Editor's Note: This post has been updated to clarify how Zoom+Care is financially tied to certain organizations.
It was announced today that Zoom+Care, the Portland-based urgent care empire that has come under legal and financial trouble in recent years after a failed foray into the insurance market, is being bought by PeaceHealth, a Catholic hospital network based in the Pacific Northwest.
Zoom+Care is known for having sleek, convenient medical clinics and user-friendly technology. But beyond that veneer of modernity, the company is financially tied to two organizations that LBGTQ advocacy groups call draconian: the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Portland Fellowship.
ADF is a conservative Christian advocacy group that drafted the template for North Carolina's 2016 anti-trans bathroom bill. The Portland Fellowship is the only local group that offers "voluntary" anti-gay conversion therapy. The Murdock Charitable Trust, which has invested in Zoom+Care financier Endeavour Capital, has also financially supported these two organizations. (New Seasons Market can also count Endeavour among its investors.)
In email to the Mercury, Murdock spokesperson Colby Reade said the trust only provided grant funding to a specific ADF program operating in Pacific Northwest schools that aimed to teach students how to "fairly and safely express their First Amendment rights." Reade added that Murdock has “publicly denounced the practice of conversion therapy…. This is not a practice that we endorse, support or fund.”
Endeavour Capital will no longer be an investor in Zoom+Care following the healthcare business' sale to PeaceHealth at the end of December.
Despite its questionable investors, Zoom+Care doesn't have any documented history of denying healthcare or discriminating against the LGBTQ community. But the same cannot be said for its new parent company, PeaceHealth. Last year, the Washington state chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the company for denying a transgender boy healthcare under what the ACLU called "illegal reasoning." That lawsuit is still in progress.
In a world of complex investment portfolios and confusing corporate speak, it's virtually impossible to avoid sometimes supporting companies and organizations that go against your values. But for LGBTQ Portlanders who'd rather not patronize these particular companies—or who fear they won't get the care they need there—it's good to know that the Cascade AIDS Project opened Prism Health, the city's first dedicated LGBTQ health clinic, last year, and that Oregon Health & Science University continues to operate a nationally leading trans health center.