CONCORD, NC (WBTV) - A pediatric doctor with Carolinas HeathCare System (CHS) has announced that he will be having a gender transition, and is telling patients why he feels the change is necessary.
Dr. Hal Warren Levin, MD, works for Piedmont Pediatrics in Concord. He sent a letter to parents and guardians of his patients explaining the change.
"I have been a pediatrician at Piedmont Pediatrics for 20 years and look forward to many more years working with my colleagues and my patients here in Concord," Levin wrote. "Because of my relationship with my patients, their families and the community, I am writing to share with you an important change in my life and to help explain why this change is necessary."
He continued, "I am taking some time away from work in March. When I return a few weeks later, I will begin living my life more authentically as Laura Levin, a transgender woman. You may not be familiar with this term, but a transgender or transsexual person is a normal, healthy person whose gender identity does not match their physical gender."
Levin goes on to explain that the "only thing changing about me is my appearance."
"As someone who has dedicated my adult life to caring for my patients and their families," Levin wrote, "It is important to me to communicate openly, as the relationship between a caregiver and the patient and family is very important."
He says that "The excellent care your family has received at Piedmont Pediatrics will not change. When I return to the practice in March, I hope you will see that I am the same person at my core that I have always been – a physician who cares deeply about patients, who provides compassionate, excellent care, and who is committed to patients' wellbeing and health."
He added, "Being a woman does not define me. It just happens to be a part of who I am that will now be visible to everyone else."
CHS also released a statement about Levin's news.
The statement read, in part, "Though Dr. Levin's appearance will change, we can assure you that Dr. Levin will continue to practice medicine in a way that supports Carolinas HealthCare System's mission and core values: Caring, Commitment, Integrity and Teamwork. We will work with Dr. Levin, the staff, our patients' families and the community to ensure every patient continues to get the best, most compassionate care available."
Levin says he's sure the parents and guardians of his patients will have questions, so he is holding open office hours "to meet and speak openly and honestly."