Austin-based nonprofit Texas Health Action opened its third Kind Clinic in Austin on Oct. 22. The new clinic, located at 2800 S. I-35 #103 in South Austin, will be the first Kind Clinic to have an on-site pharmacy, which is slated to open early 2021.
Texas Health Action board members and Kind Clinic staff celebrated the new location with Kind Clinic founder Dr. Cynthia Brinson on Oct. 21. (Photo Credit: Tyler Schmitt/Kind Clinic)
Since beginning operations in 2015 Kind Clinic has grown into the largest sexual health and wellness provider in Central Texas with specialized care for the LGBTQIA community. In addition to three locations in Austin, Kind Clinic opened its first San Antonio clinic earlier this summer. The South Austin expansion now doubles the organization’s capacity to provide its services including HIV prevention drugs PrEP and PEP, as well as gender-affirming care for Austin’s transgender and gender nonconforming communities.
Megan Brunson, COO of Texas Health Action, told the Chronicle the increased capacity will allow Kind Clinic to better meet the increased demand for testing and treatment in more areas in Austin. Furthermore, Brunson said the new location provides more space for Kind Clinic’s medical social workers to meet with patients in person. Currently, because of COVID-19, social workers are seeing patients remotely, but the organization recently added medical social workers to its team of providers for all Kind Clinics in Austin. “These medical social workers help patients who receive a new diagnosis begin and continue care, and help patients who have fallen out of care, due to social or medical barriers, regain access and remain in care,” said Brunson.
The South Austin clinic’s new pharmacy, which will be provided by Avita Pharmacy – a national speciality pharmacy specializing in patients living with chronic health conditions including HIV/AIDS – will be open to both Kind patients and the general public meaning you do not need to be a patient to use the pharmacy.
“It can be hard for patients to find a pharmacist who understands the unique health care needs of LGBTQIA+ individuals,” said Lauren DeLoach, the pharmacist in charge at Austin’s Avita Pharmacy, in a Kind Clinic press release. “Just one negative experience filling a prescription can stop a patient from continuing their medication.”
Along with the new location comes the launch of a new testing van, which will bring STI and HIV testing services directly to underserved areas of the community. As the Chronicle previously reported, Austin’s low-cost mental health counseling provider Waterloo Counseling Center will become a program of THA alongside Kind Clinic as part of Texas Health Action’s vision to provide integrated sexual and behavioral health services in 2021.
Kind Clinic is celebrating the new location this Sat., Oct. 31, 11am-1pm, with Hallo-Qween, a free drive-through party where folks can enjoy treats and fun all from their car. Find more details here.