Permanent Closure Announcement
Dear Patients, Friends, and Supporters of The Lavender Clinic,
This is the notice we’ve given intense effort to avoid. Due to the extreme difficulty of maintaining an independent nonprofit primary care and behavioral health clinic, we are unable to continue operations and will close our clinic at the end of day, Thursday, August 31, 2023. We will continue to work with patients to find appropriate care and complete transfer of all medical records. We will continue sending medical records after August 31, 2023. We've provided a list of resources with this notice as a convenience, and we will make referrals upon specific request. Our Board of Directors will work with the appropriate authorities to dissolve properly and follow all applicable procedures.
It has been one of the highest honors to work with Hawaii’s sexual and gender minority communities these past eight years. The clinic was started to work uniquely with patients: as a partnership sharing information and experiences to improve wellness for all. Our patients’ willingness to work fully with providers allowed us to develop and support protocols for gender affirming care and other services that were effective for individuals and customized for each person’s needs for great holistic health success.
As the focus was intensely on patient care, the needs of the business were not prioritized early enough. This led to financial difficulties which proved to be insurmountable along with the staffing challenges that came during and after the pandemic. We explored every avenue to avoid closure, including changes of leadership, expanding the Board of Directors, grassroots fundraising for which we received overwhelming support, bringing on consultants, and utilizing volunteers; but, with inflation and rising costs for medication and staffing, viable solutions were not found.
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/08/health/primary-care-doctors-consolidation.html This New York Times article from May 2023 explains how huge conglomerates are buying up struggling independent medical practices such that seven of ten primary care physicians are now merely corporate employees frustrated with seeing "30 patients per day [for] seven minutes [each]". For patients and providers wishing to have/provide personalized/holistic care, opportunities are increasingly scarce. The current economic reality in the United States has also reduced fundraising capacity for many nonprofits.
We will still graciously accept donations which will be utilized to lessen the negative impacts of our departure. Any residual funds/assets will be donated to other Hawaii healthcare establishments with similar mission(s) to The Lavender Clinic. If you are wondering what you can do to support us, please understand that reversing our closure is unlikely; however, we will humbly accept all the help and support we can get to leave the Hawaii Community in the best condition possible in the absence of The Lavender Clinic. Specific needs will include patience when awaiting responses, assistance distributing medical records appropriately, helping us divest of our assets, and a myriad of other tasks which will undoubtedly arise.
For primary care patients not receiving gender affirming care services, we urge you to contact Healing Tides Primary Care at (808) 451-9520 or firstname.lastname@example.org or search online for other providers.
For patients utilizing gender affirming services we encourage you to reach out to: Nicole Ryan, DNP and Sheeren Masifi, MD at Evolve Health (808) 452-1731 or email@example.com or any of the organizations found on the Department of Health's Sexual and Gender Minorities Resource Hub: https://health.hawaii.gov/harmreduction/sexual-gender-minority/gender/ or Hawai’i G-ECHO’s Gender-Affirming Providers Directory: https://health.hawaii.gov/harmreduction/files/2023/06/G-ECHO-Gender-Affirming-Directory-1.pdf which includes resources for youth and adult services.
It is our great hope that providers who come next for our community will have the knowledge and resources to establish sustainability from the outset, and that they’re able to provide the level of excellence the people of Hawaii deserve. Thank you for your understanding as we work together to find the best solutions for each person. If you have questions about how to support TLC in a graceful closure, you are welcome to reach out to management for more information.
Yours in community with sadness and gratitude,
The Lavender Clinic Board of Directors and leadership team:
Renee Pedersen, Doctor of Medicine
Board Presiding Officer and TLC Gender Affirming Care Coordinator
Board Secretary and Chief Operating Officer
Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Sheeren Masifi, MD
Chief Medical Officer