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Phoenix Center to open East satellite office

Sara Bowen-Lasisi
Maureen McKinney
NPR Illinois
Sara Bowen-Lasisi

Springfield-based The Phoenix Center is opening a satellite location – OUT East at 1107 S Grand Avenue East.

The site will offer free HIV, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted disease testing and condoms and information about PrEP and harm reduction services. A north side site will open later.

The ribbon cutting will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 1, World AIDS Day.

"We are thrilled to expand our public health outreach efforts in the city of Springfield to better meet the needs of the community as a whole. Our mission is to promote the health, well-being, and equal rights of all LGBT individuals. As part of this mission, we want to make sure that everyone has access to open and welcoming HIV prevention services and screenings, has a safe place to receive services that are free,and feels comfortable to ask questions and get help.” said Jonna J Cooley, executive director of The Phoenix Center.

OUT East, and the soon-to-be established OUT North will be run by Phoenix Center staff: Harm Reduction Specialist Tiara Standage and Sara Bowen-Lasisi, director of public health services. East service hours will be 7 p.m. -11 p.m Monday-Thursday and Saturday.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is news editor and equity and justice beat reporter for NPR Illinois, where she has been on the staff since 2014 after Illinois Issues magazine’s merger with the station. She joined the magazine’s staff in 1998 as projects editor and became managing editor in 2003. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, she was an education reporter and copy editor at three local newspapers, including the suburban Chicago Daily Herald, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in English from UIS.
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