TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Members of the LGBTQ+ community often face challenges and barriers to accessing necessary health services, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
But Planned Parenthood's Tallahassee Health Center is helping members of this community meet the challenge.
They're now offering transgender services to the Big Bend area, saving patients a long trip for hormone replacement therapy.
"Before hormone replacement therapy was available with Planned Parenthood in Tallahassee I drove five hours to the nearest clinic in Kissimmee," said Jay Galante, a patient of Planned Parenthood.
That therapy helps affirm a patient's gender identity and enhances a patient's quality of life.
It's a relatively new program for the Big Bend.
While the transgender care is new to the Big Bend, Planned Parenthood also offers birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and emergency contraception through telehealth if you need it.
Using telehealth, doctors are able to talk with patients throughout their transitions.
Galante, who is transitioning from female to male says he's grateful support is available locally.
"I would not be living the life that I am today, and I would not be the person that I am today," Galante said.
For medical professionals helping patients across Florida cope with the pandemic and still get treatment, it's a rewarding opportunity to help.
"Every time a patient walks in and I know that I'm helping them, it makes me feel great," said Samantha Cahen, the program director of Transgender Care for Planned Parenthood.