Cornell Health offers medical care, mental health services, and support to students who are transgender, those who are questioning their gender identity, and those considering gender transition (medically or surgically). Our services are guided and informed by best practices developed by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).
Our providers who specialize in transgender care can provide…
- counseling and support related to gender identity
- medical care for the initiation and management of gender-affirming hormones
- prescriptions for hormones and syringes that can be filled at Cornell Health's pharmacy or elsewhere
- high-quality chest binders, available with no copay (see "Does Cornell have a binder program?" below)
- recommendations for surgeons who specialize in gender-affirming surgical procedures
- pre-operative testing and post-operative care (i.e., bandage changing/application and drain removal)
- official letters necessary to document appropriate name change and gender marker (e.g., passports, drivers licenses, etc.)
Please see our “Frequently Asked Questions” section below for more details.
Establishing care at Cornell Health
We suggest scheduling an initial appointment with a Cornell Health provider who specializes in gender identity and transgender care. At your appointment, you will have the opportunity to discuss your needs including physical care, emotional and social well-being, and any questions or concerns you may have.
- Mental health services are provided under the direction of Karen Williams, PhD, CAPS psychologist
- Medical services are provided under the direction of Beth Kutler, NP, Assistant Director of Medical Services, and Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Hurley, DO.
Gender Services appointments can be scheduled in two ways:
by phone ...
Call 607-255-5155 during business hours and ask to schedule a Gender Services appointment with either a medical or a counseling provider.
Log in to myCornellHealth, click “appointments” and then choose “schedule an appointment.” From the next menu, choose an appointment type:
- For a counseling appointment, choose “Counseling (CAPS)” and then follow directions to set up a phone appointment. Indicate that you would like to talk about gender identity or transgender care.
- For a medical appointment, choose “Medical care,” then select the PRIMARY reason for your visit (NOTE: If you are looking specifically for transgender Care, select “I need an appointment not related to an illness or problem (like a check-up or nutrition visit)”
- Then, select “I need transgender care”
- Answer yes or no to “Is this your first visit for transgender care?” and then enter a call-back number to schedule your appointment
Frequently asked questions
Can Cornell Health provide me with gender-affirming hormone treatment?
Yes, Cornell Health works under an informed consent model. You can work with a medical provider who specializes in transgender care to evaluate your individual needs, discuss treatment options, and access cross-sex hormones if appropriate. Our providers can also work with your home health care provider to continue care that you may have established elsewhere.
Can I change my preferred name in myCornellHealth?
Yes; changing your preferred name within myCornellHealth is easy. Simply log in to myCornellHealth. Click on "Profile." Then scroll down to "Preferred Name" and click the "Edit" button. This will bring up a screen where you can enter your preferred name. Please note: changing your information within myCornellHealth will not change your name elsewhere at Cornell, but it will be linked to the entirety of your health record, so it will be visible to any of the health care providers you work with at Cornell Health.
Where can I pick up my prescriptions?
All prescriptions can be filled at the Cornell Health Pharmacy. Syringes, sharps disposal containers, and alcohol swabs are also available at the pharmacy. If you prefer, you can also request that our pharmacy staff send your prescription to another pharmacy of your choice.
How do I handle disposal of my sharps?
Will my health insurance cover transgender care?
If you’re on Cornell’s Student Health Plan (SHP), hormonal and surgical services to support the process of gender identity confirmation are covered by your plan. For specific information, review the Aetna Clinical Policy Bulletin: Gender Reassignment Surgery. Contact Student Health Benefits if you need assistance.
If you’re on a Cornell employee endowed health plan, hormone therapy and certain medical procedures related to gender identity confirmation procedures are covered. The Aetna Clinical Policy Bulletin #0615 guides the medically necessary treatment protocol; treatments that are considered cosmetic in nature are not covered. The Empire Health Plan, however, does not offer gender confirmation surgery and several other therapeutic treatments. Please contact Human Resources for more details about employee plans. (NOTE: We do not provide transgender services for employees; however, students who are the children or spouse/partner of a Cornell employee may be covered by an employee plan.)
For students on other plans, you should check your plan for details. Please note that many health insurance plans provide very limited coverage for hormone therapy and surgical procedures related to gender identity confirmation.
Does Cornell Health have a binder program?
Yes. Students can get high-quality chest binders at the Cornell Health Pharmacy. Students who are enrolled in a Cornell student health plan (SHP or SHP+) or pay the Student Health Fee can get two binders each semester with no copay. (Other individuals should check with pharmacy staff for current pricing.)
Chest binder options:
We have both brands in sizes S, M, & L – and in white and beige – in stock. Other sizes and colors can be ordered. (Please note that it can take 2-3 weeks for ordered items to be delivered.)
Help with options & sizing:
To request or order binders:
- You may go into the pharmacy and fill out a "Chest Binders" card and give it to one of our pharmacy staff members.
- Or you may order online by logging in to mycornellhealth, and selecting "Messages," "New Message," "Send a message to the Pharmacy," then "Order a binder." In your message, indicate what brand, sizes, and colors you would like. We will contact you when the binders are ready for pickup.
What counseling services are available at Cornell Health?
Yes. Counseling may be a useful tool in supporting your overall well-being. Your medical care provider can work with your therapist to ensure supportive care. Cornell Health counselors can also help you secure an official gender dysphoria / gender identity disorder (GID) diagnosis, and draft letters required to initiate gender-affirming surgeries. To get started, call or go online to schedule an initial “brief phone assessment.” You will then be matched with a counselor. Counseling services for students with a GID diagnosis are provided (primarily) under the direction of Karen Williams, PhD, with support from Anna Matuseiwicz, MD, psychiatrist.
What peer support and other campus resources are available?
Cornell's LGBT Resource Center is an excellent resource for personal consultation and information about services, programs, events, and support groups. Be sure to review their webpage about Trans Inclusion on campus and in the local community – including information about restroom / facility use, and support for use of preferred names.
The student organization, "Transitioning at Cornell," (TAC) is a student run group focused on improving the lives and experiences of transgender Cornellians. We offer resources for graduate and undergraduate students who have, are, or are considering legally, medically, or socially transitioning at Cornell. Our group offers social support, resources pertaining to all aspects of transitioning at Cornell, and a forum for trans students to bring their questions, concerns, and suggestions for improving the trans experience at Cornell. In addition to working with students, TAC also works closely with many members of Cornell’s administration to offer current and future transgender students the best Cornell experience possible. Questions or interest can be directed to our organizational email firstname.lastname@example.org. Spring semester meeting dates will be posted here at a later date.