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Sands Cares giving $163K to help The Center expand health clinic

A contribution from Las Vegas Sands’ charitable arm will close out the first phase of an LGBTQ nonprofit’s fundraising push to expand a community health center, the company announced Tuesday.

Sands Cares will contribute $163,000 to The LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada, according to a news release. The donation will close out the $400,000 initial phase of the capital campaign to expand the Arlene Cooper Community Health Center at 401 S. Maryland Parkway in downtown Las Vegas.

The Center plans to provide full onsite health and wellness care for LGBTQIA+ Las Vegans and low-income downtown residents. The capital campaign funds also will support the organization’s long-term goal of generating recurring revenue through the clinic to sustain its LGBTQIA+ programming in Southern Nevada, according to the release.

“The generous support of Sands Cares and all of our capital campaign partners will deliver tremendous impact on the wellbeing of vulnerable and marginalized people throughout our community as we are able to meet their health care needs,” John Waldron, CEO of The Center, said in a statement. “Sands’ closeout of our phase one funding brings us closer to realizing our vision of creating a full-service medical clinic that addresses our clients’ unique needs and overcomes the many challenges experienced by the LGBTQIA+ community in obtaining medical care.”

The Center plans to add primary care services to the clinic’s existing HIV and STI testing and mental health services in 2022, according to the release. A second and third phase of the capital campaign seeks to add a pharmacy and upgrade the clinic to become a federally qualified health center. The amount needed for construction has not yet been determined, Center officials said.

The Center wants to provide medical care for others in need, including low-income residents in downtown, veterans, people with disabilities and unhoused people. It came up with the concept of a full-service clinic on site because of the discrimination or care refusal some LGBTQ people face in other health care settings.

Leaders hope Sands’ investment sparks momentum for the next phases of the capital campaign, said Ron Reese, Sands’ senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs.

“The opportunity to help The Center reach its funding goal for a full-service medical clinic is squarely in line with two of our primary Sands Cares strategies — removing systemic barriers faced by diverse groups and investing in capacity building for nonprofits to help them deliver greater community impact,” Reese said in a statement.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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