SARASOTA- Transgender patients beginning to transition often face discrimination and lack of access to quality care.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida is looking to fill the need. They’ve provided nearly 250 transgender patients with Hormone Replacement Therapy over the past year, and now they’re expanding those services.
“Now that we’ve gotten more experience in providing the service,” Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran said. “And we know that we have patients who need the service. We’re going to open up our transgender hormone replacement services to patients who are under 18, but who’ve gone through puberty.”
Dr. Susie Prabhakaran says minors will need the consent of a parent or guardian, and they are excited to help patients become their authentic selves.
“We know there is a need,” Dr. Prabhakaran said. “We have patients who are asking for this care, and we actually have parents of young people who are asking for this care. So, we know that there is a need out there and so we wanted to be able to provide that service.”
Dr. Prabhakaran says the need for quality transgender care is critical.
“We have patients who come to us who are grateful to access our services because they only have to drive 200 miles. So, there is definitely a need as far as being able to access care in our community, and also to be able to access care from a provider that you trust.”
A study from the National Center of Transgender Equality found 28% of transgender patients were subjected to harassment in a medical setting.
“When patients feel like they can get care in an environment that they feel safe in,” Dr. Prabhakaran said. “They get better quality care, so we’ve already got lots of experience providing care for patients in other areas where they may feel like they’re being judged by other providers so this is a natural fit for us to be able to provide this care.”
For more information on accessing these services call 941-567-3800 or go to www.myplannedparenthood.org.