Santa Clara County will soon have a transgender health clinic. Located inside of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in downtown San Jose, the new facility will provide full-time care for transgender and gender-expansive patients.
The clinic—the first of its kind in the South Bay—is set to open in the fall and will offer a range of services, including primary medical care and mental health support.
Currently, the closest trans-focused clinics are located in San Francisco and Santa Cruz. The county proposed launching a local clinic after finding out that a growing number of trans people were traveling an hour or more for services tailored to their needs.
“It’s really important that we have one in the Santa Clara County,” county Office of LGBTQ Affairs Director Maribel Martinez said. “There really wasn’t a clinic that was providing all the services that they needed in one place.”
There is not set date for the opening because the county is still hiring and training people to work at the facility, which will cost an estimated $1.8 million to get up and running. Staff will include, among other positions, a nurse, psychologist and social worker.
The clinic is part of the county’s newly launched transgender services program, an extension of the LGBTQ office launched in 2015 at Supervisor Ken Yeager’s behest. He also got the county to fund a new transgender program manager position, making it only the second local government agency in the nation with an employee solely focused on serving the trans and genderqueer community.
Earlier this month, the county announced that it found someone to fill the role: Anthony Ross, a queer transgender man who previously managed the LGBTQ youth program at Adolescent Counseling Services in Redwood City.
As trans program manager, Ross will make $95,854 a year to train trans clinic staffers in addition to working with local schools, hospitals and jails to make sure they meet the needs of gender-nonconforming people.
In a press release announcing his hire, Ross said he looks forward to building programs for people “to have a shot at living profoundly beautiful, healthy and whole lives.”