Transgender Health Information Program - Vancouver Coastal Health

Transgender Health Information Program


The Transgender Health Information Program is a resource hub that provides information to anyone in BC with a transgender health question.

We provide information directly to individuals via group format, email, phone, and in person. We also provide health care professionals with information to help them support their clients and connect health professional with colleagues who specialize part of their practice in transgender health care to build capacity in local communities.

Our services are free, anonymous, confidential. We welcome all transgender-health related questions and concerns from individuals, families and others. Doctor’s referral, Care Card and/or ID not required.

NOTE: The Transgender Health Information Program does not provide transgender primary health care or assessments. We do not offer or have a team of specialists (e.g. psychiatrists, general practitioners, counsellors, etc.) but we can provide system navigation support and health care information.

Education Update

In September 2013, the THIP partnered with VCH Prism, WPATH and VCH Transgender Primary Care services to present 2 education sessions entitled:
Accessing Gender Affirming Surgery in BC: How do the WPATH Standards of Care Affect You? — Presented by: Dr. Gail Knudson MD, MPE, FRCPC & Dr. Marria Townsend, MD, CCFP

Some Background:
In 2012, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) published new Standards of Care to guide practice for those working with trans and gender variant clients in a range of disciplines. These standards are currently being implemented in parts of B.C. and will include some changes to the process and principles of care around medical transition, including surgeries.

How do the new WPATH standards of care affect you?
This education session was geared towards anyone interested in how the new WPATH Standards of Care 7 affect access to gender affirming surgery and the informed consent model of medical care. An overview of the standards were provided and explored how they are being gradually adopted by health professionals and the Ministry of Health in B.C.

Please note: This session focussed on the standards of care as they relate to adults (over 19). Key questions that were explored included:

Click here to view the slides presented by Dr. Marria Townsend

Click here to view the video of the presentation
Note: When on the video page, be sure to click on the "Show more" to view a chapter index that will make it easy to navigate the video.

Important Update From MSP

New Standards of Care Implementation 2013
A recent communiqué from the Ministry of Health announced the implementation of new Standards of Care for Sex Reassignment Services in B.C. Please read through this document as there are some significant changes to the requirements for “top surgery”, most notably, the removal of the requirement for what has been known as Real Life Experience or RLE for Chest or Breast Surgery.

Connect with the Transgender Health Information Program

Transgender Health Information Program
Three Bridges Community Health Centre
301-1290 Hornby Street
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1W2, Canada
Phone: 604.734.1514 or 866.999.1514 (BC only)
Fax: 604.633.4241

What's New

QMUNITY Trans Employment Workshop

THIP Health Fair for Transgender and Gender Diverse Folks and Allies

VCH Trans* Speciality Care
Vancouver Coastal Health offers knowledgeable, gender-affirming and specialized care to transgender and gender diverse persons who reside within the Vancouver Coastal Health Region through VCH Trans* Speciality Care clinics.
Services include hormone readiness assessment, endocrine (hormone) therapy, hormone injecting supplies, referral for surgical readiness assessment, pre-operative information and education, post-operative wound care, and limited counselling. Service is free and provided by multidisciplinary teams including nurses, counsellors, physicians, nurse practitioners and social workers.
Two VCH primary care sites offer Trans* Speciality Care including the Three Bridges Community Health Centre and VCH Raven Song Community Health Centre. No referral is required. To book an appointment contact the intake nurse at 604-633-4248. The nurse will identify the clinic that is able to see you and provide you with a date and time for an initial consultation appointment.

Changing Keys
Changing Keys is voice training program designed to help individuals who are transitioning - or who have transitioned - and are living full-time as women. It is group and one-on-one work led by a certified speech-language pathologist with extensive experience in speech and voice training. The program is generously sponsored by the Transgender Health Information Program and is available free to participants.
Contact us for more information at 604-734-1514 ext. 2 or

Questions about how to get hormones or surgery?
The criteria and process for obtaining MSP funded surgery is currently being reviewed and there will be alterations, so please check back periodically for updates to the process and criteria.

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