Breaking News: Lyon Martin Clinic is Rumored to be Closing

Since 1979, Lyon Martin Health Services has been providing amazing health care to women and (according to their site) it’s the only free-standing community clinic in California with a specific emphasis on lesbian/bisexual women and transgender health care. They serve low-income, uninsured women and transgender folks, who often go longer without basic health care due to the challenges in finding providers who understand their needs and communities.

The clinic is a private non-profit, so they need donations to survive. 89% of their clients are uninsured and most are unemployed, which means they need over $1.4 million per year to cover costs. According to this article and this facebook post, things have gotten bad enough that the clinic may be about to close. Lyon-Martin is the only source of health care for a lot of people and without this resource, things are going to get even harder for them.

Here’s the text from the facebook post:

URGENT: Lyon-Martin Board of Directors plans to close the clinic this Thursday!

The decision appears to be out of the blue, is being made exclusively by the board and is against the wishes of the staff and in disregard of the needs of the patients.

Look for more soon about an organized protest, but in the meantime here is the name and cell number of the board director. Pass it to as many community members, advocates, organizers and providers as you can and tell them to start calling.

Lauren Winter 510-390-6508

Important things to mention:

– the services that Lyon-Martin provides are absolutely essential to the health and well-being of trans, gender-queer, queer, lesbian, immigrant, and un-insured people.

– the board is making this decision against the wishes of the staff and in disregard of the needs of the patients.

you are contacting the board as a community member and are not associated with the staff at Lyon-Martin

The staff is not allowed to speak publicly about the close, although they are extremely troubled. Let’s be their voice! SPREAD THIS MESSAGE TO AS MANY COMMUNITY MEMBERS, ADVOCATES, ORGANIZERS AND PROVIDERS AS POSSIBLE!

Details are still coming out and there doesn’t seen to be much online yet. If anyone has more info, please comment below.

Update: This was posted on the Lyon Martin Facebook page:

Community meeting tonight (1/25/11), 7:00 at the LGBT Center, room Q11. Strategic planning for a community response to the closing of Lyon-Martin Health Services. We won’t have all the answers but this will be a good opportunity for the community to be come organized. REPOST! INVITE OTHERS! EVERYONE WELCOME!

Update #2 1/26: It looks like there’s a chance for the clinic to get a reprieve:

 

Seemingly overnight, community members have cooked up a number of fundraisers, starting tonight (Wed./26), to scrape together enough dough to keep the clinic up and running. Lyon-Martin has been providing free and low-cost health care to low-income and uninsured people for more than three decades. It’s a particularly important resource for the LGBT community, with specific emphasis on queer and transgender health care.

The voice mail for Lyon-Martin Board President Lauren Winter is full at the moment, but here’s a note from the clinic’s website: “Lyon-Martin needs to raise at least $250,000 to reduce immediate debts and be able to continue providing invaluable healthcare to its patients. Should that happen, Lyon- Martin may be able to reorganize rather than close.”

San Francisco is rallying for the cause, and there’s still a chance that Lyon-Martin can be saved.

Below are some events we found on Facebook. And remember, you can always donate online.

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Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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