What Patients Want in a Transgender Center: Building a Patient-Centered Program

Helene F. Hedian, Paula M. Neira, Devin O'Brien-Coon, Joshua Schwarz, Joseph Cofrancesco, Brandyn D. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gender affirmation is standard medical care, and community input is an essential component of patient-centered care. This study shares how our organization assessed patients’ perceptions of health care organizations that provide gender-affirming care. Building on qualitative interview data, we distributed an online survey via a lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer research firm. The survey was completed by 314 transgender individuals residing in 37 U.S. states and territories. Most respondents (69%) reported negative experiences seeking health care. Patients would travel long distances for competent providers and were more willing to seek care from an institution actively working to change a formerly negative reputation. Patients described high-quality organizations as prioritizing staff training (95.5%), having inclusive policies (93.3%), and hiring expert staff (86.0%). Programs should ensure cultural competency training for all staff. They should recruit and retain providers skilled in transgender medicine, especially trans-identified providers. Patient experience and reputation in the community influence where patients seek care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-245
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Transgender
  • diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • patient-centered care
  • sexual and gender minority
  • transgender care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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