Einstein Healthcare Network Opening Gynecology Clinic for Lesbian and Bisexual Women and Transmen
Later this spring, Einstein Healthcare Network in Olney will open a gynecology clinic catering specifically to lesbian and bisexual women and transmen.
The clinic is a dream project of two out healthcare professionals at Einstein, Dr. Michele Style and physician’s assistant Sharon Butterworth. Style explains that she wanted to start the clinic, because she understands firsthand what it’s like to visit a traditional gynecologist as a lesbian. “I remember walking into a gynecologist’s office in my 20s and it didn’t feel like a safe or welcoming place—and I’m from a medical family. I generally have trust in the medical system,” she says.
Butterworth agrees. She recalls that she’d baffle doctors when she’d tell them she wasn’t on birth control or keeping track of her menstrual cycle. “They looked at me like I had three heads: I’m not on the pill, not doing the rhythm method? ‘What’s wrong?’ You just wanted to run away.”
Style and Butterworth will be joined at the clinic by chair of Einstein’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. David Jaspan. The way it works is this: Special hours will be dedicated at the regular clinic for lesbian bisexual, and transmen patients. During that time the office will get a makeover of sorts: Magazines and wall posters addressing typical heterosexual concerns will be switched for ones specifically speaking to lesbian and bisexual women and transmen; registration forms will be reworded; and patients can take comfort in the fact that the staff—everyone from the nurses, and receptionists to medical assistants and technicians—will be trained to be sensitive in their language and approach.
“I’m so overjoyed,” Butterworth says. “I kind of get tearful that we’re actually going to do this and I get to be part of it.”
The clinic will initially be open one night a month, with plans to expand from there as appropriate. As of now, the specific evenings are TBD. For more information you can call the clinic at 215-456-6990. It is located in Suite 410 of the Klein Building at 5501 Old York Road, which, as Butterworth points out “is easily accessible to Mt. Airy and environs, which has a large gay population.”