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Clinical Care Working Group Members

  • Co-Lead

    Program Manager - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Co-lead, Clinical Care Working Group, Dean's Advisory Council for LGBTQI Affairs; Co-chair, Yale LGBTQ Affinity Group

    Cayetana Navarro (pronouns: she/her) joined the Department of Medicine's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in June of 2021 as the inaugural program manager.  In this role, she helps guide existing projects and support the development and implementation of new ones that foster a diverse and inclusive department.  In addition to this formal role within the School of Medicine, Cayetana is co-chair of the Yale LGBTQ Affinity Group, co-lead of the Clinical Care Working Group in the Dean's Advisory Council on LGBTQI+ Affairs, a co-founder of the Indigenous Leaders at Yale group, and a member of the Yale Latino Networking Group and the Trans Advocacy and Social Groups. Cayetana originally joined Yale as the web project manager in the YSM Office of Communications in July 2011, in charge of the website editing and building service.  In that role, she first focused on standardizing and streamlining these services to better meet the needs of YSM departments, programs, and faculty labs.  She concluded their time as Operations Deputy Director, engaging with departments, programs, and centers on special projects.She lives in Cheshire with her spouse (who completed his Internal Medicine residency at Yale), one incredibly spoiled Rottweiler, and one overly affectionate pit bull.
  • Co-Lead

    Associate Professor Term; Director, HIV Clinical Services, Internal Medicine; Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, Yale Medicine

    My mission is to be able to serve the most diverse population possible. My passion is with HIV care and I have been involved with patients throughout my entire medical career. My goal is to find solutions to help control and possible eradicate HIV from the community.
  • Assistant Professor Adjunct of Medicine (Physician Assistant Online Program); Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, PA Online Program; Core group member, Dean's Advisory Council (DAC) on LGBTQI+ Affairs, Yale Medicine Outlist; Committee member, Academic Affairs, PA Online Program, Yale Medicine; Committee member, Progress committee, PA Online Program, Yale Medicine; Committee member, Joint Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Mission Statement committee, PA programs, PA Online Program

    Diane Bruessow divides her time between academia, clinical practice, health policy and organizational governance.  She is nationally certified by the NCCPA with excellence awarded in Primary Care (reflecting scores within the top 5th percentile). Bruessow has received honors, awards, and legislative proclamations for academic, clinical, humanitarian, and leadership excellence - including the New York State Society of PAs as the PA of the Year (2019), New Jersey State Society of PAs as the outstanding Humanitarian of the Year  (2017), as well as the designation of Distinguished Fellow, a recognition of exceptional professional achievement, leadership, professional interaction, learning, and community service by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA).  Less than two percent of PAs earn this designation. She was honored to be invited to present the White Coat ceremony's keynote address for the PA Online program's inaugural class of 2020.  Bruessow joined the Yale University PA Online Program in 2018. She currently serves as the director of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and an assistant professor adjunct.  She is an academic advisor and regularly participates in committees at the program and institutional levels including academic affairs and progress committees. She previously served on the PA Online program mission, and the joint diversity, equity, and inclusion mission committee. She has served as a core member of the YSM Dean's advisory council (DAC) on LGBTQI+ Affairs, and has chaired the DAC's LGBT health policy subcommittee.  Her faculty responsibilities include serving as course director of Preparing Future PAs 1, and co-course director for Capstone, facilitating Problem Based Learning 1-3 which includes small group work 3 days each week, providing lectures in pulmonary, musculoskeletal, psychiatry, geriatric, and sexual history taking lectures within Patient Assessment 1 and 2. She developed a virtual clinical elective in Sexual and Gender Minority Health that launched at the onset of COVID. Bruessow also teaches hands-on skill development in patient assessment and clinical procedures during the program's intensive residencies. She's developed standardized patient case scenarios involving transgender patients which was implemented in 2021, and supported the development of a Virtual Inter Professional Education (VIPE) scenario that included a transgender patient. Bruessow has authored original research and other published articles and medical textbook chapters. She has been an invited speaker on topics including healthcare workforce, policy, disparities, and leadership.  She has held elected and appointed positions on multiple national boards, councils, and commissions.  She formerly served as a board officer for GLMA (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association), and is a past president of the LBGT PA Caucus. In 2020, after serving in the roles of Director at Large, and Secretary-Treasurer, she was elected to serve as the President-elect of the American Academy of PAs. She currently serves on the editorial advisory board of the Transgender Health journal. Bruessow lives in New York City and practices clinically - either in person or virtually - in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Wyoming.
  • Program Coord, Office of Health Equity Research

    Layne Gianakos (pronouns: he/him) joined the School of Medicine in April 2022 as the first program coordinator for the Office of Health Equity Research. In this role, he focuses on community involvement and engagement.Prior to his career at Yale, Layne worked in the nonprofit sector addressing social determinants of health, especially for LGBTQIA populations.Hailing from Greater New Haven, Layne has dedicated his efforts towards advancing positive health outcomes for the local community.
  • Staff Affiliate - YNHH

    Allister Hirschman PA-C is a physician assistant (PA) and a member of the Yale New Haven Hospital Surgical Float team, where he provides care for patients across surgical subspecialties. Allister's full-time employment with YNHH started in 2008 in the Adult Emergency Department, where he was named Employee of the Month (two times). During the Covid19 response, he provided coverage for ED and Hospitalist colleagues and was recognized with APPlause and Great Catch awards.A member of the Management Team of the Dean's Advisory Council on LGBTQI+ Affairs at the Yale School of Medicine, Allister also serves on the DAC's Clinical Care Working Group. He is a core member of the Women's and Gender Health Resident Education Program at Yale Medicine and has provided LGBTQ health education to students, residents, faculty, and staff throughout YNHHS. His clinical interests include addressing healthcare disparities, gender-affirming surgery, considerations of the patient experience, and healthcare provider wellness.In his free time, Allister hangs out in Westville with his dog, Batman
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry

    I am the Director and co-founder of the Yale Pediatric Gender Program (YPGP), an interdisciplinary team that provides services for transgender and gender expansive (TGE) youth and families in Connecticut. The team includes professionals in the fields of psychology, endocrinology, psychiatry, gynecology, reproductive medicine, medical ethics and law. Our mission is to provide comprehensive, interdisciplinary, family-centered care for children, adolescents and young adults questioning their assigned gender and/or seeking gender-affirming consultation and care in a compassionate, respectful and supportive environment. This program is regionally well-regarded, serving clients from all 8 counties in the state, as well as 4 states outside of Connecticut. My contribution to the educational mission of Yale’s School of Medicine focuses on teaching trainees in clinical and research training programs about (a) trauma-informed care, (b) psychosexual development, and (c) gender development. Teaching occurs through the delivery of clinical services, mentoring of clinical and research trainees, clinical supervision, and lectures offered in graduate courses and topical seminars coordinated by other faculty members. I have been lucky to mentor and supervise many students in the departments of Psychiatry, the Child Study Center, the School of Public Health and the Divinity School during my tenure at Yale.
  • Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Professor of Psychology and Professor of Psychiatry; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health

    John Pachankis (he/him) is the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Public Health and directs Yale’s LGBTQ Mental Health Initiative, which serves as a home for scholarship devoted to understanding and improving the mental health of LGBTQ populations in the US and around the world.  His NIH-funded research program examines the efficacy of LGBTQ-affirmative mental health interventions delivered via novel technologies, in diverse settings, and across the spectrum of the LGBTQ community.  These treatments have shown often-times strong and sustained reductions in depression, anxiety, suicidality, substance use, and HIV risk across several randomized controlled trials.  He has published 150+ scientific papers on LGBTQ mental health and stigma and co-edited the Handbook of Evidence-Based Mental Health Practice with Sexual and Gender Minorities published by Oxford University Press. You can learn more about his research at
  • Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry; Deputy Chair for Translational Research, Psychiatry; Director, Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit, Psychiatry; Director, Yale Program for Psychedelic Science, Psychiatry; Director, Yale Center for Brain and Mind Health, Yale School of Medicine; Director, Yale OCD Research Clinic, Psychiatry; Director, Neuroscience Research Training Program, Yale Department of Psychiatry

    Chris Pittenger earned his MD and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, where his graduate work was done with Nobel Prize recipient Eric Kandel. He returned to Yale University, his undergraduate alma mater, for residency and research training in psychiatry in 2003. He joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2007 and is now Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychology and in the Child Study Center, and Deputy Chair for Translational Research in the Department of Psychiatry .Chris has always been fascinated by the question of how the brain, a complex but ultimately a physical structure, creates thought, feeling, consciousness, and other aspects of the mind.  As a psychiatrist he is additionally focused on how these processes go wrong - how brain dysregulation leads to dysregulated cognition, emotion, and behavior and to mental suffering, and how advancing our understanding of these relationships can guide us to new strategies to alleviate that suffering.  Much of his work has focused on obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome and on the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry that is implicated in their pathophysiology.  More recently he has co-founded the Yale Program for Psychedelic Science, focused on understanding how molecules like psilocybin and LSD can teach us about brain and behavior and may lead to new treatments for a range of neuropsychiatric pathology.  He is also one of the founding Directors of the Yale Center for Brain and Mind Health, which seeks to bridge disciplines and levels of analysis to bring new therapeutics to individuals suffering from disorders of the mind and brain.Dr. Pittenger's research and clinical work have been acknowledged by a number of prestigious awards, including grant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, NARSAD, the Tourette Syndrome of America, the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, and other organizations.  He has won a number of awards, including from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Society for Neuroscience, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American College of Psychiatrists. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation and Chair of both their Grant Review Committee and their Annual Research Symposium Planning Committee.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Neurological Association.