Railcare Health unites LGBTQ affirming healthcare providers to those who do not have access to medical care. (Photo Credit: railcarehealth.com)

Railcare Health is a Chapel Hill-based group that travels North Carolina with the sole commitment to help those who do not have access to adequate medical care. On March 26, from 10 am to 3 pm in Raleigh at St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church, Railcare Health will be offering services specific to the LGBTQ community. Their primary focus will be on mental health care, gender-affirming treatments (including Hormone Replacement Therapy) and HIV testing, as well as remedies for STIs. The program will be hosted by Railcare Health in tandem with the LBGT Center of Raleigh.

The location of this drive will be at St. John’s MCC in a precautionary effort to create a safe space for all potential patients. The Metropolitan Community Church was the first religious organization to perform public same-sex marriage ceremonies, beginning in 1969.

The purpose of this LGBTQ-centric Railcare Mobile Clinic and Health Drive is not based around COVID-19, but stems from community needs that have been denied as a result of COVID-19. Railcare Health, the LGBT Center of Raleigh, AASC (the Alliance of AIDS Services: Carolina) and St. John’s MCC recognize the limitations of access to LGBTQ-related treatments during the pandemic restrictions. In response to quarantine and stay-at-home orders, mental health treatment and consultation will be available for LGBTQ individuals who have experienced isolation or been forced to remain in stressful environments.

The staff at Railcare Health are volunteers who are currently enrolled in universities and practicing physicians. Since the service is not a full-time career for volunteering health care professionals, options available to patients are not always the same. At any given time, these health drives may be made up of a mix of mental health professionals, dentistry students, or others within various fields spanning public well-being.

Currently only touring North Carolina, Railcare Health has made it clear their aim is to delegate Mobile Clinics to all rural areas within the east coast, eventually reaching the entirety of the United States’ most impoverished and least accessible communities.

“Healthcare is a human right, and this holds true for our LGBTQ+ communities,” said Brady Hanshaw of Railcare Health. “Queer folks deserve healthcare that is affirming [and] knowledgeable on non-cishet health concerns, and free of stigma. These ideals are what drove our team to unite LGBTQ+ affirming healthcare providers and to bring them right into the community with our mobile clinic event at St. John’s in Raleigh.”

To set up an appointment, go to tinyurl.com/eexaa8s8.

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