POUGHKEEPSIE – Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has provided sexual and reproductive health care to underserved people for over 100 years, and Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley (PPMHV) is honored to have gender-affirming care included in our menu of services. Consistent with the rest of PPMHV’s work, offering transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary (TGNCNB) care improves quality of life, supports patients’ bodily autonomy and saves lives.
According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), the largest survey examining the experiences of transgender people in the United States that includes 27,715 respondents from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases overseas, 40% of respondents have attempted suicide in their lifetime—nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S. population (4.6%).
Since launching transgender health services in October 2016, PPMHV has proudly served 216 patients and counting. Our services include gender-affirming hormone therapy (also known as hormone replacement therapy or HRT), self-injection trainings, resources and referrals for transgender-specific medical and legal services, as well as health care services in the Mid-Hudson Valley known to be welcoming and affirming of TGNCNB communities. Helping to remove barriers for our TGNCNB patients, PPMHV also produces a transgender resource guide and of course sees transgender patients for other care as well, including well exams, contraception and STI screenings.
Ruth-Ellen Blodgett, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley stated, “Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley is committed to improving the way transgender people receive health care in our region and we proudly work together with our transgender community to lead the way in eliminating barriers to care. Providing quality, compassionate, gender-affirming care from a respectful, informed-consent model is a welcomed expansion of PPMHV’s work, and we look forward to seeing transgender health services grow into the future.”
Honored at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center’s March 16 Gala in Kingston with the Service to the Community Award, PPMHV transgender health services provider Yonah EtShalom borrowed a phrase from the disability rights movement as well as many other civil rights movements in their acceptance speech: nothing about us without us. “Anything that affects our lives, our survival, our well-being, our dignity, our thriving, our liberation, we need to be in that room, we need to be shaping how that works and what that’s going to look like. I’m grateful to get to be part of that process… as a trans person leading a trans health program.”
For over 100 years, Planned Parenthood has provided women, men, and young people with the education, information and services needed to make responsible choices about sex and reproduction. Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley conducts nearly 20,000 patient visits every year with five health centers across Dutchess, Ulster, Orange and Sullivan counties. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley is a trusted source of reliable health information for our region that allows people to make informed health decisions by treating them with compassion and respect and without judgment.