The LGBTQ+ Community

With Wissam Deeb, MD and Nicole Rosendale, MD

Living well with Parkinson’s takes support – from our families, communities, healthcare professionals, workplaces, government, and more. When those systems are compromised due to systemic oppression, bias, or lack of inclusion, health outcomes are compromised. In this webinar, Wissam Deeb, MD, and Nicole Rosendale, MD, helped us understand how issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community show up in Parkinson’s care and how we can increase awareness and create more inclusive spaces to address inequities.

Questions covered in this webinar included:

  • How has systemic oppression and bias affected healthcare and wellbeing for members of the LGBTQ+ community historically?
  • How do identity and community influence health outcomes, and why is that important for the LGBTQ+ community?
  • What are some specific ways that LGBTQ+ people experience inequities in Parkinson’s care and community support?
  • What can members of the Parkinson’s community – from individuals to organizations – do to create more inclusive spaces?


Nicole Rosendale, MD

Dr. Nicole Rosendale is an Assistant Professor in the Neurohospitalist Division of the Department of Neurology at UCSF. She primarily attends on the teaching service at San Francisco General Hospital. Her clinical expertise encompasses the acute manifestations of neurologic disease, including cerebrovascular disease, neuroinfectious disease, and the neurologic manifestations of systemic illness.

In addition to her clinical duties, Dr. Rosendale is dedicated to advancing health equity in neurology through research and education, particularly in regard to LGBTQ+ health. Her work has highlighted the importance of LGBTQ+ health in neurology, educated around caring for transgender individuals in the acute setting and exposed discrepancies between self-reported competence in caring for LGBTQ+ individuals and LGBTQ+ health knowledge in U.S. neurologists. Dr. Rosendale is currently investigating other neurodisparities in LGBTQ+ individuals, including in stroke, multiple sclerosis, and migraine, with the goal of informing culturally appropriate interventions to improve brain health in this community. She has also spoken nationally about the importance of LGBTQ+ health in neurology.

Dr. Rosendale serves as the Chair of the American Academy of Neurology LGBTQI Section, co-editor of the Neurology Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion specialty website, and member of the American Academy of Neurology Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Joint Coordinating Council.

Dr. Wissam Deeb Headshot

Wissam Deeb, MD

Dr. Wissam Deeb completed his MD in Lebanon at the University of Balamand. He completed his residency in neurology at the University of Massachusetts in 2015. He then moved to the University of Florida to pursue a movement disorders fellowship and stayed there on faculty until June 2020, when he moved back to UMass as an assistant professor of neurology. Dr. Deeb has a clinical and research interest in Parkinson’s, focusing on improving disparities in care, and in Tourette syndrome, focusing on incorporating technological advancements such as wearable devices in clinical and everyday care.