Pediatric Trans Care Doc Turned Whistleblower Pleaded Not Guilty, Released on Bond

AP Photo/Armando Franca

A pediatric doctor turned whistleblower at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston is facing federal charges of illegally accessing information of patients not under his care.  


Eithan David Haim, 34, has publicly outed himself as a whistleblower. He brought information on transgender patients at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston to City Journal's Christopher Rufo, who broke the case wide open to the public. 

After Rufo's investigation was published and publicized, Texas Children's Hospital pledged to shut down its program for transgender patients, some as young as 11. However, it continued to administer hormone drugs to children. After Rufo's story was published, Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton launched an investigation. State legislators passed SB 14, which prohibits all transgender medical interventions on minors. 

The program continued and Haim felt compelled to speak out. 

"Gender-affirming care" for transgender patients is big business. Texas Children's Hospital is the largest children's hospital in America. Haim appeared Monday in a Houston federal court. He pleaded not guilty to four counts of wrongfully obtaining individually identifiable health information. He was released on $10,000 bond.

The doctor's lawyer, Ryan Patrick (son of Lt Gov Dan Patrick and a former judge) said, “Dr. Haim did not break the law and he looks forward to his day in court. The government has their facts wrong.”

The Department of Justice released a statement about the case. 

The release said Haim in 2023 obtained personal information, including names, treatment codes, and attending physicians on patients from Texas Children’s Hospital without authorization. An indictment filed against him said Haim had served a residency at the hospital, and in 2023, requested for his expired login credentials to be reinstated. According to the indictment, Haim said he needed to access records in anticipation of treating adults, but in fact never had any such patients.

The indictment said Haim accessed the personal information of three patients and provided the information to a media contact, who then published the information on X and other online media sites. The indictment said the release of information resulted in delays to patient care, financial loss to the hospital, and threats and harm to the hospital’s patients and staff.


At the time, Haim realized he should turn to be a whistleblower to see the change that was needed.

The feds allege that Haim exposed private patients' information like names and addresses on their records. Haim said that personal information was redacted before the story went public. 

The FBI is proud of its efforts to punish a doctor trying to protect vulnerable children. 

Looks retaliatory to me, to chill potential whistleblowers, but I'm not a lawyer. YMMV. 

Alas, the prosecution of Dr. Haim did not stop a second whistleblower from coming forward. This time it is a nurse and she has brought accusations that expand the case - medical fraud

According to a new whistleblower, doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital were willing to falsify medical records and break the law to keep practicing “gender-affirming care.” Caught in the wave of ideological fervor, two of the hospital’s prominent physicians, Richard Ogden Roberts and David Paul, cut corners and, according to the whistleblower, committed Medicaid fraud to secure funds for the hospital’s child sex-change program.


Always follow the money.

Vanessa Sivadge, a registered nurse, was living her best life in her dream job. That is until 2021 when she saw a dramatic rise in the number of “transgender children” treated at the hospital. These children suffered from a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, addiction, suicide attempts, physical abuse, and discomfort with puberty. Instead of dealing with the underlying problems, doctors at the hospital diagnosed them with gender dysphoria and began a regiment of 'gender-affirming care.'

The practice made Sivadge recoil. “In the cardiac clinic, we were taking sick kids and making them better,” she says. “In the transgender clinic, it was the opposite. We were harming these kids.”

She felt relief when Texas Children's CEO Mark Wallace was feeling pressure to shut down the program by AG Paxton. But the child gender clinic didn't shut down. Days later it secretly reopened. Business was booming. 

The nurse read Rufo's reporting on Dr. Haim and she brought her story to Rufo. Now there are two whistleblowers. 

In Sivadge’s view, Roberts and other providers were manipulating patients into accepting “gender-affirming care.” When parents objected, the doctors bulldozed them, she claims. Some families, she believed, feared that the hospital would call Child Protective Services if they dissented.

Two months after speaking with Rufo, the FBI sent two special agents to Sivadge's house. They asked questions about “some of the things that have been going on at [her] work lately.” Then they asked to enter her house. They told her she was a person of interest in an investigation targeting Dr. Haim. They told her that he broke federal privacy laws. She said they threatened her, promising to make her life difficult if she tried to protect the whistleblower. They told her she wasn't safe at work and it was someone at work that gave her name to the FBI.


She went back to work and things were quiet. Until they were not. 

The authorities—the FBI, the hospital, and, as Sivadge would later discover, federal prosecutors—were all circling the story. Both the Department of Justice and the hospital leadership were ideologically committed to “transgender medicine.” They had been embarrassed by the investigation that had exposed their actions, and they were looking for revenge.

Things went quiet for a while afterward. Sivadge resumed her work as a nurse, and the FBI did not reappear.

Texas Children’s Hospital continued its sex-change program but focused instead on patients who had reached the legal age of 18. Sivadge saw the same terrible medical regimen being prescribed for these young adults: testosterone for girls, estrogen for boys, and referrals for specialty services. While Roberts and Paul had stopped providing sex-change procedures for minors, the gender clinic still overflowed with “transgender” teens. 

Sivadge’s duties as a nurse included providing medication refills and working with doctors to provide parents with information about treatment plans, scheduling, and diagnostics. She worked with patients’ charts and saw their complex psychological diagnoses and the treatments administered by the doctors.

Then Sivadge noticed discrepancies in the paperwork. After the FBI visit, she followed some of the medical charts for these patients and came to believe that doctors might be violating the law.

As Sivadge learned, Texas law forbade hospitals from billing Medicaid for transgender procedures. The Texas Medicaid Provider Procedures Manual has long stated that “sex change operations” are “not benefits of Texas Medicaid.” In 2021, Texas Medicaid officials told the Kaiser Family Foundation that this prohibition was not limited to genital surgeries but “explicitly excludes coverage of all gender affirming health services.”


No doubt Haim's story was a huge embarrassment to the hospital. It was a bombshell locally and then nationally. The hospital had a stellar reputation. 

The nurse exposed the connection of transgender care to billing Texas Medicaid funds to reimburse the hospital. That is against the law. 

Though the DOJ seems to be playing a game of cat and mouse with the whistleblowers, Sivadge is undeterred. She feels called to continue. 

This story is far from over. I'll be keeping an eye on it. 

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