Ron DeSantis is reshaping Florida’s medical boards
Ron DeSantis

'The two new appointments are clearly only there for one reason.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to reshape important medical boards that are a key component of his push to limit gender-affirming care, especially for minors.

His latest appointments are drawing fire from critics who contend the new appointees are being put in place to keep pushing ahead with a “transphobic” agenda.

DeSantis this week appointed two doctors to the Board of Medicine, both of whom have weighed in on the debate over the types of treatment offered to minors. The Board of Medicine agreed in November to alter the standard-of-care rules to ban doctors from performing gender-confirming surgeries on anyone under 18 and from supplying puberty blockers and hormones to anyone under 18.

DeSantis appointed Gregory Coffman, a pediatrician at Orlando Health Physician Associates, and Matthew Benson, a pediatric endocrinologist at Nemours Children’s Health to the Board of Medicine.

In September, Coffman, who has practiced for 28 years, submitted comments to the Board — when it was considering its new rules — that said he was “gravely concerned” about gender-affirming care.

“I have never had any discussions with parents regarding their children’s gender identity until the past 2 to 3 years,” Coffman wrote. “This explosion of gender dysphoria came out of nowhere and is very much a socially driven issue. I know that some children truly struggle with gender dysphoria, but, for most, it is transitory.”

Coffman added that “giving a child the power to make a life-altering decision at such a young age is malpractice.”

Benson, who is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Jacksonville, has raised questions about gender-affirming care, including signing an open letter that said the use of puberty blockers should be limited to just research.

“Without much data, it’s hard to make a conclusion that we’re doing the right thing,” Benson told The New York Times in a November article about the use of puberty blockers

That letter, signed by Benson, was also signed by Monica Mortensen, a pediatric endocrinologist who DeSantis appointed to the Board of Osteopathic Medicine in early December. The Board of Osteopathic Medicine has also passed rules related to gender-affirming care, although they did not incorporate all the restrictions adopted by the Board of Medicine.

Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando and an outspoken critic of the push to limit gender-affirming care by the DeSantis administration, told Florida Politics that it “looks like being a transphobe is a prerequisite” to get appointed to state medical boards.

“They are both anti-trans care,” Eskamani said of Benson and Coffman. “We have legit health care issues to deal with as a state, but the two new appointments are clearly only there for one reason.”

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • Bill

    December 29, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Here we go again – ronnie and his culture wars. Imagine if he did something useful for the other 99.99% of the public instead of focusing on small minded crap that affects virtually nobody.

    • Joe Corsin

      December 30, 2022 at 9:08 am

      Amen! That and putting fascists and far right puppets into positions that they normally wouldn’t be in.

    • Alex

      December 31, 2022 at 4:02 pm

      Ron is simply trying to put out the culture war fires you and your fellow left wing arsonists set every once in a while. You’ve done a great job burning most of the forest down since the 1960’s, but now there isn’t enough vegetation left standing to hide your ass showing regarding chemical castration of kids. Go back into the closet where you belong!

  • TJC

    December 29, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    DeSantis once said he believed in covid vaccines, now he says they’re bogus. Why did he support vaccines? Political considerations. Why has he changed his mind? Political considerations. This is a man who thinks of his political needs first and puts them before the needs of first all and now targeted residents of Florida. It matters not to him how many died and will die from Covid-19 thanks to his anti-mask and now anti-vaccine stands, it matters not to him how miserable he is making LGBTQ children with his bigoted education policies and now medical policies. This is all about Ron. What’s good for Ron, in his mind, is best for all. And that is as good a definition of an authoritarian mind as any.

    • Rebecca

      December 29, 2022 at 3:00 pm

      Is DeSantis ready for the surge of cases of Covid about to descend from China to the rest of the world?

      The problem with a Governor running for President is that he will neglect epidemiology at a time of crisis and focus on areas about which he knows nothing with the help of various quacks.

      • Alex

        December 31, 2022 at 4:05 pm

        Will he deny biological sex like our current nutjob-in-chief does? I know being called a “chest feeder” and “bleeder” is such a compliment for you, but belief in biological sex is very important in an epidemiological sense.

        • Ned

          January 2, 2023 at 7:35 am

          Leave the science to your betters. The sex-vs-gender distinction isn’t that hard to comprehend for anyone with an IQ north of 75.

          • Paul Passarelli

            January 2, 2023 at 9:34 am

            LOL! It’s so satisfying when the ones cheerleading the case for gender dysphoria are forced to acknowledge that it is in fact a psychological defect.

            And that’s really the crux of the issue, Ned. Stop trying to *normalize* that which is clearly the result of a defective allele. Stop trying to turn an often recessive trait into a dominant one.

            To any third party observer, a person’s sex & their gender are immutably linked external characteristics. The problem normals have with queers is that they take steps to disguise one of both characteristics. Normal people see that as the act of a deceptive person.

            So right off the bat the QT+ etc., has sacrificed character points. Being wared differently isn’t the problem, being dishonest is, and so is being deceptive. It’s only after those two lies are revealed that the third strike for being different gets called.

    • Paul Passarelli

      December 29, 2022 at 5:43 pm

      Lots of people “believed” in COVID vaccines. It’s a form of optimism in the face of uncertainty. That was before we really knew how much of a nothingburger the virus would turn out to be.

      In the two full years since the ‘outbreak’ the data shows that the reported mortality rate, which is to say the inflated rate of deaths where the fatality may also have been COVID positive along with whatever else actually killed them, has settles at 100 per million.

      Additional data also shows that the mortality of people who have been singly vaccinates stands at 60 per million and the rate for people who are fully boosted is 30 per million.

      What that tells us is that the combined rate for the people that AVOIDED the jab there is only a 10% increase in risk of mortality. And if we go back and subtract out all the early deaths where the report indicated ‘with COVID’, as opposed to ‘of COVID’, we see that the jab has a greater rate of mortality than doing nothing!

      And that is why changing ones official opinion is an intelligent thing to do and to have reported.

      Unlike the Fake Alias Trolls that use is as a feeble attempt to smear the governor who has the best track record for the pandemic second to none!

      • Elliott Offen

        December 30, 2022 at 9:14 am

        The virus killed a lot of people. Their original ailments wouldn’t have killed them had it not been for the virus..therefore the virus killed them. Only to some neo naz whacko and right wing propagandist would the virus be a nothing burger. Mostly this is stated to absolve Trump crime spree and deflect or put attention onto others for trying to protect people from a deadly disease. Just bottom of the barrel lunacy.

        • Paul Passarelli

          December 30, 2022 at 9:55 am

          you wrote: “The virus killed a lot of people. Their original ailments wouldn’t have killed them had it not been for the virus..therefore the virus killed them.”

          That’s an indefensible conclusion that does not carry any weight. It’s an emotional rallying call meant to scare people into surrendering their freedoms.

          It’s as if no one remembers how well the US & the global economy was doing just prior to the wave of fear the overran the country & the world.


          • Elliott Offen

            December 30, 2022 at 5:11 pm

            A half million people died within that small time frame because of existing ailments? Gee that usually doesn’t happen. I guess the virus didn’t cut their lives short by 5 to 10 years. I guess I let my emotions get the best of me and I just couldn’t think it out. Thank goodness we have you here.

          • Paul Passarelli

            December 31, 2022 at 1:35 am

            Yes Elliot, there were deaths. You made my point but you failed to acknowledge it. Half a million died. The weak always are the first to go. So the unvaccinated numbers got bloated with the casualties of the weak, and the sensitive that succumbed early on.

            Then fools started getting the jab. At first there was optimism, but it gradually declines as the 1st booster was announced, the the 2nd, then the 3rd. The vasx promised immunity, then only diminished symptoms, next it forfeited transmissibility, and eventually it was only slightly more effective than placebo.

            And now two years in we have a new term in the medical lexicon; “sudden unexplained death”. It strikes young healthy people, and wouldn’t you know they’ve *ALL* had the jabs.

            Two plus years in and the curve has flattened. Two plus years in and we know that the masks were completely ineffective. Two plus years in the virus has lost most of its teeth. Two plus years in and the economy is in shambles. Two plus years in and the Democrats cheated in another federal election. Two plus years in and you idiots are still not satisfied…

            What more do you want? I mean I know what the Useful Idiots are calling for, but it’s pretty apparent you’re not going to get it.

          • Elliott Offen

            December 31, 2022 at 12:30 pm

            You’re downplaying a deadly virus to try and make some political point God knows why or what that is. God help you.

          • Paul Passarelli

            December 31, 2022 at 1:02 pm

            I’m not downplaying. I’m expressing the rare trait known as a sane & rational response to a virus that does not even rise to the level of a bad influenza year.

            It’s the rest of the sheeple that are overreacting.

      • Ned

        January 2, 2023 at 7:40 am

        You can’t read or do basic arithmetic. Florida’s death rate for COVID is currently at about 3,900 per million.

        • Paul Passarelli

          January 2, 2023 at 9:51 am

          Basic math huh?
          3,900 / 1,000,000 = 390/ 100,000 = 39 / 10,000 = 3.9 / 1,0000 = 0.39/100 = 0.039 / 10 = 0.0039 / 1 = 0.39% fatality rate.

          As I wrote, it’s less than a normal influenza, in the pre-pandemic years.

          But since there are now virtually ZERO deaths being attributed to the flu, we can infer that the actual COVID survival rate is > 99.996%. Even Ivory soap was only touted as being only 99.44% pure!

          I seem to remember the article I read had a typo, it did report 100 ppm, and 1,000 ppm.

          Those of us that can do basic math cannot condone such a low level if risk with the destruction of the economy.

          P.S. In my previous reply to you a wasn’t sure if you might be a passing angry commenter, or just another Fake Alias Troll. Now I’m sure.

  • Bobby

    December 29, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    To call these doctors transphobic is ridiculous and honestly a disgusting comment, these are medical doctors who have devoted their lives to helping children. There isn’t enough data, period. Do the politicians pushing gender affirming care for minors even care about the potential negative long term effects?

    • Paul Passarelli

      December 29, 2022 at 5:46 pm

      The “Transphobic” insult is the new “Racist” insult. Is tells you nothing, it’s sole purpose is to embarrass those who are called it in an attempt to cower them into silence.

      I’m here co call out the slanderers.

      • LGBT Exhibitionist

        December 30, 2022 at 9:18 am

        No it’s added to the racist stuff. You people’s inability to lead and/or purge the racists and homophobes from your political wing means you’re gonna take some responsibility for it somehow.

        • Paul Passarelli

          December 30, 2022 at 10:10 am

          I’d be careful with the purge language. The Left is infested with destructive ideas which are embraced by the Useful Idiots.

          Tell me which side is more likely to burn a downtown, loot the shops in their own community, set fire to police cars, occupy a public square, destroy public assets?

          Bottom line; if the Conservatives were just 10% as evil as you fools make them out to be, none of you would still be here! That fact that all the Useful Idiots are still here after committing the aforementioned crimes, speaks volumes about Conservative tolerance, and their willingness to suffer fools.

          I can only wonder how many more insults & indignations you expect your side will be able to inflict before the the straw that breaks the camel’s back is eventually loaded on? What do you think is going to happen then?

          I know you are thinking that you will disarm the law abiding people that cling to their guns & their god before that happens. But I’ve got news for you, should that actually happen, do you thing that the Socialist leadership will tolerate your deviant ways? Your kind will be the first to be rounded up and ‘purged’.

          Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

          P.S. Enough with the Fake Aliases already.

      • Ned

        January 2, 2023 at 7:41 am

        You’re here to be a disgrace to Italians, midget guy.

  • Edward Hielscher

    December 29, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    Ron puts politicians between the patient and the doctor. When will he pick on something that effects you. He is nothing more than a control freak.

    • Paul Passarelli

      December 29, 2022 at 5:56 pm

      Actually it’s quite the opposite. In the case of ‘gender dysphoric youth’ the patient needs psychiatric care & counseling, not radical disfiguring surgical intervention.

      Now, while I do agree that this ruling does not effect me or mine in any direct way, the horrific medical costs of the surgery, and the resulting psychological trauma suffered be the child now and the future adult, does represent a clear negative economic outcome for the future.

      A little counselling now, maybe even a few tears shared between mother & child and *most* kids will snap out of it, and go on to live normal lives. And if there really is an genuine organic underlying cause, the child will eventually reach the age of majority and be able to make their own decision.

      I would hope that the insurance companies have the good sense to declare the dysphoria a pre-existing condition at that future date.

      • LGBT Exhibitionist

        December 30, 2022 at 9:21 am

        You trying to say that gay people are crazy and need psychiatric care? You see why you people catch so much sht? What if you were gay and had people telling you that you were crazy? You azzhole. You need an LGBT exhibition to brighten your day. Bestow some happiness on you.

      • Ned

        January 2, 2023 at 7:42 am

        You literally have no qualifications for saying this. You’ve read none of the medical literature on this subject. And you’re not smart enough to read science papers either.

  • Paul Passarelli

    December 29, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    “DeSantis has appointed three new members to the board since November: Tallahassee physician Gregory Williams, Jacksonville pediatric endocrinologist Monica Mortenson and Winter Park consumer advocate Chris Creegan.”

    • LGBT Sausage Exhibit

      December 30, 2022 at 9:23 am

      Fck every one of them.

  • Danger

    December 29, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    Doctors that ignore their oath to do no further harm. Gender affirming care is nothing vbut a euphemism for chemical castration and physical mutilation.

    What makes these procedures any different than the clitorectomies performed in some Muslim Countries?

    • Joe Corsin

      December 30, 2022 at 5:14 pm

      Yet we can’t tell many conservatives from ISIS these days. Trying to impose their morality on others such as gay people, atheists, kids, you name it they’ve got something negative to say about it.

  • JD

    December 30, 2022 at 9:20 am

    Anyone actually look at the stats on the number of “gender affirming care” procedures being done?

    Is this actually a problem we need to turn our attention too when there’s quite a few places still recovering from Ian, insurance imploding (even with the massive public handout to for profit companies), and the housing crisis (which the Fed’s pushing up interest rates is helping – not).

    This as a problem is the true nothing-burger.

  • tjb

    December 30, 2022 at 10:55 am

    DeSantis should be more concerned about sex abuse and sex trafficking in Florida’s Foster Care System, an organization he controls.
    These atrocities against foster children far outweigh the alleged trauma that the few cases of gender-affirming care may cause.
    If DeSantis wants to protect children, he should clean up the abuse and rape of children under his control.
    Let’s talk about how DeSantis will protect these many abused children and not the few children that will be receiving gender-affirming care.

    • JD

      December 30, 2022 at 11:14 am

      This is just a long line of non-sequiturs that weren’t happening, but is the “social media anger emoticon” to gain political juice.

      Fix the insurance for the common person.

      Fix the housing issues.

      Prepare for sea level rise for everyone.

      Fix our power infrastructure affordability.

Comments are closed.


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