Mission and History
The mission of the Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Gender Institute is to deliver compassionate, high-quality, and affordable health services to transgender patients and their families. To improve the quality of life of our transgender patients, we work tirelessly with our community to assess needs and identify gaps in care. Additionally, we are guided by The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, utilizing their standards of care to ensure that we offer ethical and high quality care that is individualized and patient-centered.
Saint Francis Memorial Hospital (SFMH) has been an active member of the LGBTQA+ community for decades. Our community involvement began in the 80’s during the AIDS Crisis. Between the hospital and our philanthropic foundation, we were able to create HIV Care, a center of excellence for HIV/AIDS research and treatment serving our local San Francisco community. Our commitment to serving the LGBTQA+ community continues today as we provide crucial gender-affirming surgeries from expert surgeons to our transgender patients who often face incredible barriers to healthcare. With the intention of providing the best medical care possible, we created the Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Gender Institute, a council of transgender health experts and collaborators who continuously assess needs and identify gaps in care.
1966 - Dr. Edward Falces performs the first transgender surgery in the United States at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. Dr. Lesley Hovey, Dr. James Kauth and Dr. Doug Ousterhout followed in performing surgeries for transgendered patients.
2016 – The Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Gender Institute is established.
2019 - Saint Francis Memorial Hospital hosts San Francisco’s first medical conference on transgender health—marking the public launch of its Gender Institute with Transgender only surgeons.
2020 – Saint Francis Memorial Hospital earns an LGBTQ Health Care Quality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC)
2021 – Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Nurse receives a Transgender Certified Care specialization.
2021 - Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Achieves SRC’s Center of Excellence in Gender Confirmation Surgery Accreditation based on the number of surgeries performed at the hospital. To date, Saint Francis remains the first hospital in the United States and internationally to receive this designation and Dr. Wittenberg, Medical Director for the Gender Institute has been recognized as a Master Surgeon by the SRC.
2022 - Saint Francis Memorial Hospital continues to achieve an LGBTQ+ Health Care Quality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC)