A $100,000 gift is funding the creation of a specialized service to provide transgender adolescents and young adults with peer support, medical care, and gender-responsive therapy.
“Walk With Me” will launch this spring at Wheeler’s community health centers in Plainville and Hartford. It is an outpatient treatment track for LGBTQ+-identifying young people ages 10-25.
Designed to create a safe, affirming, and inclusive array of services, Walk With Me aims to meet individuals where they are on their journey, and walk the path beside them and their loved ones to provide validation and a supportive environment for identity exploration.
Included in the track are specialty services to meet the unique needs of transgender and gender non-binary (GNB) or gender-expansive youth, who report significantly increased rates of depression, suicidality, and victimization compared to their cisgender peers, and who are at higher risk for homelessness or housing insecurity.
The Walk With Me track utilizes a combination of clinical behavioral health, peer support, community engagement and outreach, and educational components to meet transgender and GNB youth where they are—and support them on their journey toward living healthy, authentic lives.
“The transgender community deserves respect, support, and access to health care that is responsive to their needs,” says Sabrina Trocchi, PhD, MPA, president and chief executive officer of Wheeler. “Because of the visionary support of our donor, we can create Walk With Me in innovative ways that our team could only have imagined before.”
The anonymous donor says the issue of care for transgender individuals hit particularly close to home in their family, and they chose to invest in Wheeler because of its history of integrated behavioral and primary health care and staff expertise to provide the services well.
The donation is the second-largest gift from a living donor in Wheeler’s history, and the organization is focused on raising additional support for the program to sustain it.
As the program develops, more information about Walk With Me and Wheeler’s continuum of supportive services is available at: WheelerHealth.org/LGBTQIA
Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Centers
Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Centers in Bristol, Hartford, New Britain, Plainville, and Waterbury are community health centers that provide medical and dental care, as well as behavioral health care, and referral and linkages to specialty services.
Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Centers are funded in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Wheeler is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).
Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health insurance welcome. No patient will be denied health care services due to an individual’s inability to pay for services.
Improvements to the Susan Walkama Family Health & Wellness Center in Hartford are supported in part by the State of Connecticut Nonprofit Grant Program, the Connecticut Health & Educational Facilities Authority, the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, and the Ensworth Charitable Foundation. Additional support is provided by Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation.
Wheeler provides comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues, providing individuals, families, and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages health, recovery, and growth at all stages of life. Our integrated approach to primary and behavioral health, education, and recovery creates measurable results, positive outcomes, and hopeful tomorrows for more than 50,000 individuals across Connecticut each year. Learn more: www.WheelerHealth.org