- Board of Directors
- Chapter Directors
- The Team
- Dustin Nowaskie, MDFounder & PresidentCaliforniaDustin Nowaskie, MDFounder & President
Dr. Nowaskie is a queer, nonbinary psychiatrist. Their personal identification and civic commitment have cultivated into a passion to help the LGBTQ+ community. They are the Founder and President of the national nonprofit LGBTQ+ health equity organization OutCare Health, which provides access to LGBTQ+ information, resources, programming, mentorship, education, training, research, and providers for millions across the country. A Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Southern California and Gold Humanism Honor Scholar of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Dr. Nowaskie’s clinical and philanthropic work has led to several national accolades, presentations, and publications as well as diversity awards from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, American Medical Association, Tylenol Future Care Foundation, Gamma Mu Foundation, AGLP, WPATH, and NOGLSTP.m Their ultimate goal is to transform their might into a powerful unicorn of social and public health change for LGBTQ+ people.
- Bethany Jones, LMSWVice President & Board MemberTennesseeBethany Jones, LMSWVice President & Board Member
Bethany B. Jones is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the state of Tennessee. Born and raised in Knoxville, TN, Bethany has served in the field of Social Work for over 9 years in a variety of areas including: community mental health, foster care, hospice/home care, and is currently employed as a Clinical Therapist with Psychotherapy & Forensic Services, LLC-a practice that specializes in serving individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community. Bethany received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and following graduation, immediately attended graduate school at THE Ohio State University where she obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work. Bethany serves as a mentor to two separate community programs that aim to guide and support upcoming Social Workers within her community. Bethany is also affiliated with several community organizations that include: Coalition of Black Social Workers, National Association of Black Social Workers, TN Association of Healthcare Social Workers, Alpha Chi Epsilon Sigma Social Work Sorority, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Bethany is a certified OUTcare Health provider, Immigration Court Hearing Assessor, and an Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) trauma therapist. Bethany is currently working on completion of clinical licensure and continues to make strides within the field of Social Work to improve the lives of her clients and others that she serves.
- Christopher RomanExecutive DirectorCaliforniaChristopher RomanExecutive Director
Originally from Philadelphia, Chris is a Wabash College graduate with a degree in Political Science and minors in Rhetoric and Spanish. Since 2016, his passion for politics and government has led him to work and volunteer with numerous campaigns and statewide constituency caucuses focusing on grassroots and digital organizing. Chris has worked to bridge the gap in healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community as the Executive Director of OutCare Health, has mobilized and energized young voters as Executive Director of Indiana Young Democrats, and has helped increase LGBTQ+ representation in Indiana as Vice President of Indiana Stonewall Democrats. He is also an at-large Rep. for the Latino Democratic Caucus and a former Communications Analyst at Kiwanis International. Chris now works at Optum as Director of Marketing Analytics & Engagement. He is eager to continue pushing forth candidates and policies that move Indiana and the country forward.
- Peggy JohnsonTreasurer & Board MemberIndianaPeggy JohnsonTreasurer & Board Member
I am passionate about working on being the best version of myself I can be. I care deeply about people and our planet and feel best when I know my work is helping others. My amazing husband, 6 kids and soon to be 3 grandkids along with our amazing pets rock my world – I have so many reasons to be grateful. Some of my favorite things to do are write, travel, and read real history (NOT that whitewashed version we were taught in school). I want everyone to feel empowered and confident to live their lives genuinely - being free to be who they are.
- Katherine (Katie) McHugh, MDSecretary & Board MemberIndianaKatherine (Katie) McHugh, MDSecretary & Board Member
I am an OB/GYN in Indiana with a focus on chronic pelvic pain, comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion, and trauma-informed health care. My partner and I spend our time with my two teenagers and our two aging dogs, and, as such, try to travel as much as possible. As a family, we play board games to the death (of dignity), walk our historic neighborhood, and try to be good people.
- Michelle Forcier, MD, MPHBoard MemberRhode IslandMichelle Forcier, MD, MPHBoard Member
I am a primary care pediatrician who has had the privilege of serving the LGBTQ+ community for over 20 years. I work with persons of all ages in the areas of gender, sex, and reproductive justice. I believe in a patient-centered, consent-based, developmental model of health. I believe in listening carefully to the patient and helping them sort through the various options for care that best meet their individual goals. The ocean and the beach is my happy place, along with sitting in the garden with my friends.
- Tori Gleason, DC, DACBSPBoard MemberKansasTori Gleason, DC, DACBSPBoard Member
I'm currently serving as a board member at Masonic Cancer Alliance (MCA) affiliated with the NCI-designated KU Cancer Center. As a transgender and queer person, I feel like representation in sex and gender minority research which is why I'm working with 3 teams currently. I have a passion for increasing access and reducing barriers in healthcare for marginalized populations. I value diversity, inclusion, social justice, anti-discrimination, and accessibility to support the areas of teaching, research, and practice. I'm a parent of a 14-year-old and 10-year-old living in a rural community of 4,000 people in western Kansas.
- Liam C. Hein PhD, RN, FAANBoard MemberSouth CarolinaLiam C. Hein PhD, RN, FAANBoard Member
Dr. Liam C. Hein is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina, a nurse, a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity at George Washington Univ./the Atlantic Institute in Oxford, England. His work focuses on improving LGBTQ health equity through advocacy and health policy. He is past chair of the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee of the American Academy of Nursing. He was pivotal in leading the Academy to expand its Diversity and Inclusion statement and policies. Dr. Hein serves on the Advisory Board of the Harriet Hancock LGBT Center in Columbia, SC.
- Amy K. Jacobs, LMSWBoard MemberMichiganAmy K. Jacobs, LMSWBoard Member
Amy Jacobs, LMSW is a Clinical Social Worker and therapist who works in the HIV/AIDS Treatment Program at the University of Michigan. She has been an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community for over 25 years and has worked in HIV specifically for almost 20 years. Amy has specific interest and experience in LGBTQ+ mental health, HIV, shared identities of providers and patients, consensual non-monogamy, BDSM/Kink, and erotic transference and countertransference.
- Morissa Ladinsky, MDBoard MemberAlabamaMorissa Ladinsky, MDBoard Member
I’m a child of the ’70s, raised by social justice warrior parents in Madison, WI. I’m enjoying my best life as a pediatrician and medical educator in Birmingham, AL. I wear several clinical, educational, and advocacy hats. I created and co-led the Deep South’s only gender clinic for youth, and have discovered a passion for good trouble through policy engagement dealing with a Legislature who would see this care criminalized. When not training tomorrow’s pediatricians and helping the region’s kids attain better and more equitable health, my husband and I love hiking with our dogs, hanging with our 5 mostly grown kids and their progeny, road-tripping, and exploring this truly beautiful part of the US. I’m a poor rule follower when rules negate equity and progress and I still can’t abide cheesy grits. Beyond that, I’m super easygoing.
- Anuj PatelBoard Member & State RepresentativeMichiganAnuj PatelBoard Member & State Representative
Anuj is a fourth-year dual degree MD and clinical research masters student at the University of Michigan. He learned about OutCare while at Purdue University during his undergraduate education. He is passionate about LGBTQ health and since joining OutCare, he has been involved with a number of LGBTQ health education research studies and led many cultural competency trainings for healthcare providers. In addition to his involvement with OutCare, he participates in numerous other LGBTQ health-related endeavors including serving in leadership positions within LGBTQ-focused student organizations and spearheading the creation of the first LGBTQ health elective for the University of Michigan Medical School. Outside of work, he enjoys playing Indian classical music and gardening!
- Anh Nguyen, MD, MBABoard MemberIllinoisAnh Nguyen, MD, MBABoard Member
Chicago-based physician who is passionate about public policy and community health. In addition to the OutCare Board, Anh serves on the Board of Renaissance Social Services to help the homeless on Chicago's west side, and is volunteer senior medical staff at the National Institutes of Health. He is an avid endurance athlete and painter, loves karoake, and is a former Hill Staffer on the U.S. Senate HELP Committee.
- Skyler E. NimmonsBoard MemberIndianaSkyler E. NimmonsBoard Member
Skyler believes the roots of success start with collaboration that not only builds synergy for good ideas but escalates individuals into powerful teams that transform understandings and achieve results. He is a multidisciplinary leader with experience spanning non-profits, faith-based organizations, public health, communities, brands, companies, government, and corporations. Skyler is the co-founder, partner, and chief executive officer of Leap + Pivot, a consultancy firm in creative and strategic communications to amplify the messages of changemakers who advance social good in the world. Nimmons also serves as the Communications Director for the Illinois Public Health Institue where he leads strategic communications for Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH), a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), to promote multi-sector data sharing to advance racial justice and health equity. In his work with DASH he also serves as the Communications Lead for All In Data for Community Health, a partnership of RWJF data sharing initiatives for collaborative learning to support organizations and communities in building this emerging field. In his spare time, he loves to travel, examining big ideas, spending time with friends and family, and being active through social life and fitness.
- Jack SheplerBoard MemberIndianaJack SheplerBoard Member
Jack Shepler is an online Marketing & Technology expert. He founded Ayokay, an award-winning marketing and web design firm in Indianapolis, Indiana that has built brands from the ground up, increased sales for e-commerce businesses, and helped public health and non-profit organizations achieve their missions since 2011. He uses his decades of experience to educate through the Ayokay blog. In 2021, he was named a Forbes Next 1000. Learn more on LinkedIn or at Ayokay.com
- Edward Stern, MSN PMHNP-BCBoard MemberFalls Church, VA (DC Metro)Edward Stern, MSN PMHNP-BCBoard Member
Ed is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and owner of Queer Ear Mental Health in the Washington DC area. He is a single cis queer pan man, who openly respects all people and invites them to contribute to his life and the people and organizations he values. Ed started in healthcare over 30 years ago, but his first life goal was to be a chef and photographer. Strangely his alter ego (Chef LeStern) on Instagram has its own ironic following where people follow the photos of the meals he serves.
- Austin UebelhorResearch Coordinator & State RepresentativeIndiana
- John SovecLicensed Marriage and Family Therapist & OutTalk ModeratorCaliforniaJohn SovecLicensed Marriage and Family Therapist & OutTalk Moderator
John Sovec is a therapist and coach in Pasadena CA who specializes in working with LGBTQ teens and their families during the coming out process. He is the clinical consultant for The Life Group LA , adjunct faculty at Phillips Graduate Institute and guest lecturer at Alliant University and USC School of Social Work. John is currently a member of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
John Sovec is the author of multiple publications on providing LGBTQ support, speaks at conferences nationwide, maintains a private practice and provides training for community agencies, schools, non-profits, and professional consultation on how to successfully support LGBTQ teens.
John is a nationally recognized expert on creating affirmative support for LGBTQ adolescents with his work featured on The Riki Lake Show, OWN, FOX, Bravo, The Advocate, YHTV, LA Talk Radio, The Washington Post and is the wellness expert for The Lisa Show on SiriusXM.
- Ashley Sungae Huh-BrownOutTalk CoordinatorIndianaAshley Sungae Huh-BrownOutTalk Coordinator
Ashley Huh-Brown is a 4th-year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine and plans to pursue a residency career in Internal Medicine. She was born in Terre Haute, IN, and then majored in Neuroscience and minored in Psychology at Indiana University, Bloomington. She serves as a mentor in many different programs, including Prescribe It Forward, Internal Medicine Student Interest Group, and Indiana University School of Medicine Phase 2 Mentorship. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her partner and daughter. She became interested in advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community early in her medical career after seeing the unique difficulties in finding healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community. She hopes to eliminate these difficulties through conversation, understanding, and education through OutTalk.
- Jennifer Frandsen, DNP, FNP-CState RepresentativeIowa
As someone born and raised in Eastern Iowa, I am passionate about the health and well being of my lifelong community, and our LGBTQ+ Community is no exception. I hope to bring compassionate, well-informed, inclusive primary care to anyone in the area that needs it, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. I also help to increase my own knowledge and the knowledge providers in the area so that we are better equipped to serve this diverse community!
- Jessica Perrella M.Ed, LCSWState RepresentativeNew JerseyJessica Perrella M.Ed, LCSWState Representative
I am a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in NJ, with an additional license in PA. I completed a dual-degree Master of Social Work and Master of Human Sexuality Education from Widener University in 2014. I chose this program because it brought together two of my greatest passions: human behavior and sexuality. It was not until I was completing my own graduate work that I acknowledged and came out as bisexual. I work with LGBTQIA+, kink, poly & sex work communities with the goal of fostering an accepting, safe environment needed for growth. Through my lived experience and career, I’ve seen the importance of finding ways to connect people with resources that are desperately needed. This is one reason I decided to join OutCare both as a provider and volunteer. I hope that our work together can create a firm foundation for changes in the way LGBTQIA+ folks access quality, compassionate care.
- Katherine L Bridges, M.S., LCMHCState RepresentativeNorth Carolina
- Ryan FangState RepresentativeWashington
- Michael Galarraga, LPC, ATR-BC, CSAC, CSOTP, EMDR CertifiedState RepresentativePennsylvaniaMichael Galarraga, LPC, ATR-BC, CSAC, CSOTP, EMDR CertifiedState Representative
Michael Galarraga (he/him) is a bilingual Spanish-speaker, Licensed Professional Counselor, Board Certified Registered Art Therapist, Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider, and Certified EMDR therapist. Since 2012, he has been a mental health provider and advocate previously residing in Central NY, VA, GA, and now the Philadelphia area. He has worked in various mental health settings serving diverse populations through residential treatment, acute inpatient care, alternative and regular education, in-home and community-based counseling, group private practice, and non-profit community programs.
Michael is currently a private practice provider in Philadelphia primarily serving members of the LGBTQIA+ Communities of Color. As a member of this often-marginalized community, he provides a safe and inclusive therapeutic space. Michael uses a blend of art therapy, EMDR, and traditional verbal counseling skills to support individuals’ mental healthcare. Through his approaches and offerings, he has learned to blend empathy, support, equality, equity, humor, and validation for those processing through unique life events.
Michael is a Bronx, NY native who enjoys spending downtime with his husband and two dogs, Lantern and Ariel, cooking, photography, and going on hikes. He also enjoys creating and celebrating his strengths through his own artmaking.
- Sara Garcia-DehbozorgiCommunity OutreachNew York
- Abby HadleyCommunity OutreachIndiana
- Caleb Hocutt, MDState RepresentativeMinnesota
- Cyrus Montes De OcaState RepresentativeCalifornia
- Sarah E. Mulder, PsyDState RepresentativeAlabama
- Lisa Ohman-GaultCommunity OutreachKentucky
- Benjamin SilverbergState RepresentativeWest Virginia
- Mary SpikerState RepresentativeKentucky
- John Sowinski, MDCommunity OutreachNew York
- Sarah Kendall GaultCommunity OutreachKentucky
- Darrell K MchenryState RepresentativeFlorida
Darrell Mchenry, South Florida native with extensive background in healthcare industry with such organizations as Molina Healthcare, Emblem Health, and TRICARE; caught the attention of a California Health plan Organization. The decision to join the organization to provide strategic leadership, also required him to relocate to LA metropolitan area. In 2022, after mutually parting ways with his recent health organization, he now splits his time between Miami and LA and focusing on his passion of graphic and visual arts from a social media prospective. After discovering OutCare and I knew I wanted to use my platform to be apart of such a great organization. “ OutCare is such a Great resource and giant step in the right direction for my LGBTQi community.
School / Degrees
Bachelors in Healthcare Administration from Florida Atlantic University
Masters of Healthcare policy from Florida Atlantic University
MBA from Nova Southeastern University
- Jennifer (Miercort) Turkyilmaz, BSN, RNOutPosts Freelance WriterTexasJennifer (Miercort) Turkyilmaz, BSN, RNOutPosts Freelance Writer
Jennifer is a public health nurse and freelance writer. She is also a frustrated Gen-Xer with aspirations of changing the world. She lives in Dallas with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and three semi-feral cats.