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Amida Care Applauds Dohmh and NYC Council Member Corey Johnson for Plan to Continue HIV and STD Services During Chelsea Clinic Renovation

June 17, 2015

New York, NY (June 17, 2015) – The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and New York City Council Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson have announced a plan to continue to offer low and no-cost HIV and STD testing and other health services while the Health Department’s Chelsea Clinic in Manhattan is closed for renovations.

Under the plan, the Health Department will station a mobile unit outside of the clinic to provide assistance to potential patients and direct them to nearby health services. In addition, several community-based organizations will provide mobile HIV and STD services near the Chelsea site five days a week. Beginning in the fall, a full-service, on-site Health Department mobile clinic will provide HIV and STD testing services. The renovations to the Chelsea Clinic are intended to ultimately improve the patient experience and the quality of clinical services.

The Health Department and Council Member Johnson have also worked with community partners to expand services at surrounding community clinics. The Health Department will supplement funding to the Community Healthcare Network, Callen Lorde, and Mt. Sinai Downtown Comprehensive Health Center to pay for testing costs and add one nurse practitioner at each site. These changes will allow the three sites to collectively support approximately 60 to 70 more visits per day than what is currently offered. Council Member Johnson’s office consulted with community partners, including Amida Care, to identify service organizations in the community that could fill this need.

“We applaud Council Member Johnson, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Health Department, and the community partners who worked together to develop suitable alternatives so that testing and care options for New Yorkers could continue to be offered in Chelsea,” said Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care. “We must do all we can to ensure that testing, prevention and treatment services are not disrupted as we advance our goal to End the AIDS Epidemic in New York.”

“Ready access to HIV and STD testing are critical components in the campaign to End AIDS by 2020,” said Dr. Jerome Ernst, Chief Medical Officer of Amida Care. “Too many HIV-positive New Yorkers are still unaware that they are infected. Recently released data confirms that the earlier people are identified as being HIV-positive and begin antiretroviral therapy, the longer their lifespan. Having these services continuously available while the Chelsea Clinic is being upgraded is an essential public health measure.”