In a forward-thinking move, Philly FIGHT and city councilwomen Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Marian Tasco announced at a press conference this morning the development of a brand-new HIV clinic that caters to Spanish-speaking Philadelphians.
Jane Shull, executive director of Philly FIGHT, says FIGHT applied for a Department of Health and Human Services Special Projects of National Significance grant in February, receiving a response two weeks ago that the department would fund the project. Councilwoman Quinones-Sanchez has contributed as, Shull says, “a strong voice for services in the community” — the starring role of “rallying the troops,” so to speak.
“The population we’re focusing on is people from Puerto Rico. There’s been an uptick in immigration from there in the last decade, and there are a lot of people not comfortable in English or reluctant to lead in neighborhoods where they speak Spanish and it’s their culture,” Shull says. “We decided to put the clinic within an organization that responds to that community, and that’s really where they are — in the middle of [North Philadelphia]. … We’re really excited about this, since it was previously a population we were unable to serve, because of location.”Though the clinic will be run out of Prevention Point’s facility, Philly FIGHT will contribute by sending clinicians to the space each Wednesday to provide care and, if necessary, drive them to the FIGHT primary-care facility at 12th and Locust streets. Philly FIGHT’s services accept payment as able, but are otherwise free.