You Are Not Alone

For Cathy Campbell, her hospice work took on new meaning through supporting LGBTQ+ access to healthcare and end-of-life care.

Adobe Stock/ Iuliia Pilipeichenko

For Cathy Campbell, growing up in Key West, Florida, was growing up amidst “chosen family.” “That’s one of the life lessons I learned early. You need a community to wrap around and support you,” she says. Her mother modeled this as a social worker and activist in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. “My mom always finds some way to contribute to make things a little bit better and that’s a value she has instilled in me,” she says. 

Campbell has shown up for others in her work as a hospice nurse, chair of the Acute and Specialty Care department at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, and hospice chaplain. Lately, she’s found a renewed sense of purpose.

At a hospice conference, she wandered into a room offering refreshments and soon realized she was at a presentation about LGBTQ+ healthcare. The presenter was a trans man who shared a story about a hospital stay where he had to be cared for in a bed in the hallway because nurses weren’t sure if he should go in a shared room with men or with women. In fact, trans people often report…