OneWorld is proud to now be able to help another underserved population: transgender patients who wish to begin the transition process through hormone therapy.
“This service is important and needed because there are very few providers who are competent and have pursued the education and training to care for these patients,” OneWorld’s Alex Dworak, MD, said. “Transgender and gender nonconforming people who need hormone therapy sometimes have to travel great distances or resort to unsupervised hormone use without access to medical supervision. There are also extremely high rates of attempted suicide among transgender patients, and offering comprehensive care—including hormone therapy—demonstrates a commitment to this very underserved group. We can connect patients
with other resources and support, including mental health consultation, if indicated.”
Adults age 19 and over who wish to begin a medical transition process with hormones can inform their primary care providers at OneWorld and be referred to Dr. Dworak, who is trained in hormone therapy. Dr. Dworak will meet with patients to discuss risks and benefits and gather baseline labwork. Behavioral Health staff members will complete a diagnostic interview to determine a patient’s ability to give informed consent, and the patient will sign a consent form. After the initial processes are completed, hormones can be prescribed, and patients will continue to visit their primary care providers. If patients wish to discuss options for surgery, our medical team is able to assist with those conversations and referrals.
OneWorld is also able to help new patients who are already taking hormone therapy medication. Dr. Dworak will review new patients’ doses and establish a plan for monitoring. We can also assist patients whose prescriptions have lapsed if they wish to re-start the medication.
At OneWorld, hormone therapy is very inexpensive. Transitioning patients can pick up their medications at the OneWorld pharmacy, which is located in the same building as Dr. Dworak’s clinic (4920 S. 30th St.).
“Community Health Centers are a very important resource for LGBTQ+ patients for several reasons, including that patients may be more at risk of certain medical conditions and/or less likely to be insured, and thus, less able to access care in private clinics,” Dr. Dworak said. “Greater access and increased patient care will improve both individual and public health outcomes.”
Dr. Dworak currently has a few transgender patients under his care, and according to him, patients have been “very appreciative” that OneWorld provides this care. Cisgender and non-hormone-seeking patients have also expressed support, he said.
“I would argue that it is just as important to health centers as it is to patients for us to offer these services,” he said. “Our mission is excellent care with a special consideration for the underserved, and to decline to provide respectful, competent care to our LGBTQ+ patients (who are frequently marginalized and underserved in our city, state and country, to say nothing of our world)…would be an abdication of our mission.”