Vanderbilt Medical Center opening 'transgender health' clinic

The clinic will initially be located within VUMC's existing walk-in clinic, with transgender services offered every Friday afternoon, but VUMC plans to open a standalone location with expanded hours early next year.

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will open a new clinic this month that caters exclusively to “transgender health.”

Once per month, the clinic will also bring in a team of specialists "to discuss patients' varying surgical needs."

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will open a new clinic this month that caters exclusively to “transgender health.”

“The multispecialty clinic provides comprehensive health care services for transgender patients age 18 and older allowing them to receive their care in one location, including primary care and subspecialty consultations with endocrinologists, mental health experts, and surgeons,” VUMC announced Tuesday, noting that services offered at the clinic will include “hormone therapy, lab monitoring, and pre- and post-operative guidance.” 

The clinic also “plans to add a mental health provider” to supplement those services, but will not have one at the time of its opening. 

[RELATED: Employee sues UGA for declining to pay for transition surgery]

When it opens on August 24, the clinic will reside in VUMC’s established walk-in clinic in Tennessee and operate primarily by appointment on Friday afternoons from 1:00-5:00 p.m. However, Focus Middle Tennessee reports that the center plans to move to its own location in early 2019, which will allow it to expand its hours.

Friday afternoon clinics “will be reserved specifically for transgender health care,” but VUMC notes that medical director Shayne Sebold Taylor, MD will “provide comprehensive primary care to LGBT patients during regular clinic hours, Monday through Friday, offering preventive medicine such as immunizations, HIV prevention, and cancer screening with special attention given to nutrition, healthy lifestyle, and chronic disease management. “

Once a month, the clinic will also bring in “a team comprising urology, plastic surgery, and discuss patients’ varying surgical needs.”

Adam Huggins, MD, the clinic’s assistant director and an assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, boasted that VUMC is “at the cutting edge within this field,” adding that “there are a lot of opportunities to figure out how we deliver this complex care in a way patients value that helps them achieve their individual goals.”

[RELATED: Vanderbilt adds gender reassignment surgery to student health coverage]

VUMC Chief Communications Officer John Howser told Campus Reform that he wished to “clarify that while Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center share the Vanderbilt name, the Medical Center is a legally and financially separate nonprofit entity.”

Howser went on to make the distinction that “VUMC is an academic medical center but not a university,” but conceded that “VUMC’s hospitals and clinics serve as the training facility for students of the [Vanderbilt University] School of Medicine.”

“So it is possible that future students could request to train in this clinic,” he acknowledged, noting that “funding for health care services delivered through this clinic are supported through VUMC.”

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