University Hospitals announces new services for LGBTQIA community

University Hospitals announces new services for LGBTQIA community

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - University Hospitals just announced that they are now offering Gender and Sexual Diversity Services.

Patients who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual or questioning their sexuality, now have a team of health care providers ready to address their specific needs.

Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, an OB/GYN, created the program modeled after similar units at hospitals in Boston and Philadelphia. Larkins-Pettigrew says that the hospital wanted to make sure all of their patients needs were being served.

University Hospitals' patients in need of these specific services will now contact a navigator, or point person, to access the services they need.

"Those navigators really are trained to make sure the patients get in - that they have access - they get in a very short period of time," said Larkins-Pettigrew.

Jacob Hunt transitioned while in the care of a doctor at University Hospitals.

Hunt says navigating his way through his transition to becoming a man wasn't easy, and he wishes that a unit like the newly established Gender and Sexual Diversity Services was available to him years ago.

"It was so hard for me to find information, find doctors - try to figure out what I'm doing. There's no information out there," said Hunt.

Jacob's transition is now the subject of a new film called "Coby," just shown at the Cleveland International Film Festival. His brother directed the documentary.

"I'm happier than I've ever been in my life, and everyone around me will tell you the same exact thing. It's crazy. I feel free," described Hunt.

The Cleveland Clinic also has a similar unit that provides specific services for the LGBT community.

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