As of Wednesday, June 24, the Downtown Needle Exchange at Second and Pike will move to the Robert Clewis Center, a new space at the Downtown Public Health Center, on the corner of Fourth and Blanchard.
The Robert Clewis Center will offer the same comprehensive range of services currently available at the Needle Exchange, including case management, abscess care HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other screenings, on the same schedule as the Second and Pike location, but with half an hour earlier close time Monday-Friday. Exchange customers are being notified of the change via flyer this week.
The Public Health Center reports that the move will help consolidate health and social services in the downtown area. Customers will be able to benefit from the readily available services provided by the Office of Public Health in addition to the needle exchange care offered at the Robert Clewis Center by virtue of their being next door. The city hopes that the move will not only provide greater efficiency to clients, but also save money and resources so that prevention of HIV/AIDS and other intravenously transferred diseases remains as vigorous as possible.
The Clewis Center, named for a former needle exchange employee and community organizer, will not have a visible Needle Exchange sign displayed from the street. The Public Health center reports that it is making a concerted effort to provide information of the name change to clients now to avoid confusion when the six-block move takes effect. They do not expect traffic flow will be affected as a result of the move.