Some people have the ability to change lives. They may provide another with life-changing hope. They may offer profound compassion. They may simply love unconditionally. People like Sharon Chamberlain, chief executive officer at Northern Nevada HOPES, are changing thousands of lives every day by offering underserved and overlooked Nevadans hope, compassion and love.
In her 10 years at HOPES, Chamberlain has helped the organization evolve from a small HIV service organization, serving 600 patients, to a growing, innovative community health center that cares for nearly 11,000 people across the region.
In 2015, she oversaw the construction and opening of HOPES’ new 38,000 square foot integrated care facility — The Stacie Mathewson Community Wellness Center. This new facility helped HOPES expand its services to include pediatric primary care, x-ray and diagnostics, legal services, financial empowerment coaching, as well as expanded its existing behavioral health, adult primary care, transportation, and pharmacy and medication delivery services.
But she didn’t stop there. Under Chamberlain’s guidance, HOPES recently opened Hope Springs, Reno’s first and only bridge-housing community designed to address our region’s homeless crisis.
“It’s been an honor to work alongside our dedicated team at HOPES for the past 10 years,” said Chamberlain. “I’m really excited about what’s to come as well. In the next decade, I’m hopeful every member of our community will have access to health care, that we can work together to end homelessness, and we can expand services for underserved populations, including an emphasis on behavioral health, primary care and housing.”
Prior to joining HOPES, Chamberlain spent 20 years serving the HIV/AIDS community. In Santa Monica, California, she served as executive director of Common Ground. During her time there she was appointed county commissioner on HIV by the L.A. Board of Supervisors. Chamberlain also served as assistant executive director at the HIV Alliance in Eugene, Oregon. Her professional focus on HIV prevention and care services in Oregon resulted in the establishment of the largest needle exchange in the state, the creation of a dental clinic for low-income HIV-positive people, and the implementation of rapid testing in non-clinical settings.