Upper surgery update
From January 1st 2018, Trans Care BC will take on additional responsibility for coordinating the existing central waitlist for publicly funded upper surgeries, previously managed by Dr. Bowman's office as part of his work with Vancouver Coastal Health. This is part of a wider effort by Trans Care BC in collaboration with Dr. Bowman and the group of plastic surgeons in BC who offer both chest and breast gender-affirming surgeries to make it simpler to access upper surgeries by offering clients the choice of first available surgeon or preferred surgeon (as before).
What does this mean for me?
If you're currently on the waitlist – don't worry, you don't have to do anything and won't see any change. Your place on the waitlist won't be affected and someone from the Trans Care BC team will be in touch in time to book consultation with your preferred surgeon. Once they have received referrals from Trans Care BC, surgeons will book directly with clients.
If you're not on the waitlist but want to access publicly funded gender-affirming upper surgery, the process is the same and you can find more information about that on the Trans Health website. The only difference is that Trans Care BC will be managing the wait list and any questions you have can be directed to the Trans Care team.
Why is this happening?
The wait times for gender-affirming upper surgery have been long, and we've worked with a number of experienced plastic surgeons across BC in order to expand access. There are now five surgeons in BC offering both chest and breast construction surgery. The increased number of referrals coupled with the addition of more surgeons has meant that the central waitlist requires more administrative support than Dr. Bowman's office is able to manage.
If you have any questions about this change, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Trans Care BC's care team at 1-866-999-1514 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you want more information on upper surgery in general, visit the Trans Health website
Gender Journeys update
Gender Journey pilots now are underway at the following sites:
- Nanaimo Family Life, Nanaimo (Adult)
- Alberni Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Services, Port Alberni (Youth)
- Three Bridges, Vancouver (Adults)
- CWHWC/PACE, Vancouver (DTES adults
If these pilots are successful (which we highly anticipate they will be!), Trans Care BC will look to fund more sites in 2018 to expand access across BC.
Two of the originally selected sites, Ann Davis Transition Society in Chilliwack and South Okanagan Women in Need Society in Penticton, were unfortunately unable to meet some of the key requirements to run the Gender Journeys program at this time, however we continue to collaborate with both groups and hope to support them and their local communities through a Gender Journeys program or other peer support services in the future
Parent/caregiver peer and community support funding announcement
Trans Care BC is pleased to announce the following projects that have been awarded Provincial Parent/Caregiver Peer & Community Support Funding:
- Cariboo Proud Parents & Caregivers: Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre, South Cariboo (100 mile House and Cariboo-Chilcotin)
- PFLAG Canada Nanaimo: PFLAG Canada Nanaimo, Nanaimo & Central Vancouver Island
- South Island Families of TGNC2S Children and Youth Support Circle: Parent Support Services Society of BC, South Vancouver Island
- Transgender Support Resources: Stó:lō Service Agency, Chilliwack
Additionally, in partnership with PeerNetBC, three projects have been funded that are led by local community members offering peer and community support services in their communities. These projects are:
- North Island Parents & Caregivers of Trans, Gender Variant, Two-Spirit Children and Youth: Campbell River, Courtenay & surrounding North Vancouver Island communities
- TransParent Peer Support Okanagan: Kelowna & surrounding communities
- Nanaimo Parent Support Group: Nanaimo & surrounding communities
This funding opportunity is for parent/caregiver peer and community support providers to develop new peer support projects or help support services that already exist. This funding (up to $8,000) is just one step toward our long-term goal of building more regional and provincial support for gender creative, transgender and Two-Spirit youth and children and their families.
These projects will be evaluated and if this funding process is successful, Trans Care BC will offer further funding opportunities for peer and community support services in 2018 across the province.
Applications were chosen based on the geographic and population diversity that the project would serve, and the prioritization of peer-led and peer-driven support services being the focus of the application. All applications were scored by a selection committee, comprised of Trans Care BC staff and a representative from a provincial non-profit organization, with standardized criteria. Successful applications are based in a number of communities across the province.
These grants are one of three recent funding opportunities from Trans Care BC. 10 successful projects from the Island Health region Peer and Community Supports Funding call were announced last week. Six pilot sites for a provincial Gender Journeys program were recently announced in July 2017, with pilots starting in early fall 2017. For more information about the work that is underway, go to http://www.phsa.ca/transcare.