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Cecilia’s Occupational Inclusion Network (COIN)

Welcome to Callen-Lorde’s sex worker health program.  We strive to provide your health care in ways that are sensitive and compelling for your needs.

Free healthcare for sex workers in an affirming, supportive environment. Walk in to our Chelsea location (356 West 18th Street) on Fridays from 9am – 3pm or call 212.271.8134 to schedule an appointment.

Offering:

  • Primary medical care
  • Sexual health
  • HIV treatment & prevention
  • Transgender health
  • GYN care
  • and more!
What is Callen-Lorde’s philosophy toward sex work?

Callen-Lorde firmly and without reservation supports the rights of sex workers.  We are opposed to laws that disproportionately regulate and criminalize bodily autonomy, sexuality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. We support the total decriminalization of sex work as an important step to protect and respect the human rights of all sex workers. We recognize sex work as meaningful and valuable work that provides economic opportunity for people selling and trading sex. We affirm that sex workers are not criminals to be stigmatized, but rather members of an often exploited and under-protected working class. We stand in solidarity with sex workers demanding rights, the recognition of sex workers’ agency and decision-making capacity and safe working conditions. We honor the different experiences that people may have with regards to the level of consent and control they experience around participating in the sex industry.  We understand the gray area between sex work and sex trafficking and want our services to be available to anyone in the sex industry regardless of their level of agency in their work.  We pledge to promote the rights of sex workers and to create a safe space for sex workers to obtain health care without judgement, fear, or stigmatization.

How do you define “sex work”?

Callen-Lorde uses the Youth Women’s Empowerment Network of sex trade which defines it as any form of being sexual (or the idea of being sexual) in exchange for money, gifts, safety, drugs, hormones or survival needs like housing, food, clothes or immigration and documentation- whether you get to keep the money/goods/service/or someone else profits from these acts.  This means we are happy to see people engaged in any form of sexual labor be it camming, escorting, stripping, BDSM and all other forms of sex work.  In a nutshell, if you tell us you are a sex worker then you are a sex worker and you are welcome in this program.

What will be written in my chart?

In order to maintain the confidentiality and safety of our patients we will not be indicating on your chart that you have been enrolled in the sex worker program.

We realize many sex workers have concerns about what is documented in their medical chart. Our providers will work with you to make sure you are comfortable with everything that gets written down or recorded during your visit.

What if my chart is subpoenaed?

When any patient’s chart at Callen-Lorde is subpoenaed there are several steps that are taken to protect confidentiality of records.  When any request is made to disclose information by a law enforcement official a lawyer and/or the Compliance and Privacy Officers review the subpoena prior to any disclosure of records.  This is to ensure all proper channels have been followed by requesting a subpoena and that we are able to disclose the least amount of information necessary to law enforcement.  Whatever records are disclosed to law enforcement are also reported to the patient.  Unless specifically requested, only basic information will be disclosed.

Explain how this is free? Like free for real?

All patients of Callen-Lorde are treated regardless of ability to pay.  When patients do not have insurance, they are put on a sliding scale based on their income.  The COIN Clinic has additional coverage so you will NOT BE CHARGED for any medications, labs, or care at Callen-Lorde (including copays/deductibles etc).  If you have insurance, we will first bill care to your insurance.  Whatever your insurance does not cover (co-pays/deductibles etc) will be charged to the COIN Clinic and you will not be billed.

We do recommend you meet with one of our Insurance Navigators to discuss your health insurance options.  Although your care will be free at Callen-Lorde any care received outside of Callen-Lorde such as specialty or emergency care outside of our doors cannot be covered.  Our Insurance Navigators can help you to decide what health insurance option might be right for you.

It is also important to note that this funding is temporary, and we are unaware how long it will last.  If our program changes and we are no longer able to cover your care you will be alerted before further care is rendered.

But what if I get a bill?

If you are enrolled in the COIN Clinic you should not receive a bill from Callen-Lorde for your care.  If you are mistakenly sent a bill for care, medications or lab bills (that we ordered for you) please call 212-271-7253 to speak to a Billing Specialist.

What training have my provider and support staff had?

Callen-Lorde has hired Transgender Equity Consulting to work with us on this program.  The entire staff of Callen-Lorde has been trained on working with people in the sex trades and then providers (both medical and mental health) have received additional specific training on the best way to care for sex workers.  Finally, Callen-Lorde convened 8 focus groups of all gender identities to help us inform this program.  These recommendations were implemented to all aspects of the program and shared with the staff of the program.

I have some feedback about the program, where can I send it?

As this is new program at Callen-Lorde we very much welcome your feedback.  You can email feedback to fbrigham@callen-lorde.org and you can call the patient experience department at 212-937-4836.  Finally, if you would like to get involved more directly with the program you can join our Community Advisory Board (CAB).  The application for this is on our website at https://callen-lorde.org/community-advisory-board/.