This Local Doctor Wants to Make Healthcare More Accessible

Meet Vicky Borgia, one of our 2020 Health Hero semi-finalists.

Vicky Borgia is one of our 2020 Health Hero semi-finalists. | Photo provided, design by Meredith Getzfread.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be chatting with our semi-finalists in the 2020 Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge brought to you by Independence Blue Cross to give you a glimpse of the people who are helping Philadelphians live healthier lives. Vote to help decide which of these 10 semi-finalists become one of three finalists in the running to be our 2020 Health Hero — and get a sizable donation to a charity of their choice — here. Remember, you can vote once a day until October 1st!

Name: Vicky Borgia, a local doctor who utilizes Direct Primary Care (DPC), an alternative payment model for healthcare services. She specializes in reproductive health, LGBTQIA health and integrative medicine.

Nonprofit of choice: Women’s Medical Fund. Racial justice and reproductive justice issues are intertwined.  In 1976, Congress banned federal Medicaid coverage for abortion through the Hyde amendment. Then, in 1985, Pennsylvania prohibited state Medicaid coverage for abortion. Since then, Women’s Medical Fund has provided funding to thousands of individuals struggling to get by and enrolled in Medicaid. Women’s Medical Fund has expanded their mission to include advocacy and community organizing.


What motivates you to try and make Philadelphia a healthier place?

I believe that healthcare is a human right. I serve communities that have historically been medically disenfranchised because I can use my skills and education to make changes in a system rife with health inequities. I center access, inclusion and equity in my direct primary care practice, which enables me to take the time I need with my patients and give the care they deserve.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.

The point when I decided to like the body that I’m in — fat, queer, and all. I no longer thought of it as a problem, something that needed to be diagnosed or fixed. I began embracing a HAES (Health at Every Size) mentality, intuitively eating and moving my body in enjoyable ways. I also no longer needed to be ‘liked’ or please everyone at my own expense. I’d say also when I stopped filtering what I said but, alas, this may be congenital (and possibly hereditary.)

What policy would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?

Since it is well-established that racism and other forms of systemic oppression are major factors in increased morbidity, mortality, and generational trauma for all, my policy recommendations focus on dismantling systems of oppression in Philadelphia. This includes reprioritizing city investments from policing and instituting PILOTS where big health and educational nonprofits would volunteer a portion of their revenue to the general fund. These resources could be then be used to fund education and invest in communities by improving access to services, opportunities, food, and healthcare.

What’s the most important part of your health or wellness regimen?

Sleep, intuitive eating, laughter, and playing the Clash at higher than recommended decibel levels.

What is your number one piece of health-related advice?

Be yourself. Be kind. Wear your mask—it protects our community and you.

Check out all the Health Hero semi-finalists, and remember to vote HERE now. (Remember, you can vote once a day until October 1st!) Stay in touch with @bewellphilly and @phillymagevents and be sure to follow the challenge using #BWPHealthHero!

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