Gender Affirming Care Clinic, where she provides primary care and hormone therapy for transgender and non-binary people who do not have insurance. With regards to being a PA, Dr. Poteat shares “I love providing patient care (and) building caring relationships with patients who trust me with their health. I like the flexibility of the PA profession and the collegiality of team-based practice.”

    Outside of clinical practice, Dr. Poteat conducts research on LGBTQ health equity. She is an Associate Professor of Social Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as core faculty in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She is also the director of the RISE Lab, conducting research on “HIV and LGBT health disparities, with a particular focus on the health and well-being of transgender communities.” Dr. Poteat also provides CME, presenting the session “Providing Medically and Culturally Competent Care for Transgender Adults” at the 2021 NCAPA Summer Conference.

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