Mapu Maia Clinic
Grantee: UTOPIA Washington
Timeframe: July 2023 – June 2024 | Amount: $174,962.50
Mapu Maia understands that wrap-around support must honor all the identities people hold in their bodies by providing care that is truly inclusive of all the intersections that make them whole people. The transgender and gender-diverse community has been hit particularly hard by the current political climate — the exponential combination of discrimination they experience has led to rejection, isolation, and severe discrimination in housing and employment. As a last resort, too many queer and transgender youth turn to work in the sex trade in order to survive, and subsequently face serious health and mental health problems, persistent safety concerns, and constant fear of arrest. Many transgender people do not have access to transition-related care such as hormone therapy and gender affirming surgery. In addition, transgender women have traditionally experienced tremendous discrimination in healthcare, education, and the workplace.
And while there are encouraging improvements in resources and legal protections, many transgender women carry trauma from negative experiences with healthcare providers and employers. Health disparities are extremely high among both transgender people and Pacific Islanders; as a community they are imminently “at risk.” Pacific Islanders have significantly elevated rates of cancer, hepatitis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, tuberculosis, obesity, HIV/AIDS, and mental health issues. Immigrants to the region, many in the community do not know that they are eligible for healthcare. Many others are employed in temporary or short-term positions that do not provide healthcare. The lack of culturally relevant services make it even more difficult for Pacific Islanders to successfully obtain and utilize health insurance. This is why UTOPIA is such an essential landing place for the QTPI community in the region.
UTOPIA WA provides sanctuary and serves as a trusted, culturally aligned resource for QTPI to access HIV prevention resources, healthcare services, housing and other essential services, as well as a present and caring community. UTOPIA is currently partnering with HealthPoint and Swedish Medical Group and their medical professionals to provide these free healthcare services through their Mapu Maia clinic and has secured the free clinic license and certification. Grant funds will be utilized to allow UTOPI WA to increase their service capacity significantly, provide a medical staffing and support system directly linked to the clinic to provide trusted referrals to our trusted and culturally-informed medical/healthcare partners and other services. Mapu Maia will also be able to open the clinic 5-6 days a week. UTOPIA has the authentic relationships and community support network that will enable us to make powerful inroads towards improving health outcomes, healthcare access, and HIV prevention work that will have a tremendous impact on this community.
UTOPIA is a trusted, culturally aligned resource for Pacific Islanders in the LGBTQI community, in helping them access transgender healthcare services, including mental health and preventative care. UTOPIA provides support groups and assistance for Pacific Islanders in the sex industry, providing testing kits, HIV prevention and screening, and contraceptives and other important healthcare resources. They also work to connect QTPI to healthcare resources like insurance and preventative care to address health disparities. Additionally, UTOPIA connects clinic visitors to other in-house community resources and programs such as: continued case management, emergency financial assistance, community pantry that provides fresh, locally harvested produce and non-perishable foods, access to new/gently used clothing, and monthly peer support groups.
This funding will support and help to address the access needs for community in the following ways:
- Support UTOPIA staff to continue the research into services and partnerships for service referrals to trusted healthcare providers, coordination of clinics and access to healthcare services provided at the Mapu Maia Clinic, and improve and better organize case management, patient communication, and addressing rising needs.
- Aid in the building and expanding of culturally-informed medical resources; Doctors who come on as medical directors to work through a cultural lens that informs our clinics day-to-day operations and protocols for patients and clients, support foundation to provide connections to labs and lab work needed for services through partnership with able healthcare providers and possibility of on-site lab work being done by medical professionals
- Contracting to increase medical services being provided, onboarding volunteer medical director(s) and hiring full time nurse for day to day operations and client walk-in needs, as well as access to referral services on-site.
- Launching regular weekly clinical services by April with on-site medical staff (nurse) Mon-Fri for consistency and increased availability to community and patients in need.
- Increasing access and availability of language access needs for Pacific Islanders who speak little to no English, aiding in being able to fund and provide competent and culturally rooted translators and interpreters for clinical needs, communications with medical staff, and distribution and sharing of important facts, information, and data surrounding healthcare access, healthcare trends, and new information/data not readily available in Pacific Islander languages (Tongan, Fijian, Samoan, French-Tahitian, Marshallese, Chuukese, etc.)
ABOUT OUR GRANTEE
Mission: UTOPIA is actively replacing systems of oppression with ecosystems of care and safety for all communities through Black and Brown organizing, prioritizing land and bodily autonomy, and reclaiming our
Vision: A world of abundance, autonomy, and harmony, where all forms of supremacy cease to exist for all life.