NEW GENDER CLINIC FOR KIDS AND ADOLESCENTS Posted on June 7, 2019June 28, 2019 By Polly Becker, LCSW and Heather Marshall, RN Community Children’s Pediatric Specialty Clinic is pleased to introduce a new specialty, Gender Care. This program is offered in collaboration with the Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic and Dr. Juanita Hodax. Dr. Hodax is a pediatric endocrinologist, and has specific training in supporting transgender and gender nonconforming children and adolescents who seek medical affirmation as they enter puberty and beyond. This team clinic includes social work and nursing support to help kids and families navigate the process. Social work links families to resources and address emotional needs either providing therapy or consulting with outside providers. The decision to pause puberty or begin hormone therapy is one carefully made with kids and their families and takes into account psychosocial, emotional and physical aspects of development. Medical interventions offered in clinic include puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Puberty blockers (i.e. Lupron or Histrelin implants) pause natural puberty for 1-4 years until the appropriate time to start cross-sex hormone therapy, ideally around average puberty age for the desired gender. Starting medical transition early can reduce surgical needs for a full transition when kids enter adulthood. Research has shown that affirming gender identity leads to reduced rates of suicide. If you have a child who does not identify with their birth gender, you are welcome to make a referral at any age so that they can begin to explore their gender identity and consider if they are a candidate for medical intervention. To make a referral for therapy or further discussion, providers or families can contact Polly Becker, LCSW (406) 327-3874. To make a referral for an appointment with Dr. Hodax call (406) 327-4279 or fax records to (406) 327-5199. Clinic is offered every other month.