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Highlights | Caring for gender-diverse patients 

  • The Transgender and Gender Non-Binary Health Program provides care for gender-diverse patients.  
  • Gender-affirming care includes medication management, surgery, mental health care and more. 
  • The program is expanding to offer even more services this summer and fall. 
  • In the future, the team hopes to expand access and hire a patient care coordinator. 


Since 2018, the Transgender and Gender Non-Binary (TGNB) Health Program has been providing gender-affirming care to UW Medicine patients.  

The program ensures that gender-diverse patients’ care is coordinated across primary, specialty and behavioral care; educates providers about how to care for gender-diverse patients and affirm their identities; and works to change disparities and reduce the barriers gender-diverse patients face when accessing healthcare.  

“We also work to be responsive to community-identified care needs informed by our patients, community advisory council, community conversation events, and both staff and patient reports of bias or opportunities to improve care delivery,” says Sean Johnson, LSWAIC, program director.  

Beginning this summer and fall, the program is expanding to offer even more services.  

What is gender-affirming care?  

The program offers a complete spectrum of gender-affirming care. Primary care, medication management, hormone replacement therapy, reproductive and sexual healthcare, and mental health care are core services, along with psychological evaluations that insurers require to cover surgery.  

Surgical services include hysterectomy, orchiectomy, vulvovaginoplasty, phalloplasty, metoidioplasty, nullification, breast augmentation, chest masculinization, non-binary chest shaping, gender-affirming facial surgery and gender-affirming voice modification. 

Patients also have access to post-op services such as pelvic floor therapy and speech therapy. This fall, the team hopes to bring on an electrologist to provide pre-op hair removal services.  

How can patients access care and providers make referrals? 

The TGNB program team is developing a new website and streamlined referral services in Epic to make it easier for patients to learn and inquire about care, and for providers, both within and outside of UW Medicine, to refer patients for specialty care. 

Through these services, patients and providers will also be able to learn what prerequisites or documentation are necessary for surgical procedures.  

The team is also looking to hire a patient care coordinator who can help guide patients through every step of their care journey and help make the process more seamless.  

The future of caring for gender-diverse people

The TGNB team is working to expand access to their services and offer more training opportunities for faculty, students, residents and fellows.  

“While there is still work to be done across UW Medicine to better coordinate services and support gender-diverse patients, expanding services and clinical knowledge related to gender-affirming care has been our priority, something we are committed to making continued strides in while delivering comprehensive, patient-centered and affirming care,” Johnson says. 

Other goals are to develop a community advisory board to involve and learn from gender-diverse community members, and to build a volunteer program so community members can support patients on their care journey, says Corinne Heinen, MD, clinical director for the TGNB program and director of the UW School of Medicine’s LGBTQ Health Pathway.      

“We know there is a growing need for gender-affirming surgeries and other types of care among the gender-diverse community here in Washington and throughout the country, and an excitement among local community members that they can access these types of care at UW Medicine,” Heinen says. “We are proud to expand our services and program to meet their needs and to help advance healthcare equity among gender-diverse people.”  

Photo Caption: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash