This article was originally published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal here.
A recent executive hire at The Center, a nonprofit serving the LGBTQ community, is part of a larger plan to significantly expand its healthcare services in downtown Las Vegas.
Mona Lisa Paulo joined the organization in November as its director of clinic and HIV services as it looks to become a federally qualified health center, a community-based health care provider that receives funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration for providing primary care in underserved areas.
“Whether you’re undocumented, whether you have no income or no insurance — the program is to help anybody who walks through the door get any kind of medical services,” Paulo said. “This neighborhood has been identified as a medically underserved community. Having the clinic here, having the services we provide, is just going to be instrumental to being able to give access to basically come in and get medical services.”
Currently, the nonprofit’s Arlene Cooper Community Health Center focuses on HIV testing and counseling services as well as testing for three common sexually transmitted infections through a partnership with the Las Vegas-based Huntridge Family Clinic. It accepts most insurance, including Medicaid, and offers a sliding scale fee for uninsured clients.
It will take about three years for the nonprofit to become a federally qualified health center. In the meantime, the organization plans on expanding its services such as extended clinic hours and building an on-site pharmacy, among other practices.