April 12, 2017 at 4:20 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Hopkins to resume gender reassignment surgeries
Transgender health, Medicaid, gay news, Washington Blade

Surgeries are to take place at the hospital and possibly at some of Johns Hopkins’ satellite centers.

In a little-noticed development, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore disclosed last July that it would open a new Center for Transgender Health and will resume performing gender reassignment surgeries after a 38-year hiatus.

The Washington Post reported that the hospital announced its decision to resume the surgeries in a section of its health system’s website last July and again in October, with few people outside the hospital’s staff and top officials noticing it.

“We will wait until we are fully staffed and officially open, probably this summer, before we plan any proactive outreach on the new Center for Transgender Health,”  Kim Hoppe, director of Public Relations and Corporate Communications of Johns Hopkins Medicine told the Washington Blade in an email.

The Post reported it learned through hospital sources that the new transgender health services would involve 25 to 30 “professionals across a number of departments, including plastic surgery, urology, endocrinology, nursing, and social work.”

It said the surgeries would take place at the hospital and possibly at some of Johns Hopkins’ satellite centers.

Paul McHugh, a psychiatrist, cited studies in the late 1960s, now considered faulty and based on assumptions not supported by sufficient data that claimed transgender people suffered from mental illness and operations to change their gender supposedly led in some cases to severe depression and suicide.

In a letter posted on its website last July and October, Johns Hopkins Hospital stated it holds “strong and unambiguous support” for the LGBT community, according to the Post story.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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