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The conference is free, but online registration is requested.

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) will host the sixth annual NEPA Trans Health Conference on Tuesday, April 17. The conference is free, but online registration is requested. Among the prominent speakers attending are Rachel Levine, MD, secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Health and physician general of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, who will present a session entitled, “Transgender 101” and Dr. Cham Sante, senior resident at University of New Mexico’s emergency medicine residency program, an alumnus of GCSOM, and founder of the conference. Dr. Sante will present “Topics in Transgender Care: Disparities, Transition Basics, Advocacy and Research.”

Other speakers and presentations include:

  • Mason R.: A Teen's Transition
  • L. Elaine Dutton, Mazzoni Center: Pediatric and Adolescent Comprehensive Transgender Services
  • Chase Ross: Improving the Trans Experience in Health Care
  • Panel Discussion: Trans Lived Experiences
  • Mid-Valley School District Educators: Students Transitioning in the School Setting
  • Martin Russo: Addiction and the Transgender Population
  • Pennsylvania Youth Congress: Pennsylvania Trans Youth Policy Briefing
  • Panel Q & A with Parents of Trans Children and Adults

Registration will begin 8:30 a.m. with a welcome from a representative of U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey’s office. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Geisinger Commonwealth’s Auditorium and classrooms at 525 Pine Street, Scranton. Lunch will be provided. After lunch, Dr. Sante will be presented with the first “Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Diversity Champion” award.

GCSOM’s student group, Physicians Representing Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equality (PRIDE), and other interested students, organize the event each year in concert with a members of the NEPA community to provide an educational forum for NEPA area healthcare professionals, their staffs, educators, future medical professionals and the general public to learn from the transgender community and from those who treat and support them about the necessary care, respect and understanding of people who are transgender. Community members helping to organize this year’s conference include Tara Atkins, Karen Waldeck, and Karen Foley, LMFT.

“Physicians of the future must know how to create a confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere of mutual respect with their patients. This conference is one way to help build that kind of empathy,” said Jennifer Joyce, MD, professor of family medicine at Geisinger Commonwealth.

GCSOM student organizers hope their peer medical students will gain a better understanding of the challenges transgender individuals face when seeking medical care and use this experience to improve the standard of care currently provided for transgender individuals. Student organizers include Alexa Bolock; Brandon Bombar; Angie Chang; Sarah Heisey; Kailee Kerr; Steven Lam; and Tripti Soni.

Major donors for the conference are the Luzerne Foundation, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Diversity Education Consortium (NEPDEC) and the NEPA Rainbow Alliance, in addition to numerous community sponsors.

The event is free and open to the public. 

Visit NEPA Trans Health for the day's schedule and more information. 


About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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