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Access Health Louisiana’s (AHL) very own Dr. MarkAlain Déry served as the 2019 local Grand Marshal of the New Orleans Pride Parade on Saturday, June 8, 2019. Dr. Déry is Chief Innovation Officer for AHL and an Internal Medicine/Infectious Disease Physician at AHL’s Pythian location in downtown New Orleans. He cares for more than 134 HIV patients and helps them get to “undetectable” status. “Dr. Déry also serves as the Medical Director for the AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) in New Orleans. “AHL has been supportive of implementing advanced educational programming meant to specifically prevent HIV and more effectively treat people living with HIV and Hepatitis-C,” says Dr. Déry. The New Orleans Pride Board felt Dery was a natural choice to pair with Pride Parade national Grand Marshal Mondo Guerra from “Project Runway”, also an HIV activist. The 24-float parade started at the intersection of Royal and Frenchman Streets and featured 70 walking groups. The parade is considered the largest Pride event along the Gulf Coast. Prior to the parade, AHL’s new mobile health clinic was out at the corner of Elysian Fields and North Rampart for Pride Fest. Attendees took advantage of free health screenings including: HIV and Hepatitis-C tests, blood pressure and glucose screenings. Outreach staff also spoke to everyone about the benefits of using the Access Health Louisiana Pharmacy which offers discounts on medications and free home delivery including PrEP!
During the afternoon, Dr. Déry was introduced on stage as one of the official Pride Grand Marshals. Then, he showed off his skateboarding skills while his team tossed free color-changing cups and Pride tank tops to the crowd.
“I was deeply honored to be selected as the local Grand Marshal. Let’s revisit the Stonewall Uprising in 1969. We’re now celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. My work in public health as a physician, an advocate and activist in the community, as well as the work being done at WHIV radio, is rooted in moving social, racial and economic justice forward,” says Déry. “While great strides have been made for equity in these areas by all people, but specifically my brothers and sisters who fought at Stonewall, there’s great work to be done by us who remain.”