While we are social distancing, we want to make sure that our Trans and Nonbinary Amherst family know that they still have access to transition-related care! See the Q+A below with some common questions. Please reach out to either center director for access to transition-related resources typically held in the centers, including gaffs, binders, and packers.
Is it possible via Telemedicine to start HRT while we're away from campus? How do I do this?
Answer: It is possible for the Health Center to start HRT with students who are not on campus via telehealth. It is not usually necessary to do an in person physical as part of this process. You may need to have access to a lab where we can send a lab order to be drawn as part of the initial process of starting HRT. You can contact the Health Center either via phone, email, or the patient portal.
What does the intake process for starting HRT look like?
Answer: When you make an appointment for an HRT consultation, you will meet with a provider at the Health Center who specializes in Transition/HRT care for the Health Center. This appointment will usually last 1-1.5 hours, and she will learn from you who you are, how you identify, and why you are pursuing HRT. They will discuss the various options and different combinations of HRT available, and is the person who will put in the prescription for HRT. If you choose an injectable HRT option, you will be taught how to inject over Zoom. If you are needle-phobic, there are options without the use of needles.
What happens after my intake?
Answer: The provider will issue you a prescription. If you have access to a pharmacy near you, you can pick up your prescription there or you can ask the provider about delivery options. The provider can also write scripts for other material, including alcohol swabs, and needles.
Caring for your materials and waste:
Be mindful of how you're going to keep your hormones, needles, etc. Store them safely where it doesn’t feel compromising or potentially harmful to others. You do need a place to properly dispose of needles.
Pharmacies may have sharps containers available for disposal of needles. If not, it is typically ok to create a disposable container out of a hard opaque plastic (like laundry detergent container). When it’s filled, you should label it as “used needles” and then wrap duct tape around the cap and top of the bottle and that can generally be disposed of in the regular trash. We advise you to check with the state health dept where you live if this is a viable alternative to purchasing a sharps container.
On campus, we provide sharps containers.
Is there a cost difference between pick-up and delivery of supplies for student patients?
Answer: Delivery does incur potential cost if you use a delivery service from a pharmacy. However, if you are on the Student Health Insurance the College offers, you may have access to Express Scripts, which will deliver a recurring prescription without additional costs. Many health insurances do cover similar services. Please check with your health insurance provider to see what you have access to.
Can students who are currently on the College's student health insurance, and are on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), receive their hormones, needles, etc., at their home address, instead of picking up from a pharmacy? How do I do this?
Answer: Students who are currently on the college's health insurance can definitely still continue to get their medications and supplies. Some pharmacies (like CVS) do deliveries and there is also the option of New Era pharmacy for home delivery. If the Health Center is prescribing - you should reach out to them and they can help facilitate this.
What does the delivery process look like? Will it display my student's name?
Answer: Varies. More than likely a delivery will state your name and indicate that it’s coming from a pharmacy and/or a prescription delivery service.
What does the process of moving a prescription from in person pick up to at home delivery look like?
Answer: It’s quite simple-- just contact the Health Center and they will issue a new prescription.
I am not on Student Health Insurance. What if I don’t want to go through my personal healthcare insurance?
Answer: If you don’t want to use personal health insurance, another common option is New Era Pharmacy, which is an independent pharmacy that sells prescription medication and does not go through insurance. New Era Pharmacy sends a 6-month supply of your prescription (as opposed to one month supply at most pharmacies), but requires that you pay the full cost upfront. The cost is typically slightly higher than combined co-payments for a 6-month supply.
I’m struggling paying my co-pay, and/or other costs associated with my transition-related-care (i.e HRT, etc.). What can I do for help or assistance?
Answer: If you are having trouble affording your prescription, and/or care, and classes are in session, you can reach out to Financial Aid for reimbursement of costs. If classes are not in session, please reach out to the directors for support and guidance.
How do I access binders or gaffs that normally are in the center?
Answer: Just email Nayah or Jxhn. Please include address and binder and/or gaff size! Check out this website for some guidance on selecting size and general use for binders! https://www.healthybinding.com/
The majority of our gaffs are from Hidden Candy Boutique - check out their sizing guide here: https://www.hiddencandyboutique.com/sizing-info-hidden-candy-boutique
What resources do I have near me while away from campus?
Answer: We’ve collected some information on regional LGBTQ+ Community Centers, and resources! Check out this website for an overview! Additionally, you can find the one closest to you via CenterLinks LGBTQ+ Community Center member search (https://www.lgbtcenters.org/LGBTCenters).
I’m really struggling, and need someone to talk to. Who can I call/ messaged/ email?
- Reach out to the Counseling Center: call (413-542-2354) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Visit their website for more details about their services during COVID-19!
- Reach out directly to Nayah(email@example.com) and Jxhn (firstname.lastname@example.org), or any of the other directors in the resources centers!
- National Hotlines:
- LGBTQ Crisis Hotline (24/7): If you are thinking about suicide and in need of immediate support, please call the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386 or visit TrevorChat to connect with a counselor.
- Trans lifeline: Trans Lifeline is a trans-led organization that connects trans people to the community, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive.