Medical & mental health care for gender-expansive students
Cornell Health offers medical and mental health services to students who are transgender, gender-expansive, non-binary, questioning their gender identity, and/or considering hormonal or surgical gender transition. 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…
- individual counseling and group counseling related to gender identity
- medical care for the initiation and management of gender-affirming hormones
- prescriptions for gender-affirming hormones and syringes that can be filled at Cornell Health's pharmacy (or elsewhere)
- 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 to support gender-affirming surgery and to document name and gender marker changes (e.g., for passports, drivers licenses, etc.)
- chest binders and tucking underwear available for no charge in the Cornell Health pharmacy (see Does Cornell have a binder / tucking supplies program? below)
Please see our “Frequently Asked Questions” section below for more details.
Establishing care at Cornell Health
We recommend scheduling an initial appointment with a Cornell Health provider on our Gender Services team who specializes in providing gender-affirming 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.
- Medical services are provided under the direction of Beth Kutler, NP, Assistant Director of Medical Services, Rachel Clark, FNP, Clinical Director of Women's and Sexual Health, and Amy Alvaro-Hamilton, PA, Physician Assistant.
- Mental health services are provided under the direction of Karen Williams, PhD, Mental Health Therapist.
Schedule an appointment by calling 607-255-5155 during business hours. Ask to schedule a Gender Services appointment with a medical provider, or a counseling appointment with a CAPS therapist.
Or, you may schedule an appointment online by logging in to myCornellHealth.
Your care at Cornell Health is confidential. If you have questions about confidentially – related to billing, health records, or anything else – visit our Confidentiality & Patient Rights page.
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 gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) if appropriate. Our providers can also work with your home health care provider to continue care that you may have established elsewhere.
How do I update my chosen (affirmed) name, gender, and pronouns with Cornell Health?
Updating your Cornell Health information to reflect your affirmed name, gender, and pronouns is easy.
1. Log in to myCornellHealth using your Cornell NetID and password.
2. Click on "Profile."
3. Click on the relevant "Edit" buttons to update your preferred name*, gender identity, and pronouns.
Please note that 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.
*We use "chosen name" to refer to your affirmed name that is not your legal or deadname. However, the term "preferred name" is used in our patient portal vendor system, and in most other university systems.
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?
You have two options for sharps disposal at Cornell. You can collect your sharps and dispose of them through a local program, or you can purchase a sharps container from the pharmacy at Cornell Health. You may return full sharps containers to our pharmacy for safe disposal, at no charge.
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 / tucking supplies program?
Yes! Students can get high-quality chest binders and tucking underwear at the Cornell Health Pharmacy. Students studying on the Ithaca campus can get two binders or two pairs of tucking underwear each semester at no charge. (Other individuals should check with pharmacy staff for current pricing.)
Chest binder options:
Tucking underwear options:
To request or order binders / tucking underwear:
- You may go into the pharmacy and fill out an order form and give it to one of our pharmacy staff members. Order forms are located with our sexual health supplies.
- OR you may order online by logging in to mycornellhealth, and selecting "Messages," "New Message," "Send a message to the Pharmacy." In your message, indicate what brand, sizes, and colors you would like.
We will contact you by secure message when your supplies are ready for pickup.
Help with sizing & options:
If you need help taking measurements, or would like to see samples, please send the pharmacy a secure message through myCornellHealth (see above). For those ordering gc2b binders, this helpful video can help with sizing.
Additional binding / tucking resources:
Our Gender Services providers recommend the following resources from LGBTQ+ healthcare provider Callen-Lorde:
What counseling services are available at Cornell Health?
Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) offers individual counseling and group counseling related to gender identity, as well as Let's Talk drop-in consultation and other support.
Cornell Health counselors can also help you secure an official gender dysphoria / gender identity disorder (GID) diagnosis, and provide letters required to initiate gender-affirming surgeries.
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 Trans Resources at Cornell webpage for comprehensive information to support transgender and non-binary students at Cornell.