The University Health Center opened a new Transgender Care Clinic this year. Nebraska Medicine’s Dr. Jean Amoura, who brings 10 years of experience in transgender care and hormone treatment, is the primary care provider for the clinic.
Q: Tell us about yourself and how you became actively involved in transgender medical care.
A: I’ve been a practicing OB-GYN in Omaha for nearly 20 years. Shortly after I started my practice, a transgender patient occasionally asked me about hormone treatment because I managed hormones a lot for cisgender women. From that moment on, transgender care became a regular part of and is now the majority of my practice as of the past 10 years, which is when the need in the community became very self-evident.
Q: Why do you think it is important for the university to offer trans care services?
A: In my experience, it has been difficult for patients to know where to turn when they’re interested in transitioning. They seek a safe place and someone who has the knowledge, experience and ability to help with their medical transitions and resources. Having transgender care services readily available to students at UNL is incredibly helpful to that community because it means they don’t have to seek it out. Students should be focused on their primary job of being a student and not where in the state they can go for the gender affirming services they need.
Q: What types of services does the Transgender Care Clinic offer?
A: My main role is starting and managing hormone treatment for both trans men and trans women. I will also continue to follow patients and maintain their hormone therapy. I have experience with other resources in the area that are known by me to be transgender friendly, and I will share these as needed.
Q: When does the Transgender Care Clinic operate (hours, scheduling, etc.)?
A: I attended a meet and greet at the LGBTQA+ Resource Center on campus in November 2016 to get to know members of the UNL transgender community and assess the need for care, which helped us finalize operational details. The clinic is offered the fourth Wednesday of each month in the afternoons. To schedule an appointment, call the University Health Center appointment line at 402-472-5000.
Students may be curious whether the clinic is covered by insurance. This depends on the individual’s insurance policy. The University Health Center is passionate about bridging the affordability gap for UNL transgender students, which is why the StudentBlue Insurance policy is one of only four Blue Cross and Blue Shield policies nationwide to offer transgender assignment/reassignement coverage. Of the four, the university’s policy has the highest maximum coverage for the 2016-2017 academic period. For detailed information related to StudentBlue coverage or cost, please contact the University Health Center’s Billing and Insurance department at 402-472-7435.
Q: What should patients expect at their first Transgender Care Clinic visit?
A: I will obtain a detailed medical history and will review your gender history and transition history. A physical exam is typically deferred until the second visit and pelvic exam is not required for trans men (though this service is available and may be recommended for your general health care). Before starting hormones, a variety of lab tests will be ordered. This blood draw can be done after your first visit and results will be reviewed at your second visit. The tests will be explained to you at your visit. I will review the treatment options available to you and will provide you with a detailed consent form to review if hormone therapy is considered appropriate. Consents will be signed at your second visit, after which time you will receive any indicated prescriptions. For those who will need to receive hormone treatment by injection, they will receive instructions to return to the clinic with their medication and supplies (syringes and needles) for a nurse to provide individual injection teaching. This can usually be scheduled on the same day you receive your medication.