05 Aug Origin Stories: Prism Health
By Chris Altavilla and Dustin Vance, Prism Health
Prism Health was just an idea in 2015 when its parent organization, CAP, recognized an unfulfilled need in the local LGBTQ+ community for culturally affirming primary care. CAP spent two years, researching, planning, and raising funds for the one-of-a-kind clinic, and in May 2017, Prism Health opened its doors. Prism Health is Oregon’s first and only lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus all other gender and sexual minorities (LGBTQ+) primary care clinic. Learn more about Prism Health when it celebrated its one year anniversary in May 2018.
Prism Health continue to give gender affirming culturally competent care to LGBTQ+ individuals and beyond. Our doors are open to everyone in our community. Prism Health received its Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike status in March and shared with OPCA how it meets the needs of the LGBTQ+ Community. Being an FQHC-LA we are able to care for people who many not be able to afford healthcare by offering a sliding scale for payment based on their income. We offer this for Primary Care and Behavior Health patients. In March, when the pandemic began to effect Oregon the team at Prism Health worked swiftly to migrate to a telehealth model so we could care for our patients and clients while keeping each other safe. We now have a split model where we see patients via telehealth or in the clinic as needed. We continue to put the health of our patients first so we at times need to be innovative. Patients that do not have access to the internet can potentially be seen in the clinic or talk to their provider by telephone.
Cascade AIDS Project and Prism Health are committed anti-racist work. This work will be hard but it is necessary. At the moment we are working with a consulting firm to help us determine what concrete steps we can take now to understand the role we play in systematic oppression and work to dismantle it. Read Prism’s We Must Choose a New Tomorrow statement.