Dr. Anthony Strickland wears many hats.
He’s the chief medical officer for a hospital in Excelsior Springs, Mo. He is the medical director for DCCCA. For several years, he practiced at Heartland Community Health Center. And he also operates a private practice in Lawrence called EvolveMD, which serves the transgender, nonbinary, and gender-diverse community.
“I do family medicine across the spectrum, but I also do a vast amount of transgender health and addiction medicine,” Dr. Strickland said. “Those two are really my passion. Honestly, it just comes down to caring about people.”
Something Dr. Strickland excels at. For that and his work with the trans and nonbinary community, Dr. Strickland will be recognized with the Bert Nash Center’s Pioneer Award. The award was presented Monday, April 25 at Arterra Event Gallery during the Center’s 36th annual Pioneer Celebration and the first in-person Celebration in two years.
The Pioneer Award is given to an individual whose efforts to secure accessible comprehensive mental health services for all residents of Douglas County are exceptional and typify the progressive, caring spirit, which led to the founding of the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.
“I feel very honored to be recognized,” Dr. Strickland said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to draw attention to transgender health, because it’s something I’m obviously very passionate about.”
Dr. Strickland has worked with transgender and nonbinary patients for many years, including those who have been clients at the Bert Nash Center. The Center has a dialectical behavior therapy group for transgender clients.
“Transitioning is a journey, and it’s a journey that nobody should be on alone.”
“I have worked with the Bert Nash Center for many years,” Dr. Strickland said. “They are equally as passionate about serving the trans and nonbinary community. Bert Nash connects people and helps them learn new strategies to build a better life. That’s what I’m trying to do, too. By working together, we supplement each other.”
Emily Rhamy, Bert Nash Center dialectical behavior therapy team leader, nominated Dr. Strickland and presented him with the Pioneer Award at Monday’s event.
“With our DBT program, we work with a lot of people who are trans and we’ve seen how important it is for them to have access to medical care,” Emily said. “Dr. Strickland has such a revolutionary way of providing medicine and he’s available to them. With the way he provides care, they know that they can trust him and that it is safe place. He’s an amazing resource that we have in our community. I’ve seen just telling some of my trans clients about his practice, just knowing that it exists, is meaningful. And he’s just so kind.”
While honored to receive the Pioneer Award, Dr. Strickland is particularly grateful that it will highlight the importance of offering affordable access to medical services for people who are transitioning so they can live according to their gender identity.
“I get to see people start that journey and then watch them blossom and become who they have always wanted to be and watch them live such a wonderful and fuller life,” Dr. Strickland said. “Transitioning is a journey, and it’s a journey that nobody should be on alone.”