Comprehensive transgender healthcare for Dallas employees is ‘off the table’

Nell Gaither

Despite efforts by local activists, the city of Dallas likely won’t add comprehensive healthcare for its transgender employees this year.

Trans Pride Initiative President Nell Gaither met with City Manager Mary Suhm, as well as representatives from the Human Resources department and UnitedHealthcare, last week to discuss what the city’s plans actually cover due to confusion in January.

Gaither said the city covers everything related to trans healthcare except gender reassignment surgery, including hormones, counseling and wellness checkups regardless of gender.

She said the possibility of covering the surgery next year wasn’t discussed, as the conversation focused on ways to communicate the coverage to city benefit workers and all the city’s employees, who are encouraged to contact Human Resources if they have questions or if something is not covered that should be.

“The city’s position is they’re covered these [benefits] for several years, so that’s what we’re going with,” Gaither said, adding that surgery won’t be added. “It’s off the table.”

—  Dallasvoice

Dallas hospital tells trans woman it added LGBT policy, but did it really?

Green Oaks Hospital is establishing an LGBT policy after a transgender woman sent hospital administration a complaint about her time there.

Green Oaks, a mental health and addiction services facility in Dallas, recently received a complaint from Shawna Brooks after her experience in the hospital. The complaint led to a new trans policy, but the hospital has refused to provide any documentation of this policy or comment on its creation.

Brooks’ partner committed suicide in July. She then stayed with family to grieve. She returned to the apartment the couple shared in mid-August. Her family feared she, too, was suicidal because of the loss of her partner, so she was committed to Green Oaks, at 7808 Clodus Fields Drive.

During Brooks’ eight-day stay, she was denied a counselor to speak to about her loss and was offered only group therapy. She also requested a bed but was told they were for men only. Brooks was given a bed when she finally told a nurse other women were occupying beds, she told Instant Tea.

She also highlighted inadequate accommodations for transgender patients after a nurse rudely commented on medical needs specific to trans patients and denied her a private room, according to her complaint. Brooks had the nurse contact her doctor and was then granted privacy.

Brooks sent a letter about her experience to patient advocate Stephanie Haynes, who responded with a letter (see below) that stated “as a result of your feedback, our facility will implement a policy to better serve the transgender community.”

—  Dallasvoice