Gender Services

the blue, pink, and white transgender flag

How to change your preferred name at Cornell Health:

It's easy to change your preferred name in our patient portal.

  • Go to myCornellHealth (at the top of any page on this website).
  • Click on "Profile" in the left-hand navigation
  • Go to "Preferred Name" and select "Edit."
  • Enter your preferred name

Please note: this name change will apply only at Cornell Health.

Cornell Health provides services and support for transgender students, and for those who are questioning their gender identity and/or are 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). 

Gender-affirming care

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 the Cornell Health 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 medical provider who specializes in gender identity and transgender care. You will have the opportunity to discuss your physical care as well as emotional and social needs, and any questions or concerns you may have. Medical services are provided under the direction of Beth Kutler, NP, Director of Women’s and Sexual Health, and Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Hurley, DO.

To schedule an appointment:

By phone: Call 607-255-5155 and ask for a Gender Services appointment.
Online: Log in to myCornellHealth and …

  • Click "appointments" and then "Schedule an appointment"
  • Select "Medical care"
  • 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)"
  • 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?

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 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:

If you need help taking measurements, or would like to see samples, please contact Nurse Manager Bridget Flanigan, RN, at 607-255-5155 or bf299@cornell.edu to schedule an appointment.

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," provides peer support, information, and resources for students with GID (Gender Identity Disorder) who are medically, legally, and logistically transitioning – or intending to begin transition – at Cornell. If you have questions about the group or are interested in joining, please email transitioning@cornell.edu