Physicians and staff at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are committed to providing specialized care that suits the needs of all patients – including some of the 1.1 million Americans who identify as transgender and gender non-binary. Delivering sensitive, gender-affirming care that speaks to the specific physical and behavioral health needs of these patients, during and beyond gender transitioning, requires a dedicated effort at the institutional level. That is the goal of the MGH Transgender Health Program– a new collaborative initiative started by the Department of Medicine, which includes a multidisciplinary clinic on the MGH main campus.
The initiative draws on MGH’s history of providing expert care for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, supported by advocacy from the MGH LGBT Employee Resource Group throughout the past decade and the newly established Transgender Action Group. With a focus on gender-affirming care, the program offers comprehensive primary care, hormone management, case management, and a connection to behavioral health resources and surgical services.
This is part of an effort among MGH providers to expand access here for the transgender community.Robert Goldstein, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
“This is part of an effort among MGH providers to expand access here for the transgender community,” says internist Robert Goldstein, MD, Medical Director of the Transgender Health Program. Dr. Goldstein focuses the practice on the unique needs of this population and helps train primary care providers at MGH and beyond on how to provide care for LGBT patients.
The Transgender Health Program’s success is rooted in its collaborative approach to patient care. Teams of providers from every department and service – including Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Urology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry – have worked to improve their delivery of care to transgender and gender non-binary patients.
As the effort continues, MGH is working to build an expansive network of practitioners with expertise in transgender care. It is also one of several hospitals in Boston working jointly as part of the New England Gender C.A.R.E. (Collaboration, Access, Research, and Education) Consortium, dedicated to improving access to gender-affirming care throughout the region. In addition, partnerships with researchers throughout the hospital and Harvard Medical School are focused on community-based, participatory research that will further system-wide advances in transgender health.