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Health-Tech Start-Up Plume Brings Gender-Affirming Care Into Homes

Dr. Jerrica Kirkley, co-founder of Plume

The Denver company says it can provide gender-affirming care access to 90 percent of transgender Americans across 42 states.

Providing gender-affirming care via telemedicine, a Colorado-based health-tech start-up founded by a transgender doctor has raised millions of dollars in investor funding. Denver's Plume has raised $24 million in series B, or second round, funding to expand its virtual platform to transgender patients across the country.

For $99, Plume allows users to use its platform. The company, in a press release, said the new funding would enable it to expand to all 50 states by early next year by connecting members with physicians who can prescribe gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy.

The services offered by the program are gender-affirming health care, including consultations, lab testing, support groups, letters of support for surgeries and name and gender marker changes, and medication and prescription delivery. According to Plume, gender-affirming care is now accessible to everyone without the need to visit a physician's office, eliminating these barriers.

The company plans to expand nationwide, enter the virtual primary care market, and expand insurance coverage with funds from the investment. It says Plume can now provide care in 42 of the continental United States, with access to over 90 percent of the trans population.

"As a trans woman and physician, I started Plume to offer a supportive space for trans Americans as they navigate our nation's broken health care system," Plume's cofounder and chief medical officer, Dr. Jerrica Kirkley, said in a press release. "With today's announcement, we are on track to reach our goal of increasing access to high-quality, gender-affirming care to patients across the U.S. in both urban areas and coverage deserts."

Kirkley continued, "Knowing the hurdles trans Americans face when accessing care, I'm encouraged to reach this benchmark and I look forward to Plume's growth in the future. I want to thank Transformation Capital, General Catalyst, and Town Hall Ventures for their partnership in transforming health care for every trans life."

In 2021, thinking about her reflections on Transgender Day of Visibility, Kirkley wrote in The Advocate, "As both a patient and a medical provider, I've seen this reflected acutely in our health care system, and believe that we are at a critical turning point when it comes to systemic change and trans visibility more broadly."

Plume does not provide services to cisgender individuals nor anyone under the age of 18, or 19 in Nebraska or Alabama, according to a statement on the company website.

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