Prism Health North Texas (PHNTX) has announced that its relocated Empowerment Center will host its first event of 2024 on Thursday, February 8. The Empowerment Center hosts the organization’s Empowerment Connection program, a key component of its HIV prevention services as the program aims to educate the community on health and behavioral health services available to them and to familiarize them with the services before they are needed.
The Empowerment Center is located at 219 Sunset Avenue Suite 116-B in Dallas, conveniently located next to the PHNTX Oak Cliff Health Center and Oak Cliff Pharmacy, offering free parking and easy access via public transportation.
“We were thrilled to make use of a space PHNTX already had access to next to our Oak Cliff Health Center, both expanding our services in the Oak Cliff area and opening the Empowerment Center in a space that is familiar to and accessible by our patients,” Januari Fox, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Community Engagement (PACE) said.
The Empowerment Center Open House from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on February 8 will be the return to in-person events for the Empowerment Connection team. Attendees ages 18 and up can RSVP online for the event which will include snacks, games, educational programming and other activities, provided in part by sponsor Avita.
“Our goal, along with every other organization who is working in sexual health, is to get to zero new cases of HIV. One way we do this is by providing opportunities for fun, engaging, relatable education. If we can create an environment where people feel safer discussing topics that are often uncomfortable, or even just sitting back to listen, then we are one step closer to getting to zer,” Fox added. “The Empowerment Connection is a status neutral program, meaning it is open to anyone to attend, not just people living with HIV. We encourage people of all ages, genders, races, sexualities, and lived experiences to attend. We have a lot to learn from each other!”
The Empowerment Connection program is funded in part by a grant from the Texas Department of Health Services aimed at preventing new cases of HIV. Through the in-person event programming, the PACE Department hopes to strengthen community involvement in HIV prevention by efforts by increasing a sense of community ownership, participation and collaboration, to increase community support, education and dialogue, especially dialogue that addresses stigmas, and to create an environment in which people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and other marginalized populations are empowered to reduce or eliminate the risk of HIV acquisition and barriers to accessing HIV prevention.
“Our hope is that members will become engaged and invested and share this knowledge with their own circles,” said Fox. “The benefit to Empowerment Connection being linked to an organization like PHNTX is that if someone wants to be connected to treatment or prevention, we can make that happen in one of our five clinics.”