This partnership is part of Missouri Foundation for Health’s commitment to eliminating the underlying causes of inequities within all aspects of health.
St. Louis, MO — Today, Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLR) announced TRANSforming Community TRANSforming Care, a more than $3 million program that will expand health care services, conduct trauma informed research, and build a sex education curriculum tailored toward the transgender community. This multi-million dollar investment is Missouri’s first trans health care partnership of-its-kind aimed at expanding access to care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. It will be designed for and by the trans and non-binary community. PPSLR intends to expand its gender affirming care to all of its health centers in St. Louis, Springfield and Joplin.
Institutional discrimination and inflammatory political rhetoric against trans people have contributed to gaps in health care access and data that could help improve trans care. MTUG and PPSLR will build a community driven research and health care delivery model that centers trans and non-binary people with a focus on creating inclusive and safe spaces for patients to access care, share experiences, and provide feedback. TRANSforming Community TRANSforming Care will also break ground on a telehealth space at MTUG’s headquarters for individuals who don’t have access to technology that allows them to utilize telehealth services.
Sayer Johnson, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Metro Trans Umbrella Group:
“This is a groundbreaking health care model that eliminates discriminatory barriers in our health care system that make it harder for transgender individuals to access the essential care they need. Every person, no matter their gender identity, deserves to feel empowered to take control of their bodies. This is our path to liberation, our opportunity to live joyful, authentic lives. We are hopeful this is just the beginning of setting a new global standard for trans care.”
Dr. Colleen McNicholas, Chief Medical Officer, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri:
“Planned Parenthood is committed to ensuring every person is the expert of their own life and that starts with having a trusted, competent health care home. The reality is, more often than not, that is a privilege that isn’t afforded to every person in the transgender community. This new partnership with MTUG is only the beginning of our work to address health care gaps unique to trans patients.”
Bob Hughes, president and CEO, Missouri Foundation for Health:
“We envision a Missouri in which systems and structures promote health and well-being for all and every Missourian has access to high-quality care. This project, as part of the foundation’s Opportunity Fund program, is aligned brilliantly with the goals of the program, in which we seek to disrupt the state-specific circumstances that allow inequities to exist.”
In 2015, the National Center for Transgender Equality released a national survey, with more than 27,700 respondents from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases overseas. The survey reveals disturbing patterns of mistreatment and discrimination and startling disparities when it comes to the most basic elements of life, such as employment, housing, and access to medical care. According to a recent study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, transgender adults are more likely to be uninsured. Nearly one in five transgender adults experience cost-related barriers to health care.
The TRANSforming Community TRANSforming Care will kick off with a trans solidarity campaign on Transgender Visibility Day on March 31. Ahead of the observance, Missourians can pick up yard signs and other swag to support this new push for health care equity in the state. A list of pickup locations will be released on March 27.
Those interested in hormone therapy and transgender care services can learn more at www.ppslr.org/transgendercare. Appointments can be made online or by phone at 314-531-7526. Both in-person and telehealth appointments are available.
Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri has provided high-quality, supportive health care in the region since 1932. They are the area leaders in sexual and reproductive health care, providing contraception, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, education and more to tens of thousands of people each year. Make an appointment by phone at 314-531-7526 or online at www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center.