Mental Health Trailblazers Podcast S2 Ep5: Lisvel Matos

Episode Summary

The second season of “Mental Health Trailblazers, Psychiatric Nurses Speak Up,” episode 5 isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. This week, our host, Indrias Kassaye, digs into the life and research of the forward-thinking Duke University School of Nursing PhD candidate, Lisvel Matos. Ms. Matos went from being a high school dropout to becoming a PhD candidate at one of the leading universities in the world. She aspires to be a leader in nursing science with a focus on the reduction of Latinx sexual and reproductive health disparities. 

Episode Notes

Ms. Matos’ interest in nursing comes from an unusual quirk from her childhood. She was a bit of a hypochondriac and remembers that the nurses were always so much more empathetic than even her family at times. Ms. Matos recognized that same compassion in her own life and thought nursing was a natural fit. She was cheered on by her grandfather, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, who placed a lot of emphasis on education and opportunity. Lisvel recognizes that her own path from a student to nurse practitioner, to researcher and PhD candidate has also been shaped by her experience as a Latinx woman.

Ms. Matos’ research was not just fueled by her identity and background, but also from a deep sense of care resonating for her community. Her current area of research at Duke University School of Nursing is investigating and evaluating the factors that influence sexual health promotion among Latino, same gender loving men. Ms. Matos wants to develop programs specifically geared towards HIV prevention within Latinx, same gender loving men. Additionally, she also would like to see the rise in development of more programs that increase the awareness and general sensitivity towards not only sexuality or sexual orientation, but gender inclusivity as well. She points out that since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, we know that Black and Latino, same gender loving men have been disproportionately affected–and the numbers are only getting worse. Indrias and Lisvel uncover and delve into the syndemic, where there are societal and mental health conditions that tend to cluster these diseases together. 

Lisvel Matos presented her research at the 2021 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care conference for which she received the Student Poster Research Award–but that’s only one part of her journey. Thinking of the future, Ms. Matos would like to serve as an inspiration and mentor for the upcoming generation of minority health care researchers by demonstrating that diverse perspectives are desired and valuable within the healthcare community. To learn more about Ms. Matos’ astounding path through nursing and revelatory research, visit