Women’s Health

Women's Health

The Lax Women’s Health Program supports HIV positive women to heal, grow, maintain health, and achieve their goals.

Mission Statement

The Lax Women’s Health Program is committed to excellent care for women with HIV that is comprehensive, team-based, and respectful of diverse cultural backgrounds and spiritual traditions. We partner with and support HIV positive women to heal, grow, maintain health, and achieve their goals.

Vision Statement

The Women’s Program envisions a future in which HIV positive women from diverse communities are comfortable coming to The Lax Center for care.  Patients feel welcomed and respected by the supportive, multidisciplinary team, and are able to see themselves reflected among members of our staff.  The team partners with women to provide excellent care that allows them to heal, remain healthy, and achieve their goals.  This care includes:

  • Support groups and activities that allow women to work through issues, build skills, and become empowered.
  • Discussions about intimate relationships, how to avoid violence and create safety.
  • Opportunities to move physically to promote health and reduce stress.
  • Honoring different spiritual traditions.
  • Childcare, GED classes, and other supportive services available on-site.
  • Visits to women in their homes and communities for collaborative and comprehensive care.

The Women’s Program has good relationships in communities at high risk for HIV and is actively involved in prevention efforts.

In the Lax Center Women’s Program we offer multidisciplinary, team-based care that includes a primary clinician and access to a social worker, a case manager and a care navigator. We work closely with our nurse, pharmacists, nutritionist and therapists to assist women in remaining healthy. This includes support to address life stressors that may interfere with taking life-saving medication, as well as help with wellness and attaining life goals.

Our core team includes: Nurse Practitioner Lizzy Schmidt, Social Worker Danica Moore, Physician Helen Koenig, Care Navigator Dannette Burry, and Case Managers Korlu Ezike and Olawunmi Thomas-Quarcoo.

Our primary medical care offers GYN services across the reproductive health continuum, including: Preconception counseling, partnerships with OB’s for prenatal care, contraception for pregnancy prevention, and options counseling for unplanned pregnancies. We have two annual “PAP-ATHONS” during which women can get a PAP, a purse, lunch and listen to a motivational speaker in a supportive environment. The Fox Chase mammogram van also comes annually during this event to promote healthy breast awareness. Our team is available to help women learn how to exercise safely, maintain their weight with dietary counseling, and reduce stress with meditation, yoga, movement therapies, peer support and education classes ( Project TEACH and Sista).

The Women’s Program also offers a unique four month healing course facilitated by our Social Worker Danica Moore. “Still Rising” is a behavioral support group that operates from a strengths-based model which emphasizes people’s self-determination. Spiritually and culturally based frameworks are utilized to help women gain tools to flourish.

Program Information

  • Location: 1233 Locust Street, 5th floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • Phone: (215) 790-1788 x 113
  • Contact: Lizzy Schmidt, MSN, CRNP
  • Email: lschmidt@fight.org

Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring fellows, residents and students.

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