Dr. Rebecca Rada (she/her/hers) is the LGBTQ+ Healthcare Fellow. Her clinical interests include transgender care, LGBTQ+ primary care, HIV/AIDs, and STI prevention and treatment. She is also passionate about addiction medicine, women’s health, and ensuring marginalized groups receive comprehensive and compassionate care. She grew up in Lake Quivira, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City. She received her Osteopathic Medical Degree from Kansas City University and, in addition, received her MBA in Healthcare Leadership from Rockhurst University, Helzberg School of Management during medical school.
She completed her Family Medicine residency at St. Louis University in 2021, a program focused on urban, underserved care. Her interest in equity in LGBTQ+ healthcare started during medical school. Once in residency, LGBTQ+ patients sought her care and Dr. Rada saw the disparities, hardships, and discrimination they frequently experienced. She knew she wanted to make a difference in her LGBTQ+ patients lives, working at the patient, community, and national levels to create meaningful change. Throughout residency, she found ways to encourage and promote allyship and advocacy in her residency clinic, whether by providing pronoun stickers for all provider and staff badges, encouraging providers to wear rainbow lanyards to show allyship, or educating staff about transgender healthcare to ensure the clinic provided a safe and inclusive environment.
Dr. Rada was also involved in a variety of research projects to improve care of LGBTQ+ patients and expand knowledge about LGBTQ+ healthcare topics, including tobacco use in LGBTQ+ patients, educating clinic staff about transgender nomenclature and healthcare disparities, and how to create a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ patients. In addition, she and her co-resident were awarded the Family Medicine Cares Resident Service Award from the AAFP to fund a project to expand access to medication for opioid use disorder at their resident clinic.
When she is not working, Dr. Rada's interests include propagating cacti and succulents, venturing out to local restaurants, finding the best iced oat milk latte in town, traveling to visit her family and niece, exercising, hanging out with friends, and advocating and promoting social justice issues.
Dr. Felipe Saavedra (he/him/his) is an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Fellow, whose clinical interests include HIV/AIDS, transgender, and LGBTQ+ primary care. He is passionate about reducing healthcare disparities in vulnerable populations.
Dr. Saavedra was born and raised in Chile, where he graduated from the University of Chile. His passion for advocating for the LGBTQ+ community began as a researcher at an HIV/AIDS specialty clinic in Santiago. After working in primary care, Dr. Saavedra moved to the US in 2015 to join a pre-residency program at UCLA, where he also completed his Family Medicine residency training in 2020.
During his training, Dr. Saavedra educated himself and colleagues on critical healthcare issues that impact LGBTQ+ individuals. He broadened his residency program's impact on Spanish-speaking communities in LA County and consistently advocated for and built bridges to underserved populations.
In 2020, Dr. Saavedra became the first Latinx LGBTQ+ Healthcare fellow. During this time, Dr. Saavedra broadened his knowledge and cultural competency to advocate for LGBTQ+ patients and their families. He helped shape the Early Authentic Clinical Experience (EACE) curriculum, exposing first-year UCLA medical students to various LGBTQ+ topics.
His favorite experience has been working with the UCLA Gender Health Program. As part of this groundbreaking initiative, Dr. Saavedra cared for trans and gender non-binary adults and kids. He co-created and led the first sessions of the Gender Health Resiliency Group, based on the UCLA EMPWR Program. After seeing how positively the program impacted his patients, Dr. Saavedra is passionate about ensuring the group continues in the future.
Starting in 2021, Dr. Saavedra will join Desert AIDS Project (DAP) Health, located in Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley. The knowledge and experiences he gained during the fellowship, along with his bilingual and bicultural skills, will ensure Dr. Saavedra continues to care for California's underserved communities.
Outside of work, Dr. Saavedra enjoys spending time with his husband and exploring Southern California. He also enjoys traveling, volunteering, practicing yoga, and cooking traditional Chilean food for friends and family.
Dr. Chase Cates grew up in Dallas, TX as the oldest of 5 kids. After high school, he moved to San Angelo, TX where he received his bachelor's in Biology at Angelo State University, followed by his Master of Public Health from Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health. He received his DO degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill in Greensburg, PA. During his clinical years, he met his partner, now husband, while doing a rotation in LGBTQ and HIV care in Dallas, TX. This is also what initially sparked his interest in LGBTQ health.
During residency in Arkansas, Dr. Chase Cates saw significant health disparities including a lack of resources and a lack of provider training and education on LGBTQ health issues. He felt he would like to make a difference in the South, which sees a significant percentage of new HIV cases. It is while in residency that he personally witnessed firsthand the discrimination that LGBTQ members face from medical professionals. Having been a victim himself, he began to make a stand-- wearing colorful rainbow shoes to work as an outward expression of pride and defiance and dedicating many of his resident lectures on LGBTQ topics so he could better inform his colleagues. He applied for the LGBTQ fellowship program to gain a better understanding of how to provide culturally competent care to this community.
Upon completion of the LGBTQ Healthcare and HIV fellowship, Dr. Chase Cates will join the Alamo Area Resource Center as their first full time provider for the clinic. He is excited to move forward in his career and bring his training back to the South, where he hopes to make an expanded difference in his community and the region as a whole.