Delivery of Care

Open Door Health: the name says it all

New LGBTQ health care center is scheduled to open in the fall in Providence

Photo by Ted Nesi, republished with permission

The night before the Pride 2019 celebration, the State House was illuminated with rainbow colors. Open Door Health, the first LGBTQ health care center in Rhode Island, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.

By Richard Asinof
Posted 6/17/19
The R.I. Public Health Institute will open the state's first LGBTQ health care center in the fall of 2019, focused on sexual health and primary care in an affirming manner.
What is the potential for collaboration with other community clinics and HEZs in Rhode Island to build a network of services? What can be learned from Open Door Health in its use of human-centered design in delivering health care services to enhance the patient experience? Can the express screening technology planned to be deployed at Open Door Health be scaled up to serve other localities in Rhode Island?
As the epidemic of drug overdoses morphs, with an increase in the use of methamphetamines and cocaine, and with it, an increase in fentanyl in these illicit drug streams, community workers report that there is a greater uptake in the use of fentanyl test strips for those using cocaine and methamphetamines.
Under the leadership of Sen. Josh Miller, the chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, the Senate passed a bill to create a harm reduction center as a pilot program in Rhode Island.

PROVIDENCE – Open Door Health, the first LGBTQ health care center in Rhode Island, is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the fall at its location on 7 Central St., in the heart of the city. The clinic will offer primary care as well as screenings for HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and hepatitis C.

Open Door Health will be a health care center that provides high-quality, culturally congruent health care to Rhode Island’s LGBTQ population as well as the broader community, according to a recent news release announcing its planned opening.

It will be run by the nonprofit Rhode Island Public Health Institute, whose vision for Open Door Health is to improve the health and quality of life for members of Rhode Island’s LGBTQ population, which faces disparities in access to care and health outcomes.

The work of Open Door Health is driven by the Institute’s approach to integrating efforts to advance community health, promote health equity, develop innovative programs and train the public health workforce.

In addition, Open Door Health will build on existing collaboration with multiple agencies and institutions, including the R.I. Department of Health, Brown University, the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are delighted to open a health clinic focused on sexual health and primary care for Rhode Island's LGBTQ population,” said Dr. Philip A. Chan, Open Door Health’s medical director. Given the steady rise in the rates of sexually transmitted infections, both here in Rhode Island and in the nation, a key focus for Open Door Health will be providing express screening and immediate treatment for STIs, according to Chan.

“Our name says it all; our door is open,” said Dr. Amy Nunn, the executive director of the Rhode Island Public Health Institute. “Open Door Health will provide affirming services for all Rhode Islanders, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender expression, race or ethnicity, or ability to pay.”

Open Door Health will be built using human-centered design and technology, in order to enhance the patient experience, and to scale STI screening and care, according to Mark Tracy, the board chair of the R.I. Public Health Institute.

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