Gender Inclusivity Toolkit for Providers
June 7, 2023
Seattle Children’s doctors have created a toolkit to guide healthcare practitioners who are interested in creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment for gender-diverse patients at their workplace.
Toolkit co-creators Dr. Jason Wright, division chief of MRI, and Dr. Sarah Menashe, radiology residency site director, were inspired to create the Toolkit after going through a process to make Seattle Children’s Radiology Department more gender inclusive.
“The original inspiration for this project was that each of us has friends and family with kids who are trans or gender diverse,” said Dr. Wright. “These kids are so beautiful and so strong; we felt the best way to honor the courage they demonstrate simply by showing up every day as their authentic selves would be to try to ensure our department fully supports and affirms them as people.”
While written specifically for radiology practitioners, the toolkit’s steps and resources are broadly useful to practitioners in any department of a hospital or other healthcare setting.
Menashe and Wright didn’t start out with creating a toolkit in mind; their initial goal was to find practical ways to improve the experiences of trans and gender-diverse children within the Radiology Department at Seattle Children’s. As they thought through their approach and began to explore existing resources and best practices, they decided to create a careful record of the steps they were taking and compile the information they found most useful.
“We wanted to make sure the next people who did this had a ready-made collection of steps and resources at their fingertips,” said Menashe.
As cisgendered physicians, both doctors were acutely aware that they were not personally members of the group most impacted by the work they were undertaking. It was important to them to gather the input of members of the trans community, both from practitioners within their own professional societies and their own patient population. They consulted members of the American College of Radiology Committee for Diversity and Inclusion and the Society of Pediatric Radiology Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. They also presented the toolkit to Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic’s youth advisory board.
“They gave us amazing feedback on the project from a unique point of view we could never have accessed on our own. That was a vital step in the process of developing the toolkit,” said Wright.
Both doctors were surprised to learn the extent to which the staff and practitioners in the Radiology Department were already aware of issues around gender diversity within their department’s patient population. The Radiology staff offered many great ideas on ways in which to improve care; it was clearly a topic that was already on the minds of many within the department.
Menashe and Wright first shared the finished toolkit with members of the radiology community at the Society of Pediatric Radiology (SPR) meeting in Denver, Colorado, in 2022, and again at a course they offered at the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the spring of 2023. Both talks were well received and helped to increase awareness of ways departments and practitioners can optimize care for gender-diverse youth.
In case you missed it…
Watch our Grand Rounds video from April 7, 2023, to learn more about LGBTQ-Affirmative Mental Health Care, From Theory to Trials to Community Implementation and Global Dissemination.
June is Pride Month
Seattle Children’s is committed to ensuring access to lifesaving, gender-affirming care for transgender and gender-diverse youth. Resources we offer that providers may find useful:
- Our Gender Clinic offers a free e-consult service for nonurgent questions. This service is especially useful for providers with patients who are transferring care to the Gender Clinic and have already started gender-affirming medical care.
- We offer many resources for healthcare professionals to support your commitment to providing quality care to transgender and gender-diverse youth.
- Review the Gender Clinic’s detailed referral guidelines for information about referring a patient.
- If your patient is not interested in gender-affirming medical care (puberty blockers, testosterone or estradiol), please do not send a referral, but instead see these community resources that may be helpful.