TRENTON – During a visit to Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton, Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd today announced $8.1 million in grants to hospitals, health centers, community organizations and public health agencies providing medical and support services to those living with HIV/AIDS.
Seventeen organizations will receive $6.3 million in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Ryan White funds to provide health care services, home health care, transportation, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, hospice care and other social services.
“The Ryan White grants will help hospital clinics, community-based organizations and public health agencies who make such a difference in the lives of those with HIV/AIDS with the comprehensive services they provide,” said Commissioner O’Dowd. “New Jersey has been in the forefront of Rapid HIV testing for 20 years. We have partnered with the CDC to enhance Rapid testing so those who test positive can learn their results as soon as possible and begin treatment.”
A second grant of $1.8 million in funding from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will enhance HIV testing and allow clinics in five cities to buy HIV testing kits and hire patient navigators to help those who test positive for HIV to enroll in treatment. The Department also provides approximately 7,000 low-income individuals with access to a wide range of HIV/AIDs medications through its AIDS Drug Distribution Program.
“New Jersey received one of the largest CDC grants in the nation as part of a national HIV/AIDS strategy to overcome barriers to identify and link people with HIV to services,” said O’Dowd. The CDC grant includes $1.4 million to UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to enhance rapid HIV testing and grants of $87,500 to Newark, Camden, Atlantic City, Neptune and Jersey City to hire patient navigators to help individuals who test positive for HIV enroll in HIV/AIDS care programs. The navigators will also provide counseling and outreach services to those living with HIV/AIDS.
Deputy Commissioner Dr. Arturo Brito said community organizations receiving Ryan White grants are required to spend at least 75 percent of the award on medical services and no more than 25 percent on support services like transportation and case management.
The Henry J. Austin Health Center will receive $788,771. It provides all aspects of patient care including counseling and testing, transportation, pharmaceutical assistance and two patient navigators who link patients into care and provide monitoring. The center is also adding mental health services.
“Henry J. Austin is excited about this new opportunity to enhance our HIV care team to include a mental health provider. This new provider will join our established HIV care team, integrating primary and mental health service for these vulnerable patients,” said Dr. Kemi Alli, Henry J. Austin’s chief medical officer. “Numerous studies have shown improved health outcomes and reduced health disparities when patients have the opportunity to receive both primary and mental health services at the same visit.”
Ryan White Grantees are:
- Access One, Inc. $408,220
- Atlanticare Regional Medical Center $871,486
- John Brooks Recovery Center $54,166
- South Jersey Aids Alliance $272,306
- Kennedy University Hospital $682,989
- CompleteCare Health Network $75,000
- Community Health Law Project $30,000
- Henry J. Austin Health Center $788,771
- New Jersey Association on Corrections $160,000
- St. Francis Medical Center $54,250
- Hyacinth Aids Foundation $160,000
- Discovery Institute for Addictive Disorders $62,000
- Jersey Shore University Medical Center $1,184,600
- Monmouth Medical Center $465,811
- Riverview Medical Center $340,986
- Ocean County Board of Health $514,009
- Ocean County Board of Social Services $30,000
More than 45,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in New Jersey. The state ranks 5th nationally in the percentage of women diagnosed with HIV/AIDs, third in the percentage of pediatric cases and 7th in the overall number of cases. Minority and multicultural populations are disproportionately impacted. Women account for one third of the adult and adolescent HIV/AIDS cases in the state. New Jersey has had great success in recent years in virtually eliminating mother-to-newborn transmission of the disease.
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