University of Iowa Hospital to open new LGBT clinic
In May we heard from Shay O'Reilly, a transgender patient who needed an appointment with an endocrinologist, but was turned away multiple times before finally being seen.
O'Reilly told us then he was concerned others in a similar situation wouldn't pursue the medical attention needed.
"Something like that, while it's unintentional, contributes to a systemic problem for transgender patients," O'Reilly told us back in May.
University of Iowa providers say O'Reilly's situation isn't necessarily unique.
They are hearing many transgender patients are facing similar barriers to care such as lack of insurance, previous negative experiences, and running into a lack of proper training among staff.
"We heard of folks that felt uncomfortable. We heard of folks that felt like they weren't being heard, or the physician didn't know what to do to take care of them properly," said Dr. Nicole Nisly, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics professor of internal medicine.
Now two University of Iowa physicians are working to provide this population, as well as lesbian, gay, and bisexual patients, better access to care- creating a first of its kind clinic at a state academic institution.
"We decided that we should create a place where people feel welcome and comfortable, and where physicians have the expertise and training to provide optimal care for the whole community," Nisly said.
The new clinic will provide LGBT patients everything from annual checkups and same day appointments to gynecological and transgender specific care.
"We want every patient to be able to come here and be treated just like any patient anywhere else is," said Katie Imborek, UIHC assistant professor of family medicine.
The new clinic opens next Tuesday in the university's brand new Iowa River Landing outpatient facility.
Clinic hours are 5 PM to 7:30 PM every Tuesday nights.
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-384-7444.
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