APLA Health & Wellness to Open New Long Beach Health Center in January 2016

LONG BEACH, Calif., Sept. 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- APLA Health & Wellness (APLAHW) is proud to announce that we have been funded to open a new federally qualified health center in Long Beach in January 2016.



The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently selected APLA Health & Wellness through a nationally competitive application process to receive a $650,000 annual grant to open and operate the new health center to increase access to high-quality primary medical care, dental care, behavioral health care, and other services to thousands of low-income people in the Long Beach area, with a focus on the LGBT community. The Long Beach Health Center will be APLAHW's second full-service site. Services will include:

  • Primary medical care
  • Dental care
  • Behavioral health care/counseling services
  • PrEP counseling and management
  • Assistance with health insurance enrollment

After extensive renovations this fall, the health center will initially include two exam rooms, a treatment room, and laboratory/phlebotomy room, in addition to office space for staff. APLAHW Medical Director Gifty-Maria Ntim, MD, MPH, Dental Director Steven Vitero, DDS, and Behavioral Health Director Scott Singer, MA, LMFT, will oversee services at the new health center.

"Low-income LGBT people experience significant health disparities, and many don't get the health services they need either because they don't have insurance or access to culturally competent providers or both," APLA Health & Wellness Chief Executive Officer Craig E. Thompson says. "Our new center will comprehensively address these issues, and all of our services will be free or at low cost. We look forward to working with the strong network of community organizations in Long Beach, elected officials, and the public health department to ensure that LGBT people in the area are receiving first-rate care."

A second phase of construction will take place after the health center opens and will add additional exam rooms, counseling rooms, as well as a four-chair dental clinic and dental lab. This phase will be complete in spring 2016. When fully operational, the Long Beach Health Center will encompass 7,000 square feet of space and serve over 2,000 patients per year.

The Long Beach Health Center will be located at 1043 Elm Ave. in downtown Long Beach on the St. Mary Medical Center campus. For additional information about current APLA Health & Wellness services and locations, please visit aplahw.org or call 323.329.9900.You can also follow APLA Health & Wellness on Twitter @apla_hw or visit us on Facebook.

This project is funded in part by L.A. Care Health Plan and will benefit low-income and uninsured residents of Los Angeles County.

APLA Health & Wellness (APLAHW) provides primary medical and oral health care, behavioral health services, HIV testing, PrEP counseling and management of eligible clients, STD screening/treatment, and health education and HIV-prevention services, with a specific focus on low-income LGBT people of color living in Los Angeles County. APLAHW is a federally qualified health center that includes: the Gleicher/Chen Health Center in South Los Angeles; the Wilshire Dental Clinic downtown; the S. Mark Taper Foundation Dental Clinic in South Los Angeles, Behavioral Health Services at the David Geffen Center in Mid-City; and a mobile dental facility. APLAHW serves more than 8,000 people each year. For more information, please visit aplahw.org.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=36524

CONTACT: Mikel Wadewitz APLA Health & Wellness Director of Communications mwadewitz@apla.org 213.201.1521

Source: AIDS Project Los Angeles