Dedicated LGBTQ clinic to open in Cedar Valley - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dedicated LGBTQ clinic to open in Cedar Valley

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UnityPoint Clinic will be offering health care services for the LGBTQ community in a clinic that is focused on providing a comfortable and welcoming environment for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. 

The clinic will operate out of the current UnityPoint Family Medicine Clinic on Prairie Parkway in Cedar Falls. The clinic is set to open Jan. 3rd. Patients can schedule appointments between 5-7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month. 

Services provided by the clinic will include:

Emily Ball, a nurse practitioner at the clinic, says this will be the first of its kind in the Cedar Valley. The only other LGBTQ clinic in the state is in Iowa City at the University of Iowa. 

"We just felt like we needed this local," said Ball.  "We didn't want patients to feel like they had to travel a couple of hours, several times a month initially, and a couple times of year, we wanted everyone to find those services here."

Ball says the goal is to make members members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual,  transgender and queer community feel comfortable coming to the doctor. 

"I think historically, patients have felt in heteronormative society, that they are judged, ostracized, that they feel like they have to repeat things that maybe are personal, that they don't want to repeat multiple times," said Ball. "That they just feel like they are under a microscope, and so we are trying to eliminate that, make everybody feel as comfortable as possible so we can get to the nitty-gritty of what care is needed and what that patient needs at that appropriate time."

The clinic will provide all the usual preventive health care such as primary care and routine exams, vaccinations, routine cancer screening, contraceptive management, STI testing and treatment, on-site lab and radiology. 

"But in addition to that we're also going to be offering specific LGBTQ hormone therapy, also PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) which is for high-risk population for HIV treatment and prevention,' said Ball. "Those kinds of things in addition to just your primary-care doctor visits."

Ball says hormone therapy is one of the services they will provide. 

"Some people are born with anatomical parts that don't necessarily match the way that they feel as a person," said Ball. "So certain hormones are used to masculinize and some hormones are used to feminize so that we match gender identity with the appropriate."

Providers at the clinic hope it will serve as a safe space. 

"The providers and staff who are going to be staffing the clinic, want to be here," said Ball. "They volunteered to be here, it's important to them. So I think people are going to feel that. So I think people will immediately feel welcomed when you walk through our door."

The clinic is set to open Jan. 3rd. To schedule an appointment, visit their website. 

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