It can be scary trying to find a provider who is nonjudgmental and affirming in the best of times. Our current health climate only makes finding quality care even more challenging.
As a sexologist, my personal clients range from the LGBT community to those who practice non-monogamy, to kinky, to sex workers, and everything in between. But all of them have something in common — they want to be treated with respect and kindness. They want the care brought back into patient care. They are real people with real health concerns and the last thing any of us want is to be judged or shamed for who we are — especially when seeking care for our mental or physical health and wellness.
The question of “where can I go for nonjudgmental healthcare?” is one I’ve had to answer often.
Exacerbated by the current COVID19 pandemic, the need for a sex-positive, all-inclusive LGBTQIA+ Health Center in Utah has become even more clear. Many people are struggling to find supportive primary healthcare, psychiatry services, therapists, and/or nutritionists to help with disordered eating. Quality healthcare is hard enough to find, but especially hard when one identifies with any marginalized community.
Answering the call, Rebirth Ob/GYN is rebranding and moving towards Rebirth Health Center. As of July 1st, they have expanded their services and increased their providers to those who specifically offer LGBTQ+ services, with a focus on transgender and nonbinary inclusive medical and mental care. The providers and staff at Rebirth hold a strong belief that all people, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or relationship configuration should have access to efficient and quality health care. Recognizing that not everyone feels comfortable or safe leaving home during our current health climate, appointments are being offered both in-person and via Telehealth.
Their staff is impressive and each of the professionals is experienced in the services they offer both personally and professionally. I personally find that quality rare, but necessary when working with marginalized communities.
Meet Dr. Luikenaar
Dr. Luikeanaar (she/her/they/them) identifies as genderqueer and has been practicing medicine since the early 1990s. Seeing the lack of care for the transgender population here in Utah, she began a trans health clinic in 2011 and founded Rebirth in 2014. Since that time they have been offering obstetrics/gynecology, primary and preventive care to the LGBTQI+ community. These services include hormone therapy, pre- and/or post-operative care, and help with all aspects of transitioning for transgender and nonbinary folx. Dr. Luikenaar performs hysterectomies and orchiectomies and has created partnerships with many specialists who offer trans-affirming care, not only within the local community but also nationally and internationally. Holding a strong desire to expand their ability to help patients, she is currently co-editing the first trans gynecology textbook written for gynecologists and primary care providers.
Meet Cac Cook, PA
Cac Cook (he/him) is Native American and grew up on a reservation in the North Central Plains of South Dakota. He’s also my partner of 20 years, so I’m a bit bias as to his ability to be an amazing provider. A physician assistant with over 30 years of medical experience, he is a graduate of the University of California Davis’ Physician Assistant program. He also completed a one-year psychiatric fellowship through UC Davis and UC Irvine, and is a certified Neurofeedback provider. Prior to joining Rebirth, he worked in Los Angeles where he was the medical director of one of the most comprehensive transgender health programs in the country. Growing the program from its infancy, he found serving marginalized populations to be a great reward. While hormone therapy has been his primary focus for the past several years, he also sees patients for family practice, general medical concerns, HIV and Hepatitis C, and patients who identify with fringe communities such as LGBT, BDSM, polyamorous, sex workers, etc.
Meet Kimberly Anderson, MFT
Kimberly Anderson (she/her) is a transgender woman who was raised in an orthodox Mormon home, living as a boy on a horse farm in rural Northern Utah. She is now pursuing a new spiritual path based on truth, science, and love. Anderson is a graduate of the University of San Francisco with an MA in Counseling Psychology. She has been practicing as a marriage and family therapist in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas with concentrations on Native American populations, adolescents, eating disorders, and trauma. Her particular specialty is working with LGBTQ+ youth and their families who are transitioning through various journeys of faith and spirituality. Anderson is the photographer and author of the Mama Dragon Story Project, an ethnographic study that features portraits and autobiographical essays from over 135 Mormon mothers who have decided their love for their LGBTQ+ child is greater than any religious dogma.
Meet Jennifer Lynn Wilguess, electrologist
Seeing the lack of options for hair removal for those with trans experience in the Salt Lake area, Jenn Lynn Wilguess (she/her) changed careers and attended school for electrolysis. She did this solely so she could come to work at Rebirth and offer patients the kind of affirming and nonjudgmental attention they deserve when seeking permanent hair removal. Jenn specializes in preparing individuals for gender-affirming surgery. She’s been a longtime activist in the trans and LGBTQ+ community and has served on the board for Genderevolution and is a current board member for TEA (Transgender Education Advocates) of Utah. She has a firm belief in leaving the world better than she found it and feels her work with Rebirth is one way of achieving that.
The expansion at Rebirth seeks to fill voids in patient care that patients themselves have been asking for. They are doing this by adding stellar medical care by experts in the field of trans healthcare, as well as making their services more comprehensive. In addition to the practitioners introduced above, Rebirth is bringing on a dietitian familiar with eating disorders who holds a strong stance of “health at every size.”
I believe that Rebirth Health Center is coming out to our community at just the right time. We need care, compassion, kindness, and acceptance specifically in our healthcare system, now more than ever — for all genders, all sexual orientations, all relationship configurations, and all sexual expressions.
To schedule an appointment at Rebirth call 801-272-3909 or 801-218-2420 or visit their website at rebirthobgyn.com
Dr. Laurie Bennett-Cook is a clinical sexologist offering teletherapy sessions both nationally and internationally. She can be heard on various podcasts and works as a media consultant for Netflix and Epix. She can be reached at DrLaurieBennettCook@gmail.com