Meet the Point Foundation’s Class of 2010
BY Advocate.com Editors
June 15 2010 1:10 PM ET
Gene de Haan
-from Portland, Ore.
-pursuing MD and MPH degrees at University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
-Johnson & Johnson Point Scholarship recipient
De Haan grew up in a small farming community outside of Salem, Ore. Beginning in middle school, De Haan learned to deal with homophobia on a daily basis. At age 14, de Haan was the only out person in a high school of over 2,000 students. Determined to escape conservative Salem, she graduated in three years as valedictorian.
De Haan left Salem to study English at Reed College in Portland. While at Reed, she was very active in the Queer Alliance and the Feminist Student Union. In 2004 she helped mobilize Reed students against a statewide amendment banning gay marriage. After graduating from Reed in 2005, De Haan accepted an internship at the Trans/Identity Resource Center, where she facilitated gender-based support groups, staffed a hormone-needle exchange, and worked with the ID Project, assisting transgender clients as they legally changed their names and sex designations. De Haan later served as the coordinator for Portland’s newly established LGBT community center. She developed five core programs: arts and culture, youth, seniors, families, and health and wellness. While developing the health and wellness program, De Haan witnessed countless testimonials regarding barriers to health care for LGBT people. After organizing a conference geared toward educating health care providers about the needs of LGBT patients, De Haan began the prerequisites for medical school. In 2009, De Haan received a BS in biology from Portland State University. She will begin medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, this year, pursuing a dual MD and MPH through the program in medical education for the urban underserved. She plans to practice family medicine and conduct clinical research focusing on the specific needs of LGBT communities.
"Compassionate health care, free of judgment and criticism, is a basic right," De Haan says. "For many LGBTQ people, accessing culturally competent health care represents a daunting barrier to care. As a primary care physician, I intend to participate in a global movement promoting LGBTQ cultural competence within health care settings."