ALEXANDRIA, VA–On Wednesday, June 8, Inova officials cut the ribbon to the new Pride Clinic in Falls Church (500 Washington St, Suite 200). The Mayor of Falls Church, City Council members from Falls Church and Alexandria, representatives for Senators Warner and Kaine, members of the Virginia House of Delegates, the Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince George County boards of supervisors, and Inova executives and physicians were all present to inaugurate the new clinic.
Vice President of the Inova Population and Community Health Division, Karen Berube, kicked things off. “I’m overjoyed and filled with emotion as we stand here in front of this clinic which is no longer an aspiration but a reality,” she began. The aspiration for this clinic was born four years ago on a bus trip to Richmond, which Karen and several of her Inova colleagues were on together.
After many, many months of navigating COVID-19, supply chain issues, and general construction snafus, it has finally come to fruition. The Pride Clinic is 3,600 square feet on the second floor of the building. It features four counseling rooms, several exam rooms and offices, all-gender bathrooms, and a multi-purpose conference room for group meetings.
The clinic will be led by Dr. Jorge Ramallo and his team, a nurse and a receptionist. “We are starting small but mighty,” Dr. Ramallo asserts. Dr. Ramallo grew up in Springfield, Virginia, and, after a significant stint in Wisconsin, has since returned to his home state to continue advocating for a cause close to his heart.
“It is like a dream come true,” Dr. Ramallo says. “I honestly didn’t know when or how it would happen, I just thought about it and when the opportunity came, I jumped on it.”
Dr. Ramallo came out to his family at 19 years old, and ever since, he has always known he wants to help the underserved communities in his work.
He explains, “It was clear to me that the LGBTQ+ population is chronically underserved and misunderstood by the medical establishment. That is what inspired me to find a field that broached everything from adolescent to pediatrics to adult to mental health to primary care and family care.”
At the Pride clinic, Dr. Ramallo and his staff “are going to focus on the specific need of the patients and listen to the patients.”
Dr. Ramallo hopes to offer quality care specifically tailored to the unique and individuals needs of the LGBTQ+ community in the DMV. From pediatric services to gender affirming services to mental health services, the clinic is fully equipped to offer comprehensive care to all who seek it. With all the resources the clinic offers, Dr. Ramallo plans to have a therapist and psychiatrist on site, and to use the conference room for group meetings, for trans-youth or those afflicted by substance abuse, for example.
The clinic was fully funded by Inova, but everyone involved in the vision, creation, and now continuation encourages philanthropy efforts going forward to continue to further the medical resources and quality presented and available to the LGBTQ+ community.
If you wish to support the Inova Pride Clinic or donate to an LGBTQ+ cause, visit https://www.inova.org/locations/inova-primary-care/pride-clinic/.