Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017 - 14

transgender health care & Public policy
continued from page 13
While public policy and insurance laws all affect the experiences
of transgender people in the healthcare sphere, the most substantial
danger to their well-being is and has always been personal bias on the
part of members of the healthcare community as well as the general
public. Transgender sensitivity training is not currently mandated
under Pennsylvania State law and is currently not offered to staff
within the Reading Health System. The most effective way to combat
personal bias is through education and increased visibility. Physicians
and others who can expect to encounter transgender people in need
of health care should have the knowledge necessary to provide for
their basic, day-to-day needs. Implementing sensitivity training on
this subject for office staff, nurses, and physicians would go a long
way towards decreasing the number of transgender people who have
experienced mistreatment when seeking health care and increasing
the number that do seek health care when the need arises. Educating
oneself costs nothing and can mean everything to a vulnerable
individual who needs help and care.
In 2015, a compilation of data collected by organizations such
as the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, the American Civil
Liberties Union, the Movement Advancement Project, and the
Transgender Law Center ranked Pennsylvania as the twenty-sixth
state in general quality of life and access to healthcare for transgender
people (Pennlive). While obviously not the worst ranking, it still
means that Pennsylvania has a long way to go in protecting its
transgender citizens. Non-discrimination ordinances regarding
work and housing in Pennsylvania do not include gender identity
under their protections. Hate crime legislation in PA also excludes
LGBT people from its protections. Though we are making strides
in protecting the health care of transgender Pennsylvanians, there
are still many areas in which we fall short. We can work together
to improve Pennsylvania for our transgender brothers and sisters
by voting for representatives who will fight for their rights and by
educating ourselves about transgender issues. Most of all, though,
we need to have empathy and understanding for lifestyles we may
not completely understand. In a society that is always changing and
moving forward, it is important to remember that, in the words of
Dr. Levine, "We have not really made progress unless we all make
progress."
INTERVIEWS:
* Dr. Kolin Good - Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Reading
Health System
* Co-County Wellness Services staff
* Henry Pruski - Case Manager
* Gail Kerschner - STD Clinician/Nurse Educator
* Dr. Xequiel Hernandez - Family Physician, Berks Community
Health Center
* Dr. Mark Woodland - Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,
Reading Health System
* Dr. Rachel Levine - Pennsylvania Physician General
* Dr. Teresa Lowery - Clinical Coordinator for the Center for Public Health
* Rev. Barbara Peronteau - Chaplain Resident with the Reading
Health System

14

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RESOURCES:
* National Center for Transgender Equality: "Pennsylvania Medicaid
Removes Trans Health Exclusions!" Wednesday, July 20, 2016 http://
www.transequality.org/blog/pennsylvania-medicaid-removes-trans-healthexclusions
* National Center for Transgender Equality: "Know Your Rights |
Healthcare" http://www.transequality.org/know-your-rights/healthcare
* National Center for Transgender Equality: "2015 U.S. Transgender Survey"
December 2016 http://www.transequality.org/sites/default/files/docs/usts/
Executive%20Summary%20-%20FINAL%201.6.17.pdf
* The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay
and Lesbian Task Force: "National Transgender Discrimination Survey:
Pennsylvania Results" http://www.transequality.org/sites/default/files/docs/
resources/ntds_state_pa.pdf
* Human Rights Campaign: "Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Definitions" http://www.hrc.org/resources/sexual-orientation-and-genderidentity-terminology-and-definitions
* Healthcare.gov: "Transgender healthcare" https://www.healthcare.gov/
transgender-health-care/
* The New York Times: "Estimate of U.S. Transgender Population
Doubles to 1.4 Million Adults." June 30th 2016 https://www.nytimes.
com/2016/07/01/health/transgender-population.html
* World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) http://
www.wpath.org/
* Pennlive: "Transgender in Pennsylvania: A look at the rights, laws in
the state." March 18th, 2015 http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.
ssf/2015/03/transgender_rights_and_laws_in.html
Educational Resources
* WPATH Standards of Care, under the publications tab of wpath.org
- "The overall goal of the SOC is to provide clinical guidance for health
professionals to assist transgender, and gender nonconforming people with
safe and effective pathways to achieving lasting personal comfort with their
gendered selves, in order to maximize their overall health, psychological wellbeing, and self-fulfillment."
* GIRES - Gender Identity Reseach and Education Society - online learning
courses, CME points: http://www.gires.org.uk/training. "GIRES has
delivered training with regard to trans, non-binary and intersex matters for
the past 15 years."
* National Center for Transgender Equality - Information and education
resources, transgender news, 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. http://www.
transequality.org/
* Mazzoni Center - Health and wellness services for the LGBT community
in the Philadelphia area: https://www.mazzonicenter.org/
* Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, https://www.mazzonicenter.org/
trans-health. "The mission of the PTHC is to educate and empower trans
individuals on issues of health and well-being; educate and inform allies and
health service providers; and facilitate networking, community-building, and
systemic change."
* Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center - "Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT
Community Center provides arts & culture and health promotion programs
and supportive services to strengthen and support the LGBT community
across the Greater Lehigh Valley."

Special thanks from the
Berks County Medical Society to:

Herbein + Company, Inc.
Certified Public Accountants
for their financial support of the
2017 President's Intern program.


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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Fall 2017

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