City Manager Jon Jennings announced today that the City has received notice from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration that they have transferred the Ryan White Grant from the City of Portland to Greater Portland Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center. The transfer will be effective January 1, 2017. The transfer was sought after the City Council approved the application for transfer of funding in the FY17 budget from the City operated Positive Health Program located at the India Street Clinic.
“The City is fortunate to have the resources that Greater Portland Health brings to our community through their grants, innovative programming, high quality staff and services, and mandate to serve everyone regardless of ability to pay. I'm pleased that we were able to successfully transfer the grant to a federally qualified health center, which will allow patients to access a wider array of services,” said City Manager Jon Jennings.
Jennings also said, "I'd like to thank the staff at India Street for their professionalism, expertise, thoughtfulness, and competence that they have demonstrated during this complex and difficult time. Almost every single patient has been individually supported and helped to find a new medical home. Staff also provided all the technical assistance and documentation necessary to the staff at GPH in order to ensure the transfer of the grant."
Since the passage of the budget, staff from the City and Greater Portland Health, along with four Positive Health patients and a community representative, have worked together to assure all of the Positive Health patients were contacted, arrangements made for identification of new providers, appointments scheduled, and records transferred. The Positive Health Program will officially close on December 30, 2016 at the India Street Clinic location, but will then be operational at Greater Portland Health.
The India Street Clinic will continue to offer the following services: the Portland Community Free Clinic, Free HIV/STD testing, and the Needle Exchange Program.
"Greater Portland Health is honored to build on the history and excellent services offered by Positive Health at the India Street Clinic to assure access to high quality health care for people affected by HIV," said Leslie Clark, CEO of Greater Portland Health.
Greater Portland Health recently hired a Nurse Practitioner with expertise and experience in HIV treatment, a physician with expertise, and an RN Nurse Manager. Following the news of the successful grant transfer, GPH will hire additional team members including a mental health practitioner and additional support staff.