LGBTQ Support: Welcome Home to UofSC

 

The University of South Carolina and Student Health Services supports all students in the pursuit of their academic goals and strongly values multicultural inclusion, respect and equality for every individual in the pursuit of a Healthy Carolina. This means we are here for you.

At USC, we are committed to providing an individualized approach to care, taking into account the needs of each patient. LGBTQ patients have unique health care needs that may be overlooked, particularly if sexual orientation or gender identity are hidden. This can affect both access to care and the quality of care received. The risk of adverse health outcomes, including preventive disease and depression, may increase significantly. Using the Patient Centered Medical Home Model, our providers, nurses, counselors and other health care professionals will work together to provide you comprehensive and individualized care. For more information, visit www.sa.sc.edu/shs. Please note that our services and processes specifically for the LGBTQ community are continuing to evolve.

Medical Providers

Student Health Services wants all students to feel comfortable and welcome in our facilities. We understand that individuals within the LGBTQ community may have specific concerns. We strive for all of our students to be treated with respect and provided a safe and caring environment where you can be open and honest about your health concerns. If you are looking for a particular medical provider or have a preference of working with a provider of a particular gender, please let us know when you schedule your appointment. You may also select your provider for certain appointments on MyHealthSpace at www.sc.edu/myhealthspace.

Confidentiality

All Student Health Services visits are confidential. Mental and physical health care records are completely separate from all other university records. Student Health Services staff consult with one another to provide you high-quality, integrated care. We will not release your protected health information without your written permission, except as authorized or required by law, or in our judgment as necessary to protect you or others from a serious threat to health and safety.

Care team nurse

We understand that you may be anxious about seeking services or making an appointment with a health care provider. If you have any questions about your health care or need information about options including hormone replacement therapy or referrals, please contact the care team nurse at 803-777-0564.

How to change your name and/or pronoun in your electronic health record

Our staff uses the university registrar’s information for your name and gender within our electronic health record. To ensure you are properly identified when you visit one of our offices, we encourage you to change the name you prefer to use and your pronoun in our electronic health record. To change your name and pronoun within the electronic health record, please call the front desk staff within the General Medicine Center at
803-576-6561, or talk to your medical provider or mental health provider during your appointment. Any changes made to our electronic health record will not affect your information within the rest of the university system; we keep separate records from other university departments.

Mental health services

Stress and mental health issues can be more common in the LGBTQ community with the challenges associated by living in our society. We encourage you to get ahead of stress and engage with programs, services and events to build community, create coping strategies and encourage resiliency. Learn more at www.sc.sa.edu/shs/mentalhealth, take an online mental health screening at www.sa.sc.edu/shs/cp/training and see upcoming events at www.sa.sc.edu/shs/events. Our highly skilled mental health professionals are also here for you. You can meet individually with a counselor or psychiatrist. The Counseling & Psychiatry department also has groups specifically designed for the LGBTQ community’s needs. To make an appointment or for more information about these services, please call 803-777-5223 or visit www.sa.sc.edu/shs/cp.

General medical and advocacy services

Student Health Services programs and services are open to all students.
Supporting the vision of a Healthy Carolina, Student Health Services provides: general medical care; women’s care; sports medicine and physical therapy; counseling and psychiatric services; radiology and laboratory services; and has an on-site pharmacy. Comprehensive, 24/7 advocacy services are also available for survivors of interpersonal violence. To make an appointment, visit www.sc.edu/myhealthspace or call 803-777-3175.

Gynecological services

Visiting our Women’s Care department can be uncomfortable if you do not identify as a female. We understand your concerns. You can make an appointment by visiting www.sc.edu/myhealthspace or by calling 803-777-8920. If you have questions or need assistance or accommodations to ensure you’re comfortable during an upcoming visit, our secure messaging portal, www.sc.edu/myhealthspace, allows you to send an electronic message to the Women’s Care nursing staff, or you can call their charge nurse at 803-777-3840.

Health and wellness services

Health and wellness education and services are available on a variety of topics including stress, sexuality issues, healthy relationships, STIs/HIV/pregnancy prevention, sleep, proper nutrition, physical fitness, among others. For more information, please visit www.sa.sc.edu/shs or call 803-576-9393.

Nutritionist services

Individuals within the LGBTQ community face many unique nutrition challenges, including significantly higher rates of eating disorders and issues with weight management and disease prevention. These are also important considerations related to transitioning. Make an appointment with either of our Safe Zone-certified nutritionists by visiting www.sc.edu/myhealthspace or by calling 803-777-3175.

Pharmacy and prescriptions

Our pharmacy is in-network with most insurance plans and can fill outside prescriptions, including hormone replacement therapy. Check with your specific insurance plan to verify coverage. Pharmacy personnel will be happy to answer questions or assist you.  The university-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan benefits include hormone replacement therapy. For more information about this plan, please visit www.studentinsurance.com or call 1-888-622-6001.

University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan

The university-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan benefits include domestic partners. For more information about this plan, please visit www.studentinsurance.com or call 1-888-622-6001.

An inclusive environment

Student Health Services wants you to feel welcome and comfortable when you visit our facilities. We have all-gender bathrooms available on the second, third and fourth floors of the Thomson Student Health Center.

Additional information

If you would like additional information from Student Health Services or cannot find material you think would be helpful, please visit our homepage at www.sa.sc.edu/shs and leave us a comment on the “Contact Us” button or call 803-777-4199.

Office of Multicultural Student Affairs – LGBT Programs

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs offers services and support to LGBTQ and ally students, including drop-in visits, 1:1 consultations, an LGBTQ resource reference library and more. They facilitate educational workshops and programs focused on diversity, cultural awareness and social justice across campus. If you are looking to get involved, consider contacting lawterma@mailbox.sc.edu about programs, support and advocacy opportunities available for LGBTQ students.

Other resources

Harriet Hancock Center – LGBT center in Columbia: www.harriethancockcenter.org or 803-771-7713
The Trevor Project and Hotline – for LGBTQ individuals who are experiencing crisis, mental health concerns, suicide ideation and other concerns: www.thetrevorproject.org or 866-488-7386 

Trans Lifeline – a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people: www.translifeline.org or 877-565-8860