UNC Psychiatry Gender Equity and Wellness Initiative
Our mission is to provide coordinated evidence-based care for gender diverse individuals ages 4-30 years and their families exploring or undergoing gender affirming treatment in the state of North Carolina and the local Southeast region.
- Provide an educated and informed evaluation on gender identification and expression in transgender, non-binary, genderfluid and agender individuals.
- Serve as a resource locally for high quality gender informed psychiatric and psychologic consultation to individuals and their families exploring or undergoing gender affirming treatments.
- Provide psychiatric and psychologic consultation to community partners providing care for individuals seeking gender affirming interventions.
- Collaborate with other UNC gender affirming care providers in areas to improve quality of care such as department and hospital wide workgroups and clinical research projects.
- Follow the most recent standards of care published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and educate coordinating providers on relevant recommendations.
- Provide when requested documentation needed for GAS.
- Link with and outreach to community stakeholders in order to coordinate and expand care models.
- Participate in multi-site clinical research with other programs across the Southeast region and in the country that deliver gender affirming care.
- Train the next generation of gender affirming providers (medical students, psychology and psychiatry trainees).
- Contribute to advocacy efforts for evidence based affirming care.
On average, we provide an evaluation and 1 – 4 follow up sessions with an informed and experienced psychologist or board certified psychiatrist to provide assessment and support to individuals and families experiencing gender dysphoria and who are undergoing the decisions that surround gender affirming care. Treatments can include assessment of gender expression, identification, and dysphoria, guidance on social transitioning, recommendations for family therapies, recommendations on medical consultations, guidance on medical transitioning, and when relevant, recommendations for supportive therapies.
About Our Team:
Dr. Echo Meyer is the co-founder of the clinic which was solidified following years of working with gender non binary persons. Throughout Dr. Meyer’s career, the experience of multidisciplinary care has been prominent. Dr. Meyer is experienced in working with individuals and families in various stages of transition and identification. Dr. Meyer meets with all people at all stages of transition but she has a focus in younger children, people with neuro atypical experiences, and adolescents and young adults experiencing family concerns and conflict. 2021 will be Dr. Meyer’s twentieth year working in the state of North Carolina related to the care and concerns of transgender youth and young adults and their families and partners. Dr. Meyer is also a full professor in psychiatry and pediatrics and Vice Chair of Psychological Services.
Dr. Cathy Lee is a clinical associate professor and co-founder of the UNC Psychiatry Gender Equity and Wellness Initiative. Dr. Lee is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. After graduating from her fellowship at the University of North Carolina, she joined the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where she served as the medical director for the Bradley School and started a school based mental health clinic as part of her larger mission to increase access to care for underserved children and their families. Since her return to the UNC Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2016, Dr. Lee has continued to expand upon her work with diverse populations and in improving access to care through her clinical collaboration with UNC Pediatrics and the UNC Transgender Health Program, outreach to community stakeholders, mentorship and training of psychiatry residents and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellows and consultation to colleagues.
Dr. Samantha Pflum is a child clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor at UNC School of Medicine. Dr. Pflum currently cares for youth and their families in a number of different settings at UNC. She provides gender-affirming services to children, adolescents, young adults, and families through the UNC Gender Equality Psychiatry Clinic. These services include evaluation, consultation, therapy, and referrals (e.g., for gender-affirming hormone care and surgery). Through the Pediatric Psychology/Psychiatry Consultation & Liaison Service, she works with children and adolescents hospitalized with acute and chronic medical illnesses at the UNC Children’s Hospital. Dr. Pflum also provides outpatient psychotherapy through the UNC Child Specialty Outpatient Clinic and the UNC Spine and Imaging Center. Teaching responsibilities are focused on working with clinical psychology graduate students, interns, and fellows, as well as facilitating trans health competency training in multidisciplinary settings.
Drs. Meyer, Lee, and Pflum work closely with their colleagues in Pediatric Endocrinology, Primary Care, Speech, and Surgery in a collaborative model to provide tightly coordinated services across disciplines for transgender and gender non-binary individuals seeking gender affirming care. They also have a network of community providers that they work with in counseling, legal, education, and supportive services for social transitions.
What we offer:
- Gender-affirming consultation and evaluation
- Referrals to and collaboration with other providers (e.g., endocrinology, family medicine, surgery)
- Letters of support for initiation of gender-affirming hormone care or referrals for surgery
- Ongoing psychotherapy and medication management services, in select cases
- Advocacy, education, and clinical training
We accept referrals from other mental health providers and medical providers seeking consultation on their transgender or gender non-binary patients (ages 4-30 years) undergoing or exploring all forms of gender affirming care.
We also accept self-referrals from individuals or family members of individuals (ages 4-30 years) who are interested in exploring a gender-affirming evaluation, and also those in need of support or consultation during any phase of transition.
All insurances are accepted, including Medicaid and UNC Charity Care.
A PDF referral form can be found here (https://www.med.unc.edu/psych/wp-content/uploads/sites/839/2020/09/UNC-GE-Clinic-Referral-Form-08-2020.pdf). We welcome self-referrals and referrals from providers or community organizations. After referral, you will be contacted by phone or UNC MyChart to schedule an initial appointment.