Investigation

Ohio’s Top Children’s Hospital Coaches Doctors To Circumvent Parents Wary Of Trans Treatments, Training Videos Show

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital lobbied Mike DeWine to veto ban on trans surgeries for minors

   DailyWire.com
Screengrab from hospital training on treating transgender youth / The Daily Wire

An Ohio hospital that actively lobbied Republican Gov. Mike DeWine to veto a ban on transgender procedures for minors has grossly misrepresented its approach to parental involvement in decisions, according to internal training videos obtained by The Daily Wire. 

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which both hosted DeWine onsite ahead of his veto of the ban on transgender procedures and testified against it in the legislature, said publicly in its opposition campaign that parental involvement is a priority. Steve Davis, the hospital’s president and CEO, testified that the bill “would hinder doctors and parents from collaboratively deciding the best treatment for their children.” He also stated that parental consent is always required.

Top officials in the hospital’s heralded Transgender Health Center, however, said otherwise in an internal training session on how to approach transgender-identifying children. The training sessions reveal not only that doctors strategize how to circumvent parents skeptical about their children undergoing sex-change procedures, but also that they are actively steering children towards undergoing treatments, which have skyrocketed in recent years at the facility. 

Dr. Lee Ann Conard, the center’s director who introduced herself along with her pronouns and refers to parents predominantly as “caregivers,” says in the training video that there are ways to progress a child towards so-called “gender-affirmation” without parental support. Dr. Conard suggests putting the child in therapy without telling the parent why, and even stopping a young girl’s periods.

“Some kids aren’t ready to tell the parents, and we shouldn’t out them,” Dr. Conard says. “If the kid doesn’t wanna talk to the parent … are there things that we can do medically to help? We can refer a child for therapy without the parent knowing that the kid told us they’re transgender. If they’re having significant anxiety and depression, the other thing is menstrual suppression.”

Dr. Conard is followed in the training video by Dr. Bridget Hagood, who conducts the “gender-focused therapy” that Dr. Conard suggests for kids to receive without parental consent. Dr. Hagood explains that the hospital’s approach is always “gender-affirming,” and also that she has “comfort in writing letters for hormones.” 

Evie Heflin, a social worker for the transgender clinic, warns during the training that doctors should avoid references to transgenderism in a child’s medical chart because parents could access it. 

“It is really important to think about with the Cares Act, and like, families having more direct access to medical records, to really think about how we’re charting and the things that we’re putting in there,” says Heflin, who is a trans-identifying man. “We want to make sure that we’re able to protect the safety and the privacy of our patients, especially for families that might not be affirming.”

All of the panelists make clear that the goal of the clinic is to get as many kids as possible, and get them “affirming” care such as hormone treatments or chest binders, both of which have proven to be dangerous for kids.

“Once the child says ‘I’m transgender,’ the work begins for you of trying to help the family understand and get them into our care so that we can help,” Dr. Conard says, before advising primary care physicians to begin screening for transgenderism in annual physicals for three-year-olds. Dr. Conard suggests that this annual screening should be done “when we’re doing our confidential part of the annual exam” for adolescents, an indication that the goal again is to avoid parental knowledge.

Dr. Conard says doctors should ask boy toddlers questions such as whether they “want to wear a tutu and go to dance class” — if they do, she suggests doctors refer them for gender-focused therapy. She says elementary school-aged children should be asked directly whether they consider themselves a boy or a girl.

The videos, which were once linked publicly on the hospital’s website but have since been removed, appear to contradict the hospital’s public explanations of its approach to transgender procedures. The goal of the hospital’s transgender clinic is openly to affirm any notion of gender dysphoria, and parents who have concerns appear to be convinced otherwise or circumvented. 

Do No Harm, a nonprofit organization that works to protect minors from radical gender ideology and first discovered the training videos, said that DeWine is failing to “protect children” by siding with hospitals such as Cincinnati Children’s. 

“Governor DeWine made a terrible mistake when he rejected common sense legislation to protect children from irreversible cross-sex treatments,” said Kristina Rasmussen, Do No Harm’s executive director. “Hospitals are benefiting financially from convincing kids they are born in the wrong body, and that needs to come to an end.”

DeWine leaned on the role parents should play in matters regarding their children’s medical care in his explanation for his veto. 

“Were House Bill 68 to become law, Ohio would be saying that the state, that the government knows better what is medically best for a child than the two people who love that child the most, the parents,” DeWine said. “These are gut-wrenching decisions that should be made by parents and should be informed by teams of doctors who are advising them.”

Reached for comment about the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital training videos showing that parents are not put first, DeWine’s office asked for the videos to be provided. After The Daily Wire shared the video, the governor’s office declined to comment.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which has contributed thousands of dollars to DeWine’s campaigns, did not respond to a request for comment on the trainings.

The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital transgender center was funded largely by the owners of Pure Romance, which sells sex toys and other intimate products. The couple behind Pure Romance has a transgender-identifying child, and donated millions to the hospital to grow its offerings in the field — they are thanked on the website, which says the center is “funded by love.” Dr. Conard says in the video that the center is growing.

It would not be the first hospital to misrepresent its offerings for transgender-identifying minors. A whistleblower at Texas Children’s Hospital came forward with evidence that the hospital was actively performing transgender medical interventions, including the use of implantable puberty blockers, even after publicly claiming it had ceased these procedures.

DeWine has faced a wave of criticism from within his own party for his veto of the legislation that would ban hospitals like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital from using puberty-blockers, hormone treatments, and other so-called “gender-affirming” procedures on minors.

The Republican-controlled legislature has the ability to override DeWine’s veto, and has reportedly already taken steps towards doing so.

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