Member of the American Military Partner Association Board of Directors
Dr. Lori Hensic (Okinawa, Japan) is originally from Sonoma, California. As the same-sex partner of a service member, Dr. Hensic struggled with the isolation and disconnect from the military community that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) imposed as a result of her partner being required to serve in silence. While seeking support and means to “survive military life,” she stumbled upon a group of other partners of active duty service members – which would ultimately end up mobilizing to establish themselves as an official non-profit: The American Military Partner Association (AMPA).
Shortly after the repeal of DADT, Dr. Hensic relocated from Northern California to be with her partner, then stationed in San Diego, and again relied on AMPA for a local support system in an unfamiliar area. Since then, Dr. Hensic has been determined to give back to the community and organization that helped her so wholeheartedly.
Dr. Hensic is dedicated to critical educational, research, and policy efforts aimed at strengthening LGBT military families’ representation and engagement in policy changes. Her educational outreach campaigns and collaborations with other national advocacy organizations help inform LGBT military families, elected officials, and the general public about disparities in our families’ access to services and benefits – as well as how to assist with means to change them.
As a long-time leadership member since the early days of AMPA, Dr. Hensic has served as the AMPA Director of Educational Affairs (2012-2014), and as the AMPA Director of Research and Policy (2014-2018). In these roles, Dr. Hensic provided:
- Live webinars to LGBT military families and allies across the globe,
- Continuing education and advanced professional training to civilian and military health care providers across the country,
- Presentations outlining LGBT military history and challenges faced by LGBT military families to policymakers,
- LGBT “cultural competency” training to health care providers and employer groups, and
- Submitted numerous briefs advocating for LGBT military families to multiple Department of Defense (DoD) groups, including the DoD Military Family Readiness Council and the DoD Defense Health Agency.
She is also a champion for supporting work targeting improvements in military spouse employment, and her work has resulted in successfully overturning regulations that posed significant challenges for military spouses seeking employment.
Dr. Hensic has appeared in media interviews on local and national broadcasts and has been invited to speak at several conferences on behalf of our LGBT military families. She has received multiple honors and awards for her advocacy for LGBT military families, including being selected as the first LGBT military spouse named the Armed Forces Insurance Camp Pendleton Spouse of the Year in 2014.
After completing her undergraduate studies at UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Hensic earned her Doctorate of Pharmacy (PharmD) with an emphasis in Health Policy & Management from UC San Francisco. She completed a General Pharmacy Practice Residency followed by an HIV/AIDS Specialty Pharmacy Residency at UC San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Hensic is certified in Designing Clinical Research, a Pharmacy Regulatory Specialist (PRS), and a Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist (BCACP). She has specialty clinical training in Ambulatory Care, Infectious Diseases, LGBT Healthcare, and has published numerous scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Hensic has been a leader in clinical pharmaceutical care and pharmacy regulatory affairs for 10 years, and has been invited to speak at medical and pharmacy conferences at state, national, and international levels. She has over a decade of teaching experience at medical and pharmacy schools and continues to serve as adjunct faculty at the University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, as well as faculty at PRIME, Inc. — an accredited provider of medical & healthcare professional education. Dr. Hensic left her position as the National Regulatory Affairs Manager at Kaiser Permanente in early 2018 upon her spouse receiving military orders to Okinawa, Japan.
Dr. Hensic’s wife, Shaina, is an active duty U.S. Marine Corps V-22 “Osprey” pilot, and the former Captain of the USA Women’s Eagles (USA Women’s National Rugby Team). They currently live in Okinawa, Japan, with their energetic dog, Toby. You can read more about Lori & Shaina’s story here.