Health Care

Burning Down the House

Last week Ontario became the first Canadian province to pass a law banning reparative therapy on LGBT youth. Additionally the law prevents practitioners of this supposed "cure" of homosexuality and transgenderism in young people or adults from billing the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

The legislation was proposed by New Democrat Cheri DiNovo and won unanimous support from all three parties.

We’re sending an incredibly strong message . . . there’s absolutely no room in an inclusive society for trying to change somebody’s sexual identity or their gender expression or their gender identity.

--DiNovo

She said LGBTQ children are sometimes forced into the therapy by anxious parents and noted transgender people have an attempted suicide rate of 50 per cent.

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Remarkable Event in the Keystone State

 photo Levine_zps4ejrjxgy.jpgThe Pennsylvania Senate voted 49-0 on Tuesday to confirm Dr. Rachel Levine as the state physician general. Dr. Levine obtained her undergraduate degree from Harvard and her medical degree from the Tulane School of Medicine. She did her residency in pediatrics at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Most recently she has served as chief of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at vice chair for Clinical Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

While at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Dr. Levine led the initiation of a Division of Adolescent Medicine for the care of complex teens with medical and psychological problems. She also started the Penn State Hershey Eating Disorders Program, which offers multidisciplinary treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Dr. Levine has also worked closely with the Penn State Hershey Office of Diversity as the liaison for LGBT Affairs, mentoring and assisting LGBT students, faculty and staff.

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OSHA issues transgender bathroom usage guide

In early May I shared OSHA partners with NCTE re: transgender worker safety.

Here's a paragraph from that piece:

For its part, OSHA will promote and disseminate a bulletin developed in conjunction with NCTE of recommended best practices for restroom access for transgender workers. NCTE will disseminate general OSHA information on a quarterly basis vis its website and provide opportunities for OSHA representatives to speak at NCTE events.

On Monday OSHA issued formal guidance on transgender bathroom usage in the workplace.

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Transgender students and eating disorders

For the first time ever the American Health Association-National College Health Assessment survey allowed students to identify as transgender. Out of this effort emerged

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Eating-Related Pathology in a National Sample of College Students, Diemer, Grant, Munn-Chernoff, Patterson and Duncan in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Abstract:

This study examined associations of gender identity and sexual orientation with self-reported eating disorder (SR-ED) diagnosis and compensatory behaviors in transgender and cisgender college students.

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Transgender Health Care

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the second largest group pf medical doctors in the nation, behind the AMA. This past week the ACP has issued its positions on how best to support and serve the nation's LGBT people.

The ACP recognizes that LGBT people have significant disparity in the health care we receive, ranging from coverage to culturally competent care to state and federal policies that systemically reify social stigma, marginalization and discrimination. That results in LGBT people being discouraged from seeking preventative health care, as well as increasing anxiety, suicidal ideation and substance and alcohol abuse.

So the ACP adopted nine positions:

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First, do no harm

 photo Hunter_zpstmcbxizu.jpgDanielle Hunter is 48 years old. For the past 20 years she has done drag for a living, both hosting Sunday Morning Drag Gospel Brunch at Bananas Modern Diner in Orlando and performing as Dolly Parton at the Funky Monkey Wine Co.

Danielle unfortunately recently attempted suicide. After recovering in a hospital, she felt she wasn't ready to jump right back out on the streets, so she checked in to a mental-health facility run by Aspire Health Partners this past Tuesday, seeking supervision and support.

The treatment she got was horrendous considering the circumstances. She was removed from her room and first told to sleep on the floor in a common area, though she was eventually given a cot. When she complained, she was told there would be space for her in a room designated for men.

Here's Danielle at the Funky Monkey:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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US District Judge rules that ACA protects trans people from discrimination

 photo rumble_zpskjx6bl7m.jpgJacob Rumble of West St. Paul, MN is a student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. He thought his troubles began when he felt severe abdominal pain in 2013. But they actually began when he and his mother arrived at the emergency room of Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina.

He was treated so badly that he filed a federal lawsuit. Both the hospital and the organization which employs the emergency room physician, Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA) filed motions to have the case dismissed.

In a 63-page ruling US District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that Rumble had built a plausible case that he was a victim of discrimination on the basis of his gender identity by an emergency room doctor and denied the defendants' motions.

Nelson's ruling is believed to be the first extensive federal court analysis of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination in health care.

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Treatment of transgender youth

 photo Transgender-Students-Prom-638x425_zpsgs4qho9g.jpgThe Endocrine Society held their 97th annual meeting last weekend in San Diego. At that meeting Dr. Maja Marinkovich, MD, pediatric endocrinologist and Medical Director of the Gender Management Clinic at Rady's Children's Hospital of San Diego, an affiliate of UCSD, presented a new study which confirmed that the mental health of transgender youth improves with recognition and treatment of their gender dysphoria.

Ignoring it does not make it go away.

The photo is of transgender teens Isaac and Jacob preparing for a prom in Kansas City.

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Mortality among transgender folk

Conservative forces are concerned that the National Institutes of Health have awarded $189,186 to Emory University to study transgender mortality (project information).

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The purpose of this study is to determine whether transgender persons defined as those who medically change the gender assigned to them at birth (male to female or female to male) have higher or lower risk of death and certain diseases than men and women that do not consider themselves transgender. Participants will be selected from medical records of two large health care systems - the Veterans Affairs Administration and the Kaiser Permanente. Transgender persons will also be asked to join focus group discussions and share their views about factors that may motivate or preclude their participation in research.

Members of the transgender community and health care providers caring for transgender individuals express concerns about mental and physical health problems in this population; however longitudinal studies of transgender populations in the US have not been conducted.

CNS (which is Cybercast News Service, even though many think of it as Christian News Service) felt it necessary to inquire as to whether this was an "effective use of taxpayer funds."

The NIH funded project began in August, 2013 and runs through May 2015

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Gender Prison: Aetna eliminates transgender exclusion for federal employees

Last month I reported on the State Department's decision to ask its insurers to remove the transgender exclusion from its insurance plans and its largest insurer, the American Foreign Service Protective Association's decision to honor that request. The exclusion ends in January.

Last week Aetna announced it will follow suit. Aetna will start covering gender reassignment related health care for federal workers in January.

Additionally, Aetna said it will begin rolling out the same coverage in many of its commercial plans over the next couple of years.

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