Academy of physician assistants elects gay woman

On Behalf of | May 29, 2013 | Employee Rights

Many in Long Island, NY are proud that sexual orientation took a distant rear seat to hard work and experience as the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) earlier this month elected a lesbian woman to its distinguished Board of Directors.

The appointee, Diane Bruessow, who founded the Long Island Lesbian Cancer Initiative in 2000, also works at Healthy Transitions, with more than 600 transgender clients and a second location soon to open in Queens, N.Y.

Bruessow, who is a past president of an AAPA’s Caucus, has been a physician’s assistant since 1993. Upon receiving the appointment, she lauded the fact that her sexual preference was not a barrier and this was in and of itself worth celebrating.

Founded in 1968, the AAPA now includes more than 40,000 members from across the country. Historically, long before it was fashionable or considered politically correct, the AAPA added sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to its non-discrimination policy on how physician assistants deliver health care to their patients.

During her long and productive career, Bruessow was a salient force to secure passage of an AAPA resolution that opposed so-called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy designed to forcibly change a person’s sexual orientation.

“When this representative body of my colleagues stood up and said ‘Yeah, you know this is not okay to do this to our patients,’ it was a really meaningful moment,” Bruessow said in a press release.

Across Long Island, and across the country, attorneys who fight employment discrimination everyday shared in the meaningful moment.

Source:, “Lesbian elected to AAPA board” Michael K. Lavers, May. 23, 2013

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