The facility has offered hormone therapy, minor surgeries, hair removal and other treatments for decades as part of an effort to expand procedures geared toward an estimated 12,500 nationwide veterans who have been diagnosed as gender dysphoric, according to the documents obtained by the DCNF via public records requests. But the documents and emails show that the VA medical center at Puget Sound also estimated to incur expenses of $642,562 in 2023 and more than $1.5 million by 2027 in an initial proposal to the VA’s health care system for funding to establish a genital surgery center.
Veterans Affairs Puget Sound applied to the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) National Surgery Office (NSO) for funding to contract surgeons, purchase equipment and hire nurses and staff for a so-called Comprehensive Gender Affirming Surgical Center (CGASC), the documents show.
It wasn’t clear from the documents whether the VA approved Puget Sound’s application, and a spokesperson for the VA said no facilities had built out CGASCs.
“No VA facilities – including VA Puget Sound – have or are developing comprehensive gender affirming care surgery centers,” VA spokesperson Terrence Hayes told the DCNF. “While the rulemaking process on gender affirming surgery at VA is still underway, VA continues to provide all other types of gender affirming care to Veterans.”