Faces of 340B
MIKAYLA ROBINSON, COLUMBUS, OH
Mikayla Robinson was so inspired by the compassionate care she received from a 340B safety-net provider that she now is part of their caregiving team.
Mikayla first came to Equitas Health, a federally qualified community health center based in Columbus, Ohio, when she was diagnosed with HIV in 2006. With the help of affordable medication and care services from Equitas, her health has improved to the point where she now has an undetectable viral load.
Today Mikayla helps many others in the community who are in similar situations to the one in which she used to be. She works as an engagement specialist for the Mozaic program, an Equitas Health initiative focusing on health and wellness for transgender and gender non-binary/non-conforming people of color ages 13 to 29. Through community outreach and support, Mikayla and her colleagues focus on offering prevention and treatment options for a population of young people who are at particular risk for HIV, homelessness, and suicide.
As a winner of the Ms. Gay Ohio pageant, Mikayla has made the type of community outreach that the Mozaic program focuses on as a major element of her pageant platform.
340B is essential to Equitas Health providing affordable pre-exposure prophylaxis to patients at high risk of contracting HIV as well as HIV medications for those who have tested positive. Savings from the program also go toward funding additional medical and behavioral health services for people who can’t otherwise afford them, making Equitas a “one-stop shop” for the essential care that a patient might need, Mikayla says.
Mikayla says she would be one of many patients who would be hurt if 340B were eliminated. Without the ability to afford her costly daily HIV medication, she says she “probably wouldn’t be able to live and survive and … stand here as an advocate for the community.”