Media Contacts

Natalie Dicou

Communications Specialist, Public Affairs
Phone: 801-587-1374

Nov 11, 2014 9:49 AM

lgbt symbol

University of Utah Health Care hosted a summit Saturday titled “Expanding Knowledge of Transgender Health Care.” The event was held at the University of Utah School of Medicine and was aimed at health care providers, mental health professionals and students interested in improving their knowledge about the issues faced by transgender patients.

“I hope our current and future health care professionals understand that providing services to the transgender patient doesn’t necessarily require any extensive understanding,” said Andy Rivera, an undergraduate student in the University of Utah’s College of Health who organized the event in conjunction with the School of Medicine. “It’s about understanding cross-cultural competency, and being empathetic, respectful and curious in equal parts.”

Loren Schechter, M.D., a nationally renowned Chicago-based plastic surgeon, provided the keynote address. Schechter is considered an expert in gender confirmation surgery and compassionate medicine.

The summit also included a variety of sessions including how to foster an understanding of treating transgender patients in mental health settings, understanding the scope of transgender medical and surgical therapies, preventative care measures, and understanding hormone replacement therapy. A panel of patients discussed their experiences in health care to offer current and future providers a first-hand perspective.

“A patient’s level of care shouldn’t be impacted because they have a gender identity or sexual orientation different from what we see as a social norm,” Rivera said.

Through events such as Saturday’s summit, the University of Utah School of Medicine is working to become a leader when it comes to transgender health issues, said Evelyn Gopez, M.D., associate dean of inclusion and outreach.