Academic Publications

Adult Transgender Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Training Mental Health Professionals (Routledge, 2018)


Adult Transgender Care provides an overview of transgender health and offers a comprehensive approach to training mental health professionals in transgender care. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach to transgender care, emphasizing the complementary contributions of psychiatry, psychology, and social work in providing transgender care within an integrated treatment team. Included in this text are overviews of how to conceptualize and provide treatment with complex and difficult clinical presentations and considerations for understanding how to address system-level challenges to treatment. Adult Transgender Care meets a unique need by providing detailed information, clinical interventions, case studies, and resources for mental health professionals on transgender care.

Transgender Health Care in the U.S. Military and Veterans Health Administration Facilities (Current Sexual Health Reports, 2017)


Purpose of the Review

Health care for transgender veterans in the United States (U.S.) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is relatively new and for active duty service members (ADSMs) in the military is quite recent. Prevalence of transgender veterans and ADSMs, health conditions, and healthcare provision in VHA and military facilities are reviewed.

Recent Findings

There are approximately 134,300 transgender veterans and 15,000 ADSMs. Based on diagnostic codes, more than 5000 transgender veterans receive care in VHA. Transgender veterans experience higher rates of most mental and physical health conditions compared to non-transgender veterans. Comprehensive health care is provided at VHA facilities, except surgical interventions for gender confirmation, and is beginning to be provided in military facilities.


While VHA and military facilities have increased access to health care for transgender veterans and ADSMs, determining outcomes of care is premature. Healthcare delivery efforts alone are unlikely to erase health disparities experienced by this group.

Addressing the Needs of Transgender Military Veterans (Transgender Health, 2017)


Purpose: There is a gap in social science literature addressing issues of access and quality of care for transgender military veterans. Psychologists, medical doctors, and other health professionals are beginning to address some of the barriers present in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system that affect veterans who are also transgender and intersex. Over a 7-year period, between 2006 and 2013, 2600 transgender veterans were served by the VA. Data from several surveys revealed that most transgender veterans perceive the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to be less than accommodating for their special needs. The goal of this study was to investigate the experiences of a sample of transgender veterans with regard to their experiences with healthcare services provided by the VHA.

Methods: Using snowball sampling techniques, we were able to recruit 22 transgender military veterans to participate in our study. A combination of telephone interviews and questionnaires provided data from veterans in various branches of the military throughout the United States.

Results: Findings indicate that even though the VHA is working to address issues of inequality for transgender veterans, our participants indicated that there are still some problems with administration of care, proper training of staff and physicians, and availability of comprehensive services for the unique healthcare needs of transgender individuals.

Conclusion: Since our data were collected, the VA has worked to bridge the gap by focusing on increased training for VHA providers and staff and establishing LGBT programs at VA facilities. However, we suggest that one key area of importance should continue to focus on how mental health and medical providers and ancillary staff are trained to interact with and provide care for their transgender patients.

Transgender Veterans Are Inadequately Understood by Health Care Providers (Military Medicine, 2014)

Transgender individuals face challenges dealing with health care providers. For reasons that are poorly understood, the prevalence of gender dysphoria (GD) in veterans is higher than in the general population. LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) health issues, particularly those of the transgender community, are inadequately covered in recent medical publications and most training programs, and previous negative experiences in health care settings have created barriers for appropriate care of transgender veterans resulting in decreased preventive services, continuity of care, and life expectancy.

Future research must focus on the unique needs of transgender veterans so that health care providers have greater understanding and are better prepared to render appropriate care.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to providing sensitive, evidenced-based care and has made significant progress in achieving this goal although much remains to be done.

Transgender individuals, including those who meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5; APA, 2013) criteria for the diagnosis of GD, are inadequately understood by health care providers. For reasons that are unclear, the prevalence of GD in veterans is higher than in the general population, even though individuals with GD cannot serve openly in the military. VA is committed to caring for transgender veterans who require sensitive, evidence-based care and has made significant progress in achieving this goal although much remains to be done.