Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) held a ribbon-cutting event for its Lake View facility on March 31.
The clinic, 3311 N. Halsted St., is housed within AHF's Out of the Closet thrift store and will be called AHF Health Center—Lakeview. It had a soft opening in November and is one of two AHF facilities nationally that are hybrid clinics and wellness centers, according to AHF Midwest Regional Manager Staci Mullins.
"The [locations] are providing not only HIV, primary and PrEP care, but the wellness center provides STI testing and treatment," Mullins explained. "That's operating simultaneously with the clinic, so anyone can just walk in and receive the wellness services five days a week, during the same operating hours as the clinic."
Ultimately, the broader menu of services means more Chicagoans "know their status and get the care they need, with a quicker response," she added, emphasizing that the clinic is dedicated to linking a client on a continuum of care while respecting their privacy, regardless of their ability to pay. The facility also contains an onsite pharmacy.
Besides HIV screening, the clinic has already linked clients seeking PrEP and PEP services, Mullins said.
James Lagucik, DO, is the onsite provider for the location. In a March 30 statement, Lagucik said, "Providing access to affordable healthcare is more pertinent than ever before. Understanding this demand, AHF-Lakeview will serve as a local resource for the city of Chicago to address not only the need of HIV/ AIDS treatment, but also STI/ STD testing. As the onsite doctor, I am proud to be serving patients who will be receiving the care they deserve."
AHF's other hybrid health center is in Miami. The Lake View location marks the third AHF standalone facility in the city. The organization also works in affiliation with the South Side Help Center and CALOR organizations on the city's South and West Sides respectively.
"I've heard from a number of patients who've said they feel comfortable [being treated in AHF facilities]," Mullins said. "They love coming to our clinics. They walk in being scared sometimes, but they often walk out ready to receive care and feeling better about their health situations."