Just before the end of Pride Month, Northwell Health has opened Long Island’s first center dedicated to transgender care in Lake Success.
The $850,000, 3,000-square-foot office opened in June in observance of Pride Month, giving the Northwell Health Physician Partners LGBTQ/Transgender Health Program, first established in 2016, a physical home after years at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.
Located at 410 Lakeville Road, the facility includes four exam rooms, eight offices and consultation rooms and two gender neutral restrooms.
The center is staffed by a medical director, a primary care physician, psychiatrist, senior psychologist, nurse practitioner, and two trans-health navigators. The program offers services for endocrinology (adult and pediatric), plastic surgery, adolescent medicine, obstetrics and gynecology and otolaryngology.
Dr. David Rosenthal, medical director of the Center for Transgender Care at Northwell Health, says the program understands that “there are thousands of individuals living on Long Island who identify as transgender, gender nonconforming and non-binary.”
“This is an underserved community that has specific health care needs,” Rosenthal said. “The goals of this center is to bring together multiple clinical services at Northwell to serve the needs of the transgender community, educate health care professionals about transgender health, perform cutting-edge research, and work with the health system to address infrastructure to meet the needs of the transgender community.”
Last year, the center performed Long Island’s first genital gender confirmation surgery, a vaginoplasty for transgender women. They also offer facial feminization, tracheal shave (which reduces a patient’s Adam’s apple), vocal surgery, breast augmentation and orchiectomy. For transgender men, chest masculinization and hysterectomies are available, and metoidioplasty and phalloplasty, operations used to create male genitalia for transgender men, were in development as of September.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation had ranked Northwell Health as the No. 3 health system in the nation, and was first in New York State based on the number of facilities designated a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality, according to its 2019 Healthcare Equality Index. Dr. Thomas McGinn, senior vice president and deputy physician-in-chief at Northwell Health, says the facility serves the system’s mission.
“Northwell Health’s mission to break down barriers and achieve health equity is evidenced in numerous programs and initiatives, including the health system’s ongoing investment into transgender health,” McGinn said. “Discrimination in all its forms must be eradicated, and we believe that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are entitled to receive access to the same care as all our patients.”
In addition to the center, Northwell plans to launch a cultural competency module that educates physicians to the special needs an LGBTQIA+ patient may have, Rosenthal said. The program is being funded by the New York State Department of Health and is organized in collaboration with Northwell’s Center for Equity of Care.