Trans Health Connection is a project whose goal is to increase the capacity of Ontario’s primary health care system to provide high-quality, comprehensive care to trans communities through training, education, mentorship, resources, and networking.
Trans and gender-diverse people in Ontario are frequently denied health care, or are treated with disrespect within health care settings. Primary health care, such as hormone treatment, is not currently a part of the standard medical education curriculum, and many clinicians have never seen (or believe they have never seen) gender-diverse people in their practice. Trans and gender-diverse people are continually referred “elsewhere”- even when their health needs are routine.
There is currently strong and diverse leadership for gender-diverse folks in communities across the province that THC supports through mentorship and networking. At the same time, many regions of the province still lack services, and THC is working to improve that through training, education, relationship building and connecting with local gender-diverse communities.
Everyone has a right to basic health care close to home and Trans Health Connection is working to make this a reality.
Changes to Referral Process for Gender Confirming Surgeries in Ontario
As of March 1st, 2016, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) has changed the funding criteria for gender confirming surgeries by allowing qualified providers throughout the province to refer clients for surgeries.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s website outlines these changes.
The Ministry also released an information bulletin for providers.
There is a specific medical form that providers are being asked to use with this new referral system.
The OHIP Schedule of Benefits outlines fees for providers.
RHO is developing a new training module for providers that will cover the new referral system. We are currently recruiting for an additional Education & Training Coordinator to assist with curriculum development and delivery.
We are working with providers across the province on the implementation of the new referral process and will share information as it becomes available.
About Our Training
Our comprehensive training is comprised of five day-long modules that cover fundamental aspects of general care and transition care for trans communities:
Introduction to Gender Diversity
– for all members of health or social service organizations
This session looks at language, terminology, and definitions. It focuses on some of the social determinants of health for trans and gender-diverse communities, how to recognize and address barriers to care, and how to work towards providing a welcoming and respectful environment for gender-diverse clients accessing general health care services. This session is delivered by community facilitators.
Providing Transition-Related Medical Care – for medical doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and students working toward these credentials
This session focuses on providing holistic community-based transition-related services to trans and gender-diverse clients. It aims to guide participants through assessment, monitoring, and follow-up for hormone therapy.
Pre and Post-Operative Care – Supporting Clients Through Surgical Referrals – for medical doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, psychologists and students working toward these credentials
This module is currently being revamped to reflect the new regulations around surgical referral in Ontario. We will share updates as they become available.
Providing Counselling and Support to Clients who are Transitioning – mental health counselors, social workers, support group leaders and students working towards these credentials
This session focuses on the role of counsellors as advocates for the needs and rights of gender-diverse folks seeking their services, and focuses on standards of care in counselling, advocating for gender-diverse clients, providing affirming counselling to individuals, couples, and families, assisting clients with documents, forms, and navigating systems barriers, and designing and facilitating a support group for gender-diverse clients.
This session can also be delivered with an explicit youth focus.
What Counsellors Need to Know About Hormone Therapy and Surgeries
This training is for mental health counsellors, therapists, social workers, and students working towards these professions who have attended our introductory module or have a good foundation knowledge of gender identity and social determinants of health.
- New and emerging best practices for binary and non-binary clients’ medical transition
- Masculinising and feminising hormone therapies
- Surgeries: accessing OHIP coverage, pre & post-op care, and mental health
- Providing support to binary and non-binary people undergoing medical transition
Weekly Mentorship Calls – Wednesdays 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
This is an opportunity for professional service providers across the province to call in by telephone and connect with clinicians with experience working with gender-diverse clients. The mentorship program is open to any professional (physician, nurse, social worker, mental health worker, etc) who is already working with gender-diverse clients or who is intending to do so. Providers are invited to build knowledge, ask questions, and share experiences. The topics discussed range from specific case-based questions to more general social or ethical issues. By sharing their learning, practitioners are also creating a community of practice and establishing valuable professional networks.
July 13th call topic will be “Working with Partners of Trans and Gender-Diverse Folks”
If you are interested in participating in the mentorship program, please fill out the registration form below.