Gloria Bachmann, director of Rutgers’ Women’s Health Institute


John O'Boyle

For decades, Gloria Bachmann, director of Rutgers’ Women’s Health Institute, has advanced women’s health care through research, teaching, clinical practice, and advocacy. But as transgender patients increasingly shared with her the barriers they faced in obtaining health care in a safe and welcoming environment, Bachmann NCAS’70, RWJMS’72 wanted Rutgers to be a leader in changing that dynamic.

In 2016, Bachmann, interim chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and colleague Ian Marshall, associate professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric endocrinology, launched the school’s Transgender Health Initiative. The multidisciplinary effort connects specialties across the medical school, in collaboration with RWJBarnabas Health System, to provide comprehensive care to transgender patients. In just two years, the initiative has measurably enhanced patient care through clinician services, patient education, and community outreach.

The initiative trains clinicians, medical students, and staff to optimally care for transgender patients in a medical setting at all points of contact. “It’s not just the patient in the exam room,” says Bachmann, “but making the appointment, being in the waiting area, registering, and being called by the proper name.”

Patient education materials have been revamped to be clearer, age-appropriate, and reassuring. Hormone treatment, for example, is presented as a positive step toward gender affirmation, as opposed to medication for a health condition.

“We’re seeing a lot more younger patients,” Bachmann says, with families more open to treatment. “This was such a need, and Rutgers is making a difference.”

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