May 2023 Power Player
At Power to Decide, we’re committed to uplifting the many individuals on the ground doing the work that matters most. Each month we highlight an individual who is championing the effort to support young people’s reproductive well-being. Check out this month's Power Player profile.
David L Bell, MD, MPH, (he/him/his)
Professor, Columbia University Irving Medical Center / Medical Director, The Young Men’s Clinic, New York Presbyterian Hospital
What work have you done to ensure that all people have the information and access they need to make decisions that align with their intentions and improve their reproductive well-being?
I have tried to ensure that male-identified individuals have access to information and services that create an open space to think through their intentions and improve their sexual and reproductive well-being in the context of their partners’ well-being. In alignment with the 1994 Conference for Population and Development, we must include males to have better outcomes for males, females, children, and families. The concept of male responsibility and positive engagement to achieve broad sexual and reproductive well-being is area that still is ripe for growth.
How did you get started in your field? What is your driving force?
An RN during my fellowship told me one day, “Your guys are here to see you.”
She highlighted that in her 30+ years in our adolescent fellowship clinic she found I had a unique and consistent male population following in the clinic. Realizing that I didn’t always have someone to turn to during difficult times, not necessarily just for health issues, my driving force was to be available for the young men that came to me, both for physical and mental health well-being .
What advice would you give to someone looking to effect change in the field that you currently work in?
Follow your passion and the change you want to affect. Walk through the doors that open for you and see where they lead.
Why should someone care about ensuring that all people—regardless of who they are or where they live—have the information and access they need to live their best life?
Access to accurate information and individuals that can elevate one’s self-efficacy to live their best life is what life is about. We should continually learn new things daily to help our lives and the lives of others.