Rod Hanners, CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, talks with the surgical director of the USC Gender-Affirming Care Program about our mission to deliver equitable and expert health care for transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse people.
“Conversations with Rod” is a video series featuring Rod Hanners, CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, talking with Keck Medicine doctors about our innovative medical care and research. In this video, Hanners sat down with Roberto Travieso, MD, the surgical director of the USC Gender-Affirming Care Program, who specializes in complex gender affirmation surgery, including face, chest and genital procedures; microsurgery; reconstructive surgery; and aesthetic surgery. He treats patients at Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. Watch the full video below — or read excerpts from their conversation.
What is the USC Gender-Affirming Care Program?
Robert Travieso, MD: The USC Gender-Affirming Care Program has been years in the making. And the goal of the program is to provide comprehensive health care to transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse individuals who, as a population, traditionally have been somewhat left out of our health care planning.
It’s very exciting to be here at Keck Medicine as this program is getting started. We are really trying to provide comprehensive care that includes both primary care, surgical care and everything else in between.
How do the needs of the community help shape our gender-affirming care program?
RT: Keck Medicine has partnered with The TransLatina Coalition, one of the largest, if not the largest, trans-led organizations in Los Angeles. We have had several focus groups with members of that organization in order to really understand what is missing in health care for this community in Los Angeles, and to find out what we can do differently and what we can bring to the table.
We’re also including an advisory board from the community, to make sure that as we move and grow, we can be malleable and make a program that really reflects the needs that the community needs to have filled.
Serving transgender and non-binary people goes even further than offering gender-affirming care. Can you talk about how our program meets their general health care needs?
RT: I specialize in gender-affirming surgeries, but transgender and non-binary people are just that, they’re people. We all have complex [health care] needs that go beyond these specific procedures or these specific hormones. We all need to have access to cancer care and general well-being care. So, our goal as a program is not only to provide specialized gender-affirming procedures and services but also to make sure that when this community comes to see us at Keck Medicine they feel welcomed in every facet of health care.