In a perfect world, gay and lesbian health concerns could be addressed in any primary care office. But sometimes, people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) community don't feel safe and supported in a standard medical office. That's especially true of people facing tough medical choices. And that could impact their health—and the success of their doctor visits.
The MetroHealth Pride Network is different.
Our Pride Clinic was the first LGBT clinic in Cleveland dedicated to serving the LGBT community. Specially trained physicians and staff provide care that respects your unique health needs—including transgender services. And, we offer the routine care you need to stay healthy. It's primary care plus.
Serving Our Community Since 2007
We started the Pride Clinic in 2007. MetroHealth physicians had heard about LGBT patients experiencing poor care, discrimination and discomfort in health care settings. Some people avoided seeing a doctor unless it was an emergency.
Armed with research from around the country, we surveyed the LGBT community about Cuyahoga County's gay-friendly medical care. People said they needed a welcoming place to receive primary, mental and hormonal care. We listened, and we used those responses to determine the services we offer.
Routine Health Services You Need to Stay Healthy
You're more than the sum of your hormones, your gender or your sexuality. You're also a person with a body that can fall ill from time to time. That's why we offer services you might expect in any doctor's office. We can help you with:
- Adult, adolescent and pediatric care
- OB-GYN care
- Family planning
- Smoking cessation
- Controlling your cholesterol numbers
- Lowering your high blood pressure
- Physical exams
- HIV prevention (PrEP or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)
Anyone can receive care at a Pride Network location. We offer convenient, comprehensive and compassionate care to everyone who comes through our doors. Find your primary care physician, and know that our care is wide-ranging and tailored to your needs.
Specialty Care You Can Count OnIn addition to routine health services, we can also assist you with other, more sensitive, medical conditions. We can provide:
- HIV testing
- Care for HIV-positive patients
- STI screening and treatment
- Medical and behavioral health services for LGBT and questioning youth
We can also work with you on risk prevention, so you'll understand just what to do to stay healthy. And we can be a listening ear and a supportive presence if you have anything at all you'd like to discuss. Our providers are warm and welcoming, and they are here to work with you. No topic should be considered off-limits.
Transgender Health Services
The Pride Network follows the standards of care established by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). That means we provide comprehensive medical care for gender-nonconforming and gender-questioning people. This includes both medical consultation and medical intervention.
Many of our patients are nervous about making that first transgender care appointment, and often they don't know what to expect. We can help. Rest assured that you'll be welcomed with respect. We think of a first appointment as a "getting to know you" visit. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Please bring your health information from previous providers. If you're looking to start gender affirmation therapy with hormones, bring health information including any letters of recommendation from counselors or therapists.
- We use an informed consent model for adult hormonal care and for adolescents older than 16 with guardian consent. Mental health supports are strongly encouraged, but a mental health letter of recommendation is not required for starting hormonal care.
- Hormones are generally not prescribed on the first visit.
- Be prepared to discuss your medical history and current or past medications. We'll also want to talk about your family, parental and community support, and a timeline for treatment.
A few things need to happen before any kind of treatment begins, including care with hormones. You'll need to have your blood drawn and tested to determine your overall health. We'll also need to do a physical exam. These things don't have to happen at the first appointment. We can wait until you're ready.
When you are ready, we will review your informed consent with you and answer any and all outstanding questions you have about the effects of hormones on your care.
We understand that anxiety is real and often impacts the pursuit of care. The Pride Clinic is an affirming environment. We work with you as your partner in health.
A Treatment Team You Can Trust
There is no medical certification for LGBT medicine, but our treatment team has a great deal of experience and expertise in treating people in the gay community. Our providers are all focused on LGBT health, and they are active nationally and internationally with WPATH. Our team includes:
- Erin Tomlinson, MD (she/her/hers)
- Douglas Van Auken, MD (he/him/his)
Make An Appointment For Care
We're proud to be your LGBT providers in Cleveland. To schedule an appointment, call 216-957-4905. To contact the nurse line, call 216-957-4868.
If you're living with AIDS now and you'd like to find out more about how to stay healthy, visit our Compass Services page.
We have also compiled a list of articles we think you might find useful. Read them through by following the links, and be sure to ask us if you have questions about anything you're reading: