SDGMC Raises Money for Rady Children's Gender Management Clinic
As part of its community outreach mission, the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus (SDGMC) helped raise more than $700 and boxes of toys and art supplies for the Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego Gender Management (GeM) Clinic at its summer Imagine concert.
"Since learning about the great work being done at the Clinic, we knew right away that we wanted to help out," said SDGMC President Bob Lehman. "Our members and audience all pitched in with donations to help the kids in the program."
Raising awareness of the clinic and the available care for transgender children is why the Chorus chose the GeM Clinic as its outreach partner for its summer season, according to Lehman. Audience members at Imagine had the opportunity to learn more about Rady Children's and the GeM Clinic before the show and during intermission at the front lobby information table.
"The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus is helping to not only advocate for our Gender Management program, but also help to provide hope and healing for our families," said Mindy Collins, the director of corporate and community development for the Rady Children's Hospital Foundation. "Many special programs rely on community support to operate, and with this support, GeM Clinic will be better equipped to provide the excellent patient care we are known for nationwide."
Since opening in 2012, the GeM Clinic has treated more than 80 transgender patients. The clinic's services are open to children and adolescents beginning at age five, with its youngest patient so far at just six years of age.
According to Endocrinologist Dr. Maya Marinkovic, who along with Endocrinologist Dr. Ron Newfield directs the GeM Clinic, patients come from all walks of life including cultural, racial and economic backgrounds. Young people are treated both medically with early puberty blocking and hormonal care (for those around 16 years of age) and mentally with professional counseling.
"It's so exciting to see how they flourish and blossom," Dr. Marinkovic noted. "It is our goal for them to be happy, healthy adults."
SDGMC has a long history of community service through its outreach program recognizing organizations that have had a major, positive impact on San Diego. Past partners have included the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Diego, Mama's Kitchen, Voices for Children, San Diego's performing arts high school, the Veteran's Village of San Diego and the San Diego Women's Chorus.