Inicio Estilo De Vida Gender Health Center promotes ‘healthy equity’ – The Mercury News

Gender Health Center promotes ‘healthy equity’ – The Mercury News


For transgender, nonbinary and gender diverse individuals, gender identity carries with it a host of medical, social and emotional issues that aren’t always fully addressed by the healthcare system. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s new Gender Health Center aims to provide services for these populations under one roof at the downtown San Jose facility.

Dr. Jackie Newton, MD, co-founder of the center, said these services need to be multi-disciplinary, so center staff is taking a collaborative approach to patient care.

“We need to address institutional and societal barriers to care,” Newton told a Feb. 11 group touring the center.

Nekyua, a patient at the center, is among the estimated 16,000 Santa Clara County residents that Newton said identify as transgender, nonbinary or gender diverse.

“It’s been hard to find an organization that can get me any help,” Nekyua, who goes by a single name, told the tour group. “It feels nice that there’s someplace to go in my home area.

“I feel safer” at the center, Nekyua added. “I can talk to my doctors and not be told what I’m supposed to do.”

Newton said safety is an important consideration when working with the center’s patient population. The center is sending a social worker into local homeless encampments to work directly with those who may not feel safe staying in a shelter.

The center, located in the Valley Health Center Downtown, 777 E. Santa Clara St., is also partnering with the LGBTQ Youth Space in downtown San Jose and with other organizations that can help achieve the goal of providing “a welcoming and safe space for transgender, nonbinary and gender diverse people, and … reducing stigma and promoting health equity.”

“What you see here is a reflection of (the county’s) investment in the LGBT community,” said County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, whose District 2 includes the center.

Former county supervisor Ken Yeager said the board approved the center’s funding last March. Yeager was still on the Board of Supervisors at that time.

“We’ve been working on this issue for quite a while,” Yeager told the tour group. “To finally come to the day when we can open it to the public is great.”