Gender Development Program

The THRIVE Gender Development Program operates on five philosophical principles:

  • Affirming Care: We approach gender diversity in a supportive and exploratory manner that appreciates all forms of gender identity and expression.
  • Best practice/Evidence-based Care: The team approaches care through a lens that adheres to the latest standards of care in the field.
  • Individualized Care: Every patient and family is unique and that there is no one treatment plan that fits all.
  • Multidisciplinary Care: Various specialties may be included in the process for a particular youth/family in order to meet the emotional and physical needs of the youth.
  • Patient/Family centered Care: The team approaches youth and families holistically, appreciates all perspectives within a family system and prioritizes safety and wellbeing of the youth.

Our Team

As part of the THRIVE Program, the Gender Development team consists of adolescent medicine, behavioral health therapy, endocrinology, clinical medical social work and psychiatry who work with families of transgender and gender diverse youth and adolescents to help meet their treatment needs.

Meet Our Team

Behavioral Health

The behavioral health component of the THRIVE gender development program serves patients and families who are presenting with gender identity related concerns.

The youth and families who most benefit from THRIVE Gender Therapy and/or Psychiatry services include:

  1. Those who may benefit by living their life in a gender that is different from their assigned gender at birth (socially and/or medically);
  2. Those gender diverse youth who may have emotional or mental health needs that are linked to being gender diverse;
  3. Those youth who are looking to explore their gender within a therapy setting.

THRIVE sees a spectrum of patients, from those just starting to explore their gender identity, to those meeting diagnostic criteria for Gender Dysphoria and/or are looking to transition. Services can therefore range from therapy alone, to integrated services with therapy, psychiatry, social work, endocrinology, and/or adolescent medicine.

What To Expect

  • You will meet with a mental health professional that might be either a therapist, a psychiatrist, or an advanced psychiatric nurse practitioner, depending on the specific needs of your family.
  • A holistic assessment (which we call the AGILE assessment*) will be completed with your family over a course of two to three sessions.
  • The professional will meet with members of the family together as well as separately, allowing each member to share their own experience privately with the clinician.

*AGILE (Affirmative, Gender-Informed, Lifespan, Exploratory Assessment)

Adolescent Medicine

Adolescence is a time of rapid growth and development. For some gender diverse youth the physical, cognitive and social changes that occur in adolescence can pose additional challenges.

The THRIVE adolescent medicine providers work closely with the THRIVE team to ensure that the reproductive health and medical transition needs of patients are met.

Specific services within the THRIVE adolescent medicine clinic include, reproductive health care, period control and managing gender affirming medications. Additionally, for youth who have unmet primary care needs and are seeking affirming healthcare providers, the general adolescent medicine clinic can provide primary care services.

What To Expect

  • You will meet with one of our THRIVE adolescent providers, pharmacist, and social workers at your first appointment, first visits may last 1-2 hours
  • A portion of the visit will be done with the youth alone

Endocrinology

The THRIVE Endocrinology Team meets with patients and families to provide education on gender affirming care, inform families about fertility preservation options, prescribe puberty blockers and gender affirming medicines and monitor the health effects of these important interventions. They work closely with the rest of the team to take into account the unique aspects that each family has. A Clinical Medical Social Worker is present for all THRIVE Endocrinology appointments to ensure a consistent approach to care.

What To Expect

The role of the Endocrinology team is to:

  • Evaluate and diagnose any underlying hormone abnormalities.
  • Explain and educate families about the normal and abnormal processes associated with the disorder.
  • Design and monitor a treatment plan that may include hormone replacement or substitution to promote growth and puberty.
  • Optimize psychosocial function and future sexual function.
  • Provide long term follow up from the neonatal period through childhood and adolescence and through the transition to adult care.

Social Work

The THRIVE gender social work team is available to meet with families during THRIVE gender team (endocrinology, adolescent medicine, psychiatry, and therapy) appointments. THRIVE gender social workers are also available by phone. 

What To Expect

The role of THRIVE gender social work is to: 

  • Assist with needs that can prevent a child from accessing healthcare
  • Help families connect with resources in the community and within Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Work with families to identify strengths that can be used to work through problems
  • Practice in collaboration with the healthcare team and work with patients and families to develop an individualized plan of care, that is unique to your child
  • Engage services within the hospital and greater community to further support optimal family functioning and wellness

Gender Program Resources

View local and national gender resources below.

View Gender Program Resources
  • Equitas - Provides behavioral health, legal services, and medical care to Transgender and Gender Diverse Adults 
  • Kaleidoscope Youth Center - works in partnership with young people in Central Ohio to create safe and empowering environments for LGBTQ youth through advocacy, education and support.
  • Mozaic - A wellness program and community space for transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people of color ages 13-29. 
  • Ohio State University - Provides healthcare to Transgender and Gender Diverse Adults 
  • Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) - A non-profit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of gay, lesbian and transgender persons and providing support to their families, friends and the community.
  • Stonewall Columbus: - Stonewall Columbus serves the Central Ohio LGBT community by providing a community center and offering programming and services that enhance the well-being and visibility of our diverse community through discovery, affirmation and celebration
  • The Trevor Project - The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. Trained counselors are here to support you 24/7. If you are a young person who is in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call The Trevor Lifeline now at 866-488-7386.
  • TransOhio - Serves the Ohio trans and ally communities by providing services, education, support and advocacy which promotes and improves the health, safety and life experience of the Ohio trans individual and community.
  • World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) - An international professional organization devoted to transgender health since 1979. They produce the Standards of Care that are widely recognized by major medical professional organizations.
Access Provider Resources
View Gender Development Program Resources for Providers