As part of being a valued community partner, Southern California Hospital at Culver City is always looking for ways to expand needed programs and services. In 2019, the hospital launched a gender confirmation surgery program—called the Transgender Surgery Center of California—providing comprehensive care by a hospital team that honors its patients undergoing a life-changing experience.
“Our hospital staff has gone through sensitivity training to provide an experience that is welcoming, safe and inclusive,” said Kathren Alkasspooles, vice president of planning and business development. “It’s as simple as not forgetting the basics of human compassion and respect.”
The Transgender Surgery Center of California launched when board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alexander Sinclair brought his longtime transgender surgery services to the Culver City Hospital, where proximity to Los Angeles International Airport and major hotels provides an added convenience to patients coming from throughout the United States and abroad. Dr. Sinclair and his team have performed more than 100 surgeries.
Alkasspooles expects the program to grow as more physicians are added to meet the demand.
In addition to the hospital-wide sensitivity training program begun in April, the hospital created a new surgical suite with a hand-picked nursing staff and private rooms for gender confirmation surgery patients.
From the time patients enter the hospital, they are called by their preferred name and pronoun, and care is taken by every staff member to use the correct terminology for their medical treatment. “Most importantly, the hospital team lets the patient know they are proud to be part of such a transformative and joyful time,” Alkasspooles said.
“These patients have been living with this identity internally for a long time and have been waiting for the moment when the world can see that person who has always been inside them,” she added. ‘’It’s like a rebirth. We want them to know that this is an important and gratifying experience for us, too.”