Progress through a pandemic: Highlighting the past year’s accomplishments at Trans Care BC

From online trainings and resources, to peer projects and surgical care, this year’s program update outlines the many ways we've been working to pivot care and supports through a global pandemic, and bring gender-affirming care closer to home.
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​At Trans Care BC, we are focused on the future and what we can do – alongside community members, clinical and health system partners – to improve and expand gender-affirming health care in B.C. However, each spring, we take a moment to reflect on the progress we’ve made, share highlights from the past year, and acknowledge the collective efforts of our community partners. 

Advancing community supports and access

Trans Care BC is working hard to support all aspects of gender-affirming care, including access to information, resources and support. 
  • The health navigation team had over 3,500 interactions with community members, family members, loved ones and service providers to help people find care as close to home as possible.
  • With community partners, we created the updating ID guide to help people with the process for changing their name and/or gender marker.
  • We funded 39 peer & clinical/mental health support projects through a new community grants opportunity. Through COVID-19, our team supported projects in moving their supports to virtual platforms, and provided training and mentorship to project leads and community members on how to support themselves and their communities during this time.  
  • Our peer support directory has information for over 100 provincial peer and community support initiatives in the province. 
  • Our community advisory group completed its first two-year term, and engaged in evaluation, planning, and setting out priorities for the next two-year term.

Expanding education and resources for gender-affirming care

Trans Care BC is committed to increasing access to gender-affirming care across B.C. by raising care provider knowledge, competency and cultural safety. 

Advancing surgical access

While working with community members to navigate care, Trans Care BC is also collaborating to grow health system capacity. 
  • The Gender Surgery Program BC at Vancouver General Hospital started with phalloplasty surgeries in 2019,  and in 2020/21 scaled up to offer the full spectrum of genital reconstruction surgeries including vaginoplasty, vulvoplasty, phalloplasty, and metoidioplasty procedures.  
  • Upper body surgery volumes continue to increase; 641 breast and chest surgeries were performed in 2020/21, the first year that the number of surgeries completed has been higher than the number of new referrals.
  • Through COVID-19, we developed tools to help clients plan for surgery, post-operative care, and recovery, with pandemic safety in mind.  

Celebrating progress and looking ahead

Fall 2020 marked five years since Trans Care BC was established to improve access to gender-affirming care across B.C. With help from community members and partners, we made a series of videos and social media posts highlighting the impact of the work, celebrating progress, and thanking everyone who has contributed to the journey so far.

 


Looking ahead: How you can support the vision of a gender-affirming B.C.

These are just some of the many ways our team is working hard to support all aspects of gender-affirming care. We are excited to continue working towards our vision - a British Columbia where people of all genders are able to access gender-affirming health care, and live, work and thrive in their communities. 

Stay connected:

COVID-19's toll is far-reaching, as are the delays in care; these continue to be at the forefront as our team and network of providers do all that we can by virtual health means and work on reopening care pathways. 

We at Trans Care BC are keenly aware of the need to continue addressing ongoing challenges while we adjust to living through a global pandemic, to support all aspects of trans health care remaining accessible wherever possible.

Questions? Always feel free to reach out to the Trans Care BC team at transcareteam@phsa.ca.

 
 
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