Meet Our Team
The Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery team is made up of health professionals spanning primary care, behavioral health, endocrinology, plastic surgery, gynecology, urology, otolaryngology, and adolescent medicine.
Program Executive Director
Joshua D. Safer, MD, FACP, Executive Director, Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Safer, the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery’s first executive director, is also a senior faculty member at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Safer earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin. He completed his internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel and his endocrinology fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Dr. Safer is the president of the United States Professional Association for Transgender Health (USPATH) and the steering committee co-chair of the international transgender research consortium, TransNet. He also serves on the Global Education Initiative committee for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), on the Standards of Care revision committee for WPATH, and as a scientific co-chair for WPATH’s international meeting. Dr. Safer was a co-author of the Endocrine Society guidelines for the medical care of transgender patients. In addition, he is a past president of the Association of Specialty Professors, the umbrella organization for leaders in internal medicine subspecialty education, and a former secretary-treasurer of the national endocrinology program director organization, the Association of Program Directors in Endocrinology and Metabolism, (APDEM).
Dr. Safer’s research focus is on demonstrating the health and quality of life benefits for transgender patients from increased access to care. His current and past sources of funding support include the NIH and a number of private foundations.
Zil Goldstein, NP, Program Director, Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery
Zil Goldstein is a nurse practitioner and a transgender activist working to promote better health care in marginalized communities. Now transitioning her practice to the Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine, she practiced previously as the transgender health specialist in the Peter Krueger Clinic and Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Medical Group at West 14th Street. Ms. Goldstein provides education and training in transgender-competent care for providers and residents throughout the Health System. She is a published author on transgender and sex worker health and is a nationally recognized leader in both fields.
Antonio E. Urbina, MD
Dr. Urbina is the Medical Director for the Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine/Spencer Cox Clinic and the Mount Sinai Downtown clinic in New York City. Dr. Urbina is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and serves as Medical Director for the Clinical Education Initiative of the New York State Department of Health (DOH) AIDS Institute. Since completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan, Dr. Urbina has pioneered innovative educational programming for community-based clinics, hospitals, and public health departments. He has directed more than 10 HIV clinical trials research protocols and serves on the NYS DOH AIDS Institute Clinical Guidelines Committee. From 2007 to 2009, Dr. Urbina served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and from 2014 to 2015 served on Governor Cuomo’s Task Force to end the AIDS epidemic in New York State.
Miles Harris, NP
Miles Harris is a Family Nurse Practitioner who provides welcoming health care for queer and transgender communities. He practices at the Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine, where he sees patients for primary care, including hormone therapy, HIV care, PrEP and PEP. Mr. Harris also presents trans-inclusive comprehensive sexuality education workshops and researches nurses' attitudes and behaviors regarding gender identity and sexual orientation. He received his MS from New York University, his BSN from the University of Pennsylvania, and his BA from Carleton College.
Monica Cepin, LCSW
Ms. Cepin is the mental health social worker for Mount Sinai’s Institute for Advanced Medicine. She obtained her Master of Social Work from Hunter University School of Social Work with a focus on individual and family psychotherapy. Ms. Cepin’s career has focused on providing mental health care and case management services to underserved populations including undocumented, immigrant, Latinos, and the LGBTQ community. She has over 11 years of experience serving the HIV/AIDS community, including HIV testing, counseling, and multiple therapeutic modalities. She is a NYS licensed clinical social worker.
Ida E. Hammer, LMSW
Ms. Hammer is a social worker with the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. Her professional and activist career has focused on supporting the rights and well-being of women, transgender, and LGBQ people and their communities. Ms. Hammer has worked to make transgender healthcare more accessible by challenging exclusions to medically necessary care, and has been recognized for her advocacy work raising awareness of how violence affects the lives of transgender women.
Laura Stein, LMSW
Ms. Stein is a social worker with the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. She received her Master of Social Worker from New York University's Silver School of Social Work as well as clergy ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Her career has focused on advocacy within the LGBTQIA+ population and the integration of spiritual and mental health intervention into patient care.
Tamar Reisman, MD
Dr. Reisman is a general endocrinologist with a commitment to providing inclusive, high quality care for the LGBT community. She completed her Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and her Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism fellowship at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. She is an Assistant Professor of Endocrinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her areas of focus include transgender hormone therapy, sexual health, and testosterone disorders.
Barrie Weinstein, MD, CCD
Dr. Weinstein is a board-certified endocrinologist, internist, and nutrition-support physician. After graduating from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, she completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. After completing her residency in 2007, she served as a post-doc research fellow at Mount Sinai in the Division of Endocrinology, where she focused on the effects of COX-2 inhibitors and PGE2 on bone. She then completed a fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Weinstein has been caring for transgender patients as part of her general endocrine practice at the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center since 2010.
Hansel Arroyo, MD
Dr. Arroyo completed his training in psychiatry at The Mount Sinai Hospital while completing a psychoanalytic fellowship at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. He completed his fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital, where he specialized in the treatment of patients with chronic medical conditions and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Arroyo’s career has focused on providing mental health services to under-served and marginalized populations. He is the Director of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Institute for Advanced Medicine, Director of Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, Director of Transgender Psychiatry Fellowship, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Arroyo is board certified in Psychosomatic Medicine, Psychiatry, and Neurology.
Elizabeth Berk, PhD
Dr. Berk is a New York State licensed clinical psychologist. She is currently an attending psychologist at the Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Berk holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, an MA, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from The New School. She completed her internship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel and continued her clinical training with a postdoctoral fellowship at Mount Sinai St. Luke's, where she specialized in treating individuals with co-morbid medical and mental health diagnoses. Dr. Berk focused her training experience at Rainbow Heights Club, one of the first psychosocial treatment programs created specifically for the LGBTQ community. Dr. Berk continues to be dedicated to serving the unique needs of the LGBTQ community by providing competent, compassionate care.
Clayton Guthrie, PsyD
Dr. Guthrie received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology of Rutgers University. He went on to complete his postdoctoral studies at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Dr. Guthrie joins CTMS after working fourteen years as a supervising psychologist at the Peter Krueger Clinic at Mount Sinai Beth Israel where he worked with individuals with HIV and Hepatitis-C. Dr. Guthrie has provided care for transgender patients for the past 12 years.
Max Lichtenstein, MD
Dr. Max Lichtenstein completed medical school at St. Georges University and General Psychiatry Residency and Chief Residency at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY. He then completed a Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai specializing on HIV psychiatry, transplant psychiatry, psycho-oncology and transgender psychiatry. Throughout his career he has focused on providing psychiatric services to the LGBTQ community as well as those who are living with HIV. Dr. Lichtenstein has been integral in providing ongoing education, locally and nationally, on HIV neurocognitive disorders and transgender health. He has been a leader in providing care at the HEAT clinic in Brooklyn which services HIV positive and transgender teens and young adults. Dr. Lichtenstein is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology.
Jess Ting, MD
Dr. Ting attended medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he graduated first in his class, and completed post-graduate training in plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Hand Surgery/Microsurgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He is Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon. He specializes in reconstructive microsurgery, gender-confirming breast surgery, and gender reassignment surgery.
Bella Avanessian, MD
Bella Avanessian, MD is a plastic surgeon specializing in gender affirming genital reconstruction, chest reconstruction, and facial surgery for both transgender men and transgender women. Dr. Avanessian is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and was the inaugural fellow in the first ever comprehensive Transgender Surgery Fellowship Program under the supervision of Drs. Jess Ting and Marci Bowers at Mount Sinai. Dr. Avanessian received her medical degree from the Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University in Providence, RI. She completed her residency in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital. She is fluent in English and Russian. In her clinical practice, she has additional interests in adolescent care and surgical innovation.
Zoe Rodriguez, MD
Dr. Rodriguez received her medical degree from New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla and at Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan. Board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Rodriguez serves as Vice Chair of Operations of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Medical Director of the Women’s Health Center of Phillips Ambulatory Care Center. Dr. Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In her clinical practice, she is a pioneer in the delivery of culturally and clinically appropriate health care to transgender men and performs a high volume of complex minimally invasive gynecologic procedures, offering vaginectomy and gender confirming surgeries.
Aaron Grotas, MD
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Dr. Grotas attended Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He completed a surgical internship and Adult and Pediatric Urology training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. He is board certified by the American Board of Urology. Dr. Grotas specializes in minimally invasive and reconstructive urologic procedures, performs gender reassignment surgery, and provides post-operative management of urinary complications of reassignment surgery. Dr. Grotas is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Dr. Rajveer Purohit recently joined the Center of Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai. He is a reconstructive urologist and Associate Professor of Urology.
Dr. Purohit earned his medical degree (MD) and Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University before completing his surgical internship and urology residency at the University of California in San Francisco and a fellowship in pelvic reconstruction.
Association in San Francisco on the use of vaginal flaps in reconstruction to discussing reconstructive surgery on Megyn Kelly's Today Show as an invited guest.
Dr. Purohit is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons, and the American Urological Association and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Mark Courey, MD
Dr. Courey attended medical school and completed his residency training in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo and completed a fellowship in Laryngology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In 2016, he moved to the Mount Sinai Health System to direct the Division of Laryngology and Speech-Language Pathology Programs. He is currently Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the Director of the Grabscheid Voice and Swallowing Center, and the system-wide Division Chief of Laryngology. Dr. Courey has particular interest and expertise in transgender-related voice issues. He evaluates patients with gender-related vocal difficulties, follows them through behavioral changes which often helps to make their voice and communication style congruent with their desires, and performs surgery to alter pitch and laryngeal appearance when indicated. The primary surgeries offered are pitch elevation surgery (Wendler Glottoplasty), and reduction of the Adams Apple or thyroid cartilage shave. For trans-women, pitch elevation surgery can raise vocal pitch by several semitones into a gender neutral range or into a truly feminine range.
John B. Steever, MD
Dr. Steever graduated from the George Washington University Medical School in Washington D.C. He completed an Internship, Residency, and Fellowship in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Children's Hospital Los Angeles in 1999. His training has focused on providing medical services to “high risk” youth including LGBT clients and those affected by HIV/AIDS. Dr Steever, Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, has been providing puberty suppression and cross gender hormones to youth at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York since 2013. Dr. Steever strives to provide high quality health care to underserved youth in the New York Metropolitan area. He has written several articles on transgender medical care and is a member of Mount Sinai's Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery.
International Teaching Faculty
Marci Bowers, MD, Professorial Lecturer, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Dr. Bowers, a pelvic and gynecologic surgeon with over 25 years of experience in Women’s Healthcare, is widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of Genital Confirming Surgeries and is the first transgender woman to perform transgender surgery. She is a University of Minnesota Medical School graduate and went on to practice in the Polyclinic and Swedish Medical Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2003, she moved to Trinidad, Colorado to join the practice of the legendary Dr. Stanley Biber, considered the “Father of Transgender Surgery.” In 2010, she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and has now performed more than 1,250 primary genital reconstruction surgeries for both transgender women and transgender men. She is sought after as a speaker and surgical educator worldwide.
Thanks to generous initial funding from Dr. Bowers, Mount Sinai established a Surgical Fellowship in the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in 2017. Open to fully trained plastic surgeons, the surgical fellowship is a 12-month program with exposure to the full range of gender confirmation surgical procedures, including chest wall, facial feminization, and genital procedures. Now in its second year, this groundbreaking fellowship is providing the next generation of experts in gender confirmation surgeries with invaluable education and training in the latest surgical techniques and procedures.
In addition to her financial support, Dr. Bowers has devoted countless hours in the operating room mentoring surgeons in the Mount Sinai program.
For more information on Dr. Bowers' San Francisco practice, please continue via this link: https://marcibowers.com/
Miroslav Djordjevic, MD, Professor of Urology and Surgery at the School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Dr. Djordjevic completed his medical studies, including his urology residency, at the University of Belgrade’s School of Medicine in Serbia. He is the leader of the Belgrade Center for Genital Reconstructive Surgery, which is well known for educating surgical colleagues from around the world. His great experience in gender reassignment surgery has resulted in new knowledge of the surgical anatomy of the male and female genitalia.
Daniel Medalie, MD, Cleveland Plastic Surgery
Dr. Medalie is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He received training through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s six-year integrated plastic surgery training program. Upon completion of his training in 1999, he was appointed assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. He remained there as an attending surgeon and director of the burn/wound clinic for three years prior to moving to Cleveland, Ohio. Over the last 14 years, he has served at various times as chief of plastic surgery at the Cleveland VA Medical Center, faculty at Metrohealth Medical Center, and assistant professor of surgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve Medical School. Dr. Medalie maintains clinical interests in the broad field of plastic surgery, including reconstructive microsurgery, breast and body reconstruction, and aesthetic surgery. He also specializes in many aspects of transgender surgery including MTF and FTM “top surgery” and FTM “bottom” surgery.
Stan Monstrey, MD, Trans HealthCare, Belgium
Dr. Monstrey is one of the world’s foremost gender reassignment surgeons. Based in Belgium, Dr. Monstrey is a Professor in Plastic Surgery and a leading member of Gent University Hospital’s Centre for Sexology and Gender, where both FTM and MTF surgeries are performed weekly. Dr. Monstrey also served as the president of WPATH (in its earlier incarnation as the HBIGDA) from 2005-2007. Dr. Monstrey has co-authored numerous landmark journal articles related to transgender surgery, as well as the book, Principles of Transgender Medicine and Surgery, an authoritative text for health care professionals.