Asheville Redefines Primary Care

Imagine being a man trapped in a woman’s body, being liberated with a gender-changing operation, and then reverting to womanhood for lack of money to pay for hormone treatment. Fortunately, the Minnie Jones Health Center, run by Western North Carolina Community Health, offers transgender healthcare. Minnie Jones serves low-income and low-insurance people, while WNCCHS is a federal program that subsidizes care for the underserved.

Transgender people have, in addition to being stonewalled in attempting to get jobs, housing, or admission to grad school; are often rejected for healthcare. Many attempt suicide for lack of focused care. To their rescue, Minnie Jones’ transgender center now serves a client base of about 200. Dr. Jennifer Abbott, director of the program, argues, “Transgender healthcare is not specialty care: It is primary care.”

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