February 3rd, 2020

This email contains the minutes of our January all-members meeting and other news.

Program Updates

We’re so happy to see Trans Community Health (TCH) is open to new intakes. Refer clients who are eligible for services at TCH by sending an email to the clinic coordinator through the SHN contact form.

Dr. Clarke reports that her practice at Stonechurch Family Health Centre is currently full. A real challenge (but no surprise) for the coalition’s email response team, as Dr. Clarke has accommodated many folk who have otherwise struggled to find a gender-affirming family physician.

A number of our members responded to the call for providing support at the Trans ID Clinic to facilitate the necessary paperwork for participants who otherwise can’t get the necessary letters of support. Talks about that additional service are ongoing, with Dr. Bodkin sharing her involvement with the SHN ODSP clinics (utilizing residents to facilitate applications) as a great model for combining medical education and access to service. The next dates for the Trans ID clinic are March 11th and 21st.

The 2SLGBTQ+ Intergenerational Kitchen at Compass Community Health happens monthly. The next is Feb 24th, 4pm to 7pm. This event is billed as “Cooking & community for all ages.”

Compass is also starting a Trans Movement Series, with mindfulness, movement, and goal-setting for ages 18+. Starts February 20th and is a 4 week program.

Kyle at Compass is producing a calendar of events and groups for the 2SQT community in Hamilton, which is fantastic. Thank you Kyle!

Trans/Formations at Youth Wellness Centre (YWC) is up and running, with a one month waiting list. Open to ages 17 to 25, and especially suited to those also needing mental health supports in addition to gender-affirming care (HRT, assessments for surgery, letters for name change, functional aspects of transition) and support like a family educator to answer parents’ questions. A first endo clinic has run and will be an ongoing offer. Naomi is a Nurse Practitioner through Shelter Health Network offering a clinic one afternoon a week. Click here to learn more about the process of referring to YWC as a health care provider, and share the PDF poster with Dr. Hatchard’s contact info (here).

Youth Wellness Centre has a small supply of gear (gaffs, binders) that are available for free to youth accessing their services, and also offer access to an empowerment fund, $250 per youth.

YWC is hiring a trans youth mentor, and invites members to recommend candidates who identify as trans and are trained or have experience in peer support and mental health. Send CVs to Lisa, email info@hamiltontranshealth.ca if you require her contact details. (Apologies if this information is no longer current, it was the case at Jan 15th.)

Marijke shared Hamilton Family Health Team‘s initiative to survey its providers’ comfort level with providing gender-affirming care, and will be planning support and education opportunities to meet the needs. HFHT has graciously offered space to host some Rainbow Health Ontario training in the fall in partnership with the coalition, possibly including RHO’s new session on hormone blockers. More details to come.

Thank you to the coalition members who have responded to the call for participants in the pilot of the coalition’s 4-week blended course on providing gender-affirming care. A report back on the course details and the outcomes of the pilot will be presented to the March coalition meeting.

Keep an eye on your email and social media accounts tomorrow: the launch of the Trans Pap 101 video coincides with International World Cancer Day. The video was produced by the LGBTQ+ Interest Group at McMaster University’s Medical School, staff physicians from McMaster’s Departments of Family Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology, and members of the coalition. Adrian and Allison will be presenting it at the RHO conference in April following tomorrow’s launch.

Coalition member Mela now offers coaching and personal development programs focused on sex, relationships and gender through Inland Island. Their practice specializes in queer, trans, and two-spirit communities. More details online.

YouthLine provides outreach materials describing its programs, and contacted the coalition to remind us of the process of ordering them. On the YouthLine website under the tab Our Programs click on Request Outreach Materials. Complete the request form. There is no cap on how often materials are requested. YouthLine also maintains a referral database, is your organization listed?

Qmmunity Binbrook (QB) contacted the coalition through Facebook to request help disseminating a survey for adults to assist QB to develop and prioritize its programming. A survey targeted to youth is also posted on the QB Facebook page.

Visit the Hamilton Trans Health Coalition and other coalition member organizations at the McMaster Department of Psychiatry’s LGBTQ+ Resource Fair on Wed Feb 5 at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, West 5th Campus. 8:30am to 11am, with a break for grand rounds at 10am-10:30am. If you’d like to join the coalition’s volunteer outreach team and learn the ropes at this event, contact info@hamiltontranshealth.ca.

Thank you, Doctors

We spend a great deal of time talking about getting new folk looking for primary care into already-busy practices. To our very-busy doctor members we’d like to say: thank you for the work you do to provide gender-affirming care. You offer care in your own practice, you participate in this coalition to advocate for quality care across the community, and you mentor family physicians — new and established — as they start to incorporate gender-affirming care into the primary care they provide.

As we discussed at the January meeting, we know many of our members don’t have room to bring on new patients and are at the coalition table to deliver the best care to the patients they have. We gratefully acknowledge that and we thank you for the time you give us.

We will continue to invite you to let us know when there is space to take on someone who has faced extraordinary challenges in connecting to gender-affirming care. And when you’re feeling especially busy going the extra mile (or kilometre?) to make gender-affirming space, we hope you’ll join us in finding better ways to bring new family physicians in Hamilton on board to lighten the weight on your shoulders.

Too Much Email

If you’re finding the increasing traffic on this mailing list from announcements and discussions between members an unwelcome contribution to your inbox, you have options:

  • you can turn on digest mode, which will group the emails sent in a day into a single summary (learn more), or
  • you can switch over to an announcements-only list, which will provide key updates with less detail and no discussion (email info@hamiltontranshealth.ca to inquire).

Next Meeting

The next all-members meeting of the coalition is Wednesday, March 18th at 5pm.