Today is an exciting day as we begin a new era of service to communities across Ohio.
Thanks to medical advances, HIV infection is becoming a chronic, treatable disease. We now know we are able to best prevent and treat HIV through primary healthcare, especially for those at highest risk.
We also now know that significant medical differences exist when it comes to the health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community. LGBTQ individuals are more likely to experience certain types of cancer and chronic diseases, to get HIV/STI infections, and are at higher risk for mental health conditions. LGBTQ individuals are also less likely to be “out” to their healthcare providers, which prevents them from receiving the best care possible.
In response to these factors, AIDS Resource Center Ohio (ARC Ohio) has expanded its mission. Going forward, it is our vision that individuals living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, the LGBTQ community, and others who experience medical disparities in our communities will have access to the highest quality healthcare and preventative services. Our new mission is to be the gateway to good health for those at risk or affected by HIV/AIDS, for the LGBTQ community, and for those seeking a welcoming healthcare home.
We are proud of the more than three decades of dedication to our mission of leading the fight against HIV/AIDS. As we make this bold move we want to assure you that our commitment to HIV-specific prevention and care services will not in any way decrease. In fact, we are excited to embrace our expanded mission as a strategic step to further that legacy and its reach, by providing care for all—with a focus on a safe and open space and highest-quality healthcare for the LGBTQ community and others who are medically underserved.
This evolution is a natural transition for our organization. We have researched successful health centers similar to ours nationwide who have already made this change and are seeing outstanding results. Like them, we believe these strategic steps will help meet community needs, enhance our medical and other services, and support our mission for years to come.
Our new name is Equitas Health. Equitas comes from Latin origins, meaning justice, fairness, and equity. These values have always been core to our mission; our new name now puts them front-and-center.
The new Equitas Health logo represents the heart and soul of our new brand. It is a statement of inclusivity, teamwork, and diversity, and communicates strength in serving those in need by working together as a team. The symbol shows four different colors and shapes coming together to create a greater entity, helping to demonstrate the message of collaboration, health, and community. It is a statement of our inclusive, affirming, and welcoming nature, expressing passion in providing care to all individuals in need – without prejudice or judgment. Our new tagline care for all, helps reinforce the accepting and safe environment we provide to anyone seeking our services.
We are excited about this new direction and hope you will join us in supporting this new direction.
Bill Hardy, President & CEO