The Living With Change Center
For transgender youth and their families, receiving the proper medical care is a fight against the clock. Medical professionals agree that the most effective treatments should begin before the onset of puberty. With so few medical professionals willing or able to specialize in this unique area, even the most able families find themselves facing long waiting lists to receive care. For families with limited resources, the outlook is even worse.
That’s why we’re committed to raise the support and capital necessary to establish the Living With Change Center in Cincinnati. In partnership with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, we want to bring more resources, more professionals, and, ultimately, better outcomes for transgender youth and their families to this vital region.
Cincinnati is a Prime Location
While there are similar institutions on the West Coast, and some large operations in New England, this leaves the Midwest and the South drastically underserved. Cincinnati represents a cultural nexus, a border city where multiple ideologies, cultures, and beliefs merge–bringing such a center to the region can enact real change while providing key resources to those in an area where, otherwise, no other help exists.
Building on Success
The Transgender Health Center at Cincinnati Children’s is renowned for holistic care for those ages 5-24, but its impact is severely limited by resources. It’s a great foundation to build from, and the need is there. By expanding on this existing structure, we can immediately serve the hundreds of families stuck on a waiting list for care, and grow the practice to help every child who needs medical assistance and more.
What We Have Accomplished Thus Far
With the Cicchinelli’s generous personal donation of $2million there have been increased resources allocated to the formerly transgender clinic at Cincinnati Children’s, and established it as a Center. Dr. Lee Ann Conard, the primary care physician for the now designated Center, is now spending over 100% of her time in care of trans patients, where previously she spent less than 24hrs a week. The center was also able to hire a trans care navigator to help patients and their families with their journey through the healthcare process. The Living With Change Center has placed a focus on fellows with an interest in LGBTQ+ health and has acquired such a fellow for the program beginning July 2019.
What is Next
While there have been great advancements at the Living with Change Center at CCHMC, further research and planning led to the conclusion that there would be an additional $1million in funding needed to complete the picture, part of which would establish a research network for transgender health topics. To close this gap Living With Change has launched a funding campaign with a goal of $500,000 that will then be matched by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Great progress was seen this past year with over $310,000 raised at the 2019 inaugural Every Journey Matters gala.
What This Means
This center will be a beacon of light for those on an otherwise dark and scary path. Imagine a scared parent, desperately searching for the right answers, or a scared child, grasping for validation. A center dedicated to transgender health would reassure all those searching that a valid resource exists for the medical needs of transgender youth. That there are doctors who are both experienced in the unique medical needs of these young people, but also willing to help in a positive, non-judgmental zone. For too many families, they’ve been turned away by traditional medical centers. This is a lifeline for those who need it most.