MyTransHealth: A Healthcare Website for the Trans Community
We're thrilled that MyTransHealth is now officially funded!
But the work doesn’t stop there. We're on a mission to ensure that every trans and gender non-conforming person has access to quality healthcare
Our stretch goals will allow MyTransHealth to expand faster. The additional funds will be directly allocated to action on the ground. Research & Development of verified provider lists and community partnership.
MyTransHealth is a free website that connects transgender people with qualified, culturally competent doctors in their neighborhood.
The location-based search tool will feature four categories: medical, mental health, legal, and crisis care. Users will be able to filter results based on need including (but not limited to): resource type, language, insurance, and accessibility.
MyTransHealth seeks to eliminate barriers and increase access to quality healthcare for the trans community, so that they can lead healthier, happier lives.
MyTransHealth is built for trans people by trans people. We are purpose-driven, not profit-driven. We are currently applying for non-profit status, and are fiscally sponsored by The Betsy Community Fund at The Miami Foundation.
Access to quality healthcare is a universal need, yet lack of adequate care is a crisis in this community. For a population of over 750,000 Americans, this is unacceptable.
These experiences disproportionately affect transgender people of color. We believe that intersectionality must be a large part of the discussion in creating a safe, inclusive space.
- Free, easy to use tool to find local providers
- Vetted providers with complete and current profiles
- Ratings and reviews from community members
- Four main categories: medical, mental health, legal, crisis
Historically, the best resource for (reliable and safe) trans healthcare has been word of mouth. MTH will be a platform that allows the community to harness that power and share their experiences with others.
The decision to transition is often a difficult, but necessary need. That courage should not be wasted on hours spent scouring the internet for referrals, or taking trips to doctors who refuse to see you. We know your valuable time is better spent elsewhere.
With your help, MyTransHealth will provide a quick and easy way to find exactly what you need. So that trans people can get back to living authentically.
We know, first-hand, that seeing a provider who isn’t vetted can be terrifying. It's more than being "trans-friendly"; it's about providing competent, affirming care.
MyTransHealth will ensure that each provider featured on our site acts as a resource to help you become who you are. Through a year of research and development, we have defined a list of qualifications that providers are scored against to certify that MTH providers are leading examples for the medical community.
Considered Qualifications for Providers Include (but are not limited to):
- Documented percentage of trans patients
- Documented experience in treating the community
- Meets WPATH Standards of Care
- Post graduate competency training
- Positive community reviews
Considered Qualifications for Organizations Include (but are not limited to):
- Gender-neutral bathrooms
- Culturally competent intake forms
- Gender inclusive signage material in waiting areas
- Competency and sensitivity trainings for staff
- Clinical guidelines for transgender patient care
At launch, MyTransHealth will serve the NYC and Miami metro areas to identify the best method for showcasing resources and fine tune our vetting process. From there, the sky is the limit!
MyTransHealth will expand coverage nationwide as time and funding allows. This campaign will determine that timeframe.
We’ve spent months listening, writing, drafting, building, and listening again. We’ve built a database structure to house provider information, as well as the design and function of the site via mapping and mockups. Now we need your help. All funds raised through this Kickstarter will go directly into making MyTransHealth a reality.
For those who love math, here’s a look at our projected breakdown:
- Provider Outreach - 50%
- Web Development - 20%
- Marketing - 20%
- Administrative - 10%
We will be looking to work with a diverse group of creative minds in the community to reach our goals in each of these categories.
If you are unable to contribute financially, we still need you! Help us bring this resource to life by sharing this page with your friends & family. We are so grateful for your support.
Risks and challenges
We're confident that our months of planning will amount to a successful, on-time launch of MyTransHealth later this year. The potential risks we foresee are around time, functionality, and adoption.
Time: We're currently a team of four who have full-time jobs, but are passionately committed to making MyTransHealth a reality. With the funds from this Kickstarter, we hope to bring on a few extra hands. Though we've planned a roadmap with built-in benchmarks, there is a risk of needing additional time to launch should any issues arise.
Functionality: When launching a website, quality assurance is a huge component of its success. We don't expect any explosions, but there is always a risk of bugs or glitches that would require more time to fix.
Adoption: MyTransHealth is only as successful as its user base. We hope that our efforts via social media and our contacts result in a high percentage of community support so that the website can be the most useful.
MYTRANSHEALTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE | Help us make healthcare easier for trans people everywhere. Inside access to the founders, regular calls and meetings. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
After being discriminated against by doctors, 4 transgender people came up with a brilliant idea
Madison Malone Kircher Jul. 31, 2015
Have you ever made a doctor’s appointment, only to be turned away and told that your doctor couldn’t help you?
It’s a problem transgender people regularly face in the healthcare system.
“A lot of times a trans person will walk into a doctor’s office and at the end of the conversation, the doctor will thank the trans person for educating them,” Robyn Kanner, a 28-year-old graphic designer and transgender woman from Boston, told TI.
One in four transgender people delay seeking medical treatment due to discrimination, according to a study by the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Kanner, along with three of her friends, founded the website MyTransHealth to combat these issues. All four of the website’s founders identify as transgender, so MyTransHealth is taking what they call a “for trans people, by trans people” approach to healthcare.
TransHealth launched on Kickstarter earlier this week.
The site, which will officially launch in New York City and Miami this fall, is designed to connect the people with professionals who are prepared to help transgender patients, individually screening each doctor and healthcare provider to ensure quality of care.
Since starting a Kickstarter campaign on Monday, MyTransHealth has already raised $22,087, more than their goal of $20,000. There are still 27 days left for people to donate. It looks like the Kanner and her colleagues aren’t the only ones concerned about this issue.
“There’s way smaller list of options available for the trans community,” says Kanner of the medical professionals trained to appropriately treat transgender patients. “And it’s often with no intention of malice—more often than not, it’s with no intention at all.”
It’s not just about finding a doctor to perform a routine physical or a test for strep throat. Transgender patients present a unique set of medical needs, such as hormone replacement therapy and the mental health support often needed for a successful gender transition.
While traditional healthcare resources like ZocDoc or WebMD are open to everyone, the sites leave a lot to desired by transgender patients. "We are constantly seeking out ways to personalize the ZocDoc experience for our patients," a ZocDoc representative told TI. "The 'Professional Statement' section of ZocDoc profiles gives doctors an opportunity to express not only qualifications and accolades, but also care philosophies and specialties."
While many doctors' profiles on ZocDoc explain that they are trans-friendly, there is currently no way to specifically search for just those professionals and filter out those that are not. “A site like WebMD or ZocDoc could help you, but it won’t exactly target to you,” explained Kanner. “It comes down to finding professionals that the trans community can trust.”
To do this, Kanner and her colleagues are individually assessing each professional the site will recommend, a process they believe sets MyTransHealth apart from other transgender healthcare platforms, like Rad Remedy.
“We’re pre-screening the doctors themselves before we put them on our website,” Kanner explained. “We’re not just throwing up names of doctors we’ve googled. We’re talking to them personally and training them.”
The website was inspired by the founders’ negative experiences in doctors’ offices, ranging from emotionally taxing to physically dangerous.
“I had a doctor who didn’t understand that one of the reasons I had kidney stones was because I was on estrogen,” Kanner told TI. “Kade Clark [a MyTransHealth cofounder] had a doctor who prescribed him the wrong meds for six months based on his hormones.”
And it’s not just the MyTransHealth founders who have experienced these kinds of issues.
“We’ve received hundreds of emails from people all over who have been generous enough to share their experiences with us so that we can design MyTransHealth with their needs in mind,” Kanner explained.
The number one complaint?
“Access to hormones,” Kanner told TI. “Without a doubt.”
It’s a problem Kanner knows all too well. When she started seeking hormone treatments for herself in 2006, Kanner says she was turned away by three different therapists. All told her they just didn’t have the right skills to help her transition.
It was a year before she found someone who could help her.
“There can be a lot gatekeeping within the system,” Kanner said. “MyTransHealth is manipulating that system.”
mytranshealthMyTransHealthA look at the MyTransHealth website.
“Gatekeeping,” Kanner explained, is the process of controlling access and rights to a community or individual. For transgender people, gatekeeping can mean the difference between receiving treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy, or walking away empty handed.
“With MyTransHealth, we’re making sure that when a trans person does walk in [to a doctor’s office], the person they’re going to see won’t be weird to them, touch their body strangely, or ask inappropriate questions,” Kanner said.
It’s not a perfect system. Kanner acknowledges that accessibility is going to be a major hurdle for the site.
“We’ve had a lot of people reach out to us who might not have citizenship status or access to health care where they live, so we’re still trying to figure out ways for those people to benefit from MyTransHealth too,” she noted.
For Kanner, providing the transgender community with access to quality healthcare can’t happen quickly enough.
“Just last week at an appointment with my new primary care physician. She asked me why I take Estradiol [a form of the hormone estrogen] and when I responded that it’s because I’m a trans woman, she asked if that would make me grow breasts,” Kanner said. “The whole time I was thinking, ‘How could you not know that hormone replacement therapy would help me grow breasts?’”
Image by Kickstarter