The pioneering AIDS service organization will offer dental care, education and advocacy, and community programs to a wider audience – in addition to its medical center services – extending its reach beyond Southeast Michigan
DETROIT – June 9, 2021 – Launched 35 years ago as a pioneering AIDS service organization focused on meeting urgent financial and end-of-life needs for individuals with HIV/AIDS, Health Emergency Lifeline Programs, widely recognized as HELP, today announced it has completed a major rebranding effort to Corktown Health. The decision comes following the opening of its Corktown Health Center in 2017, the state’s first medical home dedicated to providing high-quality, affirming health care to the LGBTQ community, and in recognition of the significantly expanded service offerings. The announcement was made today by Corktown Health President & CEO Anthony Williams.
“Treatment for HIV has advanced dramatically in the decades since HELP was founded,” said Williams. “People with HIV today can live healthy, long lives, and their needs have changed to more long-term access to medical care and supportive services. We are doing much more now to assist people in managing a chronic illness and addressing the social determinants of health as they relate to HIV, hypertension, diabetes, mental health and other health disparities that affect the LGBTQ community. Rebranding our organization to Corktown Health brings all of our services under a single umbrella encompassing what we do today and what we will do tomorrow for our patients and community. It’s an exciting time for our entire team as Corktown Health reflects the ongoing growth and evolution of the organization.”
A new, distinctive and modern logo has been unveiled as part of the rebranding effort, representing the organization’s forward-thinking approach to improving health care for the community. The graphic features concentric circles that symbolize diverse individuals working, living and thriving in harmony. The rebrand to Corktown Health also features a new Corktown Health website, social media presence, and plans for additional health and wellness services in upcoming months.
Throughout the years, HELP evolved to respond to the changing needs of the local community, assisting individuals who are at-risk, infected or affected by HIV and Hepatitis C. As stigmatization for marginalized individuals created tremendous barriers to care due to health status, sexuality, race, poverty and other factors, the organization expanded its programs.
Today, HELP, which is located at 1726 Howard St. in Detroit, provides HIV prevention, behavioral health services, medical case management, early intervention services, housing & emergency financial assistance, food & nutrition programs, education and advocacy.
Located within the same facility, Corktown Health Center provides a wide range of medical services including comprehensive primary care, gender affirming care, STI testing & treatment, HIV care, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), PeP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis), behavioral health services, cancer screenings and gerontology/aging services. Insurance navigation and enrollment assistance is also available.
According to Teresa Roscoe, Corktown Health Chief Operating Officer, the opening of Corktown Health Center in 2017 was a first step in a much broader mission for the organization. “As we expanded our focus to health care delivery, we also identified the need to contribute to the training and education of the current and future healthcare workforce,” said Roscoe. “We established a collaborative relationship with the Wayne State University School of Medicine and serve as a community rotation site for physician residents and medical students. Through this relationship and other training partnerships, we are helping to better prepare new generations of professionals to provide compassionate care and address the diverse needs of LGBTQ patients.”
New areas of service planned for the upcoming year and beyond include a Corktown Health dental clinic, which is scheduled to launch this fall, a second site in Oakland County and broader education and advocacy work with its Corktown Health Institute. The Institute will provide expanded education and training to health care providers, organizations, and municipalities, equipping them with the tools, resources and insight to effectively and compassionately treat all patients in an affirming and inclusive manner.
“We intend to expand our ‘educational advocacy’ work statewide, engaging government leaders about policies that advance health equity for the LGBTQ population and the public at large,” said Williams. “This type of outreach and education goes hand in hand with the work we are doing with our patients at Corktown Health. Our experience and expertise will enable us to be a resource for any community or organization looking for a central hub of information on LGBTQ health care.”
While Corktown Health previously focused its efforts in Southeast Michigan, the rebrand brings with it the goals of increasing access and sharing knowledge to other areas of the state, in part through the use of telehealth, which has gained significant momentum in the past year.
“Our goal is bringing services to a population that has struggled to get quality care in the past due to who they are,” Williams said. “We are creating opportunities for others to join us in helping serve this community. While we are based in Detroit, technology empowers us to support providers and patients, whether they’re in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Marquette or elsewhere.”
Corktown Health serves people of all backgrounds, with slightly more than 60 percent of its current patients identifying as LGBTQ. Services are available regardless of ability to pay.
For more information about Corktown Health, visit www.corktownhealth.org.
About Corktown Health
Corktown Health is a health and wellness organization dedicated to providing high-quality, affirming health care to the LGBTQ community. Founded in 1986 as Health Emergency Lifeline Programs (HELP), the entity began as an AIDS service organization at a time when treatment for HIV/AIDS was extremely limited. In 2017, HELP launched Corktown Health Center the first nonprofit medical center in Michigan to focus on the needs of LGBTQ patients and their families.
Today, Corktown Health provides comprehensive primary care, gender affirming care, STI testing & treatment, HIV care, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), PeP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis), behavioral health services, cancer screenings and gerontology/aging services. Support services include insurance navigation, preventive health, tobacco cessation, case management, early intervention services, housing & emergency financial assistance, food & nutrition programs, education and advocacy. The organization is dedicated to serving people of all backgrounds and identities.
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