Nationwide Children’s Hospital exists to improve health outcomes for all children. We nurture and promote all aspects of child health – physical, behavioral, mental, emotional – so that every child can reach their full potential.
The care we provide is guided by medical and scientific evidence, and on the conditions and circumstances of each individual patient. It is informed by well-recognized standards of care developed by the country’s leading mainstream medical organizations. As one of the United States’ largest children’s hospitals, we help children from every background, with many different needs.
To help fulfill our mission, Nationwide Children’s has long operated the THRIVE Program. That team consists of experts in adolescent medicine, behavioral health, endocrinology, clinical medical social work and psychiatry who engage with families of transgender and gender diverse youth.
These youth experience a great deal of stigma, bullying and discrimination. Their experiences are associated with significantly higher rates of negative mental health outcomes, including higher rates of suicidality. These are some of the many reasons these young people and families turn to Nationwide Children’s for help.
It is our duty to care for them and to promote their wellbeing. It is also our duty to share our clinical understanding and the most recent scientific evidence with elected officials who are considering policies that stand to harm our patients, and in this case increase the stigma and isolation that they feel because of their identities.
When decisions are made that threaten an already-vulnerable group of people, that hurts everyone.
That is why Nationwide Children’s opposes legislation in Ohio, and throughout the United States, that limits the ability of transgender youth to participate in sports, to receive the care they should have, or that otherwise targets and marginalizes them because of who they are.
Young people flourish when they feel comfortable with themselves, when they can participate in the same activities as their peers, and when their communities respect them. Nationwide Children’ works with hundreds of families across Ohio to help transgender children thrive. Policies and laws that target them only make this goal less achievable.