Cooley Dickinson Health Care is committed to providing the highest standard of care for every individual in our community, at all points on the spectrums of gender and sexuality. We are dedicated to the inclusion of LGBTQ people in all aspects of our services–for patients, families and employees. We promote LGBTQ health equity and access to care through staff training, specialized services in transgender health, inclusive patient policies, and affirming benefits for our employees.

A Leader in Healthcare Equality
Cooley Dickinson is the only hospital in Western Massachusetts to be recognized as a leader in LGBTQ healthcare equality for the second year in a row, and was recently awarded the highest possible score on the 2019 Healthcare Equality Index.

J. Aleah Nesteby, MSN, FNP, Cooley Dickinson Medical Group, Northampton Family Practice, 22 Atwood Drive, Northampton, MA 01060.
Aleah Nesteby, MSN, FNP

J. Aleah Nesteby, MSN, FNP, is Cooley Dickinson Health Care’s Director of LGBTQ Health Services and a Family Nurse Practitioner at Oxbow Primary Care. She has spent the past decade working to ensure the availability of compassionate and non-judgmental healthcare for the LGBTQ community in Western Massachusetts. Prior to joining Cooley Dickinson Medical Group, Aleah worked for Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass., and before that in reproductive health and STI prevention in San Francisco, California.

Nesteby is a member of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), and a provider-volunteer for the online peer-to-peer consultation service TransLine.


External resources are not in any way affiliated with or endorsed by CDHC, but links are provided as a community service to LGBTQ community members.

Additional Resources:

Massachusetts & National


  • True Colors – (Community organization service LGBTQ youth in Hartford, CT)

New Hampshire 


  • Out in the Open (LGBTQ Community Organization and Peer Support in Brattleboro, VT)

Upstate New York 


CONTACT: Transforming Parents (A community support group for parents of transgender children of any age)

LGBTQ Health Awareness

Did you know…

  • 31% of gay and bisexual men say they don’t have a regular place to go to receive medical care or do not have a regular physician
  • Transgender people have a high prevalence of mental health issues, HIV, STIs, but are the least likely population to have health insurance
  • Lesbians and bisexual women are more likely to be overweight or obese, more likely to smoke, and less likely to get screened for breast and cervical cancers compared to heterosexual women
  • For LGBTQ people of color, these risks are even higher
  • If you live an actively high-risk lifestyle with multiple sexual partners (or just one who hasn’t been tested) do you know about HIV PreP? (It could save your life).

Cooley Dickinson Health Care acknowledges LGBT populations as a unique health care demographic, and we work to highlight that demographic in our community outreach as one that is at elevated risk for many health concerns.

National Coalition for LGBT Health, Cooley Dickinson Medical Group, Northampton, MA 01060.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital once again scored 100/100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Healthcare Equality Index, confirming its commitment to caring for the LGBTQ community through affirmative policies on patient non-discrimination, patient services and support, visitation, employment non-discrimination and training in LGBTQ patient care.

For more information on LGBTQ resources, please direct inquiries to the LGBTQ Ombudsman, at