Steps . . .
Each journey begins with a first one step. We could not have imagined where we would be when we took our first step in November 2015. Our five-course Transgender Health Learning Series was framed by our Houston listening session. Transgender authors and reviewers started our journey. We found our village along the way. A village with dedicated transgender people and parents of trans youth. Clinicians who improve the lives of trans people daily. Researchers who work with trans people and clinicians to conduct and disseminate research improving transgender lives. We’ve traveled from El Paso to Nacogdoches. From Edinburg to Lubbock. Through Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Our village has grown over these months and years. Today, we have been funded by twenty organizations and individuals. Each dollar invested to improve the lives of trans people and help our village community take the next steps forward.
Our Network and Community
Two hundred and twenty-six people actively participated in our eight Regional Summits. Many travelled several hours to attend, some spending the night before the meeting since we started early on Saturday morning. Our meetings last our and in some cases six hours. Our Regional Co-Leads arranged for several universities, two Children’s Hospitals, a hotel, and a medical school to host our gathers.
Each Summit has its own distinct personality reflecting the regional differences in a state 800-mile wide and 800-miles deep. Yet, even with regional differences we found common themes. This was most apparent in asking participants to identify the #1 and #2 medical research questions should be.
Expanding our network
Improving lives is a noble calling. Improving the lives of individuals and families in the transgender community is a very noble calling. We have an opportunity to do something no one else can accomplish at our scale. We have a unique opportunity to create a statewide, transgender-focused research community across 254 Texas counties and several counties in New Mexico. Potentially, we can impact the lives of over 200,000 transgender people in our state. We can help transform healthcare by disseminating our research results.
It will take everyone we can bring to our research network to make this happen. We are expanding our network to include:
- clinicians and researchers who will work with transgender people and parents of transgender youth in developing research projects
- transgender people who are key stakeholders in the design, implementation, and dissemination of the research
- trans people to take enroll in The PRIDE Study and our clinical studies
- key stakeholder organizations and corporate partners who are inclusive, employ transgender people, and will help us build research capacity for transgender health
We also need each of us to serve as trusted advocates and enroll people in our clinical studies and The PRIDE Study.
Next Steps. . . .
State level steps (February/March, 2020):
- Develop a survey to clinicians providing gender affirming Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Describe existing demographic profile of existing patients. Identify potential partner(s).
- Identify and report on what socioeconomic factors impact success for transgender people undergoing and subsequent to both social and medical transitions.
- Discuss embedding a hotline for feedback in the future.
- Develop a process with The PRIDE Study to submit retrospective research requests using Annual Survey data.
Region level steps (February/March, 2020):
- Share summary information from the eight Regional Summit with participants through conference calls or video meetings.
- Establish achievable region enrollment goals for The PRIDE Study and to better understand how to enroll new participants in the study and prospectively clinical studies.
- Invite Region Summit participants into TransCONNECT (online community portal with Facebook/Twitter like interface) to take part in state and region discussions.
- Prototype new forms of transgender incentives, especially in working with transgender support groups.