Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette Marks Transgender Awareness Week, Highlights Need for Inclusive, Compassionate Care

November 14-20 is Transgender Awareness Week, dedicated to educating people about the transgender community and raising awareness of the issues facing transgender and gender nonconforming people - and Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is taking this opportunity to remind everyone of the need for people of all gender identities to have access to inclusive, nonjudgmental, high-quality health care. 

"Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is proud to provide quality, compassionate health care to transgender people in Oregon and Southwest Washington," said Stacy M. Cross, President & CEO. "Our services and programs are open to people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Our goal every day is to make each person who comes through our doors feel welcome, comfortable and cared for while providing the best possible care." 

Transgender people face many barriers and challenges when accessing health care. In 2011, the "Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Discrimination Survey" of transgender and gender nonconforming people from across the United States found that: 

  • 28% of respondents were subjected to harassment in medical settings and 2% were physically assaulted in doctor's offices 
  • 19% were refused medical care, with higher numbers for people of color (21% of black trans people and 23% of Latino/a trans people were refused care due to bias) 
  • 50% had to "teach my provider" about basic transgender health 
  • 28% postponed medical care when sick or injured due to discrimination 
  • 41% postponed medical care when sick or injured due to inability to afford it 
  • * Respondents reported more than 4 times the national average of HIV infection (black trans people reported more than 7 times the national average) 

The study also showed the compounded effects of anti-transgender bias and racial bias on black and Latino/a transgender people. For example, 19% of respondents reported having no health insurance; for black transgender respondents, the number was 31%. 

"Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette believes that all people deserve high-quality, affordable health care, no matter who they are," said Austin Lea, Community Education and Outreach Coordinator. "We are committed to improving the way transgender people receive health care in our region, and our doors are open to everyone." 

Beginning in January 2016, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette will offer hormone provision services at its Northeast Portland Health Center. As part of PPCW's commitment to community engagement, staff are connecting with community members, LGBTQ-serving organizations and other healthcare providers to ensure that the services offered meet the diverse needs of the community. In January, hormone provision services will be available to people age 18 and older, with hopes of future expansion as we continue to assess community-specific needs. 

Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive healthcare provider and advocate, serving 2.7 million patients through its healthcare service providers, and 1.5 million people through education and outreach in 2013. 

Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette's 7 health centers in Oregon and Southwest Washington offer a wide variety of preventive health services, and more than 55,000 patients annually depend on PPCW for quality, affordable health care. Visit to find the health center nearest you. 

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