The UCLA Gender Health Program and the UCLA Health system are at times the subject of stories in newspapers, magazines, and journals, and also issue news releases to keep the community informed on the latest programs and services available at UCLA. We include here a collection of recent stories and an archive of older articles.
LGBTQ students lost some support networks during the pandemic. Brandon Ito, MD, MPH, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with the UCLA Gender Health Program, says the pandemic compounded challenges already faced by LGBTQ youth. UCLA Health Connect >
There may be no greater transformational gift in medicine than the ability to help patients realize the life they were meant to live instead of the one that fate assigned them. With a multidisciplinary team of skilled physicians, UCLA Health has built one of the country’s most comprehensive gender health programs — rooted in the belief that transgender and gender-diverse people should not have to struggle to find sensitive and compassionate health care. Read more >
The LGBTQ Equity Pilot Program, part of an in-patient unit for children and adolescents at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, is improving gender affirming care for youth by supplying safe chest binders which can be used during their hospitalization. To read more about this initiative and more health equity progress at UCLA Health >
UCLA Health is proud to present an online pride celebration and drag revue featuring iconic drag performers Ongina, Moi Moi Moi, Sunset Blush and others, each of whom will lip sync a song promoting community, inclusion and diversity. The show, Out, Proud and Well: The UCLA PRIDE Drag Showcase, will be hosted by comedian and drag queen Tony Soto. The event was created by UCLA Health Pride Network co-founders internist and LGBTQ+ champion Emery Chang, MD, and Gender Health Program Manager Christopher Mann, MSW. Read more >
Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic posed new challenges to patients seeking access to health care. For transgender and nonbinary people, such challenges separated them from quality, affirming care and in many instances, paused or prevented life-changing procedures. A new study out of UCLA’s Gender Health Program aims to understand the ways the pandemic has specifically affected the health care experiences of transgender and nonbinary patients. The study investigators are Thomas W. Gaither, MD. MAS, Kristen Williams, MA, Christopher Mann, MSW, Amy Weimer, MD, Gladys Ng, MD, MPH, and Mark S. Litwin, MD, MPH. Read more >
USC Center for Health Journalism reported on the role of UCLA Health’s Gender Health Program in the Jeff Gottlieb family, and how the program helped support their transgender daughter.
March 31 marks the 12th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV), a date to recognize the strength and contributions of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and to raise awareness of societal and health challenges faced by this community. UCLA Health Connect > UCLA Connect Blog >
UCLA Health experts weigh in on what they hope to see as the new president takes office. Amy K. Weimer, MD, co-founder of the UCLA Gender Health Program, wants to see the federal government ensure access to gender-affirming care for transgender people. UCLA Connect Blog >
Insider interviewed Amy Weimer, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine – Pediatrics and co-director of the UCLA Gender Health Program, about feminizing hormone therapy, the medications, body effects, and health risks.
On July 1 of last year, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA launched a fellowship to address LGBTQ health care needs and inequities, areas that often are overlooked in medical school and residency training. The program provides the fellow with an immersive experience in LGBTQ health and wellness, including sexual and behavioral health, transgender care and hormone management, and gender affirming surgery. Dr. M. Chase Cates, the first fellow who trained in the Gender Health Program, said, “it taught me how to go about taking care of transgender and gender diverse patients.” He also noted that the fellowship experience was affirming and gave him the confidence he needed to care for members of the LGBTQ community. Read more on UCLA Connect >
The UCLA Gender Health Program has been awarded funding to assess the experiences of trans and gender-diverse individuals’ ability to access medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This patient population is particularly vulnerable to healthcare disparities, which has been compounded by the pandemic. The ultimate goal of this research study is to develop strategies for intervening in moments of crisis to improve access to care and mitigate negative impacts for our trans and gender-diverse patients. The grant was received from the David Geffen School of Medicine COVID-19 Oversight Research Committee, charged with coordinating all UCLA research aimed at addressing this public health crisis. Dr. Mark Litwin, Chair of UCLA Urology and Co-Director of the GHP, is the Principal Investigator.
UCLA Health earned "LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader" designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the HRC’s annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities' policies and practices related to equity and inclusion of LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. UCLA Health Newsroom >
Amy L. Cummings, MD, the Informatics Chair for the UCLA LGBTQ Equitable Care Committee, commented in Healthcare IT News on the impacts of HHS rollbacks of protections for transgender people. Read more >
Heather Hitson, SOGI Project Manager at UCLA Health, and Dr. Amy Cummings, the informatics chair of the Equitable Care Committee at UCLA, spoke with Healthcare IT News about their years-long project to include information related to gender identity and sexual orientation in patients' electronic health records. Read more >
The Elemental featured Amy Weimer, MD, medical director of the UCLA Gender Health Program, in an article about the health care disparities faced by people who are transgender. Read more >
UCLA’s Kathryn O’Neill discusses how pre-existing health conditions, poverty and discrimination create a volatile mix. UCLA Newsroom >
The celebration of Pride Month has focused a spotlight not only on the important voices and critical progress made by the LGBTQ community but also on issues that still must be addressed to create a more inclusive, equitable and supportive society. UCLA Health Connect >
Many LGBTQ patients struggle to find sensitive and compassionate health care. UCLA is working to change that. Read the feature article in the Winter 2020 issue of U Magazine >
UCLA Health received a Platinum eHealthcare Leadership Award at the 22nd Annual Healthcare Internet Conference for our UCLA Gender Health program website. This awards program recognizes the very best websites, digital communications, and business improvement initiatives of a wide range of healthcare organizations. More information >
Writing a letter is a great way to start a conversation that your child is transgender, said Jessica Bernacki, the primary psychologist with The UCLA Gender Health Program. Article >
Merriam-Webster announced that it has chosen “they” as the 2019 word of the year. The singular “they” is a pronoun used to refer to a person whose gender identity is nonbinary, a word that itself was added to the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary in September of 2019. Press release >
Chris Mann, program manager for the UCLA Gender Health Program, attended and presented a poster at the 2nd United States Professional Association for Transgender Health (USPATH) Conference that was recently held in Washington DC. USPATH is an off shoot from the larger World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) organization that sets the standards for transgender and gender diverse health care across the world. Health care providers, mental health specialists, university and community health organizations discussed the state of transgender and gender diverse health care in the U.S., as well as shared new research and ideas that seek to benefit care delivery for the transgender and gender diverse communities.
The program will train future primary care physicians. Story on UCLA Newsroom >
UCLA programs offer sensitive and compassionate health care for LGBTQ community. Vital Signs Spring 2019 >
Caring For and Supporting You
The UCLA Gender Health Program is proud to have supported our partner, the Los Angeles Lakers, in celebrating Pride Night. We support U!
Mark Litwin, MD (left), co-director of the UCLA Gender Health Program, and Laura Baybridge (right), executive chief administrative officer for the UCLA Departments of Urology and OBGYN.
KNBC-TV reported that the UCLA Gender Health Program celebrated National Coming Out Day on October 11 at an event hosted at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Christopher Mann, care coordinator of the UCLA Gender Health Program, was featured.
A UCLA study analyzes rates of insurance coverage in California, access to healthcare and healthy behaviors.
All four UCLA hospitals and the Ashe Center were lauded by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for equitable, inclusive care. Read more >
A new UCLA study finds that 27 percent, or 796,000, of California’s youth, ages 12 to 17, report they are viewed by others as gender nonconforming at school. Read more >
Data also show another year of statewide health insurance gains, now at risk under potential federal funding changes.
The first release of transgender data from the California Health Interview Survey, the nation’s largest state survey, reveals the demographic characteristics of transgender adults in the state — such as population size, racial makeup and marital status — as well as sobering disparities in their health status. Read more >
UCLA Health has been named a leader in equitable care for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, gay, transgender or queer.
Forty years after winning gold in the Olympic decathlon as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner now poses with her gold medal for the first time post-transition on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. While celebrities such as Jenner have helped shine a light on transgender issues, many people who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming still struggle to be accepted and understood – a battle that can negatively affect their medical care.
At UCLA Health, providers are establishing a Gender Health program to make sure that such patients get the care they need. We spoke about the program with Amy K. Weimer, MD, an assistant clinical professor in the departments of medicine and pediatrics who practices at the Medicine-Pediatrics Comprehensive Care Center in Santa Monica. Read more >
When transgender individuals seek medical care, confusion on the part of medical professionals may be the first reaction a trans patient receives. It’s important for medical professionals to understand that one’s gender identity as man, woman or trans is different from one’s sexual identity as gay, bisexual, lesbian or heterosexual. Gender identity and sexual identity are two separate domains, say experts who are trying to better prepare health care providers to treat trans patients. Read more >
The UCLA Health System has been named a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the Healthcare Equality Index, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization. Read more >
Is it possible for a gay man to practice medicine?
The answer seems obvious, but sadly, there was a time when Michael Haymer, a third-year UCLA medical student, really wasn’t sure. “I remember Googling the words, ‘Can a gay man be a doctor,’” said Haymer, who at the time was a struggling Orange County high school student. Having experienced rejection and discrimination from his peers after telling close friends that he was gay, he wondered if the disapproval and rejection he was experiencing would follow him as he pursued his professional calling. Read more >
The University of California, in accordance with state law and in keeping with its own principles of nondiscrimination, will continue to ensure that its transgender students, faculty and staff have unrestricted access to restrooms that conform to their gender identities. We are heartened to hear that protecting all students, including those in the LGBTQ community, remains a stated priority for the Department of Education. Read more >