“The Gateway” Newsletter – June 2017

Meet Our Chad Braun, MD, Chief Medical Officer

As of June 1, 2017, Chad Braun, MD, joined our staff as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). As former member of the organization’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Braun brings 15 years of experience and leadership into the newly created role. He previously served as the Director of Medical Education for Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, Ohio. In his new role, Dr. Braun will oversee Equitas Health’s medical operations and strategy as well as provide patient care. Read on for a short Q&A with our new CMO!

Q: What are you most excited about doing at Equitas Health in the next 6 months?

A: I’m excited to expand Equitas Health’s quality of care and level of service to help meet the overall healthcare needs of the LGBTQ community and other medically underserved populations while continuing to provide the excellence in HIV specialty care we have been known for.  Historically, LGBTQ patients have faced discrimination and disparities in accessing healthcare and I am excited about enhancing our model of wrap-around care and working to make sure our care teams are delivering the culturally competent healthcare our community deserves. I want Equitas Health to be the destination for quality care for everyone in our community seeking a welcoming healthcare home.

Q: How does having a Chief Medical Officer (CMO) change our medical care team?

A: I think that having a CMO will help us to define our direction and strategy at Equitas Health across all of our care sites.  As we move forward on our journey toward becoming a federally qualified health center (FQHC) there will be many new opportunities and challenges.  As CMO, I hope to help provide leadership to help us achieve this goal, all the while continuing the outstanding care we have been providing since opening our first health center and pharmacy in 2012.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that we wouldn’t learn about you from your bio.

A: Shockingly, I am a big musical theater fan.  So far, my favorite show has been Wicked in NYC with the original cast, but we are headed to see Bette Midler in Hello Dolly in July so maybe that will change


Take PRIDE in Your Health

Bill Hardy, President & CEO, Equitas Health

PRIDE is a time to celebrate the progress the LGBTQ community has made. It also serves as an important reminder that our work is far from over. Now more than ever we must remain vigilant to protect LGBTQ rights and continue to work towards full equality. Working toward full equality means every LGBTQ person has access to quality affordable healthcare, a basic human right. At this year’s PRIDE, we’re calling on the LGBTQ community to “TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR HEALTH.”
For us that means, empowering you to take control of your health, come out to your provider, and seek a welcoming healthcare home, where providers are trained to provide culturally competent to meet your unique healthcare needs.

Our Health Centers have adopted what’s known as the patient-centered medical home model of care that creates a one-stop-shop to address various health needs including primary care, behavioral health, dental care, support services, and a community pharmacy all under one roof. This approach allows us to create a space where you will be treated with respect, dignity, and compassion, and enables you to build a strong and trusting relationship with your provider.

PRIDE is the perfect time to take advantage of the healthcare services those who came before us fought so hard for us to have.

King-Lincoln Health Center and Pharmacy Now Open in Columbus’ Near East Side

On May 5, 2017, we held our ribbon cutting and opening celebration luncheon to mark the opening of our third health center and pharmacy in Ohio. “We’ve been exploring where community resources are needed most and where our patient-centered medical home approach to care can make the biggest impact. After conducting research and analysis, we determined that the King-Lincoln District in Columbus’ Near East side would become our newest health center location,” says Bill Hardy, President & CEO.  Click here to see 10TV’s story on our opening featuring community member, Lela Boykin and Anna Wuerth, Director of Healthcare Operations.

The King-Lincoln District and surrounding community meet the federal government’s criteria as a medically underserved area, meaning it’s an area where there are not enough medical providers to meet the health needs of the community. Addressing these needs, coupled with the health disparities that people of color face—including high rates of heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS—are key goals of the King-Lincoln Health Center.

Over 150 people attended the ribbon cutting including community leaders, elected officials, and long-time supporters. Several Columbus City Council members were present including Council President Zach Klein, Councilmember Shannon Hardin, and Councilmember Priscilla Tyson. Access to compassionate, culturally competent healthcare is critical for each of our residents. Statistics tell us that this is especially true for minority populations, who suffer most from many of the leading health disparities,” said Columbus City Councilmember Priscilla Tyson.

Oral health continues to be the largest unmet health need in Ohio, including in Columbus’ Near East Side. As such, we’re thrilled to expand dental services to Columbus and add to the spectrum of services being offered, including primary care, specialized LGBTQ care, specialized HIV care, behavioral health, HIV/STI testing, and supportive services at our King-Lincoln location. Dr. Heather Crockett-Miller, DDS, MPH, Director of Dental Services, will be providing emergency dental care, preventive, and restorative services. For a full list of services offered, click here Equitas Health accepts all major insurances and will provide dental services to anyone, regardless of insurance type or ability to pay. To make an appointment at our new King-Lincoln Health Center and Pharmacy, click here.


Today’s Advocacy Priorities: Proposed Budget Cuts & American Health Care Act

Daphne Saneholtz, Chief Public Policy & Government Affairs Officer

It’s a busy time at both the Ohio State House and in Congress. We’re currently focusing our advocacy efforts around 3 critical issues:

  1. Proposed cuts to HIV prevention, treatment, and support services in the Federal budget.
  2. Proposed cuts to HIV prevention and treatment in the State budget.
  3. Senate vote on the American Health Care Act.

Equitas Health is extremely disappointed by the 2018 federal and state budgets recently released. The devastating cuts to HIV and STD prevention programs will be a tremendous setback to decades of progress we have made and will severely impact our efforts of preventing new HIV transmissions and the rising rates of STDs.

The current proposed budget for the State of Ohio presented by Governor Kasich includes a cut by the Ohio House of Representatives of 19% to HIV prevention efforts and unnecessarily reallocates funding focused on HIV care. These funding cuts would severely impact Equitas Health’s statewide HIV prevention and testing efforts. The reallocation of HIV care funding would present challenges to ensuring continuity of care.

Behind closed doors, Senate Republicans are rushing through a health care repeal bill that will take health care from millions. This bill is being pushed through without sharing any details with the public or allowing time for testimony or public debate. Although details are scarce, the Senate’s version of the bill is likely to look much like the House version – meaning it will leave millions of Americans without coverage, make deep cuts to Medicaid, and make health care more expensive.

It is critically important that funding support for Medicaid, HIV programs, and STD prevention programs remain intact.


Step 1: Click here and join AIDS United to tell Congress to reject President Trump’s cuts to HIV

Step 2: Call your state senator (find yours here) and Senate Finance Committee Chair Scott Oelslager at (614) 466-0626  and tell them “Please restore funding for HIV prevention and care and oppose any change to Medicaid that results in reduced access to care.”

Step 3: Call 866-426-2631 to be connected to Senator Rob Portman and say “I’m a constituent of the Senators and I’m asking him to vote ‘no’ on the American Health Care Act.”

Step 4: Call Senator Sherrod Brown at and tell him “I’m a constituent of the Senators’ and I want to thank him for being a champion of Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens. Please thank him for his opposition to the American Health Care Act”.


Nationally-Renowned LGBTQ Demographer, Gary J. Gates, Announced as Keynote Speaker at the 2017 Transforming Care Conference

Equitas Health’s second annual Transforming Care: LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS Health Equity Conference is taking place October 19-20, 2017. Workshops, wellness activities, and the keynote address will culminate around this year’s theme, “Health Across the Lifespan”. We’re excited to feature Gary J. Gates, PhD, a recognized expert on the geography and demography of the LGBTQ population and former research director at UCLA’s Williams Institute as our keynote speaker. Online registration is now open. Click here to register.

Gates is responsible for many of the best estimates of the size and scope of America’s LGBTQ population. His perspective is reflected in his view of data; “assumptions about people are flimsy, numbers are solid. The reality of our political system is that you don’t really count unless you are counted.”

Registration is now open. Click here to register. A limited number of scholarships are available. Visit for up-to-date information.

Thanks for making AIDS Walk Ohio a Success!

Thanks to everyone who played a role in this year’s AIDS Walk Ohio throughout the month of April.  Overall, AIDS Walk Ohio raised more than $300,000! Nearly 1,700 participants, 117 teams, and 68 Grand Walkers came together in Toledo, Dayton, and Columbus. Each city had its own unique experience. Columbus added a 20-mile bike ride, breakfast trucks, and a special VIP section for Grand Walkers at McFerson Park.  Dayton relocated their walk to the Dayton Dragon’s Fifth Third Field venue that allowed for a more festive atmosphere including a DJ, food trucks, and beer provided by Warped Wing Brewery.  Ottawa Park, nestled within a scenic neighborhood in West Toledo, was the new location for walkers. An acoustic musician and a local radio DJ added to the festivities. Each city had a lineup of community partners, speakers and entertainers to keep the energy up and to kick the events off.  A trip to Hawaii for four was won by Lee Rastetter, who was the top fundraiser in Dayton.

Awards and Nominations

Peggy Anderson, Chief Operating Officer, will be honored at the 2017 Columbus Business First’s Healthcare Champion Awards in the “Healthcare Executive” category on July 13. These awards recognize Central Ohio medical professionals who are raising the region’s quality of life through dedication to patient care, innovations in research and technology and outstanding health care management.


Equitas Health has been nominated to receive Columbus CEO’s Best of Business award in the “Large Nonprofit” category. Click here to vote for us. Voting is open until July 13.




article3-oct2016Additional Support for Safe Point

Columbus City Council provided $50,000 in continued support of Safe Point, our comprehensive, community-wide, harm-reduction program. , $50,000 to continue providing syringe access, naloxone assistance, and referrals to treatment to fight the opiate epidemic.

We’re proud to partner with Piercology, Columbus’ premiere piercing leader, through September 30 as they donate $2 from every piercing to Safe Point.


Equitas Health In the News

Health Clinic Looks to Reach Underserved in King-Lincoln District | WOSU

PRIDE and Prevention in June | Ohio News Service

First PRIDE Walk Hosted in Rising Park | Lancaster Eagle Gazette



JUNE 17 | 2017 Columbus PRIDE Parade and Festival

Click here to sign up to march with us!

JUNE 24Cincinnati PRIDE | Cleveland PRIDE | Yellow Springs PRIDE




JUNE 29 | Painting with a Purpose | Men’s Health Month | Black Nurses Rock – Dayton Chapter

Join us in Dayton as we recognize Men’s Health Month with a discussion on PrEP and group painting fun at Painting with a Twist and Shiron Jones, MS, BNS, ACNP.




Jul 5 | Name and Gender Change Legal Clinic | Columbus

Trained attorneys will provide one-on-one counseling about the gender and name-changing process. Registration is preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. To register, email or call (614) 340-6729.

JUL 11 | Family Law Seminar | Columbus

At family law seminars, volunteer lawyers and law students will assist with healthcare power of attorney, living will, and nomination of guardian for minor children.


JUL 12 | Masquerage Theme Release Party | Dayton

Be one of the first to know the theme for this year’s Masquerage party! Attend the theme release party at Dayton’s Racquet Club.