Vivent Health to Expand Milwaukee HIV Health Clinic by 33%
New Clinic Will Relocate Near the Milwaukee Bucks’ Deer District and Serve an Additional 1,000 Patients.
Vivent Health, a nationally recognized leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS has announced the location of their new, expanded Milwaukee HIV health clinic, or HIV Medical Home, at 1311 N. Sixth Street. Vivent Health is expanding and relocating its Milwaukee HIV Medical Home because of the organization’s growth and the increasing demand for HIV care, treatment and prevention services.
The new location will provide Vivent Health with 46,277 square feet of space, which is a 33% increase from their current location. Vivent Health cared for nearly 5,000 patients in 2021; the additional space will enable Vivent Health to care for an additional 1,000 patients. The renovations of the one-story building, which was formerly occupied by Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), is planned to begin August 15 with a tentative move-in date of April 1, 2023. Quorum is serving as the architects and TriNorth is the general contractor for the new facility. The total cost of the project is anticipated to be approximately $9 million.
The location was chosen specifically because it is in the heart of the area with the highest prevalence of people living with or at-risk of contracting HIV in the entire state. The increase in space at the new facility will allow Vivent Health to serve an additional 1,000 people, which primarily will be from the most medically underserved areas in Milwaukee, namely the 53204, 53214, 53215, 53216 and 53218 zip codes. Along with HIV medical care and prevention, Vivent Health also provides a multitude of services for their patients including HIV case management services, behavioral health care, dental care, pharmacy services, a food pantry, and legal and housing services. What makes Vivent Health unique is its nationally-recognized HIV Medical Home model, which not only provides patients with the health care they need, but also the wrap-around social services needed to address social determinants such as access to healthy food, assistance with housing issues, and help with legal issues.
“The need for HIV services is at an all-time high,” said Michael J. Gifford, Vivent Health President and Chief Executive Officer. “This new facility will launch us forward to meet that need and begin to end the HIV epidemic in Wisconsin through expanded and effective HIV prevention, care and treatment services.”
Access to Vivent Health’s services has helped 95% of their patients achieve viral suppression, which means a person with HIV can live a nearly normal life expectancy and is unable to transmit HIV to others, reducing the number of new HIV infections. This exceeds the national average of 88% of patients having an undetectable viral load (HRSA). In addition, 93% of Vivent Health’s black patients have achieved viral suppression, which is significantly above the national average of 61% (CDC).
The new location will provide Vivent Health with the space it needs to offer these life-saving services, including doubling the number of exam and behavioral health rooms, increasing the size of its pharmacy by 33%, increasing the size of its food pantry by 30%, adding three dental operatories, and adding a prevention group room which is not in the current facility. In 2021, Vivent Health cared for 4,753 patients locally; the additional space will enable Vivent Health to care for an additional 1,000 patients.
“We are making a multi-million dollar investment in a building that has largely been empty for many years,” said Margaret Lidstone, chief development officer. “Drawing on the support of the community we can turn this vacant space into the model for health care in Milwaukee and beyond.”
The new location is on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and McKinley Avenue in downtown’s Westown neighborhood. Vivent Health’s current Milwaukee clinic is at 820 N. Plankinton Avenue. Its corporate and administrative offices are at 648 N Plankinton Avenue.
Vivent Health has undergone a number of mergers in recent years, now making it the second largest HIV/AIDS provider in the country. Currently, Vivent Health has clinics in Austin, Denver, St. Louis, Kansas City and throughout Wisconsin. During Mike Gifford’s tenure, he led the transformation of Vivent Health from a social service agency into the nation’s premier HIV health care provider.