Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program FAQ

What services does the Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program Adult model (age 18+) offer?

  • Medical Support: assistance connecting to a medical professional for hormones and/or ongoing primary care.  Where applicable, some clients will be referred to a clinic located at Centretown CHC for hormone starts.
  • Social Support / Practical Support: access to a Community Support Worker for assistance with I.D and name change processes; referrals and links to community based resources; social transitioning support
  • Counselling Support: access if desired by the client to a trans positive counsellor for transition support, counselling and/or therapy

Who can access the Ottawa CHC Trans Health Adult Program?


What’s the process for making a request for service/making a referral for service Adult Model (age 18+)?

  • Call the Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program Central Referral Line 613-233-4443 x 2109 to make an appointment to meet with an intake counsellor. The intake counsellor will meet with you to review the services that are offered and explore what options might work best for you. The intake is focused on exploring your transition goals, service needs and options.
  • From the intake you may be referred to:
    • The Trans Health Clinic housed at Centretown CHC for hormone starts (or another medical provider in the community if applicable)
    • A medical provider within a Community Health Centre close to where you live if you don’t currently have a family doctor
    • Connection to transition supports and/or
    • Counselling supports if desired
  • These services may be provided at the same time or they may be sequential if that is your preference. Services may also be dependent on wait times.


If I am a primary care provider (doctors/nurse practitioners) who wants to make a referral to the Trans Health Program what do I do? 

For medical providers wishing to refer new patients to the Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program please use the Program Referral Fax number 613-233-2062 and address it to Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program. It is often helpful for our program staff to have referral info from clients who have medical providers as this helps us provide affirming and collaborative care. We also prefer that client’s call the referral line in order to book an appointment with the intake counsellor. Parents, and other support people like case managers can also call to make the request for service.

Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program Referral FAX LINE: 613-233-2062

Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program Central Referral line: 613-233-4443 x 2109


Is this an informed consent model?

  • Yes. Our health professionals will get to know you, including your specific goals and health history.  Then the benefits, risks and other considerations will be discussed with you so you can make an informed decision about what is best for your health.  The Ottawa CHC Trans Health program is guided by the Sherbourne Health Centre Guidelines and Protocols for Hormone Therapy and Primary Health Care for Trans Clients 2015 and WPATH World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care v.7 2012.
  • Sherbourne Health Centre’s Guidelines and Protocols for Hormone Therapy and Primary Health Care is a collaborative, client centred process that focuses on psychosocial readiness and informed consent. The primary care provider, sometimes with the support of a multidisciplinary team when appropriate, informs, educates, guides and supports the client in the decision making process.
  • The Sherbourne Protocols is the model of care that is widely promoted by Rainbow Health Ontario’s Trans health Connection Program.
  • Sherbourne Protocols 2015
  • WPATH Standards of Care v 7. 2012


What can I expect from the Trans Health Clinic at Centretown CHC?

  • On your first appointment at the clinic you will meet with the team who will be collaborating with you on your care. This will include a doctor/nurse temporarily assigned to you and the Trans Health community support worker. Your appointment will last approximately 90 minutes.
    • During this first visit you will be provided with information on what to expect from the clinic and time to answer any questions you may have. Below are the main areas that will be discussed with your doctor:
      • Your health history
      • Your transition goals and hopes
      • Hormone Therapy (benefits and side effects)
      • Fertility
    • You will also be given a requisition for you to go to a lab and get bloodwork done before your next visit.  

Please bring any medications that you are currently taking and your immunization record (yellow card) as well as your health card to your first visit.

With your consent, the clinic will provide an update to your family physician after your first visit.

  • On your second appointment at the clinic there may be a physical exam and your doctor will review with you the results of your blood work. Hormones may be prescribed at this appointment as well as another requisition for follow up bloodwork.
  • On your third appointment at the clinic your doctor will review your follow up bloodwork and determine whether or not any other follow up appointments are necessary at the clinic. If no follow up appointments are necessary continued care for hormone maintenance and general medical care will be transferred back to your family doctor.
  • You will also have the opportunity to provide feedback via an anonymous survey.  Verbal feedback may also be shared with our clinic team as you feel comfortable.


How long does it take to get an appointment at the clinic?

  • Currently clients are able to have an intake session with a counsellor within about 2-3 weeks of calling our Central Referral line. After the intake session with a counsellor, clients seeking hormone therapy are currently being booked within 4-6 weeks in the Centretown Trans Health Clinic. Note that all wait times are subject to change depending on available resources to meet the amount of service requests.


What services does the Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program Youth Approach model (age 17 & 18) offer?

Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program Youth Approach (ages 17 & 18)

  • Youth counsellors from Centretown CHC and Carlington CHC provide Trans Health Youth Services to youth ages 17 & 18 and their families. Services include gender exploration, Hormone readiness assessment, navigation and referral to medical providers for hormone therapy, and transition support.
  • A youth approach recognizes that gender transition occurs in the context of other significant changes in a young person’s life such as changes in family, education, and social life. Trans Health Youth Services may include the involvement of family members, and significant members of the young person’s support network or community in order to support the young person to reach their gender transition goals.
  • Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program Central Referral line: 613-233-4443 x 2109


Who can access the Ottawa CHC Trans Health Youth Approach Program?

  • Anyone age 17 and 18 and their parents/caregivers who live in the Champlain LHIN
  • Champlain Local Health Integration Network


Who comes to the Intake session for Youth Approach Services (age 17 & 18)?

  • Intake sessions for the Youth Approach Model can involve the youth in addition to a parent(s), other family members or other support people at the invitation of the youth. Our youth counsellors prefer to meet the youth with parents/ support people as we hope to work together to support the transition goals. However, we also understand this is not always possible to have a parent/support person at the intake session. These intakes sessions are usually 90 minutes in length.


Why are 18 year olds listed in both the Adult Model and Youth Approach Model?

  • We offer 18 year olds seeking service the choice of the Adult model or the Youth approach model.


Where can youth age 16 and their families receive trans health services?

  • Services for teens age 16 and younger, and their families, who are seeking support for medical transition can access services at CHEO’s Gender Diversity Clinic. CHEO’S Gender Diversity Clinic is a partnership between CHEO Adolescent health and CHEO Endocrinology. Requests for services can be made through Adolescent Health 613-737-7600 x 3664. In addition, Seb the Adolescent Health Program Social Worker can provide info on on a support group for trans/gender creative youth ages 13-18, and a support group for parents of gender creative youth and trans youth. Seb at CHEO 613-737-7600 x 3844.


Who are the health professionals that are part of the Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program?

The Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program is a small collaborative interdisciplinary team comprised of a community support worker, masters level social workers and psychotherapists, registered nurses and nurse practitioners and medical doctors.


What centres are involved in the Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program?

Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program is a joint program led by Centretown CHC involving 5 other local CHCs: Carlington CHC, Sandy Hill CHC, Somerset West CHC, South East Ottawa CHC, Pinecrest-Queensway CHC and their respective satellite clinics. The primary goal of the Ottawa CHC Trans Health Program is to provide gender affirming support to trans and gender variant people seeking services related to social, medical and legal/document transition.

Centretown CHC is the Central Referral and Intake hub, Service Navigation hub and offers a Trans Health Clinic.  All CHC’s offer primary care.  Counselling staff from Centretown CHC, Carlington CHC, and Somerset West CHC provide Central Referral and Intake Services, transition support and counselling services.