Health & Wellness Capital Campaign

Health & Wellness Center Capital Campaign

LGBTQ adolescents and young adults are some of the most vulnerable young people in our community. Research has shown correlations between LGBTQ status (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning) and depression, suicide attempts, bullying, illicit drug use, homelessness, and increased rates of STDs and HIV. Communities of color are disproportionately affected by these health disparities, and it is predicted that 1 in 2 Black/African American gay and bisexual men in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. Studies have shown these inequities are not due to increased risk behavior on the part of individuals within racial/ethnic groups, but are instead related to experiences of stigma, discrimination, and trauma, as well as the structural barriers of economic marginalization, homelessness, and poor access to healthcare.

The urgent need to address these alarming health disparities on a local level has led to an innovative partnership between The Ruth Ellis Center and Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan. This collaboration, which was initiated in 2015 by former Henry Ford CEO Nancy Schlichting, has led to the creation of the Ruth Ellis Health and Wellness Center (HWC) on the first floor of the Center’s Highland Park facility. The HWC provides affirming and accessible mental health and primary care services including acute care, chronic disease management, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, and gender affirming hormones. Young people can come to Ruth Ellis to have dinner, take a shower, use the computer, get free clothing and food boxes, and, most importantly, build community in a safe space. With the development of the HWC, they can now receive physical and mental health services in an environment in which they are already comfortable and which stands in sharp contrast to traditional clinical environments in which they may experience stigma or outright rejection.

To read more about this innovative partnership as highlighted in Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s national case study, please click here

With a total capital campaign goal of $1.5 million, Ruth Ellis Center has raised $1.2 million to date. The Health & Wellness Center is now 90% complete and began offering fully integrated primary and behavioral health care services out of the newly constructed space on February 9, 2017. Construction of the exterior entranceway, including elevator lift for full ADA compliance will begin once remaining capital funds have been secured.

For information regarding capital campaign gifts, including multi-year pledges, please contact: Mark Erwin-McCormick, Director of Development & Advancement, or (313)252-1950

We would like to thank all those who have already contributed to the Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Center

Capital Campaign Support ($1.5 Million Goal)
Margo Dichtelmiller & Nancy Katz

Jeff Antaya & Peter Rosenfeld
Nancy Schlichting & Pamela Theisen*
*(With Matching Gift from the Kresge Foundation)

The Ally Coalition
DMC Foundation
Wanda Sykes
David Syner & Marcus Mendez

John Allen & Steve Orlando
The Carls Foundation
First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham
Project Beautiful – Inside & Out

Scott Bartram & Christopher Gentner
Michael Einheuser
Karla Goldman & Kim Jaffee
William Greene & Peter McGreevy
Helen L. Kay Charitable Trust
Henry Grix & Howard Israel
Jerry Peterson & Roland Stringfellow
Arturo Sanchez (D.I.V.A. Steering Committee & Guests)

Mark Blanke & Michael Perkins
Elliott Broom
Kelli Goines
Sabrina Gujral
The Howley/Tylenda Family
Elizabeth Mezzacapo Leitao
Brian Kutinsky & Michael Neuman
Margaret Warner

Karen Brown
Kristine Ray & Deirdre Shires
Amorie Robinson
Mark Thomas
Michael Usher & John Jerome
Amy Flory