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Care for Transgender Students

Transgender Health Care Team

Student Health is committed to removing barriers to care for transgender patients at Student Health. To that end, the transgender health care team, with representatives from Counseling and Psychological Services, General Medicine, Gynecology, Student Disability Access Center, and Office of Health Promotion, offers coordinated assessment, consultation, and outpatient medical and psychological treatment.  We also provide assistance in accessing alternative resources, such as specialty care or community providers.  We are a multi-disciplinary team, and as such, the team includes:

  • Gynecological care providers: physicians, nurse practitioners
  • Medical care providers: physicians, nurse practitioners
  • Mental health care providers: psychologists, professional counselors
  • Professionals to assist with academic or other University accommodations as needed
  • Care managers to assist with navigating resources and overcoming barriers such as insurance/financial or other concerns

General Medicine:

Elke Zschaebitz, DNP, FNP
Nancy Lutz, NP

Stephanie Hartman, MD
Jessica Simmons, MD
Joyce Stevenson, RN
Mari-Laure Hyde, RN

CAPS:

Jackie Woods, PhD
Katie Richards, LPC
Karen Painter, LPC

Gynecology:

Lisa Christianson, MD
Joan Shettig, NP
Caroline Dix, RN

Office of Health Promotion:

Jamie Leonard, MPH, CHES

Student Disability Access Center:

Barbara Zunder, MA

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I schedule an appointment at Student Health?
For General Medicine appointments, students can schedule online via Healthy Hoos or by phone (434.982.3915). For Gynecology and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) appointments, students can schedule by phone (Gynecology 434.924.2773, CAPS434.924.5556). When choosing a General Medicine online appointment, students may select an appointment specifically for “transgender healthcare” (i.e. hormone refills) or an appointment for other medical issues.

How can I indicate my preferred name, gender, or pronouns on Student Health forms?
Students can schedule appointments and then send a Secure Message (through the Healthy Hoos patient portal) to the provider they will see, asking the provider to change gender or pronouns prior to their visit. Students can also ask providers to change preferred names, gender, or pronouns while at the visit. 

What care is Student Health providing?
Student Health has created a transgender health care team with representatives from Counseling and Psychological Services, General Medicine, Gynecology, Student Disability Access Center, and Office of Health Promotion.  We are committed to removing barriers to care for transgender patients at Student Health.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides individual and group therapy, crisis consultation, and psychiatric medication management. Transgender students often benefit from psychological support as they navigate the complex world of transition. CAPS clinicians can help students seeking letters to support their transition.  Our clinicians can also help connect students with referrals for ongoing treatment in the community, if needed.  CAPS providers are happy to see transgender students for non-transgender specific concerns at any time.
  • General Medicine provides renewal of hormone therapy, as well as management of general transgender health issues. In addition, we can consult with students who are considering transition to offer education as well as coordination of care with specialty providers at UVA who could initiate hormone therapy.  Of course, General Medicine providers are also happy to see transgender students for non-transgender specific health care issues at any time. We know from national data that transgender patients often delay or do not seek preventive health care or sick care.  
  • Gynecology offers services to all students in need of gynecologic care, including those who are transgender and gender diverse. These services include, but are not limited to STI testing, contraception, annual wellness visits, breast exams, Pap tests, pelvic exams, evaluation and treatment for menstrual problems, and assessment of vulvar and vaginal symptoms. Student Health Gynecology also offers hormone renewals for students taking estrogen. A certified SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse practitioner also works at Gynecology; she provides examinations for sexual assault evidence collection, which can take place even if a student is undecided about whether to pursue legal action.  All Gynecology staff members provide basic gynecologic care following a sexual assault.

What are the guidelines for health screenings?
These recommendations are not transgender health specific but focus on age and risk factors. Certainly, all young adults shouldreceive STI, skin cancer screening, depression screening, oral health screening, and tobacco use screening annually, and diabetes and heart disease screening as needed.

What are the guidelines for STI testing?
The CDC guidelines for STI testing can be found here.  These guidelines are not transgender-specific healthcare related but rather focus on age and risk factors.

What care do we provide for people contemplating transition?
Students contemplating transition will meet with providers in General Medicine and CAPS to discuss resources, counseling, and support meetings and to provide education regarding hormone therapy.

What care do we offer to people approaching graduation?
The period of time right after graduation can be a difficult time with many changes, including finding a medical home. The clinicians at Student Health can help refer you to community providers competent in transgender health care needs. These resources are exceptionally helpful: UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health Guidelines and WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health).  Finally, the Transgender Health Alliance of Central Virginia (THACVA) provides an updated list of resources.

Thoughts about safety.
Transgender students can be at higher risk for abuse or assault.  Use the buddy system when going out, know your limits when it comes to alcohol, and trust your instincts which may be telling you to leave a situation.

Where is Student Health going in term of offering inclusive healthcare?
Our goal is to create a comprehensive primary care transgender clinic at Student Health which provides all the support, medical care, and mental health care that a student may need while transitioning. We follow the UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health Guidelines. One of our General Medicine nurse practitioners, Elke Zschaebitz, is currently pursuing WPATH Certification. We’d like transgender students to feel like they have a medical home at Student Health.  Please let us know what we can do to improve our services.