TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, recently awarded a $150,000 grant to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset’s Babs Siperstein PROUD Center, to conduct screenings for HIV and sexually transmitted infections for the LGBTQ+ adults. The PROUD Center, the first in New Jersey to offer specialized primary care services to the LGBTQ+ community, will use the funds to offer free testing clinics in several RWJBarnabas Health locations, and work with a community partner to provide mobile testing in other areas of the state.
“We are extremely grateful to TD Bank for their continued support to help us enhance the care that we provide to the LGBTQ+ community,” Patrick Delaney, chief administrative officer, RWJUH Somerset said. “HIV remains a global health crisis and sexually transmitted infections continue to rise, with both disproportionately affecting members of the LGBTQ+ community. This grant will help us to expand our screenings and to reach more individuals throughout the state, promoting early detection and treatment.”
“Early detection is the first step in effectively treating and combating HIV and sexually transmitted infections and enabling easy access to screening services is paramount for the LGBTQ+ community,” Emmet Conlon, head of Institutional Healthcare, TD Bank said. “We’re excited to continue our support of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s Babs Siperstein PROUD Center and the incredibly important work they’re doing to improve equitable access to healthcare for all.”
In 2021, TD Bank awarded $150,000 to the PROUD Center, to improve access to: medical care for members of the LGBTQ+ community (with a focus on HIV prevention), mental health services, and to ensure more equitable access for transgender adults facing significant barriers to medical care. The grant is also funding a day-long symposium planned for Sept. 14, at The Palace at Somerset Park.
RWJUH Somerset has been honored as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign. The PROUD Center, named in memory of the late transgender activist Babs Siperstein, opened in 2017 on the hospital’s campus. Its services for ages 18 and older include: primary medical care, HIV prevention and care, hormone therapy and monitoring, wellness visits, behavioral health therapy, health education, support groups and patient navigation services. The hospital also began offering gender affirmation surgery for adults in 2022.
Appointments are available at the PROUD Center five days a week, including evening and telehealth appointments.