Transgender health clinic in Massachusetts offers quality, compassionate health care

A health clinic in Massachusetts is getting national recognition when it comes to transgender care. Advocates said Transhealth Northampton could be a model for other communities to serve patients who often have to travel hours for basic care.“They have patients who haven’t been to a doctor for 10 to 15 years because they were scared,” said FAAP pediatrician and clinical director Dr. Andrew Cronyn.It’s described as the first rural transgender health clinic in the country and one of the first to focus solely on trans and gender diverse patients.“Not only is there enough volume, but we’re having a hard time keeping up with the pace,” said Katie Wolf, chief operating officer. Transhealth Northampton opened in May and is already serving more than 500 adults and children in western Massachusetts who would have previously needed to travel to Boston or Providence for basic health care. “It leads to a lot of stress,” said community engagement specialist Mia Lauer. “It leads to not being able to see the doctor as often as you should.”The clinic offers primary care and mental health services from a staff whom many of are trans or gender diverse.It will soon expand its engagement and programming to include a community closet and peer support groups.“A lot of times transition can be very isolating and so having a space where people can come and be themselves and have that community is really important here,” Lauer said. While Transhealth Northampton is considered groundbreaking, clinic officials acknowledge there may be other organizations already offering similar services, but are afraid to publicize them given the recent wave of transphobia and anti-trans legislation across the country.“There have been protests not far away at other local places that are offering affirming care, and so it’s something that we try not to focus on too much, but we do think about,” Wolf said.Security measures, including not publishing the clinics address online, are in place. Staff members want the estimated 20,000 trans or gender diverse people living in western Massachusetts to know they can now get quality, compassionate health care close to home. “You know I’ve had people tell me that I have saved people’s lives,” Cronyn said. “That’s incredibly moving as a doctor, but it also, for all of us, makes us angry because nobody, nobody, should have to have a special health center to get their basic health needs met.”

A health clinic in Massachusetts is getting national recognition when it comes to transgender care.

Advocates said Transhealth Northampton could be a model for other communities to serve patients who often have to travel hours for basic care.

“They have patients who haven’t been to a doctor for 10 to 15 years because they were scared,” said FAAP pediatrician and clinical director Dr. Andrew Cronyn.

It’s described as the first rural transgender health clinic in the country and one of the first to focus solely on trans and gender diverse patients.

“Not only is there enough volume, but we’re having a hard time keeping up with the pace,” said Katie Wolf, chief operating officer.

Transhealth Northampton opened in May and is already serving more than 500 adults and children in western Massachusetts who would have previously needed to travel to Boston or Providence for basic health care.

“It leads to a lot of stress,” said community engagement specialist Mia Lauer. “It leads to not being able to see the doctor as often as you should.”

The clinic offers primary care and mental health services from a staff whom many of are trans or gender diverse.

It will soon expand its engagement and programming to include a community closet and peer support groups.

“A lot of times transition can be very isolating and so having a space where people can come and be themselves and have that community is really important here,” Lauer said.

While Transhealth Northampton is considered groundbreaking, clinic officials acknowledge there may be other organizations already offering similar services, but are afraid to publicize them given the recent wave of transphobia and anti-trans legislation across the country.

“There have been protests not far away at other local places that are offering affirming care, and so it’s something that we try not to focus on too much, but we do think about,” Wolf said.

Security measures, including not publishing the clinics address online, are in place.

Staff members want the estimated 20,000 trans or gender diverse people living in western Massachusetts to know they can now get quality, compassionate health care close to home.

“You know I’ve had people tell me that I have saved people’s lives,” Cronyn said. “That’s incredibly moving as a doctor, but it also, for all of us, makes us angry because nobody, nobody, should have to have a special health center to get their basic health needs met.”


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