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Traci Kalpac Takes Pride In Connecting The LGBTQ+ Community With Specialized Services

Posted June 06, 2022 by Pamela Carlson, BA RN


Traci Kalpac starts out each morning not knowing what the day will bring. As a licensed independent social worker in Summa Health’s Pride Clinic, Traci’s role involves many hats.

Countless individuals in the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) community face the presence of stigma and discrimination in their daily lives. That’s why Traci’s role as a social worker can take on many forms: one day she’s a mentor, broker and…

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Summa Health's Project SEARCH helps young adults with disabilities gain employment

Posted April 18, 2022 by Jessica Goff, Manager, Volunteer Services


Summa Health is helping to educate and employ young adults with disabilities one student at a time through Project SEARCH.

Since 2005, Summa Health has partnered with the Six District Educational Compact, a regional collaborative that provides career-technical education programs, to offer high-school students a one-year, school-to-work transition program on-site. Modeled after the growing Project SEARCHnational program, the initiative is designed to help qualified students…

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Get the facts on heart disease in African American women

Posted February 21, 2022 by Dr. Grace Ayafor


You may have heard heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 killers in women. But did you know that heart disease and stroke disproportionately affect African American women?

It’s true. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 49 percent of African American women aged 20 and older have heart disease and they have almost two times the risk of stroke than Caucasians. Sadly, African American women are more likely to die at an earlier age when compared to other…

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Why is it so important to understand your family health history?

Posted January 03, 2022 by Lynn Hamrich, M.D.


You may have heard someone comment on a shared feature that you have with a family member, or heard someone is the spitting image of a relative.  It’s true family members share similar looks, but they also share genes — which aren’t as easy to see. For instance, you may be unaware that you also share your great-grandmother’s increased risk for heart disease.

When it comes to your health, knowing your family’s traits that you can’t see…

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What does it mean to be an LGBTQ ally?

Posted June 27, 2021 by Summa Health Pride Clinic


Anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can support the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) community. But being an ally of this population takes action. Allies work to stay informed on current LGBT issues and events. They speak up for what’s right and they support equality by fighting for policies that protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination.

Allies are important and welcomed supporters of the LGBTQ movement, as…

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7 Tips to living better with lupus

Posted May 31, 2021 by William C McCord, MD


Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder where the immune system’s antibodies mistakenly attack the body’s healthy cells. Because it can affect nearly any organ in the body, symptoms vary widely and can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Skin rashes, such as a malar rash that stretches across the cheeks and bridge of the nose (also known as a butterfly rash)
  • Joint pain
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Hair loss
  • Organ complications, such as inflammation in the lining of the heart, abdomen or lungs, and…
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    Closing the gap on health disparities in the LGBTQ community

    Posted May 03, 2021 by Scott T Hamler, MD


    All of us rely on healthcare services at one time or another — and many of us take them for granted. But the sad truth is in today’s world, access to medical advice and treatment isn’t equal.

    It is true LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) individuals face health disparities in a number of ways. As a result, this community is at a higher risk for certain medical conditions, has less access to healthcare and experiences worse health…

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    African-Americans More at Risk for Heart Disease

    Posted February 15, 2021 by Grace Ayafor, M.D., FSCAI


    February is Black History Month, when we recognize African-Americans and those of color who have played major roles in shaping our present culture. February is also American Heart Health month – a time to raise awareness of heart disease. While these two events are different, they are linked in healthcare. Heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans, and African-Americans are 20 percent more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites.

    We do not…

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    Hispanics and diabetes: Are you at a higher risk for developing diabetic wounds?

    Posted November 18, 2018 by Drazen Petrinec, M.D. Summa Health Vascular Surgery


    Type 2 diabetes is at an all-time high in the United States. One of three types of diabetes - a disease that causes your blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal - type 2 has a direct correlation with your choices in diet and the amount of physical activity you do on a regular basis.

    Did you know that the CDC estimates 40 percent of all US adults have type 2 diabetes? Another staggering statistic: 50 percent of all U.S. Hispanics will develop this disease and they are twice as likely to die from it. More than 30 million Americans have diabetes and 1 in 4 don’t even know they have it.

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    Mental Health in the LGBTQ Community

    Posted March 29, 2018


    LGBTQ individuals are almost three times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety and LGBTQ individuals have a higher rate of suicide as compared to those in the general population. Much of this is due to minority stress. Minority stress within the LGBTQ community stems from a variety of factors including social stigma, discrimination, prejudice, denial of civil and human rights, abuse, harassment, victimization, social…

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    National Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender LGBT Health Awareness Week

    Posted March 27, 2018 by Dante Roulette, M.D.

    The medical definition of sexual orientation is “an enduring, emotional, romantic or sexual attraction that one feels toward men or women, or both.” While this definition may suffice for the purposes of education, one truth I have learned is there is no single definition that can encompass all of human sexual orientation, identity or gender identity.

    Summa Health is an inclusive healthcare provider whose mission is to provide the right access to the right care for…

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