May 27, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Cedars-Sinai Shifts Into Transgender Care

In the U.S., many hospitals either are not equipped for proper care for transgender patients or they do not address and handle them with respect and proper pronouns, which can make the already difficult experience of seeking healthcare and dealing with health concerns even more trying. With this in mind, Cedars-Sinai recently announced that they will provide transgender primary care in both Beverly Hills and Culver City.

Transgender care programs at Cedars-Sinai have expanded from being one of only two academic medical centers in the Western U.S. that offer gender-affirmation genital surgery to now include quality medical care for all aspects of their health. The hospital’s gender-affirmation surgery allowed many people who were refused care and coverage by physicians and insurance companies access to transition. For years, gender-affirmation surgery was limited to private clinics, which did not accept many medical insurance options. Now Cedars-Sinai has taken another step forward from providing some of the best care in gender-affirming surgery needs to include a more comprehensive set of programs for transgender patients.

According to a 2017 National Public Radio survey, 31 percent of transgender people in the U.S. say they have no regular doctor or form of healthcare, and that the fear of discrimination plays a major role in that.

“It is such a privilege to take care of the transgender community, which historically has had poor access to care,” said Carl A. Violano, MD, one of Cedars-Sinai primary care physicians with years of expertise in the field of transgender healthcare. “I feel a deep sense of responsibility to provide excellent care to our transgender patients.”

The medical center introduced a new interdisciplinary, research-based Transgender Surgery and Health Program headed by a leader in the field to ensure the team of specialist aid patients through every step in their journeys. Some of these comprehensive healthcare programs include vocal cord and speech therapy, HIV care, hormone management, fertility preservation and mental health services.

“It’s important to recognize that not all LGBTQ community members have access to quality medical care. We’re striving to meet a critical need,” said Mary Clare Lingel, vice president of Strategic Integration at Cedars-Sinai Medical Network.

The transgender community can now celebrate a more joyful Pride Month knowing hospitals like Cedars-Sinai are working to make the best care available.

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