When I was approached in 2011 to provide case management services for Gender Health, I was open to it. It was a new service for our region that really aligned with my belief system. Gender Health is a department that provides services to our transgender, gender-diverse and nonbinary members. Every patient deserves access to respectful and affirming care. We receive about 100 new referrals a month. My role is to help folks receive the health care they need. When patients have to repeat their story multiple times and deal with the bias and discrimination of people who are not aware or educated about this patient group, it’s devastating. It’s been heartbreaking to hear people’s stories and struggles, but heartwarming when I know I’ve helped a patient. One day gender diversity will not only be respected, but celebrated in the way it’s deserved.
Raelean Hendrickson, lead Gender Health case manager, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW (Washington)