Minneapolis clinic to expand access to ND for transgender healthcare

Submitted Photo The Minneapolis-based Family Tree Clinic is planning an outreach program to regional healthcare providers to educate and expand the availability of gender affirming healthcare.

A Minneapolis-based clinic is seeking to address healthcare disparities for transgender patients in North Dakota. In partnership with the Bush Foundation, the Family Tree Clinic is in the initial stages of establishing lines of education and support for healthcare providers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota to increase accessibility for affirming healthcare and treatment in the state.

Family Tree decided to address disparities created by distance and lack of access after working with a patient from Duluth, Minnesota. Debra deNoyelles, director of Advancement, said the goal of the outreach program is to bridge the gap in knowledge and training for local providers, sparing patients from the long distances to find out of state providers.

“Our hope is that providers who are looking for support networks to care for all of their patients, including gender-expansive and trans patients, would be interested in participating.” deNoyelles said.

The clinic cited a recent U.S. Trans Survey release that indicated 50% of respondents reported having to educate their provider themselves about their desired care, with 19% of the responders said they were denied care in a medical facility. A further 28% of those who responded claim they were discriminated against by having their treatment delayed or avoided when they were sick or injured. Annie Van Avery, executive director of the Family Tree Clinic, believes that the reduction of health disparities will improve the overall health of individuals, families, and communities.

“The need is there; what has been missing are the resources and training to provide care.” said Van Avery, “The ability to provide patient-centered, gender affirming healthcare exists in all communities including and perhaps even more acutely in conservative and rural areas.”

Any providers electing to partner with the Family Tree Clinic will be listed on their website, but as of now, they are still signing up providers. Spokespersons for Family Tree Clinic indicated that potential patients should follow the clinic’s social media for updates as they are still getting off the ground. The clinic representatives did not address The Minot Daily News’ inquiry regarding potential education for pediatric patients, while noting that what care is made available is entirely up to the providers they will partner with.

“We are eager to be supportive partners in expanding care in ways that make sense for each provider.”” DeNoyelles said, “The providers themselves will determine what services are available in their own healthcare facilities.”

In the meantime, patients can utilize telemedicine through the Minesota-based MNLGTQ HealthHub to get linked up with clinics providing such gender affirming healthcare and hormone treatments.


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