CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKYC) – The Cleveland VA Medical Center will open the first VA clinic specifically dedicated to the healthcare needs of transgender veterans.

It will provide transgender veterans with primary care, hormonal therapy, mental health care and social work services. All of the providers in the clinic have a special interest in transgender care and will create an environment that celebrates and welcomes these veterans.

Transgender patients are an important, but frequently overlooked, VA says in a news release. The Cleveland VA currently treats about 20 transgender veterans.

Each year more than 200 patients are newly diagnosed with gender dysphoria across the country, which puts them at a higher risk for tobacco abuse, mental health disorders, and suicide according to Dr. Megan McNamara, who is the clinical lead for the transgender clinic.

A ceremony will begin Thursday at 12:30 p.m. on the second level of the main atrium at the Wade Park facility.

The Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center provides healthcare to more than 112,000 veterans annually through its inpatient and outpatient healthcare services.

Iowa college offers gender-neutral housing