Plenary Lectures

SAHM is proud to present two plenary lectures in 2023, in addition to the Gallagher Lecture.

Learn more about the Plenary Speakers:

Jennifer L. Levi
Helping Transgender Adolescents to Thrive In a Hostile Legal and Political Climate

Credit Hour(s): 1

This talk will focus on the national and local legal and political climates transgender adolescents are facing. With a number of states trying to restrict health care and those and others passing laws excluding transgender youth from facilities and programs in schools and beyond, support for the health and well-being of this population has become even more critical for youth to thrive. The lives of transgender young people have become more visible than ever and many communities have done a great job supporting this group. Unfortunately, other have gone the other direction. Come learn about the legal and political climate for transgender youth and hear ways that professionals working in the area of adolescent health can become involved in advocacy for their futures.

Learning Objectives:
1. After this presentation, attendees will have a deeper understanding of efforts to defeat legislation being proposed at the state level targeting transgender adolescents for exclusion from programs and activities in schools.

2. Attendees will also learn about laws that have been passed in some states that criminalize the provision of medical care for transgender adolescents and the successful lawsuits that have kept those laws from going into effect.

3. Attendees will hear about the role behavior health providers have played in those lawsuits and ways that medical and mental health professional associations have been instrumental in helping to ensure transgender adolescents’ continued access to essential care.

4. Attendees will learn about the legal and political climate LGBTQ adolescents face at the national, state and local level.

Jennifer L. Levi is the Senior Director of Transgender and Queer Rights and a nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues. Levi led the legal fight against President Trump’s transgender military ban in both Doe v. Trump and Stockman v. Trump. Levi has also been a leader in working on harm reduction for incarcerated transgender people.

Levi’s role is that of architect and advocate for state legislative and policy reform. Levi’s work also involves challenging new legal issues or interpretations brought before the court. Levi has represented clients in cases challenging improper denials of medical care as well as improper placement of transgender people in prisons and jails. Other precedent-setting transgender rights cases Levi has worked on include:

Rosa v. Park West Bank, a case brought on behalf of a transgender woman denied a bank loan under the federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act that laid the foundation for the recent Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County;

O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (2010), which established that medical care relating to gender transition qualifies for a medical tax deduction; and

Doe v. Clenchy (2014), in which the first state high court ruled that a transgender girl must be fully integrated into her public elementary school as a girl, including having full and equal access to restrooms.

Levi was co-counsel in two landmark marriage equality cases, winning the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Massachusetts (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 2003) and Connecticut (Kerrigan v. Department of Public Health, 2008), and has led a number of key family law cases establishing important protections for families headed by LGBTQ parents including Sinnott v. Peck and Miller-Jenkins v. Miller-Jenkins, both decided by the Vermont Supreme Court.

Levi is a law professor at Western New England University, co-editor of Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy (2012), and serves on the Legal Committee of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and a former law clerk to the Honorable Judge Michael Boudin at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Youth Plenary Presenter

Esmée SilvermanEsmee.jpg

Esmée Silverman (they/she) is a nationally renowned queer activist, community organizer, and educator. Described as a spark of creativity, Esmée has used her unique personality and lived experiences as a non-binary asexual woman to improve the lives of queer & trans youth through events, protests, education, and other endeavors. They currently serve as the co-president of Queer Youth Assemble, a non-profit she co-founded to bring autonomy and joy to all queer & trans youth across the United States.

Elizabeth Dawson-Hahn, MD
Promoting the Health of Youth Seeking Refuge: Clinical, Research and Policy PerspectivesDawsonHahnE-Headshot-Yellow-Chair-2018.jpg

Credits Hour(s): 1

Dr. Dawson-Hahn will describe current global conflicts leading to youth seeking refugee, examine clinical guidance, identify research and youth policy perspectives about the health and wellbeing of youth seeking refugees, and propose resources, partnerships and advocacy that support youth seeking refugee. She will emphasize strength based approaches and invite us to consider where we can build collaborations and partnerships to better support youth seeking refuge.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To contrast the experiences of youth seeking refugee
  2. To examine clinical guidance to support the care of youth seeking refugee
  3. To identify research and policy perspectives on youth seeking refugee
  4. To propose resources, partnerships and advocacy that support youth seeking refugee

Elizabeth (Beth) Dawson-Hahn, MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Washington, an Attending Physician at Harborview Medical Center, and a Principal Investigator at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She is a Medical Advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Immigrant, Refugee, Migrant Health Branch and the UN – International Organization for Migration. Beth leads the health-equity focused Migration Health, Resilience and Multilingual Research Collaborative where her community and public health partnered research and program development primarily focuses on children in immigrant and refugee families across the migration continuum. She believes strongly in amplifying and creating space for community leadership. She leads the Refugee Health Promotion Project at Harborview Medical Center where she cares for medically complex children in refugee families shortly after arrival. Beth grew up in a rural community in northern NY and she prioritizes mentoring first generation students and those who are new to academia.

Youth Plenary Speaker

Muzhgan Hazara MH.jpg

Muzhgan Hazara was born in Ghazni city in Afghanistan and moved to the US about one year ago, with her parents and sister, after the Taliban captured the country. Upon arrival, her family spent three months living in an immigration camp before moving to Seattle.  She is currently in 11th grade at the Seattle World School, a public high school for newcomers learning English. She speaks Dari, Persian, some Pashto, and little English. She is interested in a future career in health care and also interested in becoming a pilot. She is sharing a photo of herself in Afghanistan before the Taliban took over – noting that women in Afghanistan are not free to dress like this anymore and cannot work or go to school after 6th grade.

Revised 2/17/23

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