Cleveland VA Medical Center Opens First Veterans’ Transgender Clinic

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On Thursday the Cleveland VA Medical Center is opening the nation’s first VA clinic dedicated to providing for the healthcare needs of transgender veterans.

The Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center will provide transgender veterans with primary care, hormone therapy, mental health care, and social work services, says local NBC affiliate WKYC. A calendar of events from the VA states the medical center will celebrate the opening of the transgender clinic on Thursday, November 12.

According to a directive from the Department of Veterans Affairs published in February of 2013:

VA provides health care for transgender patients, including those who present at various points on their transition from one gender to the next. This applies to all Veterans who are enrolled in VA’s health care system or are otherwise eligible for VA care, including those who have had sex reassignment surgery outside of VHA, those who might be considering such surgical intervention, and those who do not wish to undergo sex reassignment surgery but self- identify as transgender. Intersex individuals may or may not have interest in changing gender or in acting in ways that are discordant with their assigned gender.

The Cleveland VAMC states in a press release that it “embraces the national policies that guarantee access for LGBT Veterans in the northeast Ohio area.”

Additionally, the Louis Stokes Cleveland VAMC:

[A]dopts the definition of “family” put forth by the Human Rights Campaign’s National Healthcare Equality Index. “Family” refers to any person(s) who plays a significant role in an individual’s life. This may include individual(s) not legally related to the individual. Members of “family” include spouses, domestic partners, and both different-sex and same-sex significant others.

All providers who work in the new transgender clinic have a “special interest in transgender care and will create an environment that celebrates and welcomes these veterans,” says the news report. Dr. Megan McNamara serves as the lead clinician in the transgender clinic.

Currently, the Cleveland VAMC treats approximately 20 transgender veterans.




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