OHSU’s Transgender Health Program: Institutional and Community Transformation
Lead by Example
Jess Guerriero, MSW, and Amy Penkin, Oregon Health & Science University
Workshop Block 2: Saturday, October 21 - 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

The Mission of the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Transgender Health Program is to provide safe, comprehensive, affirming health care for the transgender and gender nonconforming communities. We endeavor to improve the community’s overall well-being through education, research and leadership that responds to the health care needs of transgender and gender nonconforming people. From the perspective of being the only academic health center in the state of Oregon, this workshop will offer a narrative of institutional transformation and statewide leadership as we detail the efforts of community partnerships and transgender/gender non-conforming inclusion in our healthcare, academic, and research missions of OHSU.

Presenter Bios

Jess Guerriero is a social worker with a second graduate degree in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College. While at Simmons, Jess focused their work on a thesis that argued for the expansion of transgender health coverage and the movement toward therapists as partners, rather than gatekeepers, in the transition process. Jess interned/worked at Fenway Health, a community health center geared towards LGBTQI-identified individuals. Here, Jess carried a caseload of children, adolescents, and adults who were, in some cases, navigating medical transitions. Jess also ran a support group for parents of trans youth and established an independent consulting business to help schools, businesses, and providers implement policies that were more trans-inclusive. Jess previously worked in Quality Management at LifeWorksNW, and served as an internal trainer at LifeWorks NW on LGBTQI-related topics and was the chair of the Transgender Care Workgroup. Jess is excited to be joining OHSU’s Transgender Health Program (www.ohsu.edu/transhealth) and helping to improve experiences for OHSU community members. Jess uses they/them pronouns. 

Amy Penkin joined OHSU in January 2015 as the Program Coordinator for the newly launched Transgender Health Program (www.ohsu.edu/transhealth). She has been a clinical social worker for 20 years and throughout her career has provided direct care, advocacy, and education in community mental health and healthcare environments. Since 2005 she has been responsible for program/policy development, grant writing, clinical supervision for social workers seeking licensure, and program management. Amy has a history of providing and overseeing care for the LGBTQ community and is dedicated to promoting health equity for these and other underserved populations experiencing health disparities. In addition to working in the Portland Metro Area since 2009, her history includes teaching and working as a social worker, advocate, consultant, and private practice therapist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Amy has travelled extensively for social work and human rights projects in Central and South America and throughout Asia. Amy earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently served as adjunct faculty and field instructor for Schools of Social work at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Smith College and Portland State University.

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