WEST BLOOMFIELD — Temple Israel, a Reform Jewish synagogue founded in 1941, will open its doors April 14 for a panel discussion on medical and mental health care for trans and gender nonconforming teens.
University of Michigan healthcare specialists from the Gender Management Clinic, Dr. Daniel Shumer, pediatric endocrinologist, and Sara Wiener, LMSW, will discuss gender and answer key questions about trans youth health care including hormone therapy, how to determine if a youth should transition and what kinds of therapy are available. Trans youth, young adults, their families, educators, school social workers, therapists and allies are encouraged to attend.
Wiener is a social worker at the U of M Health System who specializes in the assessment of gender dysphoria in youth and adolescents and serves as administrative manager of the Comprehensive Gender Services. She recently returned to her home state of Michigan after a decade in western Massachusetts where she provided psychotherapy to trans and gender expansive youth and their families and co-led a pediatric gender clinic.
“Working with trans and gender expansive young people is a great. By helping young people affirm their gender identity, I’m able to play a small role in making our community a healthier, more supportive environment for all people, and that is very meaningful to me. On a daily basis, I am amazed and heartened by the strength and resilience of trans young people and their families,” Wiener said.
According to transstudent.org, only 15 percent of trans youth without parental support described their mental health as very good or excellent, compared to 70 percent of trans youth with parental support.
“Being a teenager is hard. Add concerns about gender identity, and adolescence can be extremely challenging. I have so much respect for transgender and gender non-conforming young people and their families. They inspire me every day. I feel blessed to be able to work with them, and learn from them, as a pediatrician,” Shumer said.
Shumer became interested in working with trans youth while he was a fellow in pediatric endocrinology at Boston Children’s Hospital. While training, he was mentored by Dr. Norman Spack, founder of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Gender Management Services, the first clinic of its kind in North America.
The panel discussion will begin at 7 p.m. at Temple Israel and is free and open to the public. RSVP to Laura Koziol at [email protected] Temple Israel is located at 5725 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield.