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Physicians adapt to care for transgender patients during pandemic

Posted at 6:49 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 20:40:37-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Many people have had to put aspects of their lives on hold over the past few months. And for those in the transgender community on their way to gender confirmation, the pandemic has presented some barriers.

"We know that historically LGBTQ patients and very specifically transgender patients have had a hard time seeing traditional physicians and getting the support and services that they need," said Andi Curry Grubb, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Nebraska.

Planned Parenthood has adapted its gender affirming hormonal services for the trans community through the use of tele-health over the past few months.

“The pandemic didn’t change that. It didn’t change people’s need. It didn’t change our values of wanting to provide that service to folks so we every quickly figured out how we can maintain that access for people who need it. Again, hormone therapy is something that is pretty time sensitive, so we want to make sure folks don’t have interruptions to their care," Curry Grubb said.

Nebraska Medicine’s transgender clinic has also been trying to meet patient’s needs through virtual visits. While hormones are available, some procedures, such as chest surgeries, have been delayed because of safety concerns.

“It was tough, it was very tough," said Jean Amoura, Director of the Transgender Clinic for Nebraska Medicine. "I think also, bear in mind, for many people, this was something they had been wanting and seeking and planning for a long time and they decided they were going to do it in a break between high school and college.”

Amoura says top surgery procedures have begun again at the clinic though there is now a 3 to six month delay. As for genital reconstruction, patients normally are transferred to a surgeon outside of the area.

The clinic is however working to bring those treatments a little closer to home.

“They’re definitely still making progress. We look forward to being able to offer services patients really want and need, without them having to make trips to the coast and around the country," Amoura said.