Transgender Care

Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) welcomes you.

As we work to improve our services, we recognize the transgender community has unique needs that cross departments of care. This guide will help you navigate the CHA system and make it easier for you to access any services you need.

CHA is committed to doing our best in terms of LGBTQ+ competency. We are still learning. If you have ideas about how we can improve, please contact us to share your thoughts.

CHA Transgender Services

Emergency Department

Endocrinology

Services:

  • Hormone therapy for adults and adolescents who are 18 or older
  • Assistance with referrals for surgery – top surgery at CHA, and genital or bottom surgery referred to BMC, or to other providers, including out of state, if preferred
  • Help facilitate transition

Provider:

Gender and Sexuality Clinic (GSC)

The GSC is located within the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance and is comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. We provide multidisciplinary, compassionate, specialized psychiatric care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Gender Diverse (LGBTQ+) children, adolescents, adults, and families. Our ultimate goal is to increase accessibility to LGBTQ+ affirming services and help people across the lifespan navigate issues related to gender and sexual identity development. In addition, we seek to empower sexually and gender diverse individuals; support cultural, religious, ethnic, and racial diversity; advocate for human and civil rights; and promote institutional and systemic change.

Our LGBTQ+ affirmative psychiatric services include:

  • Evaluations
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Transitioning Support
  • Gender-affirming Surgery Assessments

Provider:

Consultation services:

  • Psychiatry Department staff
  • Inpatient Units and Emergency Department
  • Primary Care and General Medicine

Training:

  • Second-year Child Psychiatry Fellow training rotation through Gender and Sexuality Consultation (GSC) Team
  • GSC Team meets on Mondays – psychiatry, psychology and social work trainees are involved

Geriatrics

Gynecology

Services:

  • Inclusive, LGBTQ+ affirming gynecological care
  • Family Medicine physicians listed in Primary Care provide pelvic health and gynecologic services

Providers:

HIV Prevention and Services

A supportive and caring designated place for people with HIV infection or those who are at risk for HIV infection.

  • Confidential testing
  • A multidisciplinary approach to care which includes primary care, specialty care, mental health and social services.
  • Prevention, integrated counseling, screenings and referrals
  • Community education and outreach to help people get connected to HIV services
Provider:

Diedre Alessio, NP

Interpreter Services and Written Translation Services

Please contact your health care team if you need an interpreter to help you communicate effectively when receiving care

  • Trained, professional interpreters available in all languages, free of charge
  • Free written translation services are available in all languages upon request

Oncology

Pediatric Endocrinology

Services:

  • Hormone therapy for youth
  • Assistance with referrals

Provider:

Pediatrics

Service:

  • Inclusive, LGBTQ+ affirming primary care for youth and adolescents

Providers:

Plastic Surgery

Services:

  • Bilateral mastectomies (top surgery)
  • Breast implants/augmentation

Provider:

Primary Care

Services:

  • Inclusive, LGBTQ+ affirming primary care
  • Affirmation hormone therapy for adolescents and adults (currently available with Dr. Benbasset-Miller at CHA Windsor Care Center.)
  • Consultations and short-term therapy with LGBTQ+ affirming psychotherapists, with referral for longer-term therapy services where necessary

Primary Care Poviders:

More Information:
  • Family Medicine residency curriculum includes a section on transgender care
  • Family Medicine transgender care concentration is in development
  • Focus on continually improving every patient’s experience of care

Psychiatry

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Louis Ostrowsky, MD
Lee Robinson, MD

Adult Psychiatry
Josephine Bell, Ph.D.
Marshall Forstein, MD

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Therapy Group

The Transcend Group is an ongoing psychotherapy group for adults of all gender identities for exploration and support of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming identities. The group meets at the CHA Central Street Care Center in Somerville. Please contact the providers listed below for more information about joining.

Providers:
Ari Pehkonen, LCSW (he/him), 617-575-5478
Natalie Haziza, MA (she/her), 617-575-5585

Zinberg Clinic

The Zinberg Clinic is a dedicated care center that uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide adult primary and specialty care for certain medical conditions such as HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections.

Deidre Alessio RN, MSN, FNP-BC


Other Programs and Services

CHA Residents

Training future providers to be inclusive and gender affirming in their care.

  • Current CHA residents are members of the Gender Sexuality Consultation team, the Diversity Coalition and the Social Justice Coalition
  • Specialized transgender training programs included in our Family Medicine Residency program

Diversity Council

Working internally, the Diversity Council focuses on equity issues. Some examples of their work include:

  • Health Equity Index (HEI) and Human Rights Campaign (HRC) accreditation
  • Inclusion efforts for patients and staff
  • PRIDE Month Events
  • Employee training regarding gender inclusivity, respect and empathy in the workplace
  • Support for transitioning employees
  • Restroom signage