CAP is thrilled to unveil the new logo for Prism Health, our LGBTQ+ primary care center opening in Spring of 2017!
Located at 2236 SE Belmont Street in Portland, Prism Health will offer a safe, affirming, and non-judgmental space where all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community can obtain the compassionate and culturally effective health care they need and deserve.
In addition to comprehensive primary care, it is anticipated that the center will offer specialized services for the transgender community, HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing, mental health care, and specialty pharmacy services. With this health center, CAP is committed to removing barriers, improving access, and most importantly providing quality health care for all LGBTQ+ patients in the Portland metro region.
Patients do not have to be LGBTQ+ to receive care, but services will focus on addressing the sensitive issues of sexual minorities and their families and friends.
Understanding and acceptance of our identity is a lifelong journey. Over the course of my journey with the virus, I have met some of the most life-changing and inspiring individuals, many of whom don’t even realize the impact they are having on those around them.
My work in HIV has taken my life to new heights and it is the energy and passion that I draw from the people I have met along this path that keeps me going each and every day. Sadly, for as far as we have come in this epidemic, I have lost countless friends and clients … many of whom I consider my kids … my family.
Today, I’m remembering the life and energy of one of my kids – Geneva. She would have been 30 years old this week. It’s hard to understand her loss from this world, but what I do know is that those of us who had the honor of knowing her are forever better for it!
I could tell you so many amazing stories about Geneva, each of which would bring the biggest smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Born with HIV, she was a young woman of small stature with a thick Brooklyn accent who lived 27 years with her disease and never for a minute stopped fighting. I loved how she could light up any room with her smile and laughter, welcomed people into her life with an open heart and wouldn’t pause to question systems when they were unjust or inequitable. I think what I admired the most about Geneva, is that even on her hardest days she found the strength to teach us all what it truly means to be a compassionate and loving advocate.
I often think about what Geneva would be saying right now in our current political environment. Today, I imagine that my phone would ring and as I answered from thousands of miles away, I’d hear her immediately launch into one of her infamous speeches. It would have started with some comment about how she just cannot grasp, how we’ve arrived in a time and place where we have people in positions of power that on one hand have a history of being anti-LGBTQ+, but on the other hand are celebrating a holiday whose mascot is a man with fairy wings in small tight underwear shooting arrows of love.
I’d laugh until tears rolled down my face, then as always she’d say something so profound and wise beyond her years. Today, it would be a reminder to send out a message of love to our community.
Love for those we have lost, love for those living with and affected by HIV, and for all marginalized communities whose rights, access to healthcare, safety, and ability to make choices for their own bodies are being challenged by decisions to be made over the years to come.
I know that we are entering a time of uncertainty, that we all have many unanswered questions, and that sitting in a place of unknown vulnerability can be scary and overwhelming. I also know that CAP and Prism Health will be here to provide support and love for all of those communities in the years ahead.
Understanding and acceptance of our identity is a lifelong journey, one of which I admit I struggled with for many years. Today, as we observe the 17th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I stand a confident and proud Black, openly HIV positive man who daily urges the community to wake up to the harsh reality of the epidemic among us. Higher risk of HIV infection among Black communities does not stem from higher levels of risk behavior. Rather, our disproportionate risk of HIV can be traced to poorer access to health services and coverage, racism, transphobia, homophobia and a higher prevalence of sexually transmitted infection.
It is alarming that Black people in the U.S. continue to be the most at risk racial or ethnic group in the country, with one in 20 men and one in 48 women facing an HIV diagnosis within their lifetime. Projecting that half of all Black gay men and a quarter of Latino gay men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime is just one of the latest examples of how the public health community and our larger social, political, and economic structures continue to fail the most vulnerable communities in our society.
For all of us in the HIV community this means that now more than ever, when civil rights, the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and a woman’s rights to make choices for their own body are being challenged, we have a responsibility to make sure that we do everything we can to advocate for the importance of our safety net programs and ensure that information is available about how to access them.
At CAP, that means all of us working together to correct social injustices and strengthen the often-broken systems throughout the communities we serve. Moving forward, CAP will be even more intentional about this focus, I have made an organizational commitment and investment into integrating the Black Lives Matter movement at our staff level. This does not mean that other lives (e.g, Latino, Asian, White, etc.) don’t matter. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. However, at this moment in time, police brutality, the prison-industrial complex, and major disparities within public health have converged to create a perfect storm of inequality for Black people that we must begin to address differently than we have in the past.
As our work continues, CAP will be re-imagining our approaches, messaging, everyday work, functions, policies and activities, including core trainings for all staff on power and privilege in healthcare and historical trauma and stigma within Black communities. In the months ahead, CAP will be hiring external consultants to bring expertise from outside of the organization with the intent of improving affirming practices across the organization, both for internal policies and work culture as well as external service work. The culmination of this work will be a new strategic plan that will better allow CAP to monitor organizational benchmarks around our program and service outcomes and engagement of Black communities.
Bottom line – Given everything we know about HIV and how to prevent it after more than 30 years of fighting the disease, it’s just unacceptable that our community continues to become infected at such high rates. We must respond to this health crisis with the urgency it warrants.
CAP is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the Washington State Department of Health to provide HIV-related services for Clark and Skamania counties starting January 1, 2017.
Under this contract award, CAP will provide both case management and care support services for persons living with HIV and prevention services including access to HIV testing, condoms, and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for persons at high risk for HIV. These efforts and services align with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the End AIDS Washington Initiative’s primary goal to reduce new HIV infections in Washington State by 50% by 2020.
“We are thrilled to be selected by the Washington Department of Health to provide cohesive prevention and care services to Clark and Skamania counties,” said CAP’s Executive Director, Tyler TerMeer. “We understand that ending the HIV epidemic means addressing a full range of barriers to prevention and treatment. This contract allows us to expand our successful care support service model to Washington and builds upon our existing six-year track record of providing innovative and effect prevention services in the Vancouver area to allow us to serve more people.”
With respect to medical case management and care support services, CAP anticipates serving approximately 90% of persons living with HIV in these counties and will focus services on individuals with multiple barriers to medical engagement and medication adherence including people facing poverty, homelessness, housing instability, mental illness, and substance abuse. CAP’s expanded prevention services will go beyond HIV testing to ensure that there is an open dialogue with clients to assess risk and to link them to services and protocols which promote the best health outcomes for their particular
To better serve Washington state clients, CAP is pleased to welcome Dr. John Nusser, a Vancouver Washington-based family medicine doctor with a significant HIV practice to its Board of Directors. Dr. Nusser received his medical degree from University of Washington School of Medicine and is affiliated with PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.
CAP is eager to bring a version of its model of culturally affirming, trauma-informed and unified prevention and care services to SW Washington.
CAP is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $15,000 from the Kaiser Permanente and $24,500 from the Miller Charitable Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation to support the opening of CAP’s LGBTQ+ Primary Care Health Center: Prism Health.
“We are thrilled to receive this support from both Kaiser Permanente and the Miller Charitable Fund in support of Prism Health,” said CAP’s Executive Director, Tyler TerMeer. “Both grants will help offset renovation costs and ultimately will enable us to open on time and on budget.”
Prism Health, an LGBTQ+ Primary Care Health Center, slated to open in early 2017 and conveniently located at 2236 SE Belmont Street in Portland, Oregon, will offer a safe, affirming, and non-judgmental space where all members of the LGBTQ+ community can obtain the compassionate and culturally effective health care they need and deserve. In addition to comprehensive primary care, it is anticipated that the LGBTQ+ Primary Care Health Center will offer specialized services for the transgender community, HIV and sexually transmitted disease testing, mental health counseling, and integrated pharmacy services.
Today, December 1st, marks the 29th anniversary of World AIDS Day – a time for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to show their support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have lost their lives in the epidemic. In commemoration of World AIDS Day, CAP announced that it has adopted a new mission statement to enable the agency to better serve its existing clients and expand services to provide direct medical services to the broader LGBTQ+ community through the creation of a new LGBTQ+ Primary Care Center slated to open in early 2017.
CAP’s new mission:
We support and empower all people with or affected by HIV, reduce stigma, and provide the LGBTQ+ community with compassionate healthcare
“Our new mission statement reflects both our 32-year history of fighting the HIV epidemic as well as our move to providing culturally relevant health care to the broader LGBTQ+ community through our new health center,” said CAP Executive Director Tyler TerMeer. “I am also thrilled to announce the name of the health center: Prism Health. The name is a nod to the rich history of the LGBTQ+ liberation movement and an evocation of the power of science to be used in the service of the community.”
“CAP will always be here to work with and support people affected by HIV, but it was also time to look towards the future—which is providing culturally affirming health care to the LGBTQ community,” said CAP Board Chair, Robert Goman. “With a growing LGBTQ population, we need to take action now to ensure that their health needs are met.”
Prism Health, a primary care health center, an integral part of CAP’s expanding mission to serve the broader LGBTQ+ community and will help remove barriers and improve access to health care for all LGBTQ+ individuals. More information can be found at www.cascadeaids.org.
December 1st marks the 29th anniversary of World AIDS Day – a time for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to show their support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have lost their lives in the epidemic.
CAP will commemorate World AIDS Day by honoring the individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to fighting the epidemic in our community at third annual Heroes of HIV luncheon. Taking place at the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland on December 1st from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, the event will honor individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to the fight against HIV in our community. This year’s honorees are:
After serving for 11 years as the Executive Director of Our House of Portland, Wayne Miya retired in theSpring of 2016. He has been involved in many Portland non-profits including serving as Board Chair for Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, Our House of Portland, and Unity, Inc. and a former Board member of Mental Health Partner, among others. Wayne is a former Commissioner of Portland Housing Advisory
Commission and in his previous life worked at Pacificorp, retiring after 30 years of service.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California and has a manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon. The company has consistently been recognized as a top employer by such publications as FORTUNE, Science and Working Mother. In January 2013, FORTUNE named Genentech to its list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in the United States for the 15th consecutive year. Genentech is a proud partner with CAP to help eliminate the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS in our local community.
Morel Ink • Bill Dickey
Bill Dickey, owner of Morel Ink, continuously shows a strong commitment to CAP and is CAP’s primary printing company. Having managed and owned several local businesses, Bill retired from the restaurant business and began to work in the printing industry in 1995. After learning the business from the ground up, Bill founded Morel Ink in 1998 and quickly became the “go to” printer for democratic politics and many non-profits, including Basic Rights Oregon, Q Center, City Club of Portland, CAP and many, many more. Morel Ink is an environmentally conscious printer with over 40 employees and Bill has a firm belief that supporting your community is good for everybody and good for business. Bill Dickey is one of the leading philanthropists in our community and recently gave the first major gift to CAP’s new venture, the LGBTQ health center.
More information about the event can be found at www.heroesofHIV.org.
Yesterday, November 20th, we observed Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor those who have lost their lives simply for living their truth.
Despite the great strides we have made in our fight for equality and human rights, this year alone, more than 21 transgender Americans – mostly women of color – were tragically murdered because of their gender identity. These devastating losses highlight just how much work we still have ahead of us. Separately from these threats of physical violence, simply accessing health care, housing, education and employment opportunities can be like navigating a minefield for people of trans experience.
One of the most valuable roles I play as Executive Director of CAP, is hearing from our community. In response to feedback from many past and current staff and community members, earlier this year CAP committed to building organizational capacity for trans-inclusion and trans-affirming practices. In this process, it has been important that we recognize and acknowledge that CAP has not always been historically responsive enough to trans communities. As the leader of this organization, I have a responsibility to understand where we have made missteps along the way, to learn from them and make a commitment to doing better.
After extensive conversations, CAP hired external consultants to bring expertise from outside of the organization. This decision was made as part of understanding that we cannot rely solely on trans staff at CAP to bear the workload of building trans-affirming practices at the organization. Consultants contracted with CAP to improve trans-affirming practices across the organization, both for internal policies and work culture as well as external service work, particularly through the Employment Program, known as Bridges to Work.
A new trans-affirming committee has been formed at CAP and in the coming months will be finalizing and tracking progress on the trans strategic plan that our consultants helped us to draft. They will also develop and monitor organizational benchmarks around trans service outcomes and engagement of trans communities.
CAP is committed to moving forward to make meaningful change for better-serving trans communities.
Cascade AIDS Project is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $50,000 from AIDS United Sector Transformation Grant and $5,000 from the Pride Foundation to support the creation and operation of an LGBTQ+ Primary Care Health Center.
“We are thrilled that AIDS United and Pride Foundation have awarded us these vitally necessary funds to ensure that we are able to open the LGBTQ+ Primary Care Health Center.” Said CAP’s Executive Director, Tyler TerMeer. “The Pride Foundation funds will help offset renovation costs while the AIDS United Sector Transformation grant enabled us to hire the LGBTQ Health Center Office Manager—who will be responsible for ensuring that we can open the clinic on time and fully accredited.”
“We applaud [CAP] for [it’s] great work to strengthen the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community in our region.” said Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation CEO.
CAP is pleased to announce the receipt of a $75,000 gift from CareOregon to support LGBTQ+ Health Center.
“We are thrilled that CareOregon made such a significant investment in our LGBTQ+ Primary Care Health Center.” Said CAP’s Executive Director, Tyler TerMeer. “This gift clearly demonstrates CareOregon’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and validates the importance of providing culturally relevant care to marginalized communities as a way of promoting equity and addressing health disparities for all Oregonians. With this health center, CAP will remove barriers, improve access, and most importantly provide quality health care for all LGBTQ+ patients in the Portland metro region.”
The LGBTQ+ Primary Care Health Center, slated to open in early 2017 and conveniently located at 2236 SE Belmont Street in Portland, Oregon, will offer a safe, affirming, and non-judgmental space where all members of the LGBTQ+ community can obtain the compassionate and culturally effective health care they need and deserve. In addition to comprehensive primary care, it is anticipated that the LGBTQ+ Primary Care Health Center will offer specialized services for the transgender community, HIV and sexually transmitted disease testing, mental health counseling, and integrated pharmacy services.
“Cascade AIDS project has been a critical partner to CareOregon and our members for many years,” said Eric C. Hunter, CareOregon CEO. “It’s a cornerstone for the missions of both organizations to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity across our community. We’re very pleased to provide some of the financial support they need to expand services and make strides toward fulfilling that goal.”