What's Stigma Got to Do With It? Using Person First Language to Counteract Stigma in Healthcare


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*This is a Language, Culture, and Identity domain course

This breakout session focuses on the impact of stigma on patients’ ability to access healthcare and their overall health outcomes. Largely focusing on discussion, this session will empower participants to develop their understanding of stigma and how it informs the patient experience. Attendees will build skills for using person first language to combat stigma within the healthcare setting.

  • Objective 1: Attendees will be able to define stigma in their own words.
  • Objective 2: Attendees will be able to identify two ways that stigma impacts patients' health and ability to access healthcare services.
  • Objective 3: Attendees will be able to identify stigmatizing language in sample writing and offer better alternatives.

Kristen MacKay, MPH

Senior Public Health Specialist/CBA Coordinator -University of Rochester, Center for Community Practice

Kristen MacKay is a Senior Health Project Coordinator/CBA Coordinator for the University of Rochester Center for Community Practice (CCP) in Rochester, New York. In this role, she coordinates reactive Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) requests related to HIV prevention services, provides tailored workshops and other technical assistance, and facilitates trainings for the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute Regional Training Center. Kristen has been working in the field of HIV and STI prevention for over 20 years, starting in high school as a trained youth HIV educator. Prior to joining the CCP team, Kristen worked as a program manager, where she led grant-funded health education and supportive services programs at a community-based organization (CBO). Kristen earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of New England. She is passionate about health literacy, health equity and justice, addressing stigma, and ending the HIV epidemic.

Megan Honeck

Independent Community Health and Curriculum Specialist -Trillium Health

Megan Honeck was the Community Health and Curriculum Specialist at Trillium Health, an FQHC in Rochester, NY. Megan is dedicated to providing affirming sex education that actively fights stigma, creating and delivering programs on such topics as HIV and other STI risk reduction/prevention, LGBTQ+ identities and consent.

Megan also works on initiatives to promote Health Literacy, Trauma Informed Care, and combating stigma. She attended Stony Brook University, where she studied Psychology and Gender studies. Megan uses She/Her pronouns. 

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Tuesday, July 21st - What's Stigma Got to Do With It? Using Person First Language to Cournteract Stigma in HealthCare
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. This breakout session focuses on the impact of stigma on patients’ ability to access healthcare and their overall health outcomes. Largely focusing on discussion, this session will empower participants to develop their understanding of stigma and how it informs the patient experience. Attendees will build skills for using person first language to combat stigma within the healthcare setting. Objective 1: Define stigma in your own words. Objective 2: Identify two ways that stigma affects patients’ health and ability to access healthcare services. Objective 3: Identify stigmatizing language in sample writing and offer better alternatives.
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