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UMMC’s Center for Gender and...

UMMC’s Center for Gender and Sexual Minority Health at work in Mississippi

By: Frank Corder - September 7, 2022

According to the Center, anyone over the age of 13 can make an appointment to see a provider within their TEAM clinic. 

As a state funded institution, it may surprise many Mississippians that the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) has a Center for Gender and Sexual Minority Health that was established in 2019.

The TEAM Clinic, which stands for Trustworthy, Evidence-based, Affirming, and Multidisciplinary, provides the following services:

  • Primary care
  • Gender affirmative medicine, including hormone therapy
  • HIV/STD screening and treatment
  • Behavioral health services, including therapy and medication management

Anyone over the age of 13 can make an appointment to see a provider within the TEAM clinic.  UMMC notes that those under the age of 18 seeking hormone therapy may have an extended wait time for an appointment due to specialist availability.

According to the FAQ page on their website, the TEAM Clinic is a comprehensive care network that provides medical (including hormone therapy), mental health, STI/HIV treatment and prevention, social work services, and surgical referrals.  These services, UMMC states, are tailored to each person’s goals and concerns starting with the first visit.

Doctors Alex Mills and Scott Rodgers are the co-directors of UMMC’s Center for Gender and Sexual Minority Health.

Dr. Rodgers joined the UMMC Neurology Department in a Facebook video to highlight the Center’s work in June 2021. He said the TEAM Clinic is one of only four clinics like it in the southeastern United States. The others are in universities in Birmingham, North Carolina and Tennessee.  The Center, he said at the time, was seeing “well over 50 patients.”

Rodgers went on to say that UMMC has added sexual orientation to their reporting system with the help of UMMC’s Diversity and Inclusion Office so now when a patient comes to the health care provider they can “use the correct pronouns and the correct names” to address people “properly.”

Notably, Dr. Rodgers says the Center has brought in grants from the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi and the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi to support their work.

Dr. Mills shared on Twitter earlier this year that the Center was awarded with Top Performer status by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization that supports progressive causes across the U.S.

Dr. Mills is an active tweeter, frequently sharing opinions and information regarding such things as adolescent gender affirmation and challenging legislation that pushes back on such practices.

Dr. Mills also documented his meeting with a federal inmate who identifies as a trans female to continue gender affirming care.

“Grateful @ummclgbtq facilitates these opportunities to provide person-centered care to those of the #LGBTQIA community, regardless of living situation!” the doctor tweeted.

The Center itself is on social media as of this year.  It launched its Twitter account in March. Since then, the Center has shared about the Transgender Day of Visibility, Lesbian Visibility Week, and Pride Month, along with various studies from organizations and research that promote such lifestyles.

Mississippi lawmakers appropriated $177 million of state tax dollars to support the University of Mississippi Medical Center during the 2022 legislative session, an increase of over $16 million from the previous fiscal year.

Overall, UMMC reports that its annual budget is $1.6 billion, of which approximately one-tenth comes from state appropriations.

UMMC, the state’s only academic health science center, functions as a separately funded, semi-autonomous unit responsible to the chancellor of the University of Mississippi and, through him, to the constitutional Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, which governs all eight state institutions of higher learning in Mississippi.

UMMC is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi.  The health insurance company has filed a defamation suit against the hospital’s leadership and has subpoenaed communications between the hospital and two media outlets.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: