San Francisco Castro District Health Care Facility In Jeopardy

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The future of a specialized health clinic in San Francisco’s Castro District appears to be in jeopardy.

Lyon Martin Health Services has been in operation for 32 years serves 2,500 patients annually.

“Being a transgendered woman I don’t come by compassionate care that easily,” said Morgan Ruzzo, who has used Lyon Martin as a primary care provider for four years. “I would hate to tell a doctor from rural New Jersey that I’m probably going to need a prostate exam along with my mammogram.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

The community has raised $318,000 to keep the clinic open, but needs $500,000 more by March 31st.

“Some of it is clearly going to be asking the city for support through appropriations from the board of supervisors,” said Lyon Martin Medical Director Dr. Dawn Harbatkin. “Some of it is going to be coming back to the community, hopefully to new donors, or people who have been waiting to see what happens.”

Additionally, the center will try to stir up funds from foundations and private grants.

“About 87 percent of our patients make under 100 percent of the federal poverty level, so we are seeing very low-income, very marginalized patients in our practice,” said Harbatkin.

An external financial assessment has identified a financially viable model once debt is eliminated.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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