Institute Partners

We collaborate with a network of trusted and experienced and dedicated partners providing dedicated care in hormone therapy, medicine, surgery, and psychology. Partners of the institute include:

Dr. Cooper Benson | Crescent Care | Alexandra DiGrado | Amanda Fitzgerald | Dr. Ryan H. Pasternak | Dr. Omer Raheem | Dr. Jessica Shank | Dr. Daniel Womac

Dr. Cooper Benson

Dr. Cooper Benson is one of the few urologists in the Gulf South region trained in complex urethral reconstruction among other aspects of reconstructive urology. Dr. Benson began his studies in neuroscience and medicine at Tulane University and Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, and completed his first year of General Surgery at LSUHSC-New Orleans before moving to Houston, Texas where he completed his urology residency at the University of Texas-Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center. At Columbia, Dr. Benson completed a fellowship in genitourinary reconstructive surgery with the world renowned Dr. Steven B. Brandes, and developed extensive experience in the treatment of complex urethral stricture disease, ureteral strictures management, male incontinence, genital reconstruction, urinary fistulae, urinary diversion, neurogenic bladder and transitional urology. He lives and works in the Gulf South region, and seeks to provide patients access to specialized reconstructive urologic care.  

He has developed an interest in Transgender Health and along with Dr. Mundinger and partners in the NOLA Transgender Surgery Institute is helping to establish comprehensive care for the Transgender Community.  Dr. Benson’s training and background in reconstructive urology is well suited to be part of the surgical team for Gender Affirmation Surgery. 

Dr. Benson is an Assistant Professor at Tulane University School of Medicine in the Department of Urology.  He also works at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, University Medical Center and has an office Uptown across from Touro Infirmary. 

Dr. Benson is licensed in the state of Louisiana.  His clinical practice focuses on reconstructive urology as well as general urology, in addition to his interest Gender Affirmation Surgery.  He is a member of the American Urologic Association and the Society of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons. < Contact Dr. Benson >

Crescent Care

CrescentCare has been providing indiscriminate quality healthcare to patients in Louisiana for over 30 years, with the ideology that every person has the right to have their rights respected, without regard to race, creed, color, age, sex, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental handicap (including substance abuse), immigration status, unfavorable military discharge, membership in an activist organization, HIV infection or any basis prohibited by law.

Alexandra DiGrado

Alexandra DiGradoAlexandra DiGrado received her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in 2010. She started her physical therapy career as an inpatient acute care physical therapist at Saint Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, CA and then ventured to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she specialized in pelvic floor physical therapy for men, women, and all gender identities. She has successfully completed the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Institute’s Pelvic Floor level one and level two courses, and the APTA level three course as well as the APTA chronic pelvic pain course. She is a member of the APTA and Women’s Health Section of the APTA. She is conversational in Spanish and has worked with a diverse patient population both at home and abroad. She started at Touro in early 2016.

Amanda Fitzgerald

Amanda  Fitzgerald physical therapistAmanda Fitzgerald received her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017. She is a certified pilates i nstructor and has completed continuing education through Herman and Wallace Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Institute including Pelvic Floor level one and level two courses, and Pilates for the Pelvic Floor. She is a member of the APTA and a member of the APTA’s Section of Women’s Health. She is conversational in Spanish and treats all gender identities. She started at Touro mid-2018.

Dr. Ryan H. Pasternak

Dr. Ryan Pasternak, specializing in adolescent transgender careWith more than 15 years of experience, Dr. Pasternak is board-certified in Adolescent Medicine and Pediatrics, specializing in Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital, New Orleans. He received his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, and completed his residency training at LSU Health New Orleans followed by a fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. “It is invigorating to work with adolescent patients/families and assist them in maximizing their health trajectories. The practice of Adolescent Medicine as a specialty allows me to focus on critical areas of health for young persons: reproductive and sexual health, gender affirming care, sports health, infectious disease and behavioral health care.” < Contact Dr. Pasternak >

Dr. Omer Raheem

Dr. Omer Raheem, specializing in reproductive health and transgender care

Dr. Omer Raheem is a fellowship-trained urologist and assistant professor of urology at Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Urology, and its affiliated teaching hospitals and clinics. He completed his urology residency at the University of California, San Diego and his fellowship at the University of Washington, Department of Urology, specializing in reproductive health, fertility, sexual medicine, and prosthetics surgery. Prior to his training in the USA, Dr. Raheem was awarded membership to the Royal College of Surgeons in the United Kingdom and Ireland following the completion of his Basic Surgical Training.

During his fellowship training, Dr. Raheem developed a special interest focusing on the fertility and reproductive and sexual health of transgender patients and couples. He believes in a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to evaluate and treat complex medical or surgical conditions that transgender patients may develop. He joins the NOLA Transgender Surgery Institute in their valued mission to establish a comprehensive care for the whole transgender community. Since moving to New Orleans, Louisiana, Dr. Raheem’s goal is to integrate the most advanced and minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment modalities into his practice, including advanced fertility treatment, microsurgical technique for sperm retrieval, sperm cryopreservation, and complex penile and prosthetics reconstruction. Dr. Raheem is licensed in the state of Louisiana and has multiple clinics in Greater New Orleans, including Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Lakeside, Touro Infirmary, and University Medical Center. < Contact Dr. Raheem >

Dr. Jessica Shank

Dr. Jessica Shank, transgender surgery in New OrleansA native of Louisiana, Dr. Jessica Shank recently moved back to New Orleans in the summer of 2018 and is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Tulane School of Medicine. She is board certified in Gynecologic Oncology and Obstetrics & Gynecology and specializes in female pelvic cancers. She performs radical surgery utilizing the latest minimally invasive techniques to include robotic, laparoscopic and laser surgery. She has an extensive background in transgender care that started when she was the Obstetrics & Gynecology Consultant for the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Medicine Transgender Working Group from 2014 to 2016 where she helped develop treatment timelines and cost analyses to assess the impact of gender transition on military service. After former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced the military’s open transgender service policy in 2016, she served as the Obstetrics & Gynecology Consultant for the Navy Medicine West Regional Transgender Care Team from 2016 to 2018. In this capacity, she helped create transition-related care plans for approximately 200 active duty transgender service members in the Navy and Marine Corps. She personally performed fertility counseling for approximately 95% of the transgender men and performed gender confirming surgery (laparoscopic hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy) when they had completed 12 months of cross sex hormone therapy. < Read more about Dr. Shank >

Dr. Daniel Womac

dr daniel womac new orleansDr. Womac is a plastic and reconstructive surgery specialist with an expertise in top surgery and over 11 years of diverse experience. He graduated with honors from Tulane University School Of Medicine in 2007, and is a full-time member of the surgical faculty at LSU.