After nearly 40 years, Johns Hopkins Hospital has officially reversed its policy on transgender health and "is moving forward to take care of transgender people in a supportive, affirming way that's grounded in evidence-based medicine." This is according to Paula M. Neira, the clinical program director for the new Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health. Neira, a former naval officer, a lawyer, and an advocate, left the military to transition from male to female.
A little history: In the early 1960s, Johns Hopkins was in the forefront of gender-identity science, and its Baltimore hospital was the site of the nation's first gender-affirmation surgery (then "change of sex operation") in 1966. Hopkins halted surgeries in 1979 while Paul McHugh was the chief of psychiatry. McHugh believed that by conducting surgeries "Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness," concurring with the findings of a study by Jon Meyer, who ran the hospital's Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit. Meyer hypothesized that sex change surgery conveys "no objective advantage in terms of social rehabilitation." Both McHugh and Meyer remain associated with Hopkins, although McHugh's tenure as head of psychiatry ended in 2001.