We are incredibly honored to have received Pride Foundation‘s Equity Award for Compassionate Care! We’d like to take this opportunity to not only thank the Pride Foundation for this fantastic award, but also thank all of our dedicated and caring staff and volunteers for all of their hard work throughout the years. We look forward to a future of inclusivity, strength, and of course: compassion.
Our Program Director, Amanda McCluskey, sat down with The Jefferson Exchange in Ashland to talk about naloxone and why we began distributing the drug directly to people at our syringe exchange. Listen to the full interview here!
The News Review: “A team from the HIV Alliance in Douglas County spent two days at the fair last week, in the Douglas Public Health Network booth, teaching people how to use a drug called naloxone, that is used to bring people out of a coma after they have overdosed on opioid drugs.” Read the full article here!
HIV Alliance is welcoming the public to join agency friends, staff, volunteers, and other supporters in a celebration of its new building at 1195A City View St., 97402, on June 23rd from 5 to 6pm.
To honor its move and those who have supported the agency for so long, HIV Alliance has invited an impressive list of local leaders to speak – Springfield’s Mayor Lundberg, Eugene’s Mayor Vinis, and Lane County Commissioner Pat Farr.
“We are committed to preventing new HIV and STI infections, especially with the rise we saw last year, and this new building really gives us the space to make that impact” said Renee Yandel, HIV Alliance Executive Director
June 23, 5-6pm at HIV Alliance, 1195A City View St, Eugene OR 97402
The event will have beer provided by Cla im 52 Brewing, and there will also be complimentary wine and finger foods available.
“We are excited to have the community see our new building and to be able to thank all of those businesses and friends along the way that made it possible; we would not have been able to do it without their generosity” said HIV Alliance Development Director, Karen Murphy.
Special thanks to these local businesses: Claim 52 Brewing, Rubenstein’s Contract Carpet, Brothers Plumbing, Reynolds Electric, Essex General Construction, Inc., Oregon Pacific Bank, Justin Schmick, Windermere Real Estate – Eugene, Hartness Drywall, Wildish Construction Co., Forrest Paint Co, Oldfield’s Appliance and Long Tom Watershed Council (LTWC).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2017
Lane County Health & Human Services
Public Information Officer
LANE COUNTY ANNOUNCES ANNUAL EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC HEALTH AWARD RECIPIENTS
LANE COUNTY, OR — In recognition of National Public Health Week, Lane County Public Health (LCPH) and the Lane County Board of County Commissioners acting as the Board of Health honored the HIV Alliance and Jack Tripp of the Eugene Mission as the recipients of the annual Excellence in Public Health Awards. Every year, Lane County Public Health staff nominates one (1) individual and one (1) organization who have demonstrated excellence in helping to make Lane County a healthier place to live, work and play for consideration from the Board.
“These awards are more than a formality for us,” said Dr. Jocelyn Warren, Lane County Public Health Manager.“This is a way for us to recognize our community partners who have gone above and beyond in their work to improve the overall quality of life for the people of Lane County.”
Below are the nominations for this year’s recipients.
HIV Alliance was formed in Eugene in 1994 to support individuals living with HIV/AIDS and prevent new HIV infections. Over the years, state public health funding for HIV prevention has suffered severe cuts. To ensure the important work of HIV support and prevention continues, HIV Alliance widened their scope of service to include care coordination, nurse management, and pharmaceutical support to people living with HIV/AIDS in 11 counties in Oregon. In the past year, during two new HIV outbreaks in Lane County, HIV Alliance worked closely with state and local Public Health to mobilize testing, launch targeted media campaigns, conduct outreach to limit further exposure in the community, and to set up needle exchanges. Currently HIV Alliance is the only organization in Lane County providing needle exchange – a vital HIV prevention service.
Jack Tripp, Eugene Mission and Wellness Center: In the years since he became the Executive Director, Jack Tripp has transformed the Mission from a traditional shelter into a wellness-focused program for homeless men, women, and families. Despite a devastating fire last year, Tripp and the Mission staff continued to provide the usual 800 meals per day in makeshift spaces while remaking and improving the original kitchen space. The Mission also provides 350-400 beds each night. In recognition that poor health is a major cause of homelessness, the services provided by the Mission include not only hot meals and warm beds but support in transitioning to more permanent housing and employment with assertive social services case management and counseling. Approximately 3000 unique individuals were served last year
Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum was in Eugene Thursday to learn about life-saving services available through HIV Alliance. She toured the facility and met privately with a client who told her how an overdose reversal drug recently saved a friend.
Rosenblum’s office is responsible for a legal settlement with a drug company that resulted in grants to fund the Naloxone Distribution Project. Naloxone can stop a person from dying of an opioid overdose.
The Attorney General’s tour started in the HIV Alliance mobile unit. Before they acquired the van, staff would set up card tables on street corners with condoms, clean syringes, toothpaste, even dog food for pets. Today, outreach workers are able to travel to where they are most needed. Last year, HIV Alliance destroyed over 600,000 dirty needles.
Chelsea Swift is the Syringe Exchange Coordinator. She stands beside an upper body dummy and demonstrates how to deal with an opioid overdose. Swift says sometimes, assistance with breathing could be enough. When it’s not—a shot of Naloxone can be a live saver.
Swift: “The fact that a lot of our clients are not aware that the Good Samaritan Law exists and that they are protected from calling 911 when their friend or their acquaintance is potentially dying has been a really meaningful conversation to facilitate.
Swift told Rosenblum the day she found out they got Naloxone funding was the best day in her job. The Attorney General responded.
Rosenblum: “We travel around the state and we try to address public health issues that relate to the legal system and we will continue to do that. So let us know where there are other programs that you would suggest as well.”
Listen to the KLCC radio http://klcc.org/post/rosenblum-lauds-hiv-alliance-services-eugene
Credit: Tiffany Eckert
Eugene, OR – In response to a recent spike in HIV cases as well as other STIs, Lane County Public Health has reached out to local agencies, HIV Alliance and PeaceHealth, in order to provide additional HIV and STI prevention options for Lane County residents.
“We are fortunate to be able to have the partners we do here in Lane County,” said Lane County Chief Health Officer, Dr. Patrick Luedtke. “Being able to utilize the expertise of local agencies like HIV Alliance and PeaceHealth to assess the situation and respond with strategies that they know to be effective in our region is a huge asset.”
Lane County has seen eight new HIV infections since November, increasing the preliminary total to 19 new infections in 2016. In addition to new HIV infections, data between January and November 2016 shows a jump in Gonorrhea, from 164 infections in 2015 to 246 in 2016. Lane County saw 51 new syphilis infections, after seeing 52 in 2015 and 35 in 2014. Lane County Public Health, HIV Alliance and PeaceHealth partnered in late 2016 when responding to an HIV cluster in the Florence region. The agencies successfully identified 7 new infections and connected all newly diagnosed individuals to treatment.
“The best way to track these HIV clusters and prevent new STIs is to get people tested” says Renee Yandel, HIV Alliance Executive Director. “The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone ages 15-64 get tested for HIV and so we are encouraging everyone to get tested.”
Testing is the most effective strategy for preventing HIV because it identifies new infections and connects any newly diagnosed individuals to treatment plans. Once connected to treatment, people can lower their viral loads to a point where they are significantly less likely to spread to the disease.
HIV Alliance will be providing HIV testing on Mondays from 3 to 5pm for a $25 suggested donation. In addition, HIV Alliance provides free testing to men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and partners of people living with HIV from 5 to 7pm on Monday and Tuesday, 6 to 8pm on Thursday, and 1 to 5 pm on Fridays. The Alliance is currently partnering with PeaceHealth to provide free HIV and hepatitis C testing, counseling and referral services every first and third Friday in Florence, OR, from 12 to 6pm at Building 310 on 400 Ninth Street, Florence, OR 97439. The agency provides STI testing to OHP members on Friday from 1 to 3pm.
“People have options,” says HIV Alliance Prevention Manager, Tyler Boyet, “We now have medical prevention options, such as PrEP and PEP, and are scheduling appointments to get people enrolled.” PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is a medication prescribed to people who are at a higher risk for HIV that can prevent the transmission of HIV even if the person comes into contact with the virus.
Over the course of February, we partnered with KVAL on a mini-series called “I have HIV and…” The series is made up of five short videos, each focusing on the respective stories of people living with HIV in Oregon. Told through their personal stories, the interviews touch on a lot of issues surrounding HIV transmission, including drug addiction, syringe exchanges, LGBTQ equality, serodiscordant relationships (couples with different HIV statuses), and stigma.
What became obvious over the course of the videos is that there is much more to someone then their HIV status, and that their diagnosis does not define who they are. You can find links to each video below
In their April, 2015 Newsletter, Oregon Health Authority featured HIV Alliance and its clinical pharmacist, Geoff L’Hereux in its “Transformation Station” section. The article acknowledges the wonderful work being done by L’Hereux and HIV Alliance as they work with CCOs to provide clients with better medicine at affordable rates. These medicstions do end up being more costly up front, but overall they save CCOs and clients money down the road because they involve less pills, are easier to tolerate, and minimize side effects as well as provider visits.
To read the full newsletter in its entirety, you can click here
Copyright 2015 HIV Alliance.
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