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Published Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014
BY RANDY TUCKER - STAFF WRITER
AIDS Resource Center Ohio will open its second medical center and pharmacy serving people with HIV and AIDS on Monday in Dayton.
The new center in the Wright Health Building, at 1222 S. Patterson Blvd., will join ARC Ohio’s first medical center and pharmacy in Columbus, which opened in 2012.
The centers focus on people not currently receiving HIV/AIDS treatment or those not getting the best treatment for managing the disease, according to Bill Hardy, president and chief executive officer of ARC Ohio.
“Three-fourths of HIV-positive Americans are still not yet getting the care or medications they need,” Hardy said. “Getting these individuals into care is essential if we’re going to win the war against HIV, which is why this center is so critical.”
An estimated 1,500 HIV-positive Ohioans live in the Dayton area, and another 300 are presumed infected but not yet diagnosed, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Services at the new center will include free HIV testing and education on HIV prevention, as well as mental health counseling, housing assistance and medical case management services. The center will accept private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid as well as the Ryan White Assistance funding provided by the state.
A $1 million capital campaign — Campaign for Hope — has been launched with a $160,000 grant from the Dayton-based CareSource Foundation to help fund opening of the new center. Continuing operations will be funded, in part, with profits from the pharmacy, which will supplement the costs of other services not fully covered by government grants or community donations.
“As a nonprofit organization in today’s economy, we had to find ways to create our own revenue so we can sustain our services,” Hardy said. “The pharmacy will be fundamental to our business success, because all of our other services cost more money to run than what we receive from government grants and other support.”
Bryan Bucklew, president and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association and chairman of ARC Ohio, welcomed the arrival of the new clinic.
“The ARC Ohio Medical Center is an important addition to our community, and will complement other resources within the Miami Valley’s health care network,” Bucklew said. “Its model of care has been proven best-practice, cost effective, and will have a significant positive impact on our region’s health.”
ARC officials said their Columbus center has already had a positive impact on the local community, enrolling nearly 500 patients in its first year.
In the first six months, the Columbus clinic helped increase viral suppression among its HIV-positive patients by 50 percent, according to ARC Ohio. “Achieving viral suppression — meaning the virus is under control — leads to better health, a longer life, and far less likelihood of further HIV transmission,” the nonprofit said.