HOPES’ focus on creating healthier community

Northern Nevada HOPES is located in downtown Reno at the corner of 5th and Ralston streets.

Northern Nevada HOPES is located in downtown Reno at the corner of 5th and Ralston streets.

With the grand opening of the Stacie Mathewson Community Wellness Center just around the corner, 2016 marks a new chapter for Northern Nevada HOPES.

Northern Nevada HOPES, located in downtown Reno, at the corner of 5th Street and Ralston Street, is a nonprofit community health center that offers integrated medical and wellness services to more than 6,000 patients in northern Nevada. HOPES’ growing list of services includes primary care, nutrition, chronic disease management, behavioral health, social services, transportation and an onsite pharmacy.

While HOPES offers services to patients from all income levels and walks of life, it has historically focused on providing compassionate healthcare to medically underserved communities, including people with limited financial resources, people experiencing homelessness and people living with multiple chronic diseases but without access to affordable healthcare.

HOPES’ new three-story medical facility—The Stacie Mathewson Community Wellness Center—named in honor of a generous $1.9 million gift from Stacie Mathewson, will allow HOPES to add new programs and services to better serve the community. With dedicated care teams, 32 exam rooms, a pharmacy, and onsite radiology and diagnostics, the medical facility will provide the most comprehensive and personal healthcare in northern Nevada. Additional services include a pediatric clinic, expanded behavioral health, substance use counseling, and medication delivery.

“To see the amazing amount of growth HOPES has gone through in just a few years is truly remarkable,” said Northern Nevada HOPES CEO Sharon Chamberlain.

HOPES has come a long way since it opened in 1997. Back then, the organization was solely an HIV service organization helping people living with HIV access medical care, treatment, housing and social services. Unfortunately, the stigma of HIV was still prevalent in the late 1990s, and HOPES didn’t even have a sign to tell people where it was located. But after 15 years and a few address changes, HOPES realized it had to expand to meet the changing needs of its patients and an evolving healthcare system.

In 2011, HOPES hired its current CEO, Sharon Chamberlain. Sharon had a shared background of working as the executive director of an HIV service organization in Santa Monica, Calif.

With a clear vision of how to move the organization forward, Sharon led the HOPES team through a major expansion of staff and services. After conducting a community wide needs assessment that showed a growing need for additional healthcare providers in the community, HOPES opened its doors to non-HIV patients in 2012.

HOPES began providing a full range of healthcare services to a growing community of patients and received two competitive designations shortly thereafter — Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). Space soon became an issue after HOPES’ patient population doubled, and then tripled, in size.

In early 2015, after months of planning and research, HOPES broke ground on its new medical facility and began construction at its downtown Reno campus. Patient care continued with no gaps in service thanks to a temporary modular clinic located adjacent to the construction site.

HOPES received partial funding assistance through Nevada’s New Markets Tax Credit program. To help fund the remaining costs of construction, HOPES embarked on a $5 million capital campaign. Thanks to a passionate group of donors, including Stacie Mathewson, The Nell J. Redfield Foundation, Renown Health, the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation, the E.L. Cord Foundation, NV Energy, Bank of America, and Western NV Supply, HOPES has raised $3 million of its $5 million goal. Community members can still make an impact with a gift to HOPES’ capital campaign by visiting nnhopes.org/building.

One year later, with construction coming to a close, the new Community Wellness Center is expected to open in just a few short weeks. The official Grand Opening ceremony is scheduled for early March 2016 and will be open to the public.

Today, HOPES sets itself apart from other medical providers in the community by offering a team-based, patient centered approach to healthcare. Every patient at HOPES has access to a dedicated “care team” of physicians, clinical staff, pharmacists, behavioral health providers, and case managers. These interdisciplinary care teams at HOPES meet every morning to review patient charts and treatment plans. This healthcare coordination helps streamline communication between providers while improving health outcomes for patients.

In the past few years, HOPES has grown from serving just over 600 patients to providing expert care to more than 6,000 patients in northern Nevada. With the new Community Wellness Center, HOPES anticipates that it will serve approximately 10,000 patients by 2017.

HOPES will continue to explore new opportunities to improve healthcare in northern Nevada and remain true to its mission of building a healthier community.

To learn more about Northern Nevada HOPES and how you can become a patient or get involved, visit nnhopes.org.


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