Before co-founding PHF in 2019, Dr. Ravi was the founder and medical director of the PurpLE Clinic. This program served as a primary medical home for people who had experienced human trafficking and other forms of trauma, including domestic violence and sexual assault.
PurpLE Clinic was a "clinic in a clinic" model piloted from 2015 to 2019 within a larger community health center in New York City. The clinic's design was guided by feedback from community partners and people with lived experience, including sex trafficked women incarcerated on Rikers Island.
During its four years, the clinic received over 600 referrals and over 250 people connected with PurpLE Clinic for healthcare, including children and adults from the United States and abroad and people of all genders, insurance, housing, and documentation statuses. A range of acute, chronic, and preventive medical services were provided, including diabetes care, vaccinations, Pap smears, injury management, HIV care, LGBTQ+ care, and routine physicals.
Along the way, the clinic received several national accolades, including recognition from the US Health Resources and Services Administration as a “Promising Practice” in the care of people who have experienced domestic violence and human trafficking and grant funding from the US Department of Justice. The clinic also inspired healthcare advocacy efforts, with Dr. Ravi frequently writing, drawing and speaking about PurpLE Clinic's work to connect with and deliver healthcare for marginalized communities.
As the PurpLE Clinic pilot ended, Dr. Ravi reached out to colleagues she had partnered with while running PurpLE Clinic-- each had spent years trying to help survivors of trauma connect with and thrive in conventional healthcare settings while navigating issues such as homelessness, intermittent incarceration, undocumented statuses, and food insecurity. It was obvious to these leaders that a survivor-informed healthcare delivery system was an unaddressed public health need.
Collective expertise and the lessons learned from PurpLE Clinic helped design and inform what would go on to become the PurpLE Health Foundation.