MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Planned Parenthood of Michigan (PPMI) announced it has begun providing gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) for patients 18 years and older at health centers in Marquette and Lansing. Therapy options include prescriptions for testosterone, estrogen, or testosterone blockers, which PPMI says is critical and affirming health service that can reduce gender dysphoria and enhance a patient’s quality of life. 

The therapy is planned to expand to PPMI’s health centers across Michigan by the end of the year. PPMI provided the following statement about how it will provide the hormone therapy:

PPMI is committed to providing an inclusive patient experience that acknowledges the full spectrum of gender identities and is free of unnecessary barriers to care. To achieve this, PPMI upgraded electronic medical records to accurately capture patient identities and pronouns, trained staff on gender-inclusive care, and hired a gender-affirming care navigator. To remove unnecessary barriers, providers will follow an informed consent model for hormone therapy. Patients will not be required to see a therapist or obtain an outside referral. Instead, patients will discuss the risks and benefits of hormone therapy with a PPMI clinician and determine the appropriate course of care.

“Planned Parenthood of Michigan has provided high quality sexual and reproductive health care to transgender and nonbinary Michiganders for decades,” said Dr. Halley Crissman, Director of Gender Affirming Care at Planned Parenthood of Michigan. “Expanding our services to include gender-affirming hormone therapy will allow us to better meet the needs of our patients and communities. As transgender patients face mounting political attacks, it is more important than ever that Planned Parenthood of Michigan breaks down barriers to care and reaffirms our commitment to the health and rights of transgender Michiganders.” 

PPMI says it has has established a statewide community advisory board comprised of 19 transgender and nonbinary community members and allies as part of its goal to make the program patient and community-centered. The board serve as community experts and ambassadors with the goal of making PPMI’s services inclusive, accessible, and responsive to the needs of transgender and nonbinary Michiganders.

“Gender-affirming care saved my life, but it’s not accessible in many rural communities. I feel honored to be a part of an initiative that is making GAHT available to people in isolated areas like the Upper Peninsula,” said Rainbow, a  PPMI Community Advisory Board Member. “I was very impressed by how standardized and clear everything was at the launch in Marquette. When an individual is seeking GAHT, experiences can vary widely between medical providers because the wider medical world is rife with misconceptions about GAHT. It was uplifting to see that Planned Parenthood is giving people a clearer path forward to GAHT, and training their clinicians to understand and respect people’s journeys.”

Prospective patients can make an appointment to discuss gender-affirming hormone therapy at PPMI’s Lansing or Marquette health center by calling 1-800-230-7526. PPMI says it plans to add online scheduling options in the coming weeks. You can learn more about the program here.