Posts Tagged ‘News’

HIV Treatment Cascade Stats Get Even Better

Friday, February 19th, 2021

HVCS has conducted its own analysis of the HIV
treatment cascade for a few years now. This is a
statistical look at the number of clients who are
HIV-positive, are connected to medical care (at all,
and how many have continuous care), and the
percentage who are virally suppressed. (This means
that their viral load, or measurement of how many
copies of HIV are in their blood, is so low that it cannot
be detected.) Among those who have medical care,
95% of HVCS’ clients are virally suppressed!

This figure for 2019 is even better than for previous
years, so we are doing better and better all the time.
Virally suppressed clients cannot transmit HIV to
others, so this is doubly good news.

Street Outreach Program Reboots the Former PRO Program in Ulster

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

In mid-December, we received an email from the Ulster County Department of Mental Health. They asked if we would be interested in signing on as a subcontractor on a grant from NACCHO: the National Association of City and County Health Officials. Specifically, they wanted to know if we would be up for reviving or rebooting our Mid-Hudson Project Reach Out (PRO) program to provide support and referrals to Ulster County residents with substance use disorder issues. We said yes, collaborated on a grant application, and were very pleased to learn that it was funded!

Street Outreach will offer many of the same services as PRO but is not van-based. Services include referrals to full spectrum addiction treatment (including in- and outpatient services and transportation to intake/admission appointment as needed), Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP), Syringe Exchange Program (SEP), Narcan training, HIV/HCV/STI testing counseling and navigation, case management, and food assistance.

Though we wish we could bring back PRO to the entire Mid-Hudson, we are thrilled to restore it to one county at least, and to have found a brand-new funding partner in Ulster County Department of Mental Health.

 

Merger Date With Cornerstone Set for March 1

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Late last fall, we received word from the New York State Attorney General’s office that our plan to merge with Cornerstone Family Healthcare was approved, without any comments or requested changes to the plan. We have set a merger date of March 1, 2021 for the official merger.

What This Means For Clients:

Clients of HVCS should not see or feel any difference in services once we merge. All services and programs are staying intact and operational. Clients’ case managers and contacts will all remain the same. Our website, phone numbers and email addresses will also be the same, and our physical offices will remain where they are and open the same hours.

The changes for clients are all positive: we will be able to provide clients with more services via direct and active referrals to Cornerstone’s medical, dental, OBGYN, behavioral health and mental health programs. Clients will be able to see medical staff via telemedicine appointments, either from their home or from our offices.*

We have a handy FAQ guide for clients on our website, in English and Spanish.

What This Means For Supporters:

The Hudson Valley Community Services brand will continue, like our website. Our food and toiletry closets, client emergency funds, and fundraising programs will carry on as well. (We hope to bring back some of our fundraising events, too, once the Covid-19 pandemic has eased.) Donations made to HVCS will still be applied to HVCS programs.

Cornerstone Family HealthcareWhat Is Cornerstone?

Cornerstone Family Healthcare (CFH) is a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center with a mission to provide high quality, comprehensive, primary and preventative health care services in an environment of caring, dignity and respect to all people regardless of their ability to pay. For more than fifty years, Cornerstone has been responsive to meeting the needs of the communities they serve with a continued emphasis on the under-served and those without access to health care–regardless of race, economic status, age, sex, sexual orientation or disability.

Since Cornerstone is also a non-profit, you can choose, in the future, to donate to the entire organization and help even more people access the healthcare they need. Cornerstone serves more than 40,000 people each year!

 

*All visits are by appointment only, until further notice.

POZ at Home – Coping With COVID-19 and HIV – Webinar

Monday, June 1st, 2020

POZ at Home – Coping With COVID-19 and HIV

Guests: Mark S. King, Venita Ray and Charles Sanchez

Hosted by Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.

HIV+ People & Coronavirus: HVCS’ JanetLynn Remy-Decastro Interview

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Are HIV-positive people at greater risk for COVID-19? One reporter from Spectrum News asked that question and contacted us for perspective. JanetLynn Remy-Decastro, one of our peers, sat down for a television news interview with reporter Dominic McKenzie. He also talked with Jennifer Deekens, an infectious disease nurse practitioner from Cornerstone Family Healthcare for the medical side of this issue.

Watch the piece here: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/hudson-valley/coronavirus/2020/03/19/are-people-with-hiv-at-great-risk-for-coronavirus#

 

 

 

New Podcast Episode: STDs…the Truth Is Out There!

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

In this episode Steph, Naomi and Andy debunk a few of the myths about sexually transmitted diseases or STD’s. You don’t want to miss this one!

Subscribe for more episodes or listen to each one on Spotify, iTunes and other platforms!

HVCS Receives $22,000 From The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, In Partnership With Macy’s

Monday, March 25th, 2019

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS FoundationHudson Valley Community Services has been awarded a grant for $22,000 from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in partnership with Macy’s. The grant will be used for HVCS’ Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) program, which is a unique vehicle to provide HIV-positive residents of Westchester, Putnam and Rockland with emotional and psychological support, support groups, and ensure they remain connected to care and community. Specifically, ETAF’s grant will fund art therapy and interactive journaling for the women’s support group. PSS began on March 1, 2019.

HVCS is honored to be recognized for our innovative approach in support of people affected by HIV and AIDS. “Hudson Valley Community Services is a powerful part of a collective effort to achieve an AIDS-free world, a world Elizabeth Taylor is still helping to realize through ETAF” said Catherine Brown, Executive Director of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “ETAF and Macy’s are honored to support HVCS with these funds to continue our aligned goals of health equity and zero discrimination for all people living with or at risk for HIV and AIDS.”

Through their Cause Marketing Program, Thanks For Sharing, Macy’s recognizes their responsibility to support disadvantaged communities and the needs of their neighbors. They are proud to partner with ETAF and have contributed to this grant.

The Psychosocial Support Services program’s main funder is the Ryan White CARE Act, Part A, administered by Public Health Solutions.

About The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF)
Founded in 1991, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) joins Elizabeth’s voice in the fight for social justice and human rights for people living with HIV and AIDS to achieve an AIDS-free world. Inspired by Elizabeth’s personal passion for the cause, in 2019 ETAF is focused on youth, women, children and families, ensuring they receive the direct care and support they need both domestically and in Malawi, the hotspot of the global epidemic. ETAF’s advocacy and awareness initiatives concentrate on elevating Elizabeth’s voice to secure care for the marginalized and social equity for all. To learn more or to make a donation please visit www.etaf.org.

The SNAP Gap

Monday, February 25th, 2019

The results of a food drive for our emergency food closetsSince continued funding was uncertain during the recent government shutdown, the SNAP program (Supplemental Nutrition Access Program, formerly known as food stamps) handed out February benefits in January. The caveat for recipients, however, was that they were expected to spread those benefits over six weeks instead of four–but for a hungry family, that can be a challenge. Now that the shutdown is over, clients may have gone through their SNAP funds already–and face a food shortage for the end of the month.

We weren’t about to sit back and let this happen, of course. HVCS is assisting clients in this situation through the food closet program. With support from generous donors, corporations and foundations, we’re offering our clients double the amount of food bags this month.

According to Hunger Solutions New York, which funds our Nutrition Outreach and Education Program, in March SNAP benefits will be issued early in order to assist SNAP participants to bridge the gap between the January payments and their regularly scheduled March benefits. All March SNAP benefits will be issued by March 7th.

We are committed to ensuring that clients and their families have enough nutritious food to eat no matter what happens in Washington.

Project Reach Out Now Offering STD Screenings

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Project Reach Out vanAs of February 1, 2019, our Project Reach Out mobile harm reduction units will also be offering free screenings for chlamydia and gonorrhea. The PRO staff, who travel in vans to areas of high need throughout the Hudson Valley, work primarily with people who are homeless or in unstable housing, and help them access the services they need to reduce the harm of drug use and their risk for HIV, Hepatitis C and STDs.

“We’re eager to offer these expanded services to PRO clients,” said Jennifer Brathwaite, HVCS’ Director of Education and Prevention. “These are two more ways we can help people with really high levels of need access care. Getting a free STD test can be an important step in empowering someone to protect their health, especially since these two STDs can often be asymptomatic. This testing program helps not only our clients but reduces the overall amount of STDs in our community.”

Chlamydia and gonorrhea infection rates in New York State have increased every year since 2013. Infection rates among African-Americans are disproportionately high, making up 23% of chlamydia rates and 33% of gonorrhea cases in 2017. These statistics further support the need for expanded STD testing in the vulnerable neighborhoods where PRO typically offers services.

Click here to learn more about our Project Reach Out program.

Press from HVCS’ International Overdose Awareness Day Event

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

HVCS' Overdose Awareness Day

Devan Marano shares her personal story at the Overdose Awareness Day observance in Newburgh.

On Friday, August 31, 2018, Hudson Valley Community Services partnered with Catholic Charities’ TEAM Newburgh to hold a local observance of International Overdose Awareness Day in front of HVCS’ Newburgh office.

International Overdose Awareness Day is an annual global event held on August 31st which aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

The opioid/heroin addiction crisis has had a profound impact on the Hudson Valley over the past few years. In 2016, 367 residents died from opioid overdoses according to the New York State Heroin and Opioid Task Force, and available data on the first three quarters of 2017 suggests similar totals for last year. The epidemic has had a lasting impact on friends, families and neighborhoods—not to mention those who struggle with addiction. HVCS, other healthcare and social support agencies, law enforcement, and local governments have committed resources to prevent overdose deaths, increase the number of residents who seek help for their addiction disorders, and stem the tide of this epidemic. This event was an opportunity to honor and remember those we have lost to addiction disorders via overdose, and continue to educate the community on available resources.

The Hudson Valley’s International Overdose Awareness Day event featured a forum for personal experience speakers, Narcan trainings, educational opportunities, tributes to those lost to overdose, a social media awareness wall, activities to engage children and youth, and free snacks.

Check out local press coverage of the event:

Spectrum News: http://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/hudson-valley/news/2018/08/31/overdose-awareness-day-hudson-valley

Times Herald Record: Story (http://www.recordonline.com/news/20180831/overdose-survivors-impart-lifesaving-training) and slide show (http://www.recordonline.com/photogallery/TH/20180831/PHOTOGALLERY/831009999/PH/1)