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TRANS HEALTH

Please Note: The Trans Health Clinic is making improvements to our referral system.  For this reason we are closed to new referrals at the moment.  Please check back for an update of when we will reopen for referrals.  Please see below for other service options.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Trans Health Program supports trans and gender diverse folks ages 17 and up who are residents of Ottawa and the Champlain Region.  We work from a gender-affirming and informed consent approach which meets the standards in the Sherbourne Health Guideline for Gender-Affirming Primary Care.  

 

**We are unable to provide services to Quebec residents or individuals with RAMQ**

The Gender Affirmative services we offer include:
 

  • Hormone Starts

  • Surgery referrals

  • Counselling

  • Gender Journeys (peer support groups)

Make a Referral
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SERVICES OVERVIEW

Please note that the video were filmed before Covid-19. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have adapted our services to social distancing rules.

OUR CLINIC

FAQs

Hormone Starts:

Our clinic offers feminizing and masculinizing hormone starts. We tailor this service to your needs and transition goals. Our providers will explain the effects of hormones and work with you as you chose which medication is right for you. The clinic will also connect with your family doctor and give them information they need to continue prescribing hormones once you leave our clinic.

Surgery Referral Supports:

 

In order to be approved by OHIP for funded gender-affirming surgeries, you will need a surgery assessment from one or two health professionals depending on the surgery. We will ask you about your gender history, your health, and social circumstances. We will then explain to you in detail what the surgery entails and the aftercare process.

Counselling:

 

The counsellors can assist with gender exploration, managing gender dysphoria, and offer transition support. You may want your partner(s) and/or family to join you during appointments. Our counsellors have experience supporting diverse trans and non-binary people of various lived experiences. They understand the unique challenges faced by these diverse clients.

 

CCHC also offers same day single session LGBT2SQ+ counselling on Wednesdays from 12pm-8pm.

 

These appointments can be accessed by calling 613-233-4443 ext. 2109 or lgbt2sqwednesday@centretownchc.org.

Gender Journeys Support Group:

The Gender Journeys group is ideal for those in the early stages of gender transitions ages 17+.  This group is ideal for those who would appreciate a group context in which to learn about and discuss gender, transition options, and well-being.  You do not have to be on hormones to participate - it is open for those who are on hormones, pre hormones, or don't want them at all.

If you would like to register for an upcoming group, please send an e-mail with your interest to: transhealth@centretownchc.org.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Who does Centretown Community Health Centre serve?
    Centretown Community Health Centre provides a full range of health and social services to individuals and families who live in Centretown, the Glebe and Old Ottawa South. CCHC is committed to the health and well-being of all people within the communities it serves and pays particular attention to people who face barriers in attaining their full health potential, including: women; 2SLGBTQI+ people; people living with mental health challenges; people dealing with addiction; people who are homeless; frail and isolated seniors; families with low income; racialized people; francophones; First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people and newcomers to Canada. The Centre also offers services to all residents of the broader Ottawa region such as counselling for 2SLGBTQI+ youth, addiction services for older adults, chronic disease management for people with diabetes, screening for chronic conditions, as well as a food security program. In addition, the Centre offers trans health services to the trans and gender diverse communities and chiropody services to people with diabetes for those living in the Champlain region.
  • What type of Board is the CCHC Board?
    The CCHC Board provides leadership and operates on a policy and strategic level rather than from an operational or management focus. The Board creates the vision and mission of the Centre, sets strategic directions and ensures that the goals of the organization are met. The Board is made up of twelve (12) volunteer community members and two (2) staff representatives. Community board members must be members of CCHC.
  • What language is used at Board meetings?
    CCHC is a French language designated agency, and as such ensures that formal communications with the public are in both official languages. Since the working language of the Centre is English, the Board of Directors conducts its business in English, though members are free to ask questions in either official language. Answers will be provided in the language of the question.
  • How often does the Board meet?
    The Board meets monthly from September to June. Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month, except December and June, when the meetings are held on the second Tuesday of those months. There is also an annual general meeting held in June, on a date after the regular June board meeting, as well as a board orientation meeting held in August or September.
  • How much time is required to be a Board Member?
    The monthly meetings run two to three hours. The annual general meeting is typically two hours. Documents for the meetings are available for board members one week in advance of each board meeting. Preparation for each meeting may take a few hours. Board members are expected to serve on at least one of the action teams/committees. These teams typically meet once each month, up to eight times each year. A board member can expect to commit between six to ten hours each month, for events, meetings and preparation.
  • How long is a Board Member's term?
    A board member is elected for a two-year term at an annual general meeting, by CCHC’s members. An individual may serve up to three, two-year terms, after which they are not eligible to serve on the board again for one year. Occasionally, a board member may be appointed by the Board if there is an unexpected vacancy. These terms are always less than two years.
  • What happens if a Board Member misses a meeting?
    If a member is unable to attend a meeting, it is expected they will inform both the Executive Coordinator and the Board Chair as soon as possible. The board can also facilitate a conference call or other forms of virtual access in order to include members who are unable to attend in person. In this current state of a pandemic, board meetings are held virtually until further notice.
  • What are action teams and committees of the Board?
    The Board has a number of action teams, as well as an executive committee. The executive committee meets eight times each year, and is comprised of the Board’s Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. There are three standing Board action teams: the Board Development Action Team (BDAT), the Advocacy and Communications Action Team (ACAT), and the Quality Improvement Action Team (QIAT). Occasionally, ad-hoc action teams may be created by the Board for specific goals. The board’s action teams are comprised of board members, staff, and community members with experience and knowledge related to the purpose of the action team.
  • How do board members receive board information and communications?
    CCHC uses an online portal for its board members. Board members can log into the portal from most devices with an internet connection. The portal provides access to the Board’s meeting agendas and packages, governance and policy documents, financial reports, action team documents, meeting minutes, as well as information about CCHC’s programs, accreditations, and strategic direction. Board packages can be made available in paper format upon request. Most of the communications between the Board and the Executive Coordinator are done via email.
  • Do the board members and the CCHC staff work together, or socialize?
    There are always two staff representatives serving on the Board as non-voting members, bringing with them the voice of the staff. As well, the executive director attends each board meeting. In addition to this however, there are many CCHC staff events throughout the year that board members may attend. Staff members are invited to attend regular board meetings to share initiatives and programs that are of strategic interest to the Board. Also, board members are invited from time to time to volunteer on staff committees such as the Health Equity Action Team and the Rainbow Team.
  • What are the benefits of serving on the Board of Directors?
    In addition to lending your time to support CCHC to meet its vision of healthy, caring, inclusive communities, serving on the Board provides many opportunities for professional and personal development through various workshops, seminars and training opportunities. It also provides networking opportunities through health and social services conferences. And of course, there is the pride one can take in knowing the volunteer efforts that are being made are providing tangible benefits to the community!
  • How do I apply to serve on the Board?
    If you are interested in running for a position on the CCHC Board, complete the online application. You will also have to complete a membership application before the AGM, if you are not already a member. If you have any questions, feel free to call CCHC at 613-233-4443 and ask to speak with Frederic at ext.2496.
  • I don’t have a primary care provider (family doctor or nurse practitioner), can I still be seen by the Trans Health Program?
    Yes. You can be seen by the Trans Health Program even if you don’t have a primary care provider. We will work with you to find a doctor who can continue to prescribe hormones.
  • Do I have to tell my family doctor that I am transitioning?
    Transition has an effect on your health needs, so it would be good for your family doctor to know. The Trans Health Program team can help you talk about your transition with your doctor and help them prepare for your follow up care. Keeping that in mind, you have a right to choose what information is shared.
  • How long will it take before I get hormones?
    Wait times in our clinic vary. During your intake appointment, the Community Support Worker can give you an idea of how long the wait times are. At any point, you can also contact them to get an update.
  • What is informed consent?
    In an informed consent model, you get to make decisions about your treatment. Your provider’s responsibility is to make sure you know what to expect from hormone therapy including physical and emotional changes, side effects and potential risks. The provider will guide you in this discussion by asking you about your health and transition goals and explaining any risks.
  • Will my answers to questions affect my access to hormones or surgeries?
    There are no wrong answers! Our team will ask you a lot of questions. They need to get to know you in order to offer you the highest possible quality care and give you the information you need to make an informed choice. Your answers will not impact access to our services.
  • Will I be denied access to hormones if I have certain health conditions or mental health issues?
    Your provider needs to know about any health conditions or mental health issues you face. This will help them put together the best possible care plan for you. Your health history may affect which medications will be used. It can also help identify risks associated with taking certain medications. In some cases, a provider might refer you to a specialist or ask for further tests in order to assess any potential risks. Only in very rare cases will a provider refuse to prescribe you hormones. For example, if you have a life-threatening allergy to a medication.
  • How much do hormones cost and are they covered by health insurance?
    The cost of hormones depends on the specific medication being prescribed. The cost of feminizing hormones starts at approximately $40/month. The cost for masculinizing hormones starts at approximately $10-15/month. Many medications are covered by health insurance including Ontario Disability Benefits and OHIP+ (some may require a special form to be filled out). More information about cost can be found in the following document https://www.rainbowhealthontario.ca/TransHealthGuide/pdf/rho_transprimarycare_quickreferenceguide.pdf
  • Why Do They Ask About…?
    Gender Identity and expression Questions about how you identify and express your gender help us understand your transition goals. Your provider needs to know about your gender to provide appropriate care. Possible Questions: How would you describe your gender identity?How would you change your appearance if you could? Sexuality and reproductive health Hormones can have an effect on fertility. It is important for you to be aware of these effects. It is also important to know how to continue to practice safe sex as you move forward with your transition. Possible Questions: Is there a possibility that you could get, or any of your partners could get you, pregnant? If so, would you like to access birth control?Have you heard about hormone therapy’s effect on fertility? Expectations and transition goals In the informed consent process, the provider has a responsibility to inform you about reasonable expectations hormone therapy and surgeries will have on your body. Your transition goals will also help determine which medications and surgeries are most appropriate for you. Possible Questions: What changes are you most looking forward to? Are there any potential changes you are not sure about?Are there any potential side effects that you are concerned about? Mental Health Many individuals struggle with their mental health for a wide range of reasons. You do not need to have perfect mental health to access hormones and/or surgeries. Many of our clients benefit from some support during their transition. You can access counsellors at no cost at Centretown either through an appointment or during our walk-in hours. Possible question: How would you describe your mental health?Have you ever thought about seeking support for your mental well being?Have you had any suicide ideations recently or in the past? Substance Use If you smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs, your risks for adverse events on hormone therapy or for surgeries might be different. For example, smoking cigarettes may increase the risk of side effects from hormone therapy. For this reason, your provider is going to ask questions about your substance use and will give you all the information you need to make the right decisions for yourself. Possible questions: Do you smoke cigarettes?How many alcoholic drinks do you consume in an average week? Family/Social Support Transitioning can be hard on social relationships and it can be difficult for trans people themselves. These questions are asked to ensure that you have thought about the potential impacts and have a plan in place – and to let you know about some of the services and supports that are available to you! Potential questions: Are you connected to other trans people?Do the people in your life know you are trans? Are they supportive?Housing Some individuals have experienced the loss of housing during the process of transition. Your provider wants to make sure that you have a plan if you’re facing this risk. If you are accessing surgeries, it is important that you have a clean stable place to recover. The Community Support Worker may have suggestions to help you navigate resources. Possible question: Do you think that your medical transition will impact your housing? Social/Legal Transition The aim of these questions is to ensure that you have adequate supports in place. Providers and Community Support Workers can help develop strategies to deal with transitioning in school or the workplace. These questions can also start a conversation about the documents required for legal transition (i.e. changing your ID). Potential questions: Do you know how you are going to pay for hormones?How do you think your transition will impact your work/school?
Trans Health FAQ
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