Equitas Health’s Two Social Enterprises Continue to Grow
Equitas Health (formerly AIDS Resource Center Ohio), is a regional not-for-profit community-based healthcare system and federally qualified community health center. One of the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) healthcare organizations, Equitas Health operates two social enterprises, Equitas Health Pharmacy and PRIZM Magazine. All of the profits from these two ventures are reinvested back into the organization’s programs and services.
Equitas Health Pharmacy—URAC Specialty Accredited and Award-winning Leadership
Equitas Health currently has three community pharmacy locations (King-Lincoln and Short North in Columbus, Ohio, and one in Dayton, Ohio). These locations are open to the public, and consumers can fill prescriptions and purchase selected over-the-counter merchandise. The pharmacies are URAC Specialty Accredited.
Founded in 1990, URAC is the independent leader in promoting healthcare quality through accreditation, certification, and measurement. URAC is a nonprofit organization developing evidence-based measures and standards through inclusive engagement with a range of stakeholders committed to improving the quality of healthcare. URAC’s portfolio of accreditation and certification programs span the healthcare industry, addressing healthcare management, healthcare operations, health plans, pharmacies, telehealth providers, physician practices, and more. URAC accreditation is a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their validated commitment to quality and accountability.
From URAC President and CEO Kylanne Green: “It’s necessary for specialty pharmacies to provide a higher level of treatment for patients so desired outcomes are achieved. Equitas Health Pharmacy shows a dedication to patient education and safety through the recognition of quality it received with URAC’s independent accreditation. With URAC accreditation, people know that Equitas Health Pharmacy strikes to adhere to best practices.”
Equitas Health also participate in the 340B Program, a federal program that allows the organization to purchase medications at government discounted pricing and reinvest savings into the organization. This critical program helps further Equitas Health’s mission by providing expanded services.
As a testament to Equitas Health’s excellence in pharmacy services, Equitas Health’s Chief Pharmacy Officer, Aaron Clark, R.Ph., PharmD, AAHIVP, received The Ohio Pharmacists Association’s 2018 recipient of the Upsher-Smith Excellence in Innovation Award. This award honors pharmacists who have demonstrated innovative pharmacy practice resulting in improved patient care by providing effective patient counseling.
PRIZM Magazine—A Vehicle for Advocacy
Equitas Health launched its print, free rack & subscription-based publication, PRIZM Magazine, in October 2017. Today, with a statewide subscriber base of 26,000 and growing, the publication is gearing up for its 11th issue and focuses on providing intentionally diverse content from an editorial perspective, to provide a platform for issues of importance to the LGBTQ communities.
Equitas’ Impact on Health
Equitas Health currently operates three health centers (King-Lincoln and Short North in Columbus, Ohio, and one in Dayton, Ohio), all of which are Federally Qualified Health Centers. This designation allows for enhanced reimbursement, in exchange for a commitment to provide services to anyone who walks through the door, regardless of ability to pay.
With the substantial growth that Equitas Health has experienced, it has recently hired a new Chief Medical Officer and Chief Clinical Operations Officer. The organization is exploring plans to open additional sites over the next few years. With 17 offices in 11 cities, Equitas Health serves more than 67,000 individuals in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia each year through its diverse healthcare and social service delivery system focused around: primary and specialized medical care, retail pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, HIV/STI prevention, advocacy, and community health initiatives.