FAQ

What is gender dysphoria?

Being transgender or gender nonconforming is a matter of diversity, not pathology. The World Professional Association for Transgender health released a statement in May 2010, noting that “the expression of gender characteristics, including identities that are not stereotypically associated with ones assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally diverse human phenomenon that should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative.”

Gender dysphoria refers to the discomfort or distress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth. Gender dysphoria can be effectively treated with medical, surgical, mental health and social interventions.

How do I access care from the Gender Wellness Center?

Call (607) 431-5757 and specify your interest in the Gender Wellness Center, or speak to a nurse coordinator directly by pressing extension six. We promptly respond to all voicemail messages.

What services are available from the Gender Wellness Center?

We offer comprehensive primary care and specialized gender-affirming medical and mental health care for transgender patients and their families. We also provide non-medical services, such as legal advocacy, and referrals to other support services. Learn more here.

Does the Gender Wellness Center offer interpretive services, such as language translators, TTY, or ASL?

Yes, we offer a full range of interpretive services. Please call us at (607) 431-5757 to learn more about our interpretive services.

How can I leave feedback about my experience?

You may receive an email survey after your visit. Please complete, as these surveys help inform our services and the care we provide. You may also contact a nurse coordinator with your comments at our office.

How will I know which treatment options are right for me?

Our providers work closely with you to fully understand your concerns and goals so they may individualize and provide the best treatment options to help you become healthy, happy, and whole. Learn more about our providers and the services they provide.

What do I need to begin gender-affirming hormone therapy?

Gender transition is complex and no two patients are alike. We individualize each patient’s treatment plan based on their specific needs and circumstances. Call our office at (607) 431-5757 to speak to a provider about your individual treatment plan.

What is the informed consent model for care?

The informed consent model for gender-affirming hormone therapy is available to adults age 18 and over, who meet appropriate criteria. Under the informed consent model, a gender assessment is performed by the prescribing provider at the time of your medical visit. The medical provider may require additional assessment, by a specialist in another discipline if they feel it is in your best interest.

Youth under the age of 18 are not eligible for the informed consent model of care and must meet with a mental health provider, receive parental/guardian consent, and undergo a thorough medical physical and gender assessment prior to any medical interventions.

Learn more about hormone therapy

What are pubertal blockers and how are they used in the treatment of transgender youth?

Pubertal blockers temporarily halt the irreversible changes that occur during puberty. They can ‘pause’ puberty in youth with gender dysphoria/gender incongruence. This delay gives youth, and their families time to explore, discuss, and decide on an individualized course of treatment.

What is the referral process for gender-affirming surgeries?

Our providers meet with you to discuss your individual goals and needs for gender-affirming surgery. We assist in choosing a surgeon, provide the appropriate gender assessments, and complete the necessary insurance paperwork for a referral. This is an individualized process that requires consideration and planning, and can take time to move through. We will help you navigate this process.

 

What gender-affirming surgeries are offered locally through the Bassett Healthcare Network?

  • Breast augmentation
  • Masculine chest reconstruction
  • Orchiectomy
  • Hysterectomy
  • Tracheal shave

More information on these surgeries can be found here.

How can I change important personal and legal documents to match my gender identity?

We can provide you with appropriate letters to change gender markers on your Social Security card, driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, and other important personal documents. We can also refer you to legal organizations that offer free assistance with this process. Contact our office if you need document change letters.

Will you coordinate with other individuals or institutions that are involved in my care?

Yes, we will. Our providers maintain contact with the other members of your treatment team, if you give us permission to do so. This can include: mental health providers, school personnel, human resources personnel, other medical care and legal providers, and staff at institutions.

 

Can you help me explain my transition to the people closest to me, such as family, professional colleagues, church members, or fellow students?

Yes, we can help you develop a plan for coming out to your family, friends, workplace, church, and community. We understand that this process can be stressful. We can also refer you to professionals who can provide trainings on cultural competency/cultural responsiveness in your school, church, or workplace.

Which health insurance plans do you accept?

The Gender Wellness Center accepts most private and public health insurance. Our staff reviews your health insurance information during your initial call to establish services. In the unlikely event that we do not accept your insurance, we will work with you to explore options for accessing treatment.

 

How do I receive medical care if I don’t have health insurance?

We work with you to accommodate your needs. Please call 607 431-5757 and ask our staff to alert our nurse coordinator if you do not have health insurance that covers your visits at the GWC. We will find a way to offer you care.

All are welcome. Call us at (607) 431-5757 or just stop by.