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UCLA Health is a safe and supportive environment for transgender and gender diverse patients. Call 310-267-4334 to make an appointment.

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.


Featured news

Jessica Bernacki, PhD

How affirming someone’s gender can change their life for the better

UCLA Health psychologist Jessica Bernacki has seen “incredibly positive changes” for patients who receive gender-affirming care.

Alice Resnick

Gender Affirming Services Help Patients Live the Lives They Were Seeking

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. 

Chloe in hospital

Patients report reduced depression and anxiety and greater meaning and purpose after surgery

Gender-affirming facial feminization surgery leads to improved mental health and increased quality of life for transgender patients, a new study has found. The  study, published July 4 in the journal Annals of Surgery, is the first to quantitatively measure psychosocial outcomes of facial feminization surgery in patients before and after the procedure, says  Justine Lee, MD, PhD, the Bernard G. Sarnat Endowed Chair in Craniofoacial Biology at UCLA Health.

facial feminization surgery transgender

After facial feminization surgery, transgender people report better psychosocial health

A UCLA study led by Dr. Justine Lee, UCLA’s Bernard G. Sarnat Professor of Craniofacial Biology and UCLA Gender Health Program provider, offers the first evidence that transgender patients who receive gender-affirming facial feminization surgery reported better mental health after their procedures. The study was published in the journal Annals of Surgery.

Pride Flags

LGBTQ students lost some support networks during the pandemic

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.

HEDI showcase

Making progress on anti-racism and health equity at UCLA Health

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.

Pride Drag Showcase 2021

UCLA Health celebrated PRIDE with dazzling online event 

The show, Out, Proud and Well: The UCLA PRIDE Drag Showcase, was 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.

Transgender symbol

Tracking transgender and nonbinary people’s experiences during pandemic informs better care

Over the last couple years, the COVID-19 pandemic posed new challenges to patients seeking access to health care. 

Other News

Meet Dr. Maliha Khan, the 2022-23 David Geffen School of Medicine LGBTQ+ Fellow

Read more on UCLA Health Connect.

Rochester native Chloe Corcoran honored by Los Angeles Dodgers at Pride Night event

Read Chloe’s story.

LGBTQ+ Youth Health Town Hall: Experts answer your questions

Amy Weimer, MD, medical director of the UCLA Gender Health Program, joined ABC7 News for an LGBTQ+ Youth Health Town Hall. "Affirmation of identity in the home is really important...and then of course, having good access to mental health care including therapy and possibly medications is key...It's hard for many families to find providers who are knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ experiences," says Dr. Weimer. Watch the Town Hall.

The role of UCLA's Gender Health Program reported

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.

COVID-19 and beyond: What’s on the Biden administration’s health care agenda?

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. Read more on UCLA Connect.

Feminizing Hormone Therapy and What You Need to Know

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.

UCLA’s inaugural LGBTQ+ health fellowship: A look back at the first year

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.

COVID-19 Research Award

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 earns LGBTQ+ health care equality leader designation in annual Healthcare Equality Index Report

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. Read more in the UCLA Health Newsroom.

HHS rollback of protections for transgender people could make it harder to provide care

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 Shortcomings of Transgender Health Care

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.

Q&A: Why the LGBT community is at greater risk from COVID-19

UCLA’s Kathryn O’Neill discusses how pre-existing health conditions, poverty and discrimination create a volatile mix. Read more in UCLA Newsroom.

Navigating LBGTQ Health

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.  Read more in UCLA Health Connect.

On the Road to Health Care Equality

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.

eHealthcare Leadership Award

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.

UCLA Gender Health Program Staff Participates in Septemeber 2019 USPATH Conference

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.

UCLA Health Recognized as a Leader in LGBTQ+ Patient Care

All four UCLA hospitals were recognized for a commitment to LGBTQ-centered care. Read more in UCLA Newsroom.

What Could Happen if the Federal Government Redefined Gender?

Dr. Amy Weimer, co-director of the UCLA Gender Health Program, is quoted in TIME magazine. Read more.

 

Feminizing Facial Surgery Gives Mental Boost to Transgender People

Transgender patients who get gender-affirming surgery to create more feminine facial features say it's a big boost to their mental health, reports a new study led by Dr. Justine Lee, associate professor of surgery at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine.

Read first story.
Read second story.

How to Reduce the Mental Health Risk for Gender-Nonconforming Kids

Dr. Natalia Ramos, one of the founders of the UCLA EMPWR program is quoted on fostering a safe and supportive culture for LGBTQ+ children in our schools and community. Read more.

UCLA Health celebrates International Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31 marked 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.

Read more.

Los Angeles Lakers Pride Night

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!

LA Pride Festival

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.

LA Pride Blog Posts
•  “UCLA Health is inclusive & totally fabulous”
•  “The energy is crazy”
•  “Just be U”

UCLA Health celebrates National Coming Out Day

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.

Even with health insurance, lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are more likely to delay medical care

A UCLA study analyzes rates of insurance coverage in California, access to healthcare and healthy behaviors. Read more.

Finding an LGBTQ-friendly doctor in Los Angeles

An article in LAist about finding an LGBTQ-friendly doctor in Los Angeles referenced UCLA Health and its list of “LGBTQ+ Champions,” physicians with special expertise in LGBTQ+ care. Read more.

UCLA study finds that 27 percent of California adolescents are gender nonconforming

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.

Survey provides insight into demographics and health of California’s transgender adults

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 Earns National Recognition for LGBTQ+ Care

UCLA Health has been named a leader in equitable care for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, gay, transgender or queer.

In its annual Healthcare Equality Index released March 29, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation identified each of UCLA Health’s four hospitals as a “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality.” Read more.

Transgender health: Creating a safe space for medical care

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 in Connect.

Caring for Transgender Patients

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.

UCLA Health System named a national leader in providing equitable care for LGBT patients

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.

Student leads effort to improve LGBT health care

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.

Statement in Support of Transgender members of the UC community

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.