Vivent Well being’s new downtown Milwaukee clinic has formally opened.
Positioned on the nook of North Sixth Avenue and West Fond du Lac/McKinley Avenue within the Haymarket neighborhood, the brand new location will present a a lot bigger area to deal with the roughly 3,700 shoppers the nonprofit serves annually in Milwaukee, whereas additionally offering larger accessibility to a lot of its sufferers in highest want of social helps.
The Milwaukee-based HIV/AIDS well being care group, previously generally known as AIDS Useful resource Middle of Wisconsin, has clinics in Austin, Denver, St. Louis, Kansas Metropolis and all through Wisconsin. Its downtown Milwaukee clinic had lengthy been positioned in a four-story constructing at 820 N. Plankinton Ave. The brand new location was chosen for its proximity to an space with the very best prevalence of individuals residing with or at-risk of contracting HIV in all the state, and since, at one story, the constructing was extra conducive to offering really integrative care by the nonprofit’s “HIV Medical Residence.”
Vivent Well being operates a nationally acknowledged “HIV Medical Residence” mannequin, which not solely offers HIV sufferers with well being care providers, but in addition the form of wrap-around social providers wanted to handle social determinants corresponding to entry to wholesome meals, help with housing points, and assist with authorized points.
At 46,277 sq. ft, the brand new location will present 33% more room for the clinic to reply to an elevated demand for HIV care, therapy, and prevention providers. The brand new location doubles the variety of examination and behavioral well being rooms and will increase the sizes of the pharmacy and meals pantry. It additionally boasts about 20 dental examination rooms.
The added area will permit the clinic to serve 1,000 extra sufferers. Renovations took a few yr to finish and value $9 million. Quorum served because the architects on the mission, and TriNorth was the final contractor. The constructing, which sits throughout the road from the place the brand new Milwaukee Public Museum might be constructed, had beforehand been utilized by Milwaukee Space Technical School.
With sufferers now capable of entry all of their care and help on one flooring, the “HIV Medical Residence” is anticipated to function much more easily than it did within the extra compartmentalized, four-story constructing, mentioned Brandon Hill, the group’s interim president and chief government officer.
“Now the whole lot is accessible on one flooring. Now we have a central ready room that’s now linked to all of the providers we offer – from dental care to the meals pantry,” Hill mentioned. “The outdated constructing was not conducive to plenty of development. And, in an integrative care setting, it didn’t permit for lots of motion.”
Having sufferers be capable to simply entry the helps they want is essential to the medical residence mannequin, which focuses on ensuring HIV sufferers’ fundamental wants are met to allow them to have the wherewithal to correctly handle their situation.
“Right now, HIV is a managed, persistent situation, however it does require adherence to remedy to have a protracted, wholesome life, in addition to non-transmission,” Hill mentioned. “If you have a look at the components that affect adherence, housing stability and meals safety are contributing components in addition to entry to medical care. Proper now, new cases of HIV are occurring in areas the place there may be financial vulnerability, and the place there are disparities in meals and housing stability.”
Having a central medical residence isn’t simply essential for HIV sufferers who face financial challenges, it’s additionally essential for extra prosperous folks with the situation.
“Folks with HIV live longer. Two years in the past, there was an individual with HIV who turned 100. If you end up managing a persistent situation, it’s a must to have a look at the entire different components that may permit somebody to guide a protracted, wholesome life. So, Vivent’s integrative care mannequin is one that truly permits folks to try this,” Hill mentioned. “Just about all of our employees are specialised in HIV care and prevention, even the dentists. Dental is a type of areas the place there may be potential for discrimination, as a result of different dentists are sometimes uncertain about treating somebody residing with HIV. So having of us right here, whose experience is in infectious illness administration, you’ll be able to develop protocols that keep in mind somebody’s situation.
Vivent is supported by a mixture of basis and particular person philanthropy, medical reimbursement, pharmacy income, and federal grants, Hill mentioned. About half of its sufferers are on Medicaid, and roughly 14% are uninsured. The nonprofit additionally offers take care of some privately insured sufferers, Hill mentioned, together with many who selected to fill their prescriptions by Vivent’s pharmacy as a strategy to assist the clinic.
As a part of its HIV prevention providers, the clinic additionally dispenses pre-exposure prophylaxis or PREP, which is an anti-viral remedy that may stop contracting HIV. The drug is commonly utilized by individuals who have long-term companions who’ve the situation and is about 90% efficient when taken frequently.
The Vivent model emerged in early 2020 as the results of the mergers of AIDS Useful resource Middle of Wisconsin, Rocky Mountain CARES and St. Louis Effort for AIDS. That very same yr, the group additionally acquired AIDS Companies of Austin.
Now the second-largest HIV/AIDS well being care supplier within the nation, Vivent continues to be headquartered in Milwaukee. It operates 14 areas throughout Wisconsin and in Austin, Denver, St. Louis and Kansas Metropolis. In 2021, it reported serving slightly below 13,400 sufferers. On Monday, a spokesperson mentioned the entity now serves round 15,000 sufferers a yr, about 4,500 of them in Wisconsin.
Vivent prides itself on that incontrovertible fact that 95% of its sufferers have achieved viral suppression, which means the quantity of HIV of their blood may be very low, permitting these people to reside a standard life with a extra typical life expectancy, and far decrease danger of transmitting the virus. That’s in comparison with a nationwide common of 88% of HIV/AIDS sufferers having an undetectable viral load.
Vivent continues to be looking for a everlasting president and CEO to guide the group, following former president and CEO, Michael Gifford’s departure final August. Gifford, who had labored for the nonprofit for twenty-four years – 10 of them as CEO – stepped down after information surfaced that the nonprofit had obtained three complaints involving Gifford’s interactions with staff. It didn’t specify when the alleged incidents that prompted the complaints occurred.
Hill, who was employed in July 2022 to function government vice chairman and chief working officer, was named interim CEO shortly after Gifford resigned.
A spokesperson for Vivent mentioned Tuesday that the group hoped to announce the outcomes of its CEO search later this summer season.
A have a look at Vivent Well being’s new downtown Milwaukee clinic.