Meet your candidates

EPATH invites its members to elect 2 Directors-at-Large to strengthen the EPATH Board. We are very pleased to present you the 9 nominated candidates, from several European countries and professional backgrounds. We invite our members to read their background and vision for EPATH carefully before voting.

How will the voting process work?

All EPATH members (list as of June the 30th 2021) will receive a personal invitation from the WPATH secretary to vote online. You will be asked to rank the candidates to your preference, with a minimum ranking of 3 candidates. Voting is open until August 6th 2021, 5 pm CET. The results will be calculated using the Single Transferable Voting system. STV enables votes to be cast for individual candidates rather than for organisations/parties and also provides approximately proportional representation, ensuring that substantial minority factions have some representation. The outcome of the election procedure will be announced during the General Assembly at the EPATH Conference in Gothenburg.

How is the board composed?

The EPATH Board of Directors, includes four At-Large Board members and four Officers of the organization (President, Past President, President Elect, and Secretary- Treasurer). Two At-Large board members (Griet De Cuypere and Walter Bouman) will leave our board after several years of serving as Board Members. Therefor, we need two new incoming members to be elected by the membership.

All nominated Board members are in good standing professionally and are recognized in their field. For the EPATH board, maximizing geographical, professional and gender diversity across the Board is paramount. We urge our members to take these criteria into account when invited to select their candidates of preference.

Attila Fazekas

Background

Country of residence: Sweden.

Pronouns: He/Him.

Main profession: Medical Director at the Department of Psychiatry at the University Hospital in Lund (Sweden), President of the Swedish Association for Transgender Health (SPATH), Medical advisor at the National Board of Health and Welfare.

Speciality: Psychiatry, Gender and sexology, research (Swedish Gender Study).

Vision for EPATH

My name is Attila Fazekas and I am a consultant psychiatrist. For many years I have been a member of the European Professional Association for Transgender Health (EPATH) and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Currently I am the medical director at the Department of Psychiatry at the University Hospital in Lund, Sweden. I am engaged in the healthcare of transgender people in Sweden in many different ways. I have worked in the field as a healthcare provider since 2003. I have been the president of the Swedish Professional Association for Transgender Health (SPATH) since 2013. I am the medical advisor in matters of transgender health for The National Board of Health and Welfare, the governing state institution for healthcare. I am a board member of the Swedish Gender Dysphoria Register and the Swedish Gender Dysphoria Study.

I stand as a candidate for board member of EPATH because I would like to use my broad national and international experiences to take EPATH to the next level regarding European collaboration between colleagues and countries for healthcare and studies of the transgender people.

Europe consists of many countries with different cultural, national, and political roots and not least with different views on transgender people. The different countries have different insurance systems which means that the kind of healthcare that is provided is very diverse. This affects the opportunities of transgender people to have equal or at least similar quality of life. The European Union has contributed to reducing disparities over the last two decades, but they still exist.

In recent years, the profession has been strongly questioned regarding the treatment of children and adolescents with gender dysphoria in general, and in the UK and in Sweden in particular. They have focused on regrets and questioned the usefulness of the treatment of transgender people. This is a challenge for our profession, that we have not witnessed at least in the last decade.

I think EPATH should advocate that transgender people wherever they live in Europe should have the same opportunity for healthcare and quality of life. As a healthcare provider I would like to see more research that gives colleagues a better understanding of evidence-based medicine and I think EPATH has an important role to encourage this. Through collegial cooperation EPATH should contribute to the disseminate evidence-based practice and spread the results of the latest research. Effective collaborations should further enable members of EPATH/WPATH to influence politicians to make laws to allow transgender people equal rights to recognise their legal status and needs, not least the need for healthcare. As the president of the Swedish Professional Association for Transgender Health, I have been involved in these issues in Sweden, and I would like to use this experience in EPATH.

During the preparation for the 4th conference of the EPATH, I have worked closely with the board members of EPATH, which has given me a unique opportunity to gain insight into the board’s work. However, I believe that I can contribute with additional perspectives based on my experience regarding work in a professional association.

Bartosz Grabski

Background

Country of residence: Poland

Pronouns: He/Him

Main profession: Assistant professor and head of the Sexology Lab at the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical Faculty of the Jagiellonian University Medical College. Also senior assistant at the Clinical Department of Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the University Hospital in Krakow coordinating Sexological Outpatient Clinic specialising in transgender healthcare.

Specialty: Sexology, Psychiatry and research (LGBTQ+ health)

Vision for EPATH
I have been involved in LGBTQ healthcare, education and also research for around 10 years now. The last several years have been especially fruitful in terms of my engagement in transgender health. My aim has been to contribute to the improvement and advancement of trans-related healthcare, education and research in Poland. I was engaged in the official Polish translation of SOC V. 7, I was a leading author of the first Recommendations of the Polish Sexological Society on medical care in transgender adult, a co-editor, author, and co-author of the first modern Polish compendium on gender dysphoria and incongruence. I have been constantly involved in education, e.g. teaching medical students LGBTQ psychology or lecturing at the conferences on LGBTQ issues, with the special scope on GD/GI and transgender healthcare. As a Polish Sexological Society Board member I have tried to make trans and LBGTQ issues more visible (see PTS statements on trans health or sexual orientation). Lately, I have also engaged more globally in the GEI. I would see EPATH as an organisation, which actively comments on current issues/problems/controversies in transgender health (e.g. latest issues of detrantions), and actively supports professional care for trans/nb individuals in European countries by issuing guidelines, commentaries, instructions for improvements, which support basic values and are based on current knowledge or clinical wisdom. It should actively help to resist trends which aim at limiting professional help for trans/nb people or their basic rights (see, e.g., situation in Hungary) by issuing statements, writing letters, guided by human rights perspective and professional knowledge.

Iva Zegura

Background

Country of residence: Croatia

Pronouns: She/Her

Main profession: Clinical psychologist at the Department for Psychotic Disorders of University Psychiatric Hospital Vrapče.

Specialty: Psychology, Gender, research (LGBTQ+ health)

Vision for EPATH

As a clinical psychologist who contributed in creating legal protection of transgender people and implementing health care of transgender people according to WPATH SOC it is interesting for me to gain more professional conections within EPATH and insight in organisational functioning.

Personally I’m motivated to contribute in the proces of establishing equal high quality standards of health care based on EPAH SOC for trans people accross the health care systems in Europe. I find it necessary to identify specific national professional associations that geather professionals who work with LGBT people and to find out how to support them in order to acomplish previously mentioned equal high quality standards of health care. Working in specific cultural souroundings, it would be great to motivate different national professional associations to implement transgedner issues in their national ethical codes and professional guidelines.

Ensuring that transgeder human rights, trans health and mental health themes, and intercultural issues are included in curriculum of sexual education, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate curriculum of different profesions (medical students, psychologists, clinical psychologists, nurses, social workers, etc.) should also be one of strategic focus. There should be special statement on the level of EPATH about harmfullness of so called conversion therapies for variants of sexual orientations and gender identities. It is important to develop a model of continuous education and research netvork equally available to all European professionals.

Müjde Özer

Background

Country of residence: the Netherlands

Pronouns: She/Her

Main profession: Plastic Surgeon/Gender surgeon and Sexologist at the University Medical Centre (UMC) Amsterdam.

Specialty: Sexology, Gender Surgery and uro-genital reconstruction

Vision for EPATH

I have been working as plastic surgeon at the Amsterdam UMC location VUmc since 2012, with a subspecialty in gender affirming surgeries, urogenital and colorectal reconstructions, and sexual wellbeing prior to and following surgery. My training in plastic, reconstructive and hand surgery at the Amsterdam UMC location AMC in Amsterdam, followed my medical training at the Radboud University Nijmegen. My post-doc training in sexology the RINO, in Amsterdam, finished during my plastic surgical training. I have been a practicing sexologist of the Nederlandse Wetenschappelijke Vereniging voor Seksuologie (NVVS) since 2008 and a Fellow of the European Board of Sexual Medicine (FECSM) since 2012.

My combined training in the fields of plastic surgery and sexology provide me with a hands-on view, making me provide better care for patients with genital complaints. I am of the opinion that genital care deserves profound interest, knowledge and a careful approach, as form, function and sexual pleasure are intertwined.

Good practice and scientific research are woven, therefore I am a member of the ESSM Transgender sexual health and dysfunction Sub Committee and an associate editor for International Journal of Impotence Research (IJIR) Nature.

Furthermore, I am specialized in urogenital colorectal reconstructions, like reconstruction after congenital problems (i.e. Extrophia vesicae, Cloaca, Variations in Sex Characteristics), after FGM, after male circumcision and after oncology, trauma or iatrogenic problems of the genitals.

Currently I am finishing my PhD on sexual wellbeing after genital surgery, focusing on: desired genital alterations, reconstruction after previous surgery, genital gender affirming surgery and shared decision making.

Gennaro Selvaggi

Background

Country of residence: Sweden.

Pronouns: He/Him.

Main profession: Consultant Plastic Surgeon & Associate Professor: Director of the Unit for Gender Affirmation Surgery at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg (Sweden).

Specialty: Expert in Gender Incongruence and trans gender surgical procedures; research; bioethics.

Vision for EPATH

I feel privileged to apply for becoming a board member for EPATH.

Since I started training under the supervision of Prof. Monstrey (2001-2003), I felt committed to improve the care, and add to the evidence of Transgender Health. During the preparation of my PhD thesis on Transgender Surgery in Ghent (2010), I deepened many issues that go beyond the surgical techniques, such as patients’ reported outcomes and experiences in merit to treatments and healthcare. I understood how these treatment-related experiences are integrated within each individual’s life, and connected to the society in which the person is living. As healthcare provider, I realised that one surgeon alone couldn’t improve patients’ life: the entire healthcare organisation and society play fundamental roles. Working in a multidisciplinary team is key, and the patient must be at its centre; similarly, cooperation with governmental agencies is mandatory.

Since 2011, I serve the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, and I lead its Gender Program, for the surgical part. My past experiences with Gender Units in Ghent (periodically, from 2001 to 2010) and Charing Cross (2010-2012), as well as the Master in Leading and Managing in Healthcare Organisations (Plymouth University, 2013) provided me with experience, skills, and knowledge needed for the leading tasks I am required at Sahlgrenska. In Sweden, I have also cooperated with other Swedish Gender Units, as well as with the Swedish Ministry of Health in order to adapt the WPATH SOC into the Swedish context. My main field of research has been focused on: innovative surgeries, long-term follow ups and meta-analysis within Gender Affirming procedures.

Finally, I hold a Master of Arts in Global Public Health (with major in Bioethics) from the New York University (2018). Specifically, my studies (and following publications) focused on: prioritization of procedures in public context with limited resources; equality (also for gender diverse and non-binary patients); mediation of cultural conflicts; research ethics; ethics and surgical treatments for children.

I envisage EPATH acting as a cultural platform to mediate and deliver both voices and scientific information, between trans persons and healthcare organisations, and governmental agencies. Thus, I support the participation of the patients group and professionals within the board.

Daniël Klink

Background

Country of residence: Belgium

Pronouns: He/Him

Main profession: Paediatric endocrinologist at ZNA Queen Paola Children’s Hospital Antwerp, at the Centre for Sexology and Gender at Ghent University Hospital and at the Gender Team in South Netherlands.

Specialty: Paediatric Endocrinology, children and adolescents transgender healthcare.

Vision for EPATH

I have gained a vast expertise in adolescent transgender health care since 2009. Current political climate, either the legal restrictions imposed on treatment of adolescents or the growing discontent gender diverse persons towards waiting lists warrants diplomacy, knowledge and empathy. My current position as pediatric endocrinologist working in an academic all-in-one center but also within a chain network can contribute to promote mental, physical and social health of transgender people in Europe.

My involvement in research projects in two academic centers (University Hospital Ghent and Amsterdam University Medical Center) will provide knowledge to educate the general public and governmental administrators in order to ensure the accessibility of adequate care of gender diverse youth and minors. The landscape of health care is shifting, I was involved in the developing the first multidisciplinary approach chain care model for gender diverse adolescents in the Netherlands and we have been operational since 2019. Building bridges between local facilities and the academic centers will help address the increasing demand for adequate care. In addition, working within the Belgian and the Dutch population has broadened my mind and appreciating cultural differences within Europe. This experience can help facilitate and extend the bonds between European countries in transgender care. Transgender healthcare still faces many challenges on a wide spectrum of fields. I believe EPATH is an organization capable of addressing these challenges and I strongly feel I can be a valuable addition to the current board. My skills, knowledge and experience in the multidisciplinary approach with focus on adolescent endocrine care can fill a present void.

Vanessa Lacey

Background

Country of residence: Ireland

Pronouns: She/Her

Main profession: Health and Education Manager at Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI)

Speciality: Psychology, Primary Care, Mental Health of Transgender Youth and Family Support

Vision for EPATH

I have been a member of WPATH and EPATH for 2 years, however, I have been involved with both since 2012. In this time I have advocated internally in the Irish health system, management and governmental minister level that Ireland’s trans health policies and services and informed by WPATH’s standards of care. There are many challenges to ensuring that WPATH soc are adapted in Ireland (as elsewhere) but I have liaised with various WPATH and EPATH members throughout the world to support my work; which has been mainly positive.

My work varies from, mental health, developing and delivering training to healthcare staff, research, media, informing and advocating for trans related health services. My overall objective is that healthcare staff in Ireland are fully trained of the needs of trans people and can provide a safe and effective service on both a national and regional level. These services are informed by WPATH SOC. I would like to translate my skills and passion to that of EPATH’s board, as I fully understand and motivated by EPATH vision.

Tea Dakić

Background

Country of residence: Montenegro

Pronouns: She/Her

Main profession: Medical Doctor at the Clinical Psychiatry, Clinical Center of Montenegro.

Specialty: Psychiatry, Bioethics, Human Rights, Research Ethics and Clinical Ethics.

Vision for EPATH

I am a Medical Doctor, Specialist in Psychiatry, and Master of Science in Bioethics, with a 10-year history of devoted work in clinical medical practice and human rights field. For the past 10 years I have closely worked with non-government organizations and gained experience in human rights education, analysis and monitoring, while also serving as a counselor for members of the marginalized communities, especially LGBTIQ persons. This experience introduced me to the specifics of transgender health, where, by gaining practical experience and self-educating through scientific papers and WPATH guidelines, I gained the trust of transgender clients regionally, which let to being asked to author a chapter on Transition Process for Gender Nonconforming Transgender and Transsexual Persons – Perspective of Psychiatry, in the publication “Medical Aspects of Gender Reassignment: Manual for medical professionals and healthcare workers on providing services and support to trans persons in the transition process”, the first of its kind in our region, and later on implement these guidelines in practice at the Clinical Center of Montenegro, where I am member of the Expert commission for transgender health. I have also published other works and my research findings in professional academic journals as well as in government and non-government publications.

I strongly support the mission of EPATH and WPATH to increase the quality of life among transgender people globally, to promote and protect the rights of transgender persons to the highest attainable level of health equally to that other members of society enjoy. I have been a part of that process “on the ground” and I will continue my mission in my everyday work and human rights advocacy, and I would be much honored to be able to do so as a board member for the EPATH as well.

Jiska Ristori

Background

Country of residence: Italy

Pronouns: She/Her

Main profession: Psychologist at the Multidisciplinary Center for Gender Dysphoria (Adults, Children & Adolescents Unit), Department of Experimental, Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, Careggi University Hospital. Also psychologist and psychotherapist at Studio Prof. Dèttore at the Institute of Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapy.

Specialty: Psychology, Andrology, Women Endocrinology and Gender Incongruence

Vision for EPATH

I am psychologist and psychotherapist working within the multidisciplinary team at the Unit of Andrology, Women’s Endocrinology and Gender Incongruence of the University Hospital Careggi (Florence – Italy) since 2008. In particular, I have started working with adults by providing psychological support during gender affirming paths. Since then, I have experienced rapid changes in the field of transgender health care. In particular, there has been a progressive increase of requests for younger people over the years. This has, of course, underlined the need to offer accessible gender affirming paths also for younger transgender people, tailored on their needs and in order to improve their well being and quality of life. In line, in 2013 a gender multidisciplinary team for children and adolescents was set up in Florence that is still characterized by an increase of requests at a progressively younger age. My role is to give psychological consultations within gender affirming paths to young people dealing with their gender identity and of course to their families.

Furthermore, I am also involved in research dedicated to psychological and health issues and therefore regularly participate in national and international congresses with oral communications in order to spread results of scientific studies. This also allow me to be constantly updated in the field of transgender health that is rapidly evolving. I have been part of EPATH since 2015 and I strongly support the importance of its existence by sharing their mission. In particular, to promote actions to protect the health of transgender people, by implementing competencies and skills among providers around Europe. Also I strongly believe in the importance of working within a European network to reach common goals and in particular to promote equity in accessing healthcare for transgender people and overcome the current barriers present in Europe. Finally, working within transgender health care means to be involved in a constant battle against transphobia that far too many transgender people have to experience and that is is probably the main factor responsible of the psychological impairment of this population.