Tuesday, Nov. 20 is Transgender Remembrance Day.
Conservative estimates suggest 3 million Americans suffer from gender dysphoria, a sense of being born the wrong sex. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, nearly half have survived sexual assault and almost one-third live in poverty.
Fifty percent will consider or attempt suicide.
Many transgender patients can’t afford health care and treatment, let alone travel to the epicenters of gender-affirmation surgery like New York City, Florida and California.
On Jan. 1, 2018, Rutgers launched the Center for Transgender Health (RCTH) in Newark, N.J., to provide a full spectrum of medical, psychiatric and surgical care for transgender individuals.
RCTH physicians performed the first female-to-male genital reassignment in New Jersey through a series of surgeries, including a radial artery-based forearm phalloplasty – a 12-hour procedure to lengthen the patient’s urethra and create a phallus from forearm tissue.
The center’s medical professionals are experts on issues related to transgender health and provide a compassionate, coordinated approach to gender affirmation with an emphasis on access, education and research, reducing LGBTQ health care disparities and improving overall health and wellness.
These experts include:
Jonathan Keith, M.D. – Cofounder Rutgers Center for Transgender Health
Dr. Keith is an assistant professor in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He is a fellowship-trained and board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in microvascular surgery and is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. In 2012, he was awarded the Stephen S. Kroll Fellowship in microsurgery at the University Hospital of Gent, Belgium, where he studied under renowned Belgian sex confirmation surgeon Stanislas Monstrey.
Mark Einstein, M.D. – Cofounder Rutgers Center for Transgender Health
Dr. Einstein is professor and chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He is an internationally renowned expert in gynecologic oncology. Dr. Einstein also manages complicated gynecologic malignancies with a combination of therapies, which includes surgery and surgical reconstruction. The same procedures used for complex malignancies are similar to the procedures used in gender affirmation surgery.
Petros Levounis, M.D. – Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Dr. Levounis serves as professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and chief of service at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Levounis has written numerous articles and monographs; has lectured extensively on addiction topics throughout the United States and abroad; and has been interviewed by all major television networks.
Medical professionals are only beginning to understand gender fluidity and gender dysphoria. In this video, Drs. Keith, Einstein and Levounis use plain language to discuss the societal, surgical and psychological issues regarding the transgender experience. They explain why it is important to raise awareness and understanding of those experiences and the need for health care and policy specifically aimed at transgender patients.
Feel free to share our video for Transgender Remembrance Day and reach out to Drs. Keith, Einstein or Levounis to discuss transgender healthcare or policy.