News | June 13, 2023
The LGBTQ+ Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) recently celebrated the grand opening of a new onsite pharmacy at the Arlene Cooper Community Health Center, which provides primary care and HIV testing and treatment to the LGBTQ+ and downtown communities in Las Vegas.
The pharmacy’s opening marks a major milestone in The Center’s continued expansion of the health center and is a key component of its long-term vision to transform the facility into a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Sands has supported The Center in expanding the health center with funding from the Sands Cares community engagement program since 2021.
“Before we opened the pharmacy, our clients had to go at least a mile from the health center to fill prescriptions,” Brian Hosier, chief operating officer at The Center, said. “For many people, that presents a significant challenge. Now, we can provide our clients with a full circle of care in one setting.”
With the opening of the pharmacy, The Center is now aiming to achieve FQHC in 2024. Adding the ability to dispense medication is integral to The Center’s focus on closing gaps in services for LGBTQ+ community members and low-income downtown residents by providing clients with a full range of medical care including testing, treatment, counseling and now medication in a safe place and without being concerned about their ability to pay.
While the Arlene Cooper Community Health Center is full-service, many of its clients specifically seek HIV testing, counseling and treatment. In 2022, the health center completed 10,000 HIV and sexually transmitted infection tests and provided 2,000 prescriptions, many for PrEP and PEP, medications that aim to stop the transmission of the HIV virus.
“The support we received from Sands has been instrumental in making the many facets of our health center expansion possible, allowing us to better serve our clients, many of whom don’t have other resources,” Hosier said.
Sands’ support for The Center addresses strategic Sands Cares priorities including helping disadvantaged populations address hardships and overcome systemic barriers, as well as assisting nonprofits in building their capacity to better fulfill their missions.
Beyond the capacity-building support for the health center, Sands is working with The Center to further advance its capabilities by welcoming the nonprofit into the Sands Cares Accelerator.
Through the exclusive three-year membership program, The Center will work on developing a strategic focus area to better serve the community with resources from Sands such as funding, goal-setting support, program facilitation, and strategic guidance and mentoring to achieve its goal.
The Center is using its Sands Cares Accelerator membership time to focus on building its story and marketing its services to the community, given the tremendous transformation the organization has gone through over the past few years, especially with the major expansion of the health center and the new pharmacy as key offerings to the community.
The Arlene Cooper Community Health Center and its new pharmacy are open to the community 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To learn more about services, visit https://thecenterlv.org/health-center.