Joy Alexiou, County of Santa Clara Health System
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2019
New Center Specializes in the Care of Transgender, Non-Binary and Gender Diverse Individuals
- The Gender Health Center (GHC) is the first and only clinic in the South Bay area specializing in care for transgender, non-binary and gender diverse individuals of all ages.
- Santa Clara Valley Medical Center's new Gender Health Center offers a welcoming and safe space for all patients, including transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) promotes a culture of safety and wellness for all patients, including transgender, non-binary and gender diverse patients system-wide to address institutional and social barriers to care.
- With a core group of expert providers offering comprehensive primary and specialized care, the needs of SCVMC's transgender, non-binary and gender diverse patient population can be met. The entire Gender Health Center multi-disciplinary team, and other system-wide teams, have been trained to ensure care competency to improve the health and well-being of all patients, including transgender, non-binary and gender diverse patients.
- Reporters are invited to tour the new Gender Health Center and interview clinic staff. The GHC will be open to the news media on Monday, February 11 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm at VHC Downtown, 777 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose.
County of Santa Clara, CA—In response to the lack of high-quality healthcare services for transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people in Santa Clara County, the Gender Health Center (GHC) at Valley Health Center Downtown has opened. The Gender Health Center serves all patients, including transgender, non-binary and gender diverse individuals of all ages.
The GHC includes three exam rooms for medical visits, two offices for behavioral health visits, two meeting rooms for classes or group visits and its own registration and reception desk. The GHC's multi-disciplinary team is creating an environment of collaboration and seamless care between primary care, behavioral health, obstetrics-gynecology, and health education to provide specialized care and address the healthcare disparities that transgender, non-binary and gender diverse individuals often face.
“We have learned from working with our chronically homeless transgender, non-binary and gender diverse patients how to combat and address health disparities,” said Dr. Jackie Newton, MD, MPH, Co-Founder of the Gender Health Center. “It takes a compassionate team approach, along with trauma-informed and gender-affirming services, strategies to address institutional and social barriers to care, and forming key partnerships with transgender, non-binary and gender diverse community organizations, stakeholders and patients, to reduce stigma and promote health equity.”
The multi-disciplinary team at the Gender Health Center includes four primary care physicians as well as a psychiatrist, psychologist, obstetrician-gynecologist, medical social worker, clinical nurse, and licensed vocational nurses. Services are offered Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm at Valley Health Center Downtown, 777 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose.
National data indicate that nearly 1 in 3 transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people have had at least one negative experience in healthcare, and 1 out of 4 did not seek healthcare due to fear of being mistreated.
In Santa Clara County, transgender, non-binary and gender diverse individuals identified barriers to high quality healthcare. In the 2013 LGBTQ Health Assessment conducted by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, 38% percent of transgender individuals reported a need for medical care that they could not get, and 82% of transgender participants agreed with the statement, “Not enough health professionals are adequately trained to care for people who are LGBT”.
Additional information from various local transgender groups revealed:
- Residents resorted to traveling out of Santa Clara County and obtained private health insurance coverage to receive transgender care services.
- Most residents noted receiving services from clinics in Santa Cruz, Fremont or San Francisco.
- Existing local resources can be leveraged to fill immediate gaps.
- Nationally recognized training programs are within SCVMC's reach to provide specialized training, create a positive clinic environment and develop primary care best practices for transgender, non-binary and gender diverse patients.
To address the findings, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the County of Santa Clara Office of LGBTQ Affairs, proposed the creation of a family clinic specializing in services for transgender, non-binary and gender diverse patients. Specialized trainings have also been developed for clinic staff in Valley Health Center locations throughout the community.
SCVMC remains dedicated to serving all patients at any SCVMC clinic regardless of race, immigration status, disability, sexual orientation, gender, sex, religion, or ability to pay.
To schedule an appointment with a primary care provider or a medical social worker, patients, including transgender, non-binary and gender diverse individuals should call 408-977-4411. More information about the Gender Health Center will be available soon on the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center website, www.scvmc.org