Health

Vanderbilt Transgender Health Clinic Opens, First In US Southeast

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Grace Carr Reporter

The Vanderbilt Clinic for Transgender Health opened Friday, marking the establishment of Tennessee’s first clinic for transgender patients, as well as the first clinic to offer medical services to transgender patients in the southeastern U.S.

“Something I cannot emphasize enough is having a dedicated space is so important to letting patients know that they can receive affirming, high quality care and won’t be discriminated against,” said Vanderbilt University’s LGBTQI Health program director, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, the Vanderbilt Hustler reported Sunday.

A number of physicians — including primary care doctors as well as doctors of internal medicine, endocrinology, laryngology, pediatrics and psychology — have partnered with the clinic to offer services to transgender patients who come to the clinic.

The clinic offers physicals, health screenings, hormone therapy and transition-related surgeries, according to its website.

“The response and enthusiasm has been overwhelming, which we are excited to see,” Ehrenfeld also said, the Hustler reported.

The clinic will serve state residents as well as those living in southeastern states. Vanderbilt University students will also be able to receive services at the clinic.

“A clinic geared specifically towards trans healthcare would provide a more personalized experience for our trans students, many of whom have faced either discomfort or outright discrimination from healthcare providers in the past,” said Vanderbilt’s gender and sexuality alliance president, Kelsea Verboncoeur.

California has two medical training centers where doctors who want to learn how to perform sex reassignment surgery for transgender individuals can receive training. The state began offering training at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles in 2017 where doctors go through a Transgender Surgery and Health Program. The Los Angeles location is the second academic medical center in the western U.S. to offer gender reassignment surgery training, according to The New York Times.

Urologist Maurice Garcia established the first medical training center for transgender genital reassignment surgery in California in 2014 at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center where he practices as a doctor. (RELATED: Another Transgender Surgery Medical Center Arrives In California)

There were 3,200 gender affirmation surgeries in the U.S. in 2016, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported in May 2017. Transgender surgeries rose roughly 20 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to an ASPS survey.

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