Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy in Wisconsin: Opportunity to Expand Access by Enabling Family Planning Providers to Bill Medicaid

a blue, pink, and white trans flag

There is an opportunity in Wisconsin to expand access to gender-affirming care for low-income, transgender people in our state. Rachel Dyer, a CORE researcher and a PhD student in the UW-Madison Department of Counseling Psychology, prepared a brief on this subject with support from CORE staff. In it, Dyer dives into the process and potential outcomes of updating Wisconsin’s Medicaid policy to expand specific family planning coverage.

Dyer compiles extensive research showing that gender-affirming hormone therapy, or GAHT, can improve the health and wellbeing of transgender people. GAHT is a safe and effective form of medical care that may be sought by transgender, nonbinary, two-spirit, gender nonconforming, and other gender diverse people. Like other forms of gender-affirming care, the purpose of GAHT is to support transgender people in feeling more aligned with their gender identity, namely by reducing sex characteristics that they were born with and inducing sex characteristics that align with their gender identity.

Wisconsin could efficiently expand access to GAHT by permitting family planning clinics to bill state Medicaid for GAHT services provided in their clinics. Because each state determines for itself what constitutes family planning and what services can be covered, Wisconsin has the ability to expand the interpretation of family planning to include important healthcare services that fall under the umbrella of GAHT. As a major form of regular and preventative healthcare, family planning providers have a unique capacity to provide gender-affirming services.

The reach of family planning clinics in Wisconsin also make them a useful choice for a site to provide GAHT; there are approximately 150 clinical sites in rural and urban communities across the state that already provide publicly-funded family planning services. Further, expanding Medicaid coverage to include GAHT services provided at these clinics would be of minimal cost to the state of Wisconsin.

To learn more about the importance of clinical provision of gender-affirming hormone therapy, and the opportunity to expand access via Medicaid coverage, check out our CORE Brief.


New Publication: Dr. Renee Kramer and team study experiences of being turned away from Catholic healthcare settings without receiving care

image description: a black and metal stethoscope on a hot pink background with the ear pieces overlapping.

image description: a black and metal stethoscope on a hot pink background with the ear pieces overlapping.

We’re excited to share a new CORE study!

Dr. Renee D. Kramer and Dr. Jenny A. Higgins of CORE, along with Dr. Marguerite E. Burns, Lori R. Freedman & Debra B. Stulberg, published a new study in the journal Contraception titled “Prevalence and experiences of Wisconsin women turned away from Catholic settings without receiving reproductive care.” The paper addresses women’s experiences of being turned away from Catholic healthcare settings without receiving care. The researchers surveyed 675 women in Wisconsin and analyzed the data.

Key findings:
• Experiences of being turned away from a Catholic healthcare setting without receiving desired contraceptive or fertility care were more common among Wisconsin women living in rural counties served by Catholic sole community hospitals compared to other rural and urban areas.
• About 1-in-12 women in Wisconsin rural counties served by Catholic sole community hospitals reported ever being turned away from a Catholic healthcare setting without receiving desired reproductive care.
• Women who were turned away by hospitals reported long delays in accessing care elsewhere, especially when seeking tubal ligation; in some cases, this led to more invasive procedures or unintended pregnancy.

As Catholic healthcare expands locally and nationally, it is important to better understand how restrictions on healthcare delivery influence patients’ lives. Read the full study here.

Now Hiring: Fall Research Assistantship with Dr. Christine Durrance

CORE Logo Square

Collaborative for Reproductive Equity logo- three dots in coral, grey, and yellow over the words "UW CORE"

Dr. Christine Durrance, CORE Research Hub Co-Advisor and Associate Professor of Public Affairs, is hiring hiring a fall Research Assistant to assist with a variety of projects. Please share this opportunity widely and with friends and colleagues who may be interested.

Project Assistant Position

Dr. Christine Durrance is seeking a graduate research assistant (PA) to assist with several empirical research projects. This position is funded through the CORE: Collaborative for Reproductive Equity ( at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The PA will contribute to literature reviews and conduct basic research tasks, data cleaning and preparation, and preliminary analyses of data. The PA will meet (remotely for now) regularly with Dr. Durrance. Relevant research projects are in the area of reproductive, maternal, and infant health. Specific projects will focus on state-level abortion restrictions; other contraceptive policy; and hospital closures/ownership status on maternal/infant outcomes.

The 50% research assistantship covers full tuition (in-state or out-of-state) and offers a stipend for 20 hours of work per week.[1] The PA can also choose to pay a small monthly payment for health insurance. This position is for the Fall 2021 semester, with a possible extension to the Spring 2022 semester. Please apply as soon as possible; applications will be considered immediately and accepted until the position is filled. The PA must be a full-time graduate student and maintain satisfactory progress toward their degree.

The core tasks of the RA will be to:

  • Conduct literature reviews; gather relevant data or policy information
  • Clean and prepare data for analyses
  • Conduct descriptive and preliminary analyses
  • Contribute to manuscript writing

Key qualifications should include some or all of the following:

  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Communicative and responsive
  • Some prior experience working with data
  • Familiarity with Stata
  • Interest in reproductive, maternal, and infant health

To apply:

  • Send a resume (2 pages maximum), cover letter detailing relevant experiences and qualifications (1 page maximum), writing sample (course paper, report, or publication), and contact information for two to three references to Dr. Durrance,
  • In the subject line, please include your name and “Application for PA position – UW CORE”


[1] Detailed information about graduate assistantships, including current stipend rates, can be found here: