HIV/AIDS clinic awarded $1.4 million grant
The McGregor Clinic, a nonprofit healthcare clinic dedicated to the treatment of people living with HIV and AIDS, has been awarded a grant of more than $1.4 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The grant, awarded through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, will provide the Fort Myers clinic with $292,500 in funds each year for the next five years. Awarded under Part C of the program, the funds go to community-based organizations such as health centers and nonprofit providers of primary health care for people living with HIV. Part C grants also may be used to hire case managers to help patients access care and remain in treatment.
“This grant gives us the opportunity to provide critically needed care for people with HIV and AIDS in our community,” said Sharon Murphy, executive director of the McGregor Clinic, in a prepared statement. “This will allow us to increase our clinical staff, increase the number of hours our medical practitioners can see patients and increase our support services, such as case management.”
As a result, the time a patient waits between diagnosis and treatment will be greatly reduced, officials said.
This is the first time the McGregor Clinic has been awarded the grant. Murphy believes the increase in their patient caseload played a significant part in receiving it.
“Over the past four years we have seen a 20 percent increase every year in the number of patients we treat. In 2005, we cared for 360 patients. We now have 638 patients coming to us from all over Southwest Florida. “
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program was named after the Indiana teenager who was infected with the disease in 1984 and expelled from school due to fear and a lack of understanding about the disease. He became a national spokesperson for HIV research and education before his death in 1990 at age 18.
Split into parts, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is set up to serve specific needs and to allow grants to be awarded with each particular focus in mind.
Part A focuses on metropolitan areas most severely hit by HIV/AIDS cases.
Part B concentrates on states and geographic areas in need of assistance. Locally the Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida oversees the funds for Area 8. This includes Lee, Collier, Charlotte, DeSoto, Hendry, Glades and Sarasota counties.
Part C is dedicated to early intervention services for those being treated for AIDS on an outpatient basis.
The McGregor Clinic opened in November 1999 as a nonprofit health care clinic designed to provide an integrated and holistic approach to patient and community care. The Clinic provides chronic, primary and palliative care to medically needy and underserved HIV and AIDS clients.
Source: The McGregor Clinic