A new medical clinic recently opened in Savannah focuses on treating the needs of LGBTQ residents in the coastal city.
Starland Family Practice opened last month because of the often unique needs of LGBTQ patients who might otherwise avoid seeking care.
"If they are not comfortable in the office, they don't want to go back to the office," Brandon Earehart (top image), a physician assistant with Starland, told WSAV.
"If you can’t be open and honest about your lifestyle, what you are doing, who you might be having sex with, it could change the type of testing and screening you might do," Earehart added.
The clinic will be a lifeline for Savannah’s transgender community in particular, who Earehart said have been forced to seek medical care far from home.
"Transgender patients were driving to Atlanta for a doctor, flying to Philadelphia for a physician, Orlando, you know major cities, there were not many providers around the Savannah area that were prescribing hormones," he said.
Starland Family Practice is only open three days a week, but they hope to expand to seven days soon. Earehart also told WSAV he is working on full insurance certification so patients will be covered under their personal insurance plan. He hopes to have that certification in the next few months.
"I think it's important to have someone who you can see when you are comfortable and can be open and honest with them," he said. "I think eventually this type of practice will probably be obsolete, which will be great for the population as a whole. But right now there's a need for it."
Screenshot via WSAV