A project to build a clear pathway to quality health care for transgender youth that began with physicians in Abbotsford has now expanded to other communities in the Fraser Valley.
With an estimated 690 people identifying as transgender in that community, physicians knew they had a challenge. Studies show that transgender youth face significant barriers and stigmatization as they try to navigate through the health care system.
One mother of a transgender youth spoke of their feelings of isolation, and not knowing where to turn for help. And providers reported feeling ill-equipped to support their transgender patients or what resources were available for them.
So, with support from the Abbotsford Division and Shared Care Committee, a project spearheaded by family physician, Dr James Liu, brought together all key partners –including transgender youth and their families, to map all existing supports, and identify barriers and gaps in care. Together the team developed two pathways – one to guide patients and families on their transgender journey, and one for providers to support their care.
The pathways and accompanying resources have made a significant difference in the community, but especially to a youth involved in the project “After the pathway I was no longer a diagnosis, I was a human being and it was one of the most validating experiences of my life.”
This inspiring story shows the power of what a group of physicians, patients and families, and health care partners can do when they collaborate to make things better for patients.
For more read here.