May 23, 2012
CORE Center was the first Midwestern outpatient facility to provide comprehensive HIV/AIDS care beginning in the 1990s. Clients of the Chicago-based center have access to medical services, dental care, a pharmacy, research trials, and case managers. Fees are based on a sliding scale.
In 1994, the fledging CORE enlisted the aid of former Playboy Enterprises CEO Christie Hefner. Serving as project director, she helped the center exceed its capital campaign goal, raising more than $30 million by 1998. In a 2005 interview with TimeOut Chicago, Hefner said she "put together a board representing people in the business community, the arts community, the public sector, and the medical sector. Also, we did something quite innovative, which is put together a community action council ... the idea was that the people who were actually going to be the patients ought to have input into how the facility was designed and the kind of programs it would run."
The facility, now known as the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, currently serves more than 15,000 clients per year. One of the center's most innovative programs is the Continuity Clinic, which targets those recently released from incarceration. Clinic doctors work at CORE and in Cook County Department of Corrections' facilities, in order to ensure patients can access the same provider post-release.
Helping clients stay in care is a top priority at CORE. The center participates in Project IN-CARE, a linking service for men of color, and in a federally funded program that helps HIV-positive women of color connect with and stay in care.