Columbia University Harm Reduction Clinic
Columbia University Harm Reduction (CUHR) Clinic meets every other Thursday to provide free medical care and blood-borne infection screening to drug users and sex workers in Washington Heights, many of whom have faced discrimination elsewhere in the health system. CUHR Clinic was founded on the philosophy of harm reduction, which accepts the existence of licit and illicit drug use and works to minimize its harmful effects rather than ignoring or condemning them. Harm reduction practices (such as syringe provision, condom distribution, health education, and vaccinations) seek to mitigate the negative consequences of drug use and unsafe sexual practices.
Outside of clinic, CUHR works to broaden awareness of harm reduction principles among our peers across Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Since 2010, CUHR Clinic has operated out of the Washington Heights CORNER Project, a community center that aims to improve the quality of life for people who use drugs and engage in sex work.
Our clinic is precepted by Silvia Amesty, MD, a family physician at the Young Men’s Clinic.