Navigating Medicine with a Sensory Disability (Dr. Kevin Barley, Dr. Elias Harkins, Dr. Marie Flores, Laura Henrie)
This month’s meeting features a panel discussion on navigating medicine with a sensory disability. The panel will feature three physicians and a disability rights lawyer. The physicians come from both academic and clinical settings and are each at different stages of training. Together they bring lived experience of both congenital/life-long disability and acquired disability. The panel includes physicians who identify as blind, low-vision, hard of hearing, and/or a wheelchair user. And as a special guest, we are proud to host Laura Henrie, a disability rights lawyer who helped one of the panelists secure accommodations at several stages of training.
My name is Kevin “Bo” Barley, MD. I am a blind/visually impaired physician board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology. I did all of my training in New York City at Mount Sinai, and at the end of my training I rather suddenly lost my vision, so during the very acute phase of my disease, I had to quickly learn how to get accommodations for board exams I had already scheduled. I took some time off work to learn how to adapt to this life change and focus on being a parent. Over the last two years, I have worked towards and begun working in clinical medicine and research in oncology, and I have also explored opportunities in hopes of finding the career path that is the best fit for me. I will be starting a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship (also at Mount Sinai) in July 2023.
Elias Harkins, MD, M. Ed. was born to a military family in Central Pennsylvania. He spent many years in Washington and Texas, but returned back to Hershey in the early 2000s. Elias went to Messiah University for his undergraduate degree in biopsychology, before then beginning medical school at Penn State College of Medicine. One of Elias’ driving factors in beginning the medical journey was his diagnosis of Septo-Optic Dysplasia, a disability associated with low vision. Elias’ lived experience drove him to find a way to connect with patients and advocate for other individuals with disabilities. Currently, Elias is in his first year of Pediatrics residency at Penn State Children’s Hospital and is involved in their programs focused on education and community advocacy.
Marie Flores, MD (pronouns: she, her, ella) is a family medicine physician at Altamed in Pico Rivera, CA and also an epidemiologist and assistant researcher in the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA. She went to undergraduate at Davidson College majoring in Spanish, got her master’s degree and Ph.D. in epidemiology at the UCLA School of Public Health, and went to medical school at the University of Utah. She completed her residency at the social medicine program at Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, and is board certified in family medicine. Her professional interests include primary care in medically underserved communities, reproductive health and justice, health care accessibility for persons with disabilities, and public health research in Latino populations. She is a wheelchair user and is hard of hearing. She currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, son, and two dogs and was featured in the 2021 LA Times article about pregnancy and disability that appeared on the front page of the Sunday paper: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-09-30/how-modern-medicine-neglects-disabled-mothers
Laura Henrie, Esq. is the Legal Director for the Disability Law Center (DLC) in Salt Lake City. The DLC is the Protection and Advocacy agency for the state of Utah. Ms. Henrie has worked at the DLC since 2007. Her practice has focused on litigating discrimination cases as well as leading complex litigation and policy efforts to support and expand community integration options for people with disabilities.