News Release: School of Medicine , School of Public Health

Sep. 23,  2011

Emory Hosts International Conference on Transgender Health

  • The WPATH biennial symposium will take place at Emory University Sept. 24-28, 2011.
  • New standards of care for treatment of transgender patients will be announced.

ATLANTA – The world’s leading experts will gather this week to discuss the latest advances in research, education, clinical service and advocacy for transgender and transsexual people and their families. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) convenes its biennial symposium at Emory University September 24-28.

WPATH is the largest association for professionals caring for transgender individuals, and comprises physicians, psychiatrists, social workers, lawyers and advocates for individuals with transgender.

For the first time in the history of the symposium, WPATH will be held in collaboration with one of the nation’s largest annual conventions for the transgender community, the 21st annual Southern Comfort Conference, as well as the 29th annual conference of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), which will honor WPATH with a GLMA Achievement Award. These two societies will hold their respective annual conventions Sept. 21-25, and the three groups will unite for a joint session on Sunday, Sept. 25.

A major highlight of the WPATH symposium will take place during the joint session when WPATH launches the completely revised Version 7 of its Standards of Care for treatment of transgender patients. Vin Tangpricha, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine (endocrinology), Emory University School of Medicine, served on the review committee for the new standards.

“The standards of care have not been updated since 2001. Although the final version has not been released,” says Tangpricha, “it is expected that these new guidelines will address the diagnosis and treatment of adolescents with transgender, further refine the optimal timing for hormonal and gender reaffirming surgeries, and address the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with non-conforming gender.”

Tangpricha, who is also serving as the local organizing chair of the WPATH symposium, and Michael Shutt, PhD, director of Emory’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Life, will lead a reception recognizing the University’s diversity accomplishments. Emory President James W. Wagner, PhD will deliver a special welcome to conference attendees on Sept. 26.

The symposium’s scientific program will address topics in a variety of areas including primary care, psychiatry, endocrinology and surgery; psychology, marriage and family therapy; sociology and anthropology; gender and sexuality; speech and voice therapy; and other transgender health-related fields. 

Other highlights of the conference include: a special plenary session on “Transgender People in Sports;” a new surgeons’ only meeting that will allow surgeons from around the world to gather and discuss refinements in gender affirming surgeries; and a gala event at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

The symposium concludes on Wednesday, Sept. 28 with a look ahead to the 2014 symposium in Bangkok, Thailand. Past conferences have been held in Oslo, Norway (2009), Chicago, IL, (2007), Ghent, Belgium (2005), Bologna, Italy (2003).

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The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Blog: http://emoryhealthblog.com
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci
Web: http://emoryhealthsciences.org

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