University medical center offers ‘gender-affirming care’ course for K-12 teachers

Topics covered in the classes include ‘affirmation in medical documentation,’ ‘prescribing gender affirming hormones,’ and ‘writing letters of medical necessity for gender affirming medical/surgical interventions.’

The University of Rochester Medical Center is offering a course about gender-related topics to satisfy continuing education requirements for K-12 teachers.

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) offers a ‘gender-affirming care’ course to satisfy a continuing education requirement for K-12 teachers.

Amy Woods, Project Manager of URMC’s Health Equity Program Support Office, emailed teachers in May, inviting them to one of the course’s sessions that’s called “Motivational Interviewing Techniques & Gender Affirming Care.”

Woods also advertises three additional sessions in her email, including “Informed Consent for Gender Affirming Medical Care,” “Testosterone,” and “Androgen Blockers and Estrogen.”

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The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) project, part of URMC’s Gender Patient Support: Health & Wellness Program, is a recurring course covering gender-related topics and is available to teachers in New York’s East Irondequoit Central School District.

Project ECHO is “a brand-new virtual learning space for health care providers and therapists across Western NY in providing gender-affirming care to transgender and gender diverse adults,” the medical center’s webpage states.

Topics covered in the classes include “affirmation in medical documentation,” “prescribing gender affirming hormones,” and “writing letters of medical necessity for gender affirming medical/surgical interventions.”

Launched March 22, the program occurs the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. Each of the hour-long sessions include a “didactic teaching” and an “interactive case presentation and discussion.”

“This specific URMC program provides education on gender affirming care, focusing on the care of adults,” URMC told Campus Reform. “Although school district professionals may choose to attend and receive continuing education credit, URMC did not seek participants in K-12 education and none of the sessions focus on gender-affirming care for youth.”

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Parents Defending Education, a “national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from activists imposing harmful agendas,” was not pleased with the course, however.

“Giving continuing education credit for interviewing ‘techniques’ for transgender interventions is an embarrassment to the district and does not serve the student body,” the group’s vice president Caroline Moore told The Washington Examiner. “It is endorsing a political agenda that has no place in public schools.”

In a recent piece for Campus Reform, Professor Rob Jenkins argues that the idea of “gender-affirming care” is based on a manipulation of language and runs counter to the mission of medical professionals to “do no harm.” He asks, “How does chemically castrating people and cutting off healthy body parts not constitute physical harm?”

Jenkins also notes that despite proponents claiming such procedures are beneficial for a patient’s mental health, a Swedish study concluded that “sex-reassigned persons…had an increased risk for suicide attempts…and psychiatric inpatient care.”

Campus Reform contacted the University of Rochester Medical Center and the East Irondequoit Central School District for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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