UHealth – University of Miami Health System came to Miami Beach with the opening of the UHealth Rapid Access Wellness Clinic, located inside the Walgreens at 1669 Collins Avenue. The clinic will focus on sexual wellness and is one of the first of its kind at a national Walgreens location to be dedicated to STD/HIV biomedical prevention and treatment, offering pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) on-site.
The UHealth Rapid Access Wellness Clinic at Walgreens will allow the health system to provide rapid STD/HIV testing while expanding the Mobile PrEP Program’s presence and reach to increase accessibility within areas with the highest infection rates. All services offered will be at no cost and without the need for insurance or an appointment.
Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, M.D., chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and director of HIV prevention for the division, will lead the clinical efforts with providers Laura Beauchamps, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine; Jessica Morel, APRN; Yimy Puerto, APRN; and Elisa Corzo, APRN.
“This location gives us the exciting opportunity to provide services in a convenient, low-stigma environment in an area with high rates of new HIV infections,” Dr. Doblecki-Lewis said. “The collaboration with Walgreens allows great synergy with the pharmacy for same-day PrEP starts for many clients. Now that PrEP medication is also available as an injection every two months, our close connection with Walgreens also allows convenient and quick delivery of these medications. We are very hopeful that this will allow more people to benefit from these incredibly effective prevention strategies.”
The Miami Beach clinic is the health system's second brick-and-mortar location for HIV and STD prevention services. Sexual wellness is an expanding discipline at UHealth as a result of the Mobile PrEP Program’s popularity. The initiative aims to provide innovative, accessible approaches to infectious disease prevention and lower barriers to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP), and HIV care entry for people in the South Florida area. Currently, Mobile PrEP serves Miami Beach, Allapattah, Hialeah, Miami Gardens, Florida City, and Liberty City.
“Our collaboration with UHealth – University of Miami Health System offers the Miami Beach community greater access to services like HIV testing, prevention options like PrEP, and treatment, which are crucial for helping end the HIV epidemic,” said Nivia Santiago, regional vice president for Eastern operations, Walgreens.
The Mobile PrEP program has been made possible through the efforts of Dr. Doblecki-Lewis; Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., professor of medicine, co-director of the Miami Center for AIDS Research, and Raymond F. Schinazi and Family Endowed Chair in Biomedicine; City of Miami Beach officials; and Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A, dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School.