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A safe place for care

OneWorld creates gender affirming care hotline to increase access to safe, inclusive care

What began with one patient needing information for gender affirming care has blossomed into a network of OneWorld employees dedicated to providing safe, inclusive services for any individual in need of gender affirming care.

As an initial step, the OneWorld Gender Affirming Care taskforce designated the OneWorld Teen and Young Adult Health Center West (TYAHC West) as the entry point for gender affirming care. Their main number, (402) 769-7077, is also now the number for the new Gender Affirming Care Hotline.

“I think this hotline is a small step toward rebuilding that trust and eliminating the disparity that currently exists,” said Associate Director of Nursing, Tania Murrell. “Oftentimes members in the LGBTQIA2S+ community can hesitate to seek out health care to avoid traumatic interactions such as being misgendered or feeling discriminated against. We are trying to build a safe place where we can care for all and show that we are knowledgeable and welcoming.”

Murrell said the TYAHC West staff are very knowledgeable and familiar with LGBTQIA2S+ health care and are excellent stewards for gender affirming care services.

“Our staff comes into contact with a lot of patients in the LGBQTIA2S+ community, so we emphasize training and education about things such as pronouns,” said Clinical Services Manager, Esmirna Salinas. “It can be hard for patients to have conversations, but our intentional steps to be welcoming help put them at ease.”

Murrell said when she helped a patient enter care last year, OneWorld did not have a defined workflow specifically for gender affirming care, leading to an unnecessary wait list and miscommunication for patients.

This realization was the catalyst to form the gender affirming care taskforce, made up of OneWorld clinicians, operations, nursing and administrative leaders.

“As the clinic manager at TYAHC West, I am happy to be a part of this group,” said Salinas. “I myself am part of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, and this hotline is an encouraging step forward for OneWorld and the community as a whole.”

Clinician Recruiter, Sam Zeitner, is also a member of the gender affirming care taskforce.

“I chair the OneWorld LGBTQIA2S+ taskforce, so it was a natural fit for me to join this group,” said Zeitner. “I appreciate being part of this committee because I can help share these resources and promote that OneWorld is actively taking steps to be more welcoming and inclusive.”

In addition to increasing access to care, the taskforce is committed to staying up to date with changes in legislation to ensure that patients can trust that OneWorld is providing safe care. Alex Dworak, MD, Associate Medical Director of Family Medicine, is involved in the Nebraska legislature, and plays a pivotal role for OneWorld.

“One additional benefit of the taskforce is many of the members are part of the medical team, so we are able to ask questions about charting regulations, out of state policies and more in our meetings and then take that information directly to our teams so all communication is accurate and timely,” said Murrell. “This ensures our patients and our staff are supported, empowered and safe.”

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