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Whitmarsh STD clinic to close

June 23, 2011

How’s this for bad timing-right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is surveying Rhode Island to  see why we’ve seen an increase in sexually transmitted diseases among gay and bi men.  At the same time, the Providence Community Health Centers’ only STD clinic is closing its doors.

Why? The Department of Health won’t be funding the clinic anymore. “Without the money, we can’t run the clinic,” says Loretta Tharp with the Providence Community Health Centers.

Loretta Tharp says patients at the clinic will have to go to their primary care doctors for STD help in the future.  If they don’t have a primary care doctor, the health centers will help them find one.

She says the Whitmarsh Clinic employed one receptionist and two nurse practitioners.  They will lose their jobs when the clinic closes at the end of the month, although the receptionist is applying for another job at the community health centers.

The Health Department’s spokesman Peter Hanney  says it was a tough decision, but DOH had to cut money from its budget somewhere. Health officials decided that defunding Whitmarsh “would have the least affect on the community at large.”

The Department of Health will hold a community meeting in its auditorium on Tuesday, June 28th at 8:30am to figure out a game plan for STD prevention after the clinic closes.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Spirochete permalink
    June 24, 2011 4:31 am

    What short sighted move. The only STD clinic in RI is closing while STDs are climbing. What is wrong with OHHS to not fund DOH adequately?

  2. June 24, 2011 1:42 pm

    Is cutting the funds truly going to save money? I think not the cost of STD’s will be past on to unpaid healthcare and a larger population that will continue to grow with yet another health prevention gone. I think the DOH is passing the minus buck to unpaid health expence which just increases the cost of healthcare for others.

  3. Sally permalink
    June 25, 2011 1:37 am

    This is what smaller government looks like.

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