Akia Feggans said the Diana Baldwin Clinic helps an “underserved group of people,” like homeless people, those with low-income or without insurance.
Akia Feggans, the director of behavior health at the clinic and Karen Shible, a therapist at the Teach Recovery Education Empowerment intensive outpatient program, also work with Philadelphia FIGHT, a community organization and center on Locust Street near 12th that helps people who are HIV positive.
In both their positions, they help people who have substance use disorders and are HIV positive.
The clinic provides “HIV-informed, culturally competent behavioral health services that address the psychological, social and medical factors that drive the HIV epidemic as well as those that commonly affect individuals living with HIV,” according to its website.
Feggans said the media and “decision makers” have only started paying attention to the opioid epidemic in recent years.
“When the government starts to feel like it’s an epidemic, it’s usually when it starts affecting upper class, white people,” Feggans said.
Shible added that the toughest aspects of her job include helping her patients after they enter recovery. She added that their “emotional growth and development” is hindered because of their drug use. She said her job includes helping the patients “find themselves” and learn about their new or old interests.
“You’re not meant to be the person you were 15 years ago, you’re meant to be who you are now,” she said. “Success is measured in the person’s efforts and the quality of life that they have.”