Ryan Health Equality: Stonewall 50 Launches to Promote Health Equity for LGBTQ Communities of Color
NEW YORK — Ryan Health, a mission-driven community health center serving nearly 50,000 New Yorkers, announces Ryan Health Equality: Stonewall 50, a campaign to promote health equity for LGBTQ communities of color. The effort builds on Ryan Health’s history of cultivating community through enriching, enlightening, and empowering events to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“Ryan Health Equality: Stonewall 50 aims to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in LGBTQ communities of color through information sharing and providing the space for conversations that can reduce stigma,” said Brian McIndoe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ryan Health. “We have a long history in this area and are concentrating on bolstering our deep ties to the LGBTQ community to achieve a reachable goal.”
New York City leads the nation in the number of new HIV cases, and statistics show that more than 20 percent do not know they are infected. In New York City, 77 percent of new HIV diagnoses and AIDS-related deaths were among African Americans and Hispanics in 2016, up from 69 percent in 2015.
Ryan Health Equality: Stonewall 50 kicks off on February 7, which is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Despite many efforts, individuals of color continue to be disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in comparison to other ethnic groups, Ryan Health Equality: Stonewall 50 seeks to address those disparities. The campaign is timed to coincide with Stonewall 50, which marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and the celebration of World Pride in New York City.
As part of the campaign, Ryan Health Equality: Stonewall 50 will conduct 50 community health events including HIV screenings and educational activities between now and New York Gay Pride in June. It will raise awareness in the LGBTQ community on prevention and understanding HIV risk, including connecting at-risk individuals to PrEP and PEP services. Planned campaign activities include bar outreach, testing days in the community, and a sexual health series for local high school students. The efforts will also build on its sponsored outreach including Sippin’ and Spillin’, for African American women, and Brown Boys Brunch, for African American and Latino men.
Ryan Health's HIV care team consists of highly skilled doctors, nurses, social workers, patient navigators, outreach workers, and case managers who work together to create individualized care plans for people living with HIV, who have a wide variety of needs. Prevention services are coordinated through Ryan Health’s Prevention, Education and Outreach (PEO) Department, which has provided 30 years of HIV and STI Services, including five years of PrEP/PEP Services and seven years of Rapid Hepatitis C (HCV) Services.
“Ryan Health has been a leading provider of quality HIV care, treatment and prevention services since 1988,” said Victor Hogue, Director of Support Services. “We provide compassionate, confidential treatment of HIV, Hepatitis C, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Ryan Health Equality: Stonewall 50 will provide a safe space to learn about healthcare services offered and also engage in conversation with individuals from the community to remove stigma and connect individuals to prevention services.”
About Ryan Health
Ryan Health (formerly The William F. Ryan Community Health Network), is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) based in Manhattan that has been providing high-quality, comprehensive and affordable primary and specialty care to New York’s diverse and underserved communities since 1967. Ryan Health’s tagline, “Caring for New York. Here for you.” unites its network of 18 not-for-profit sites. These include six community health centers, seven school-based health centers, four community outreach centers, and a fully-equipped mobile medical van, which together share a common mission, supported by the founding principle that healthcare is a right not a privilege. Ryan Health’s staff of nearly 600 play an integral role in caring for nearly 50,000 patients annually.
About Sippin’ and Spillin’
The Sippin’ & Spillin’ empowerment series, initiated in September 2017, grew out of a need to raise awareness within the black community about the alarming but under-reported rate of new HIV cases arising among heterosexual black women each year, which is over twice the rate of black men who identify as heterosexual and over four times the rate of heterosexual white women. Women who attend Sippin’ & Spillin’ learn about PEP, PrEP, and other means of protecting themselves against HIV, as well as discussing sexual health, self-care and relationship issues with a guest expert in a casual setting that encourages socializing and networking.
About Brown Boys Brunch
The Brown Boys Brunch is an empowerment series focusing on HIV prevention within the African American and Latino community. The goal is to provide a safe space for individuals to learn about healthcare services offered, and also engage in conversation with individuals from their community. This series gives Ryan Health valuable opportunities to build trust throughout the LGBTQ community and maintain an open and direct dialogue with a segment of this community that is most at risk to contract HIV.