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New York officials will announce the launching of a new public-private partnership today that will improve health care services for transgender people who live in New York State. Created by the New York Attorney General’s Office, Greater New York Hospital Association, Mt. Sinai Health System and Lambda Legal, hospitals will receive information and training regarding the legal and medical requirements that would best address the needs of transgender people.

Of the new healthcare system, Buzzfeed News states the first phase of the development will be training for members of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). The training program will also provide: “the legal framework of protections for transgender individuals”; “the nature and extent of discrimination experienced by transgender individuals in accessing health care”; and “identification of best practices for hospitals.”

This new initiative stemmed from a 2011 survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and National LGBTQ Task Force. The survey’s purpose was to highlight the issues transgender people face while seeking health care. In the survey, participants acknowledged harassment, denial of care, restrictions on accessing gender-specific facilities and invasion of privacy.

GNYHA’s president Kenneth E. Raske said of the new health care program, “[We are] proud to work alongside Attorney General Schneiderman to promote best practices to ensure that all patients receive the best care, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.” M.Dru Levassaur, Lambda Legal’s transgender rights project director shared their group is excited to work on the “first-of-its- kind” health program for transgender patients in the state of New York.

As transgender issues continue to be recognized at a national level, the societal climate will shift to inclusion.

Other states can’t be far behind on these sorts of initiatives.

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