University Hospitals offers healthcare services in the greater Cleveland area for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual patients (LGBTQIA+) as well as patients questioning and/or exploring their gender identity.
GSDS Mission and Goals
University Hospitals Gender and Sexual Diversity Services strives to enhance the well-being of (and eliminate the disparities in healthcare experienced by) LGBTQIA+ patients through gender affirming services that promote health and wellness.
Our goal is to be nationally recognized as a trusted leader in providing for the physical, mental, social and emotional well-being of LGBTQIA+ patients. This includes our proven clinical successes in Medicine, Behavioral and Mental Health. Additionally, UH will continue to play a critical role in Public and Community Health, Research and Education.
GSDS is Necessary
Enhancing services to the LGBTQIA+ community and eliminating health disparities are necessary to ensure that our patients lead long and healthy lives. Research shows that LGBTQIA+ individuals face health disparities linked to social stigma, discrimination and denial of their civil and human rights.
By directly addressing discrimination, GSDS was developed at UH to tackle health concerns, reduce disparities, increase mental and physical well-being and longevity and reduce health care costs.
GSDS is Comprehensive
GSDS provides welcoming, open and affirming environments for patients and their loved ones. In addition to offering health and well-being services, the UH GSDS is connected to advocacy, education and community health initiatives in Northeast Ohio.
GSDS Clinical Services
The model begins with navigation through the health care system and, if necessary, medical case management. Services include:
- Primary Care for children, adolescents and adults (and older adults)
- Comprehensive Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Care
- Walk-in clinical care for children, adolescents and adults
- Integrative medicine
- Specialized surgery care and consultations
- STI/HIV prevention, screening and treatment
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Chronic disease management
- Behavioral and mental health care and consultations
- Family and parenting services, fertility and reproductive services
Additionally, our education, community and public health assistance to patients include:
- Social service navigation (housing, benefits access, employment, financial and legal)
- Outreach and community health services
- Community education, policy and advocacy
Did You Know?
- LGBTQIA+ members are less likely to have a primary care physician and more likely to be uninsured than their non-LGBTQIA+ counterparts.
- LGBTQIA+ community members experience rape, physical violence or stalking at higher rates than heterosexual men and women.
- Lesbians and bisexual females are more likely to be overweight or obese and have higher rates of substance abuse.
- Transgender individuals are at increased risk for HIV/STIs, victimization, mental health issues and suicide and are less likely to have health insurance than heterosexual or LGB individuals.
- LGBTQIA+ youth are more likely to be homeless.
- Gay men are at higher risk of HIV and other STIs, especially among communities of color.
- Lesbians are less likely to get preventive services for cervical and breast cancer screening.
- LGBTQIA+ populations have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use.
- Older LGBTQIA+ adults face additional barriers to health because of isolation and a lack of social services and culturally competent providers.
- LGBTQIA+ youth are to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide.