A fresh wave of scandal enveloped Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) this week after a second whistleblower, nurse practitioner Vanessa Sivadge, accused the hospital of using Medicaid funds to pay for transgender medical interventions on minors.

This mere days after Dr. Eithan Haim, the whistleblower who exposed TCH’s secret transgender program last year, pled not guilty to four felony counts of HIPAA violations. If convicted, the surgeon could face up to ten years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Why It Matters

The misconduct at TCH reveals the deep inroads gender ideology has made into medicine — and the lengths hospitals and doctors will go to defend it.

The legal harassment experience by Haim and Sivadge reveal the hold gender ideology has over people in charge of uncovering and prosecuting crimes.

These toxic ideas have grown under the cover of darkness, supported by citizens’ ignorance and apathy.

Now that a few brave individuals have sacrificed their personal wellbeing to bring this cancer to light, it’s time for everyday people to call gender ideology what it is — a religion that celebrates child abuse.

Calling out evil starts with being educated. If you’ve missed the wild saga, check out the Daily Citizen’s timeline below.


February 2022 — The Harbinger

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton releases a legal opinion suggesting transgender medical interventions performed on children could be investigated as child abuse.

March 4, 2022 — The Closure that was Not a Closure

Citing Paxton’s opinion, TCH announces it will no longer provide so-called gender-affirming care, a move they claim will “safeguard our healthcare professionals and impacted families from potential legal ramifications.”

The announcement comes about a year after Sivadge reportedly notices a “dramatic rise” in the number of children treated for gender dysphoria by TCH.

January 13, 2023 — The Conference

TCH and Baylor College of Medicine invite Dr. Richard Ogden Roberts— an assistant professor at Baylor and transgender doctor at TCH — to speak on “gender-affirming care” at the prestigious Pediatric Grand Rounds lecture series.

The presentation, published months later by investigative journalist Christopher Rufo, calls transgender medical interventions “life-saving” and “medically-necessary.”

Among other oxymorons, Roberts assures doctors that “Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy” — administering opposite-sex hormones or “puberty blockers” to minors with gender confusion — “appears to be safe and effective,” despite simultaneously acknowledging that “long-term outcomes require ongoing research” and that there are “risks of which to be cognizant.”

Photo courtesy of material published by Christopher Rufo.

May 16, 2023 — The Whistleblower

Christopher Rufo publishes an article in City Journal featuring redacted documents from then-anonymous Haim.

The operating-room schedules obtained by Haim “show that, despite its public statements, [Texas Children’s Hospital] — the largest in the United States — had secretly continued to perform transgender medical interventions, including the use of implantable puberty blockers, on minor children,” Rufo writes.

Rufo further notes entries showing Roberts continued giving patients “gender-affirming care” long after the hospital claimed to cease such interventions.

Surgeon Kristy Rialon apparently joined Roberts in completing “under-the-table” transgender medical interventions. OR records indicate she implanted a hormone-delivery device in an 11-year-old just three days after the hospital supposedly ended its transgender program.

May 17, 2023 — SB 14

The Texas House and Senate successfully pass Senate Bill 14 banning physicians from performing transgender medical interventions on minors.

May 23, 2023 — The Second Whistleblower

Rufo publishes another article featuring a second whistleblower backing up Haim’s allegations. Sivadge later revealed herself to be the second leaker.

May 24, 2023 — The Second Closure

TCH President and CEO Mark A. Wallace sends out an internal memo shutting down the hospital’s transgender program — for a second time.

“Over the next few months, Texas Children’s will modify the gender-affirming care we offer to comply with the new law,” Wallace writes. “We will work with patients and their families to manage the discontinuation of hormone therapies or source appropriate care outside of Texas.”

Wallace goes on to describe the change as “immensely heart-wrenching.”

June 2, 2023 — The Law

Texas’ governor signs Senate Bill 14 into law. Set to go into effect on September 1, 2023, it was quickly disputed. It is currently being adjudicated in Texas’ Supreme Court.

June 23, 2023 — Knock, Knock, Who’s There?

Hours before Haim’s graduation from surgical training, two officers from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) knock on his door.

Investigating a “medical records” case, they claim, the men try to film an interview with Haim in his kitchen.

“My wife, who is an attorney, and I told them we would not participate in an interview without an attorney present,” Haim later recalled in an interview with the Daily Citizen. “So the officers left me with a target letter, which is a piece of paper saying I was a potential target of a criminal investigation.

“A few minutes after the door opens, the door closes, and we knew our life had been permanently changed.”

July 2023 — The Second Shakedown

Footage from a doorbell camera released this week shows two FBI agents paying Sivadge a visit in summer 2023.

In her most recent interview with Rufo, Sivadge says the agents called her “a person of interest” in an investigation into TCH’s leaked records.

“They threatened me,” she remembers. “They promised they would make life difficult for me if I was trying to protect the leaker. They said I was ‘not safe’ at work and claimed that someone at my workplace had given my name to the FBI.”

This impromptu federal visit reportedly inspires Sivadge to more closely examine the treatment of “transgender” children at TCH.

January 12, 2024 — Going Public

Haim publishes an article in City Journal revealing himself to be the first whistleblower

“I knew that it was my moral responsibility to expose what was happening to these children,” Haim writes, “but as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.”

It’s in this piece that Haim announces his intentions to fight the obscure case against him.

To [the HHS agents], the prosecutor, and their political handlers, I was a criminal because I had told the truth. It didn’t matter that we exposed the fact that the largest children’s hospital in the world was lying to the public about the existence of a program in which children were manipulated, mutilated, and even sterilized. …

None of this mattered, I believed, because I had exposed a truth that threatened their ideology. This was the reason for their frightening show of force. The intent was to intimidate me. If I agreed to stay silent, though, I would be legitimizing their lies and sacrificing the truth. Instead, I decided to fight back.

April 24 and 25, 2024 — The Interview

The Daily Citizen publishes interviews with Haim and his lawyer, Marcella Burke, who exposes the legal improprieties occurring behind the scenes, including the lack of evidence against her client:

Before reviewing the evidence, the prosecutor tells Dr. Haim to admit wrongdoing to avoid felony prosecution. A basic HIPAA violation is at most a misdemeanor, and it’s never really been prosecuted absent some additional significant criminal conduct. But, more importantly, she hadn’t seen or provided evidence of wrongdoing!

In sum, Burke says simply:

This is clearly an ideological, political persecution of an inconvenient truth teller. This prosecutor is using laws with protections against whistleblowers as a sword to threaten them.

Click here to read the Daily Citizen’s interview with Burke. To read our interview with Haim, click here.

May 29, 2024 — The Sword Falls

The Department of Justice indicts Haim on four felony HIPAA violations, alleging he reactivated his TCH log-in credentials “under false pretenses” to access patient records. Additionally, while the indictment acknowledges that Haim redacted patients’ names on documents he gave to Rufo, it argues the “dates of service, diagnosis, procedure codes and physician names” are also HIPAA protected.

Haim allegedly broke the law, not to save children from mutilation, the filing implies, but to ruin the hospital’s reputation.

“As a result of Haim’s actions,” the indictment reads, “TCH resulted [sic] in medical delays in previously scheduled patients as well as threats and harm to its patients and esteemed physicians. In furtherance of his malicious intent, Haim obtained unauthorized HIPAA protected information and intentionally contacted a media outlet to grossly mischaracterize TCH’s medical procedures in order to damage the reputation of TCH and its physicians and to promote his own personal agenda.”

If found guilty, Haim could go to prison for up to a decade and have to pay up to $250,000 in fines.

June 17, 2024 — Haim Goes To Court

Haim pleads not guilty in court, declaring himself innocent of all charges.

Burke told Fox Digital of the arraignment:

I am honored to represent Dr. Haim. We received the indictment moments before his arraignment. It appears that the government has its facts wrong, they misunderstand the situation, and it’s unclear they understand how HIPAA works. Our client will have his day in court and we are going to fight these charges.

June 18, 2024 — New Allegations

Rufo publishes his interview with Sivadge, who claims TCH used Medicaid funds to pay for transgender medical interventions.

After the FBI visited her in summer 2023, she recalls, she started studying the treatment records of transgender teens (now over 18 years old) remaining in the clinic.

Sivadge discovered that a number of patients receiving “gender-affirming care” from Roberts and another transgender doctor, David Paul, were simultaneously enrolled in TCH’s STAR program — a “no-cost Medicaid managed care plan.”

In Texas, it is illegal to use Medicaid to pay for any transgender medical interventions — but STAR programs use Medicaid money to pay for participants’ treatments.

Further, in an affidavit connected to the case against SB 14, Roberts himself states that several patients in the transgender program at TCH “receive their health coverage through Medicaid.”

June 19, 2024 — Dominoes

Sivadge and Rufo’s fraud accusations have renewed government scrutiny of TCH.

Representative Brian Harrison asked Dade Pheland, the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, to create an investigative hearing to determine if:

  • TCH is using Medicaid funds illegally.
  • Federal government officials were helping TCH continue transgender medical interventions on minors after Texas law made it illegal.
  • The legislature can continue to function well after the “stifling” of potential whistleblowers.

A representative for Attorney General Paxton’s office confirmed it is investigating claims of Medicaid fraud at TCH. It is unclear whether the investigation is civil or criminal.

Meanwhile, TCH quietly erased Roberts and Paul from its website. Baylor College of Medicine similarly removed Roberts’ profile.

This is a developing story. The Daily Citizen will continue to publish updates.

Additional Articles and Resources

EXCLUSIVE: Lawyer Marcella Burke talks representing whistleblower Eithan Haim and fighting against child abuse.

EXCLUSIVE: The Daily Citizen interviews Dr. Eithan Haim, the surgeon who exposed a secret transgender medical program at Texas Children’s Hospital

Focus on the Family exists to help families, and that includes help navigating the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism. Focus offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.

Transgender Resources

Addressing Gender Identity with Honesty and Compassion

The Journey Back to My True Identity

What is ‘Gender Identity’