An alarming rate of anti-transgender legislation has passed during the last 12 months in numerous states and dozens more bills are proposed, fueled in part by misinformation and fear. Employees, trainees, students and leaders across OHSU have raised concerns, and I’m writing on their behalf to express our support for transgender communities.
Transgender, gender-nonconforming, gender-nonbinary and gender-diverse individuals have told us they feel less safe or that their mental health is suffering as a result of policies that make it more difficult to receive care. Anti-transgender polices do not protect people, rather, they do great harm. We are proud to be a destination for patients seeking evidence-based, gender-affirming care, and that members of the OHSU Transgender Health Program are international leaders in providing these services in a safe and welcoming environment.
To the transgender and gender diverse communities: We hear you; we see you; and, we are your allies in preserving access to high-quality health care, which we know from your experiences can be life-saving.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of equitable, fair and timely health care. As we emerge from what we hope to be the worst of this global crisis, I expect us to incorporate what we’ve learned from these times into our thinking and planning moving forward. Now is a time for health care professionals and policymakers to work together to respect and support everyone in their communities.
OHSU will continue in its efforts to recognize and treat transgender individuals with the courtesy and professionalism they deserve.
John Hunter, M.D.,
Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, OHSU Health