MMMMMay ay ay ay ay , 2006, 2006, 2006, 2006, 2006
Inglewood Wellness Center
A Thriving Oasis for HIV/AIDS Patients
The broad and elegant tree-lined streets of downtown Inglewood is home to the
Inglewood Wellness Center.
Located just off the 405 Freeway and not far from Hollywood Park Racetrack, the appropriately named Wellness Centerradiates health and well-being. It is noticeable as soon as the door is opened to a newly arrived patient.
continued next page
It is an intangible quality, a subtle undercurrent of well- being, best described as an air of thriving. Each staff memberhas a joy about them and moves with an easy air. It seemseveryone is happy in their work as if they might have a specialsecret or perhaps they have found the key to living and lovinglife.As it turns out, there is a lot of sharing going on at theWellness Center, and it is about living with HIV/AIDS. Everystaff member is dealing with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. Manyhave been living with the disease for as long as 20 years. Theamazing thing is these folks are so joyful, healthy and physi-cally fit. I asked Paul Scott, the Executive Director, of theWellness Center, “How is it possible with the entire staff bat-tling AIDS and HIV that so much thriving is going on at thecenter?”Paul laughed mentioning that the lesson of living withAIDS is also the fact of dying of AIDS. He said that for him, hisstaff and the hundreds of patients that the Wellness Center sup-ports, simply waking up each day is appreciated. Being diag-nosed with HIV/AIDS is in-and-of-itself a life lesson. Paul saidthat every day is a gift to HIV/AIDS patients, and that beingdiagnosed with AIDS puts life in perspective very quickly.Paul began caring for others early on in his life. Born inRhode Island, Paul moved to Los Angeles during his grade-school years. His father, a U.S. Naval officer and his motherworked for the Los Angeles School District. After high school,Paul joined the Navy and became a medical corpsman duringhis 6-year naval career.After the Navy, Paul went to work at the Long BeachVeterans Hospital in the spinal cord injury unit. “This experi-ence was a wake-up call.” The veterans Paul worked with werea marvel of the human spirit. Paul said it was inspirational tosee these men with no legs pulling themselves up with onlyupper body strength.
Inglewood Wellness Center Paul Scott
he butter-yellow walls of the reception area continue intoa welcoming and comfortable room, with deep sofas andplush carpet. It is more like entering a home than a dispen-sary. The decor, rich in color and comfort, only sets the tonethat fills the rooms.