A sign writer adds the finishing touches to the newly opened North By Northeast Community Health Clinic.

A sign writer adds the finishing touches to the newly opened North By Northeast Community Health Clinic.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

The only clinic to focus on African-American health in Oregon opened a new building in Portland on Friday.

North By Northeast Community Health Center board member Kevin Howard said many community members prefer it to mainstream health systems.

“A lot of us as African-American patients feel like they’re just another number,” Howard said. “They feel like they’re, not important.”

North By Northeast board member, Kevin Howard.

North By Northeast board member, Kevin Howard.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

The clinic’s co-founder, Dr. Jill Ginsberg, said if you have diabetes and you’re black, you’re still twice as likely to die as someone who’s white.

“We hear from our patients a lot that they’ve had experiences in health settings that have added to the distrust that kind of historically has been a reality for people,” she said.

In the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study, African-Americans who were infected with syphilis were not given penicillin after it emerged as a standard treatment.

The North By Northeast clinic now has eight people on staff, who care for about 700 patients.