Sarah Stumbar is a primary care physician committed to the public health and to her individual patients. She believes that health care is a human right, and a societal need. Sarah went into medicine with the belief that high-quality, equitable healthcare can change not only lives but also entire communities.
She is particularly dedicated to the health of women and girls. In her teaching role at FIU’s College of Medicine, she is particularly focused on re-writing curriculum to be inclusive of gender, sexuality, and reproductive health while also providing expanded family planning services to underserved communities in Miami.
Miami is a city of intense extremes, inequities, and amazing possibilities. It is filled with both challenge and promise. I am committed to providing holistic healthcare to the diverse people and needs of Miami. I am committed to preserving a woman’s right to control her own body, and her right to choose abortion. I am committed to teaching students an approach to medicine that encompasses and confronts sexuality and gender as central to a person’s being.
Even with the advent of the Affordable Care Act, over 25 percent of Miami-Dade County residents do not have health insurance; and many more are underinsured. This leaves thousands of people vulnerable to health catastrophes, chronic diseases, and unintended pregnancy. In particular, women in poor communities are more likely to lack access to health care, including family planning services.
I am a primary care physician, advocate, activist and teacher. I support and provide healthcare where race, sex, gender and class pose no threat to its accessibility. I am especially committed to the health of women and girls. I work to ensure that they have full access to sex education, contraception, and abortion. I have started a program to provide long-acting reversible contraception, like IUDs, at no cost to my clinic’s patients. I believe in every woman’s right to determine her own bodily needs.
I am defining and developing a practice of medicine for my patients and my students, one which meets and grows with the needs of Miami–a city at the forefront of the new global challenges defined by a rich diversity of differing populations. I am trained to recognize and address the social determinants of health in my everyday care of patients, and hope to create a more democratic medical community. This means that I recognize when a patient’s greatest health issue may be a lack of food, a lack of educational support for a child struggling in school, a lack of housing, or a lack of a legally documented immigration status. And then I work with my colleagues to address these issues. I know that it is impossible to take your diabetic medications or eat your diabetic diet when you do not know where your next meal is coming from; and that it is impossible to make your doctor’s appointments when you are afraid of getting arrested by immigration authorities.
In the present political moment, I have demonstrated in the name of #whitecoats4blacklives. I march and I speak for my patients who have not been given the same privileged platform that I have. In the aftermath of this election, doctors like me, who provide care to poor and vulnerable patients, have been facing exam rooms full of questions and the inability to guarantee our patients that they will have continued access to insulin, contraceptive pills or specialist referrals. So I continue to stand up and speak out– against misogyny as a public health crisis, against racism as a public health crisis, against poverty as a public health crisis. And in belief that health care is a human right.