Advertisement
  1. Health

With a new name and more space, Metro Inclusive Health aims to expand its reach

The Pinellas-based nonprofit formerly known as Metro Wellness is formally opening its renovated headquarters and clinic next week.
The newly renovated St. Petersburg headquarters of Metro Inclusive Health includes an expanded and updated clinic, an event hall and an outdoor patio that can be leased for events. The nonprofit, which serves uninsured patients and those in the LGBTQ communtiy, previously was known as Metro Wellness & Community Centers.
Published Jan. 29

For the last 26 years, Metro Wellness and Community Centers has offered HIV and other health care services to the LGBTQ community and those with limited or no insurance.

In 2019, the Pinellas-based nonprofit hopes to expand its reach in Tampa Bay with a new name and a revamping of its headquarters.

Metro is now known as Metro Inclusive Health, which officials say better represents its mission. The organization will host a grand opening of its recently renovated 47,000-square-foot headquarters and clinic, located in the Historic Kenwood District in downtown St. Petersburg, on Feb. 9. In addition to an expanded clinic and pharmacy, the center has a new event hall and a co-working office space.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: HIV is on the rise in Florida and young people don't seem to care

"In our founding days, we served many that were not included in traditional health care channels," said Metro CEO, Lorraine Langlois. "Since then, inclusivity has been a guiding theme for the organization in many ways."

That means the group expects its upgraded quarters to attract new patients with insurance, in addition to growing its services to the uninsured, the underinsured, and people in the LGBTQ community.

"We wanted to create a space where every patient would feel comfortable, from someone who has stable income and health insurance to a patient who does not," said Brian Bailey, vice president of marketing and communications at Metro. "Every patient who comes to Metro for appointments and has insurance is giving back to the organization so we can serve those who don't have insurance."

In 2018, Metro served more than 18,000 patients from four centers across Tampa Bay, and the demand continues to surge, Langlois said. So the group spent the last year looking for ways to support that growth.

Federal grants, once a reliable revenue stream for health care services, "have dried up," Langlois said. However, Metro plans to apply this year to become a federally qualified health center, a reimbursement designation from national health agencies like Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The co-working and event hall space will serve as an experimental new revenue stream for the organization. The appeal, Langlois said, comes from the center's central Kenwood location, where several apartment complexes are currently under construction on the same block.

The 10,000-square-foot hall offers on-site parking, presentation and lighting technology and an outdoor area with activities. When the space isn't rented, Metro will use it to house its programs serving LGBTQ youth, seniors and others.

The co-working space will allow professionals to rent a desk or office space, and offer conference amenities.

Metro partnered with CAN Community Health, a Sarasota-based HIV health care nonprofit, to purchase and renovate the St. Petersburg facility. Funding also came from individual donors.

In addition to the St. Petersburg improvements, Metro has some big plans for 2019. The organization is renovating its clinic in New Port Richey and has plans to expand in Tampa. It also hopes to launch a telemedcine app that patients can use to schedule appointments and order prescriptions, Langlois said.

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

__________

Metro Inclusive Health grand reopening:

When: Saturday, Feb. 9, 2-6 p.m.

Where: 3251 Third Ave. N, Suite. 125

St. Petersburg.

Other clinics:

• 1315 E Seventh Ave., Ste. 201, Ybor City

• 2349 Sunset Point Road, #405, Clearwater

• 4747 U.S. 19, New Port Richey

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Fifty-two percent of Americans support a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes with fruit and other flavors, according to new Kaiser Family Foundation poll. TONY DEJAK  |  AP
    But a smaller percentage supports banning all forms of the product. Most younger adults oppose both ideas.
  2. FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 file photo, Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York. On Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, the company announced it will voluntarily stop selling its fruit and dessert-flavored vaping pods. SETH WENIG  |  AP
    The flavored pods affected by the announcement are mango, crème, fruit, and cucumber.
  3. Travis Malloy who runs an 8-acre farm with his assistant Shelby Alinsky on the east side of Temple Terrace, raises organic beef, pigs, turkeys and chickens. Malloy has also set up a number of...
  4. Dr. James Quintessenza, left, will return as the head of the Johns Hopkins All Children's heart surgery program department. UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY HOSPITAL  |  Times
    The heart surgery program’s mortality rate spiked after the surgeon left, a 2018 Times investigation revealed.
  5. Stephanie Vold, a medical assistant and intake specialist for OnMed, holds the door while Austin White, president and CEO of the company, talks with a nurse practitioner during a demonstration of their new telehealth system at Tampa General Hospital on Tuesday. The hospital is the first to deploy the OnMed station and plans to install them at other locations. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The closet-size “office” with a life-size screen is another example of the changing face of medicine.
  6. Marijuana plants grow in a greenhouse environment in this room at the Curaleaf Homestead Cultivation Facility. This environment controls the amount of natural sunlight and artificial light the plants are exposed to, as well as the temperature. EMILY MICHOT  |  Miami Herald
    An Atlanta broker is listing one license for $40 million and the other for $55 million.
  7. A page from the Medicare Handbook focuses on Medicare Advantage plans, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. Medicare's open enrollment period for 2020 begins Oct. 15 and lasts through Dec. 7. PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS  |  AP
    New benefits are giving an extra boost to Medicare Advantage, the already popular alternative to traditional Medicare.
  8. The Tampa Bay Times' annual Medicare Guide explains how the program is set up, helps you compare options available in the Tampa Bay area, and points the way toward help, including free, one-on-one assistance. This illustration will grace the cover of LifeTimes on Oct. 23, when the guide will be published in print. RON BORRESEN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    As the open enrollment period begins, it’s time to review your coverage.
  9. The Medicare Handbook for 2020 is a good resource to have as the annual open enrollment period gets under way. The government usually mails beneficiaries a copy. Find a PDF version to print at medicare.gov/pub/medicare-you-handbook, or call 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE) to order a copy. THOMAS TOBIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The open enrollment period, which lasts into December, is a time for millions of beneficiaries to review, and possibly change, their coverage.
  10. Medicare's online Plan Finder has been redesigned and is available at medicare.gov/find-a-plan. THOMAS TOBIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The most-used tool on Medicare.gov will look different this year.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement