Gender Affirming Healthcare - Assessment and Support
The University Health Center (UHC) operates on an Informed Consent Model for Gender Affirming Hormone care, also known as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). We use a multidisciplinary approach to provide comprehensive care to enhance the safety, success, and satisfaction for our patients.This requires all patients to take part in our three-step process which is designed to provide you with the best care and to help you meet your needs and goals during this process.
Navigating Your Health & Wellness
A Guide for Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender Non-Conforming TerpsClick here to download
When scheduling your appointments, please make sure that the staff member is aware that this is an appointment associated with hormone initiation or management. This will ensure that you get the right appointment time with the right person! Please see below for more information about our 3 step process:
Gender Affirming Care Three-Step Process
Step 1: Schedule an appointment with Behavioral Health Services
Schedule an appointment with Behavioral Health Services by calling 301.314.8106.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Guidelines suggest that patients seeking hormones participate in a hormone readiness assessment. At the UHC we use an intake appointment with a behavioral health provider to allow you to:
- Discuss your personal gender journey
- Confirm your gender dysphoria or gender non-conforming diagnosis
- Help us to understand how ready you feel to start hormones
- Identify any co-existing mental health concerns that we might help you with on site or through referral to a community mental health provider
The intention of this assessment is not to gate-keep or determine if you are “trans enough” to take hormones, but allows us to begin to get to know you and help direct you to next steps in the process.
** If you already have a community based behavioral health or hormone care provider, you should plan to bring your provider's name and contact information to this visit. Students transferring existing hormone care to the Health Center should also contact Penny Jacobs through the MyUHC portal so that medical records transfer can be initiated. Go to “Messages” → “New Message” → “Message your Medical Provider” →”Select Recipient” → search for Jacobs, Penny.
Step 2: Schedule your free Informed Consent & Navigating Services and Care Consultation
Schedule your free Informed Consent & Navigating Services and Care Consultation by calling 301-314-8184 (Select 1 for appointments, not 8 for Health Promotion and Wellness Services)
This appointment is an informal conversation that’s intended to provide you with information and support resources. Students who feel connected, informed, and supported tend to have more successful transitions and report better outcomes. This meeting is also an opportunity for students to ask specific questions about the HRT process at UHC, review informed consent documents, discuss insurance or privacy concerns, and explore campus and community resources relevant to individual needs. Students are referred to the medical appointment after this meeting.
Step 3: Schedule a Medical Appointment
Schedule a medical appointment. Contact Penny Jacobs at (301) 314-8190 or contact her through a secure message on the MyUHC portal.
The initial appointment will include a basic assessment, a detailed medical history, goal setting, and bloodwork.
Depending on medical clearance, patients typically initiate hormones within three visits. A patient is not required to have a physical at their first appointment but will be required to have one within the first three visits. Your medical provider will discuss your personalized plan to assist you in meeting your goals and needs in a safe manner.
You will also meet with a nurse at least three times for injection education appointments. Patients receive their first hormone injection at their first nurse visit. After at least three visits, the nurse is available as needed to provide injection education and support.
Additional Resources and Information
Free Complementary Nutrition Coaching Services *optional service*
Make a Nutrition appointment. Email NutritionCoach@umd.edu to schedule an appointment
While it is not required, the Peer Nutrition Coaching service at UHC is a free and complementary service to support HRT-related care. This service includes three sessions with your own personal nutrition coach. The goals of nutrition coaching are to ensure you are nourishing your body with all the nutrients and energy it needs to optimize hormone therapy and reduce the metabolic side effects.
The UHC and the Peer Nutrition Coaches are here to guide and support you through transition and beyond whether your hormone provider is here at the UHC or is a private medical provider. This is a free and confidential service.
We are proud that Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) benefits include coverage for gender confirmation procedures and/or treatments. See our Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) for details. The University of Maryland Health Center is able to provide hormone therapy, but is not a surgical medical facility. If you are seeking a surgical facility, please speak with your medical provider or insurance company for referrals. We know that insurance information can be confusing.
For general SHIP insurance questions, please call our business office (301) 314-8165. The gender affirming care team can also provide community referrals for various gender affirming care services.