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Save Lyon-Martin & Women’s Community Clinic

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40 years ago, Lyon-Martin Health Services began as a for us/by us clinic for lesbian and bisexual women. Though we always provided care for the transgender community, we began formally integrating trans-specific programming into our primary care clinic in the 90's. Today, we are a national leader fighting for the unique needs of the transgender community.  We provide integrated queer and trans competent primary care, hormone therapy, referrals for gender affirming surgery, and gynecological care to thousands of the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQIA community, regardless of ability to pay.   Women's Community Clinic was founded in 1999 as a for us/by us primary and sexual health care clinic for women, regardless of ability to pay. Abortion care, reproductive health care, and homeless outreach services has always been the foundation of our work.  Together, as merged clinics, Lyon-Martin and Women's Community Clinic became stronger together, united in our missions to fight misogyny, transmisogyny, and gender oppression in healthcare. We are united in our mission to use an intersectional lens in our healthcare delivery and create individualized, trauma-informed, and harm-reduction based care plans. 

Today, the clinic is in danger of closing due to the lack of diversified funding strategies and resources specifically devoted to our clinic. HealthRight360 has not obtained any foundation or grant based funding for our clinic.  HealthRight also instituted a hiring freeze, despite high demand for services. This means their financial plan for us has been solely based on the number of clients seen per day while being short staffed.  This productivity-based model leads to burn out, high turn over, and an ever-growing deficit.   

HealthRight management informed Lyon-Martin Health Services and Women’s Community Clinic that as of May 1, 2020, client access to services would be reduced by 90%, the majority of staff would be laid off, and that the reduced one provider team would be relocated and consolidated with HealthRight’s Integrated Care Center, an unsafe environment for patients and staff. Their proposal is to have our services available two half days per week. This reduces our medical providers from what used to be 5 per clinic, to 1 for both clinics.  We feel consolidation is not a viable option. Because most of our programming would be cut and thousands of trans people will would be going without care if this happens, we consider this to be an essential closure of our clinics. We are asking for emergency funding to stabilize us so we may strategically plan for long term sustainability and to re-invest in a by and for our community model. We are actively seeking support from San Francisco political leaders, but we need private fundraising too to keep our doors open.  Our long-term plan is to separate from HealthRight360, knowing that we, the staff and community, are better equipped to lead, prioritize and sustain our clinic. 

In addition to providing direct services, in the last decade, Lyon-Martin and our providers have also:
-Started TransLine, a nationally available, free e-consultation service connecting providers learning how to provide care to trans communities to experts in the field.
-Provided technical assistance and training to thousands of providers, clinics, and hospitals to grow cultural and clinical competency in treating transgender clients across the country.
-Educated hundreds of medical students and allied health professionals, some who have gone on to become national leaders in transgender health care.
-Advocated and provided expert consultation instrumental in gaining coverage for transgender Californians on Medi-Cal and all Californians under regulations introduced by the CA Dept of Insurance whose Economic Impact Assessment has been used by other states to expand coverage by preventing private insurers fro excluding transgender care.
-Advocated for the elimination of exclusions of gender affirming care in Healthy San Francisco.
-Successfully appealed and obtained insurance coverage of the first vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, facial feminization surgery, hair removal services, body contouring, and hair restoration surgeries ever to be covered by Medi-Cal.
-Navigated and successfully obtained insurance coverage of over 750 gender affirming surgeries through various insurance plans and coverage programs.
-Provided expert testimony in cases which have won transgender health care services for all New York Medicaid recipients and court orders for two transgender women in prison to receive gender affirming surgery.
-Trained thousands of volunteers through Women's Community Clinic's Clinical Health Worker Program, 96% of which go on to become health care professionals.

Because the city and county of San Francisco has stepped in to provide us emergency funding to sustain our current operating budget.  The funds from this campaign will be invested in a non-endowed fund at the SF Foundation and saved. It will not go into the HealthRight360 operating budget, but specifically saved as Lyon-Martin Health Services undertakes the task of strategically planning for a sustainable future.  As we learn more, we will update you to the best of our ability.


Save Lyon-Martin
San Francisco, CA

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