About Equinox

Who are we & what we do:   Equinox is a peer led Trans and Gender Diverse (TGD) Health Service operated by the Thorne Harbour Health (THH), formerly VAC.  We consult regularly with the THH Trans Advisory Group and our patients to establish service needs and define priorities; and our practice reflects the outcomes of these consultations. Equinox and THH believe that by working in partnership with the TGD community  we can provide a safe environment for gender diverse clients to obtain quality medical care.

Equinox is a health and well being service for the TGD community in Victoria. We honour and support your informed decisions and will use your preferred name and pronouns whilst treating you with respect.  Our goal is to ensure positive health outcomes for all members of the community.  Our services include General Practice healthcare, sexual health, hormone initiation and management, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and counselling. Equinox is an AGPAL Accredited General Practice. To ensure that we can provide comprehensive,quality healthcare, Equinox only accepts patients that reside in Victoria.

Our Team:

Dr Nick Silberstein joined the Equinox team in December 2016.  Nick is an experienced General Practitioner who has worked with  members of the TGD community throughout his career.  He has a special interest in HIV/Sexual Health, trans health, contraception (Mirena/Implanon) and hormone implants. Nick speaks French and Spanish and has previously worked in the UK. He has taken up various positions working in a variety of countries responding to public health issues with Medecines Sans Frontiers. Nick works at Equinox on Wednesdays.

Dr Susi Fox joined the Equinox team in October 2017.  She is an experienced General Practitioner with a special  interest in mental health, antenatal care, women’s health, LGBTTIQ health, contraception (Mirena and Implanon insertion), medical termination and autism spectrum disorder. Susi has been working as a general practitioner in Daylesford and Ballarat for the last 10 years.  She is a GP Examiner for the RACGP and a RAMUS medical student mentor. Susi works at Equinox one day per week.

Dr Adam Brownhill joined the Equinox team in October 2017. Adam trained as a General Practitioner in the UK and moved to Australia in 2013 where he  developed a special interest in Aboriginal Health.  He shares his work time between Equinox and the Urapuntja Health Service in Utopia, Northern Territory.   In 2015 he was awarded Northern Territory General Practitioner of the year, having received a commendation the year before. He was also the senior clinician of the team that received the Chronic Disease Network Primary Healthcare team of the year award in 2015.  In 2016 Adam gained a further Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice from the RACGP. Adam has been involved in medical education for over a decade across a broad range of professions. Clinically his interests are broad and include, but are not limited to, Trans health, Men’s health, chronic disease, mental health- particularly stress, sports medicine and paediatrics. Adam is also an Examiner for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Grace Lee provides counselling to TGD clients at Equinox.  Grace is a part of the THH counselling services team and has considerable experience working with the TGD community.  Grace has a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and has undertaken research to support counsellors working with trans and gender diverse clients.  Grace has previously worked in private practice and at Northside Clinic in Fitzroy, and at Queerspace, Carlton.  Grace is a registered provisional member of Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia (PACFA).

Grace works with individual adult clients from earliest gender questioning through to supporting those wishing to transition, and beyond.

Deone Drapala is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker providing Medicare bulk billed Allied Psychological Interventions (formerly ATAPS) at Equinox on Mondays.  Deone supports clients with counselling from a strength based practice model.  To access this service, speak to your Equinox GP and they will facilitate a referral.

Our reception team, Gabe and Carla are members of the TGD community and understand the issues that impact the health and well being of TGD people.

Daniel Sankar is our part time nurse working  on Thursday mornings at Equinox.  Daniel’s background has been in sexual health nursing and he also works as a general practice nurse at The Centre Clinic in St Kilda.

Peter Locke is the Practice Manager of Equinox Gender Diverse Health Service and PRONTO! Rapid HIV and STI Testing Service. He is also the Practice Manager of The Centre Clinic, an LGBTI General Practice in St Kilda. Prior to working with THH  in his current roles, Peter worked in and managed several LGBTI health services including The Carlton Clinic and Northside Clinic. He is proud to be an ally of and to work alongside the TGD community.

When:  General Practice services operate on Mon – Thurs from 9am until 3.30pm and alternating Fridays 9am – 12.30pm.  Counselling services operate on Thursdays.  The PRONTO! Rapid HIV and STI Testing and PrEP services start later in the afternoon, so the space is available for Equinox Gender Diverse Health Service use before that time.

Getting there and parking:   We are located at 175 Rose Street in Fitzroy. 2 Hour metered on street parking is available on Rose St and in the surrounding neighbourhood. Public transport is available Tram Route 86 running down Smith Street (Stop 20).

Disability Access: Please advise reception when booking if you require disability access. Upon your arrival, call the clinic and reception staff will open the disabled access entry. Our clinic has an electric height adjustable bed and a consult room large enough to accommodate a wheel chair. Please advise reception when booking that you require these facilities.

Would you like a virtual tour of our space? Click on the photo below.
Thank you to Zina Sofer for creating this for us.

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Booking Appointments

Medical Services:  Equinox sees patients on an appointment basis. Our standard appointments are 20 minutes long. If you think you need a longer appointment to discuss complex or multiple issues, please advise reception when booking.  All new patients are booked in for a long appointment (40mins) for their initial visit.

Emergencies presenting to the clinic will be seen as a priority and our staff will try to contact you if there is any unforseen delay or if your GP has been called away.

If you require an interpreter service (a language other than English or services for hearing impaired clients) these can be organised, but please advise reception at the time of booking.

To book a doctors appointment:

First visit – Please call 03 9416 2889 and reception will assist you.

Subsequent visits: Call or book online at http://www.equinox.org.au

When booking online, please make sure to select the correct Practitioner in the drop down menu (Trans and Gender Diverse GP)

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Booking Counselling Services: To speak to a counselling services intake officer, please call THH on 9865 6700 and let them know that you would like to see a counsellor at Equinox. They will advise you on the intake process.

If you are seeking information on alcohol or other drug counselling or other THH community support services, please visit http://www.vac.org.au

After Hours Care:   In the event of an emergency call 000 for an ambulance or present to the nearest emergency department.

If you have an urgent medical problem, please call our locum service, Doctor Doctor on 13 26 60. Please note that this service does not specialise in TGD health services and the first available doctor on duty will be sent to your home

Medical advice from a registered nurse is available 24 hours a day by calling Nurse On Call 1300 60 60 24. They will triage your symptoms and offer advice on how urgently you need to seek medical support.

Telephone and Email Access:   You can contact your doctor by calling during Equinox service hours. If the doctor is available to talk your call will be transferred through. If they are not available, the reception staff will take a message and promptly give it the doctor.  Please note that it can take several days for the doctor to return your call. If your matter is of an urgent nature, please advise reception and they will note this on the message.

Emails can be sent to equinoxadmin@vac.org.au  and will be forwarded on to your doctor. Please be aware that email is not considered a secure method of sending confidential and secure information.

Reminders and Recalls:  Equinox maintains a confidential database for reminding and recalling patients for follow up appointments, immunisations and preventative health care. If you do not wish to be on this database, please advise your doctor. While we make every effort to send reminders, it is your responsibility as patient to return for these subsequent visits.

All patients are sent reminder sms messages the day prior to their appointment. We ask that you reply to the message to indicate if you will be attending. Unconfirmed appointments may be cancelled. Please advise reception if you do not wish to receive reminder sms messages.

Pathology Results, Repeat Prescriptions and Referrals:  To comply with ethical and legislative requirements we require that patients attend an appointment to receive prescriptions, referrals and to be given most pathology test results. Referrals to specialists and third party healthcare providers may result in additional charges, please check with the health provider when booking.

Medical Records, Privacy and Confidentiality:  Records of your visits and treatments will be kept. The contents will be divulged only with your consent or where justified by law. You are entitled to see your medical records at any stage.

Your medical and counselling records are a confidential document and THH/ Equinox maintains the security of personal information at all times. Our services are bound by the Health Records Act 2001, the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth – incorporating the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012) and the Privacy & Data Protection Act 2014 (Victoria) regarding the collection, use, disclosure, access and protection of any personal or health information that we hold.

For further information about VAC’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy and THH’s Confidentiality Procedure please contact VAC via www.vac.org.au/contact or call VAC’s Privacy Officer on +61 3 9865 6700 or toll free : 1800 134 840.

If you have any concerns regarding aspects of our services, please speak to your doctor or the Practice Manager (03 9416 2889) If you are not happy with our response, you may contact:

Health Complaints Commissioner

Tel: 1300 582 113

General  Feedback and Questions

If you have any feedback or questions, please email the Program Manager, Peter Locke on peter.locke@vac.org.au

If you have any questions about broader Trans and Gender Diverse Programs at VAC contact Ren Grayson on ren.grayson@thorneharbourhealth.org , Ren is the Trans Health Lead at THH

 

EQUINOX is a service of Thorne Harbour Health

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