Transgender Youth Program at the UVM Children's Hospital
At the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital, we believe that all people, including children and teens, should be allowed to live their lives in their preferred gender. Gender identity is not a choice, and it cannot be changed through treatment. The UVM Children’s Hospital Transgender Youth Program was created to support gender variant youth and their families, through a multi-disciplinary team of physicians and mental health providers.
Dr. Jamie Mehringer with the Transgender Youth Program shared some signs to help parents know whether their kids might be transgender. Watch the video.
The Transgender Youth Program at the UVM Childrens’ Hospital strives to provide gender-variant and transgender children and their families, with comprehensive education and resources about available options.
We provide the full spectrum of care, from simple observation and guidance to hormone suppression and gender-affirming hormonal therapy for children of all ages.
We require that all our patients are in active mental health therapy as we feel this is a vital part of any gender exploration journey. The UVM Children's Hospital Transgender Youth Program can assist you in accessing therapy with a mental health provider who is familiar with gender-related issues.
For a list of therapists with gender dysphoria experience visit the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP).
We can provide referral to the reproductive endocrinology team at the UVM Medical Center to discuss fertility preservation options if it is desired by the patient and family, and if the patient is at pubertal age. We can assist in facilitating transition to adult transgender care (adult endocrinology, family medicine or internal medicine primary care providers) in the community and at the UVM Medical Center when appropriate.
Contact Transgender Youth Program
Patient and family comfort is a top priority, and we encourage parents to contact us with questions or concerns. For more information, please call us at 802-847-3811 or 802-847-6200.
Program location: Children's Specialty Center at the UVM Children’s Hospital
Appointment times: first Monday of each month in the afternoon
Ages of patients for whom we provide services: up to 18 years old
Visit our Transgender Resources page for helpful information.
What to Expect at Your Visit
- Our nurse will call you before the appointment, provide an introduction to the program, and obtain background information prior to meeting you/your child for the first time.
- Patients are checked in by our medical assistant, who checks blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and height and reviews current medication(s) taken.
- Clinic visits are conducted by our pediatric endocrinologist(s).
- Prior to initiating any therapy (puberty suppression or gender-affirming hormones), we require supporting documentation from a mental health provider.
- If it is determined that the medical treatment is appropriate, the patient and family will be seen periodically in our Transgender Youth Program by our pediatric endocrinologist. Recommendations for treatment will be discussed. Patient may have additional evaluation, blood work, and/or x-ray done periodically as needed.
- Consents for medical treatment must be signed by the patient and custodial parents /guardians.
- It is a requirement of the Transgender Youth Program that all our patients remain in mental health therapy for the duration of treatment in the program.
- When ready to transition to adult care, physicians with gender dysphoria expertise are available within the UVM Medical Center as well as in the community.
- While a physical exam is necessary prior to beginning medical intervention (hormones or hormone blockers), this doesn't have to be done on the first visit, and that many times we only talk at the first visit.
Fertility preservation/reproductive medicine information
What is fertility preservation?
Fertility preservation refers to the freezing and storing of reproductive cells, either eggs or sperm, for future use.
When the right time comes, planning for having children is a part of life. Like everyone else, a transgender person has choices. Once on pubertal suppressive treatment and/or gender affirming hormones, the likelihood of being able to have biological offspring decreases significantly or is not possible at all. It’s good to plan ahead.
We can facilitate consultation for our patients with the UVM Medical Center Reproductive Medicine specialists so you can get the first hand information about what this process involves, the cost and expected outcome in the future.