Mazzoni Center recently welcomed Dr. Stacey Trooskin as its new executive medical officer, in which she will lead providers in primary health care, HIV and STD prevention, testing and treatment, gender-affirming care and behavioral health. Trooskin initially began working at the LGBTQ+ nonprofit healthcare provider in March as executive medical consultant, a role she moved to after serving as chief medical officer at Philadelphia FIGHT.
“I’m looking forward to working with the staff,” Trooskin said. “Everybody here is clearly mission-driven and passionate about the work that we do in the community. I’m so much looking forward to getting to know everybody, to working with folks, to helping to make their work even easier and to continue to help strategically grow the clinical work that we do every day.”
Trooskin brings a passion for public health and two decades of experience working as a specialist in infectious diseases, specifically pinpointing and eradicating barriers to testing and treatment for hepatitis C (HCV). She serves as the chief medical advisor to the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, as medical director for the Health Federation’s HCV technical assistance program, and carried out a three-year term of service as a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease and Infectious Disease Society of America’s HCV treatment guidance panel. She is well known for providing advocacy on access to hep C testing and treatment, especially for people who use drugs and those who are incarcerated.
“I’m excited to see patients and take care of community members,” Trooskin added. “I’ll always be a physician first, so I’m excited to practice medicine here.”
Trooskin also looks forward to working with Mazzoni’s executive leadership, including President and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Shakir, she said.
“When we look at the increasing challenges faced by the LGBTQ community, from bans on trans health care across the country to the shifting landscape of health insurance, it’s clear that Dr. Trooskin’s demonstrated leadership will help ensure that Mazzoni Center continues to evolve to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community by providing high-quality, culturally competent, and community-focused health care,” Shakir said in a press release.
Trooskin plans to help continue to grow Mazzoni’s HIV prevention, testing and treatment services, as well as services for hepatitis B and C, she said. She hopes to continue to bolster Mazzoni’s PrEP program.
“I think that the Mazzoni Center has been and will continue to be at the forefront of ending the HIV epidemic,” Trooskin said. “Mazzoni already has an incredible presence in the community offering testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and offering PrEP to the community. The goal will be to have a really strong, robust PrEP program that meets the needs of the community.”
According to the 2021 HIV Surveillance Report published by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, 18,351 people are living with diagnosed HIV in Philadelphia in cases reported through June 2022. Of those people, 365 were newly diagnosed in 2021, a 9% increase from 2020 but an 18% drop since 2019.
Improving access to care for some of the most marginalized folks within the LGBTQ+ community, including people of color and trans individuals, is also among Trooskin’s priorities.
“We’re actually expanding the number of providers that we’re going to have on staff so that we can increase the appointment availability,” Trooskin said.
Leadership hopes to have Mazzoni become a Federally Qualified Health Center, which would provide access to additional federal funds to further grow the center’s services.
“We are already taking care of many individuals who are uninsured, but it will allow us to do that in a really sustainable way,” Trooskin said. “It’s something that we’re continuing to work towards. Increasing diversity among our clinical staff is another priority. We’re taking all of these issues head on and we are really looking forward to a bright future, and to meet the needs of the community.”