I say “likely” because an amendment I have been working on with the City Manager will need to receive the Council’s approval next week in order for this to be the case. I anticipate it that it will pass handily as I believe it has full Council support, but I don’t want to present it as a done deal until the vote is taken.
If the amendment that the City Manager and I are putting together passes, both the Needle Exchange and STD/HIV testing will remain at 103 India Street indefinitely. Additionally, although it is not a city program, the Portland Community Free Clinic—which is a 501(c)3 with an independent board—would also be offered space at 103 India Street.
For many years now, the Free Clinic (again—not a city run program) has benefitted from free rent and electricity by co-locating with the India Street Public Health Center. This amendment would continue that arrangement.
The HIV Positive Health Care program would not remain at 103 India Street. It would be moved to the PCHC by December 31, 2016. Between now and then, staff at India Street and PCHC would work together to make sure that all patients understand their options and are provided with clear transition plans.
Of course, patients ultimately have a choice as to whether they transition their care to PCHC or another healthcare facility, and it will be up to them to exercise that choice. City staff will, however, work to make sure that all patients have discharge plans in place and that they are assisted however necessary in order to ensure continuing care.
Additionally, in an effort to ensure that patients’ concerns are heard and addressed throughout this process, Councilor Justin Costa will be proposing an amendment that would add patients from both India Street PHC and PCHC to the transition team that will work over the coming months to plan and implement a thoughtful process.
Transition planning to this point has been limited because until a vote is taken, there are many details that cannot be worked out. If the budget passes next week and the transition is approved, the transition team will be able to begin planning more robustly.
There's some good information about the pieces of the plan that have been worked out to date in the Council's Agenda Center. Click on the download for the May 9, 2016 workshop and download the packet to see them.