AvitaCare Atlanta is always expanding services, and we are happy to welcome a new Nurse Practitioner, Erin Everett, NP-C, AAHIVS, Primary Care Provider and Certified HIV Specialist.
She is passionate about providing a safe, comfortable environment for her patients to receive care.
A wife and mother of two, Erin holds degrees in Psychology and Nursing from Northern Illinois University, and a Master’s Degree in Nursing from Ball State University.
She specializes in the following:
- PrEP HIV Prevention
- HIV/AIDS Management
- HIV Testing
Gender Affirming Care
- Transgender Primary Care
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
General Primary Care
- Depression & Anxiety
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Physicals/Health Screenings
- Diabetes Management
A Fierce Ally for LGBTQ+ Care
When it comes to inclusive care, AvitaCare Atlanta excels. These services are a necessity. In fact, “An estimated 4.2 percent of metro Atlanta’s population identify themselves as gay or lesbian, placing the region in the top half of a list of 50 metropolitan areas,” when it comes to the LGBTQ+ population according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Most recent data suggests Atlanta exceeds New York City in LGBTQ+ people per capita.
For Erin, the LGBTQ+ community has always been a focus in her work. “I’ve always been a very strong ally to the community, even growing up,” Erin says. “I always knew it was a community I wanted to help serve.”
As a nurse, Erin says, “I saw the lack of access to outpatient care for LGBTQ+ individuals, which often is what caused them to become inpatient. Unfortunately, in nursing school, they didn’t teach us a lot about LGBTQ+ care, gender-affirming care, or HIV care. So, when I got done with my higher education and became a provider, I ended up working at a local clinic here where I learned a lot about transgender medicine and providing gender affirming care, which is important to me.”
While primary care is an important aspect of the work AvitaCare Atlanta does, marginalized groups still experience discrimination in health care environments. This is why the LGBTQ+ community is such a focus for AvitaCare Atlanta.
According to recent data on LGBTQ+ patients in the U.S., “6 percent said that a doctor or other health care provider refused to give them health care related to their actual or perceived sexual orientation … [and] 9 percent said that a doctor or other health care provider used harsh or abusive language when treating them.”
Erin says, “I think that cisgender, heterosexual people walk into a clinic and can really take for granted the fact that they will get what they need. But when you talk to somebody who’s in the LGBTQ+ community and hear about negative or scary experiences they have had seeking care when they were sick, it motivates me to educate myself and other providers.”
Health care is a human right. Period. AvitaCare Atlanta providers are well-versed in inclusive care and work diligently to create a safe space for all.
Erin says, “When working with marginalized populations, like the LGBTQ+ community, I want them to have that privilege. I want them to walk into a clinic and know they going to get what they need.”
Giving People What They Need
AvitaCare Atlanta simply does not prescribe to the model of care that other clinics do. While other clinics might try to see as many patients as possible and get them in and out of the clinic quickly, AvitaCare Atlanta believes in treating every patient as a whole individual. We provide detailed care every time a patient walks into the clinic, which is why many patients have received care from us for over a decade.
Erin was pleased with this model, an uncommon one in some of her previous roles. “When people come to AvitaCare Atlanta, they are going to get a detailed sexual health screening,” says Erin. “They’re getting a detailed general health screening. And, depending on the person and what their gender identity is, they’re going to leave feeling that they were well taken care of because they’re going to be offered the screening tests and the care that they need.”
Even though she was not given some of the tools needed to provide comprehensive care during her time in school, Erin has taken it upon herself to continue educating herself so she can provide specialized care to the Atlanta community.
“Although in nursing school, you learn about things like HIV, it’s more limited because it’s considered a specialty,” says Erin. “So, it’s often something you learn after you’re out of school. That’s one thing that makes AvitaCare Atlanta so special is that so many of us specialize in infectious diseases, especially HIV treatment and prevention.”
Giving to the Community
Although Erin went to school in Chicago, Illinois, she returned to her home in Atlanta to practice medicine. Why, one might ask? The Atlanta community is special, a large city that still feels like a small community in many ways.
Erin says, “Atlanta has a lot of diversity. It’s coined the city in the forest, so it’s beautiful. But also, it’s a really forward-thinking community. I feel like, because people are open-minded, we’re advocating and spreading knowledge. Atlanta is a good community to be able to do that in.”
After experiencing a lack of training in LGBTQ+ specific issues, Erin wanted to use her knowledge and expertise to give back to local nursing students. “I go and lecture at different colleges to teach students and faculty basics in primary care for LGBTQ+ patients,” says Erin, who has educated dozens of students.
The Avita Way: Stepping up Where “Big Box Pharmacies are Lacking”
Avita Care Solutions, the parent company of AvitaCare Atlanta, provides integrated access to pharmacy services, clinical care delivery, digital health, and 340B program administration. Avita increases our patients’ and covered entity partners’ ability to obtain culturally competent LGBTQ+, HIV, PrEP, and sexual wellness care.
Before Erin became a provider at AvitaCare Atlanta, she was familiar with Avita Care Solutions’ pharmacy services. She is proud to now be a part of its overall mission of integrated access to care.
“Avita’s main focus is providing care to the LGBTQ+ community, and it’s obvious that the providers here and the team here are on board and aligned with that,” says Erin. “I have found that Avita practices what it preaches, so to speak. They do this through hiring a very diverse staff. We hire members of the community to deliver care and work for patients, which means Avita is also delivering on its mission. I think it’s an important because, unfortunately, a lot of people in the trans community are underemployed. So having a staff that’s full of different racial groups and different sexual orientations and different gender identities, I think it’s amazing to work amongst.”
Not only does Avita deliver on its mission to serve diverse, traditionally underserved communities, it also delivers on its promise of accessible care.
“Avita really can execute care in a way that doesn’t have the big healthcare system feel to it,” says Erin. “You can get your lab results the same day if you use the in-house lab, and you can have your sick visit upstairs then go downstairs and pick up your antibiotics. And if your maintenance meds aren’t ready, they’ll deliver them via mail. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Our staff’s primary motivation is for the patient to have better health outcomes. A lot of the big box pharmacies are lacking in this area. Our model really gives patients the best possible outcome to succeed in their healthcare journey, whatever that is for them.”
Health at Every Size Movement
“I am a health at every size (HAES) friendly provider. I don’t think patients should always have their health care goals so focused on weight loss. There are other aspects of their health that are equally, if not more, important. And the Body Mass Index (BMI) is kind of an arbitrary measurement these days. It’s not accurate, and I think it’s best practice for me as a provider not to use it to set health goals.”
According to Erin’s website, HAES seeks to support body positivity and acceptance of all body types, instead of the notion of one body type or size as the universal ideal.
Dieting and body shaming can be extremely harmful to individual health and ignorant of diverse lifestyles and identities, despite mainstream culture’s obsession with weight control and weight loss. HAES seeks to remedy that harm through a new way to look at overall health.
Not only that, but Erin allows patients to decline being weighed if they are not comfortable with it.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, “being reminded of one’s weight or being asked to step on a scale can be triggering for those in recovery.”
“It’s important because people can come in and decline to be weighed and know that they’re going to get care regardless of their weight,” says Erin. “I create a very body positive environment.”