“Many people who are gender diverse don’t seek medical care because they’re afraid how they’ll be treated or had a bad experience before. As a further tragic consequence, they don’t receive preventive care and may wait to treat significant health conditions,” says Corinne Heinen, MD, a family medicine physician who sees patients at UW Medicine Primary Care at Belltown.
In fact, a report developed by the University of Washington in 2020 found that among LGBTQ+ adult participants, 76% delayed needed health care, including 63% who postponed health care even when sick. The most cited barriers were distrust of doctors, financial barriers and lack of LGBTQ+ friendly healthcare.
Enter UW Medicine’s Transgender and Gender Non-Binary Health Program, for which Heinen is the clinical director. The program’s goal is to create a safe, supportive space in which transgender and non-binary people can receive affirming, respectful care that is coordinated with all their providers across the UW Medicine system.