NEWPORT — Heather Dodge Hasselschwert, owner and physical therapist at Newport Physical Therapy, welcomed Dr. J.K. Gavin Schumate’s private gynecology practice into suite 102 at 1010 Southwest Coast Highway.
“It fits well to have a gynecologist and a pelvic floor physical therapist in the same office space, Shumate explained. “There hasn’t been a private practice gynecologist here for a really long time, if ever. So it was a good market to get into, I think.”
Integrity Women’s Health and Wellness offers all gynecological services, preventive care and wellness. Accepting most major medical providers, Shumate said anyone can come in and receive care. “I’m not going to tell anyone no. Even if they have no insurance, we’ll work with them.”
Any woman over the age of 21 should be seeing a gynecologist on an annual basis, Shumate said. Pap screening is recommended every three years from the ages of 21 to 29, once you get past the age of 30, every five years, with HPV testing. Shumate offers contraceptive counseling, infertility counseling, family planning and office procedures.
“We’re the only trans health clinic on the coast right now. Most of those patients are going to Eugene, Corvallis, Salem or even up Portland for their care,” he claimed. “We’re able to handle trans patients and help them with hormone therapy. We are a safe space, and we are a respectful space.”
This is a good place for trans people to be, to get their hormone care, to get their transition started and have referrals, Shumate said. “We’re going to respect you. We’re going to use your given name. We’re going to use your preferred pronouns. And we’re going to take care of you. If you want hormone therapy, we’re going to get you on that road and get you to where you want to be.” It’s a respect for the dignity of everyone who walks through these doors, he said.
Shumate revealed that he wanted to be a doctor since he was six. His parents are both doctors, also OB/GYNs. Also an Episcopal priest, Shumate noted that at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Toledo, “We welcome everyone. It’s as simple as that. You are welcome to come to church with us.” Shumate brings that open, inclusive philosophy from the church to his medical practice.
On the board for the Olalla Center in Toledo, Shumate related efforts working with the LGBTQ to establish The Bravery Center, a safe space for referrals, for care, for therapy — for everything that community needs to thrive.
This is where we are in America, Shumate expressed. “It’s dangerous to be out as a trans person, especially in these small, rural communities.” An advocate and an activist for the trans community, he saw the need to create safe spaces. “This is who we are. This is what we’re offering,” he said.
“Just last year there was a trans woman who was almost beaten to death at Agate Beach,” Shumate said, referring to Lauren Jackson, a transgender person beaten by an Idaho man after using the women’s bathroom in August 2019. “Clearly there’s a need for safety here.”
Shumate elaborated, “I think every hate we have is based in fear. Something about trans brings out fear in some cisgendered people. Something about being trans is threatening.”
Integrity Women’s Health and Wellness welcomes patients, even offering telemedicine. For information, call 541-265-4253 or find them on Facebook. Office hours are Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.