Wichita Planned Parenthood to offer transgender services

Welcome desk at the Wichita Planned Parenthood. Photo provided.

by Kara Kliewer
Staff Writer

For trans individuals living in Kansas, having access to supportive services will become even easier starting September 1.

“Not only do we provide normal checkups and STD testing for all communities, we also provide specific trans treatments,” according to Kristin Metcalf-Wilson an Assistant Vice President of Health Services and Lead Clinician with Planned Parenthood Great Plains [PPGP].

“These include: hormone therapy, follow up labs to monitor hormone therapy, adjusting therapy to meet goals in transition, references to other providers who can supplement treatment [surgery, etc.] and mental health and community support in letting trans individuals know about supportive organizations.”

Wichita PPPG expands services; here is a map including all states in the PPGP area.

Expanding care to accommodate individuals with various needs has been a priority of PPGP. They currently provided trans services in Little Rock & Fayetteville, Ark.; Tulsa & Oklahoma City, Okla; Colombia Mo. and at their office in north Kansas City, Mo.

For all seeking trans services, PPGP seeks to be a provider that is as accommodating and non-judgmental as possible.

“Services are available to anyone. We also work with insurance, on a sliding scale – and these are resources for an entire community,” Mary Jones, Affordable Care Act Navigator said in a previous statement about existing trans services with PPGP.

“When we roll out services like this, we are reaching out to local LGBT+ organizations to let them know [about services] and get feedback on what the community might need,” said Metcalf-Wilson. “We are a transgender safe-place with bathrooms that aren’t sex identity oriented. We just really want people in the LGBT+ community to feel safe.”

Across existing clinics in the PPGP domain, positive outcomes are being seen.

“Our Missouri clinic has seen a real uptick,” said Metcalf-Wilson. “We have been providing service there for about 18 months, and the community has really embraced us. In our north Kansas City clinic, we’ve had individuals driving from Topeka.”

Last year at Tulsa’s Planned Parenthood clinic, Lily Pina, an Advanced Practice Nurse, shared about one transgender patient’s experience with the trans treatment she received.

“She visited Planned Parenthood of the Heartland [Tulsa] during that time, confused and uncertain of how to continue her life,” said Pina. ‘What was the point now? Is it too late for me?’ she [the patient] asked. As she continued her visits and made the bold and difficult decision to live as her true self, we at Planned Parenthood were able to experience her transformation into whom she really had been all along.”

In addition to transgender care, some of their other services include Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) therapy.

“Planned Parenthood is a unique provider for this service [trans services] because of our role that we play in the community with sexual affirming care,” said Metcalf-Wilson. “We are a non-judgmental environment. We are open and safe to all communities and our clinicians are trained accordingly to do that. We’ve gotten such good feedback from local organizations. We are really excited to service a new community.”

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – September 1, 2017 @ 11:55 a.m. CDT.