Heartland Health Resource Center’s History
In 2010, Dr. Aris Assimacopoulos and Dr. Jawad Nazir were partners at Infectious Disease Specialists, PC in Sioux Falls, SD. Their specialty meant they had a large percentage of patients who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Both physicians began to notice that some of the HIV positive patients they were treating were often left with gaps in the services they were receiving, and were often struggling with mental health as well as substance abuse issues that were going untreated. These struggles often put these patients at higher risk for not taking their medications as prescribed and more frequently engaging in high-risk behaviors.
In 2010, Infectious Disease Specialists, PC entered a contract with the State of South Dakota Department of Health to provide a case manager to provide medical and non-medical case management services to clients with HIV/AIDS in South Dakota. The passion that they had for finding a way to provide HIV positive clients in rural areas with specialist care prompted the need to link patients to the high quality/specialist care they would receive at Infectious Disease Specialists, PC. Immediately, Dr. Assimacopoulos and Dr. Nazir began working on the development of a non-profit organization that could provide the needed services to these clients.
In May of 2011, Heartland Health Resource Center was incorporated as a non-profit in the State of South Dakota and was given 501(c)3 status with the federal Department of Treasury.
Heartland Health Resource Center operated out of the Infectious Disease Specialist Clinic at 6709 S. Minnesota Ave., providing services to all HIV positive clients who are active in Part B services in eastern South Dakota.
In March of 2013, Heartland Health Resource Center moved locations to the 2nd Floor of the Orthopedic Institute at 810 E. 23rd Street and continue to provide exceptional case management services to the clients served by the program. The organization continues to expand by adding more programs and resources for HIV positive and individuals needing HIV prevention services living in South Dakota.