Dr. Jean Amoura, MD, MSc, is the NEFP Title X Medical Director and has been involved with the Title X program since 2007. Title X, the nation’s only program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventative health services, serves “needs that would otherwise go unmet,” as Jean says. Jean specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UNMC, as well as transgender care and hormone therapy. Practicing since 1999, Jean brings her wealth of knowledge, insight, and passion for care to the Title X table. As the daughter of a Palestinian immigrant, Jean’s experiences and close-knit family has shaped her as both a physician and an advocate.
- Why is it critical to build trust and advocate for patients, in addition to treating them?
I feel we as doctors are in this privileged position of having a lot of information and being able to evaluate risks and benefits of various conditions and treatment plans. But to me, it doesn’t really come together until you put that risk or benefit into the context of somebody’s life. I view in my medical practice that I want to be an agent to help somebody make the best decision for themselves. And that, to me, is where you feel the magic happen. I wasn’t here to totally direct the show — I am here to provide the information so you can find the right pathway for yourself. In short, it’s a shared decision making model, and I just find tremendous joy in putting that into action.
- What strategies do you employ to help destigmatize and normalize conversations about sexual and reproductive health?
The biggest thing is to actually just face it head-on. You make it regular part of conversation. I certainly know the look of real relief on patient’s faces when they see you’re comfortable asking questions and you can demonstrate to them why these questions are relevant to the information you’re going to provide and the care you’re going to give them. They’re relieved that nothing is off the table, and they just bring their whole selves to the conversation.
- In your experience as Medical Director for NEFP, what do you believe is critical to sustaining Title X in order to best serve clients?
I would say visibility is the key aspect. The mission of Title X is actually an easy-sell even in a place like Nebraska. This is the kind of healthcare that everybody gets behind, and people sort of assume that it’s very covered and more accessible than it maybe is for a lot of folks. I think just simply making it clear that this is the population that Title X serves and the services that are provided, and they are incredibly helpful in these communities. It’s serving needs where that need would otherwise go unmet. I feel like if people understood it better that there would be no question as to the ongoing need for this program across the country, and certainly Nebraska as well.
- How do you believe your philosophy of care and experience assists NEFP and the Title X network – but more importantly – the client experience?
I really view in my role as Medical Director, and in my philosophy of care, as wanting to make sure patients have the best information possible — and that goes also for all of the staff and the providers in our program who are working day-to-day with patients and clients. We want to be able to say this is the best practice, this is the most up to date information and service that we can offer, and keep trying to make Title X working in the spirit of being as cutting-edge as possible. I’ve been involved with the program for many years now and it’s proven to be – surprisingly – a flexible program and group of people. This has been a group that has had no problem at all getting on-board and recognizing what is really important and of help to the people they serve. That’s the mission and it’s never out of sight for all of these providers. They jump right on board. The eagerness of the staff of Title X to have the most up-to-date practice possible has always been so impressive to me.