Thank you to these organizations for sponsoring our Special World AIDS Day coverage.
Ballantyne Family Medicine
At Ballantyne Family Medicine, we are your family. Here you’ll find compassion for families and individuals in primary care, HIV, and behavioral health. Our mission is to provide complete patient care to ensure long-term treatment success for individuals and communities impacted by HIV. We are committed to providing a “safe place” for our clients. Our providers support, counsel and provide medical services for people transitioning genders. We offer pharmacogenetic testing for over 200 medications. With a simple cheek swab, we can determine how to break down medications so we know which medications you may or may not tolerate. We have same-day urgent care appointments available through our Rx Quick Care clinic for the flu, strep throat, urinary tract or bladder infections, and ear infections. We bring together a variety of patient care resources all under one roof. Medical care outcomes are enhanced by these collaborative partnerships. The philosophy behind our proposal is to provide outstanding medical care in a “one-stop shop” model to meet or even exceed the needs of the community.
Providing an integrated approach to patient care is the best way to ensure we meet all of our patient’s needs. We believe it’s the best way to care for people with complex health care needs. We provide personalized, quality healthcare at two locations in the Charlotte area. Our primary building is located on East WT Harris Blvd. with easy access to public transportation with a bus stop in front of the building. Our second location is in the South Charlotte area off Johnston Rd. Our medical service providers include Richard Wynn, MD and J. Wesley Thompson PA-C, who have provided more than 50 years of primary care and 30 years of HIV care. They are both recognized as providing excellent primary care and HIV care in the community.
Our medical services are provided with collaborative partners to provide a “One-Stop Shop” that has an onsite pharmacy with home delivery and mail order options, onsite lab services, housing assistance, case management, peer support services, patient education sessions, and mental health/substance abuse services. We have providers and staff that speak multiple languages such as English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and American Sign Language. Our onsite-pharmacy accepts all insurance and provides competitive cash pricing. Ballantyne Family Medicine has scholarship programs which will cover your copays for medications used for smoking cessation, weight loss, and more programs are coming soon.
In the early 1990s RAIN volunteers brought end-of-life companionship and practical support to people dying with AIDS. They also worked to increase compassion during a time of fear and misunderstanding.
Fast forward to today where RAIN has emerged as a leading provider of medical case management, treatment adherence support and advocacy for early testing and the adoption of PrEP. RAIN staff members are widely known for their quality, personalized care in a nurturing environment. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ford Foundation, Search for Common Ground and North Carolina HIV/STD Care Branch all honored RAIN’s achievements. Additionally, the organization’s work has been featured on the “CBS Evening News,” NC public television and in national HIV/AIDS magazines, HIV Plus, A and U and POZ.
Access to mental health services is an unmet need for many people who live in the Charlotte area; access to mental health services by a practitioner with expertise in HIV is practically non-existent. To help alleviate this need, RAIN recently launched a counseling program that provides individual, couples, family and group therapy.
The counseling program augments the extraordinary care that is already provided by RAIN medical case management and youth staff, enhancing the potential that clients will successfully fulfill their personal goals. Led by Sarah Yum, our resident psychotherapist, the program has been enthusiastically embraced by participants. A Charlotte native, Sarah has a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She specializes in treating HIV, trauma related mental health disorders such as PTSD, and substance abuse issues.
RAIN is one of five organizations in the U.S. providing a comprehensive PrEP program. Navigators conduct risk assessments, financial screening, and link individuals to providers identified as PrEP prescribers. Referrals are made to assist with the costs of the medication.
Empowering Positive Youth (EPY) is a comprehensive approach to serving HIV positive adolescents and young adults (ages 13-24) in the Charlotte area. Youth and young adults enrolled in the program have access to Peer Navigators, who work to decrease the youth’s isolation and stigma through healthy relationships and extended peer networks. Peer Navigation also includes monitoring of medical treatment, compliance, peer counseling and training on how to access services directly related to medical outcomes. Clients may choose to access additional program services such as: support groups; empowerment conferences; educational trainings; drop-in individual counseling; nutritional education; and community involvement.
RAIN is a key partner with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Enlaces Por La Salud, a SPNS (Special Project of National Significance) funded through HRSA to link and re-engage Latino men and transgendered women in medical care.
RAIN will recognize World AIDS Day with a luncheon at Marriot City Center on Dec. 1. Planning is underway for 25th anniversary celebrations in 2017. If you need services or if you’d like to be involved in any events, including the 2017 AIDS Walk or Gay Bingo, please visit RAIN’s website carolinarain.org or call 704-372-7246.
Ten years ago this past October, in 2006, Rosedale Infectious Diseases was formed out of necessity. The former Jemsek clinic was going in a new direction in infectious diseases and treating Lyme disease. Dr. Frederick Cruickshank had just come from Florida where he thought he was going to be an on-staff ID provider for HIV services at Jemsek. When the clinic took a different turn, many employees, including Dr. Cruickshank were finding themselves having to make some tough choices. How do they continue to work in the field they love and treat the patients that they had a passion to help?
Dr. Cruickshank reached out to two nurses, Linda Strand and Nancy Sutton, along with Dale Pierce and also a PA, Amy Kerchner and asked that if he could get the funding together would they like to open a new clinic and continue the mission. At the time, many patients didn’t know the struggles behind the scenes it took in order to make Rosedale Infectious Diseases a reality. The group of five, along with a sixth employee (a research coordinator) sought out a modest building that had low rent and they went to work. Borrowed and used equipment and furniture filled the first office at Commerce Centre Dr. The patients knew that something was up, but they trusted in the knowledge and compassion of the team and followed them to their new home. “Many early days we wondered how to pay all the bills and still serve the patients,” said Pierce, then Practice manager. Pierce adds that one thing that never wavered was “Dr. Cruickshank’s level of care and compassion and fighting spirit to serve the HIV community in Charlotte.”
Fast forward 10 years and Rosedale Infectious Diseases is now Rosedale Medical. The practice has grown tenfold in physical space and now has over 25 full time employees. Not only still serving the HIV community, they now reach across the aisles to serve general medicine care to the entire LGBTQ community and the public as a whole. Research studies are conducted here on a national and international level, there is an on-site laboratory, nutritional services, mental health counseling, benefit advocates, and a skilled and compassionate medical staff. In addition, this summer, the site opened its doors to house an on-site Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, one of the only models of its kind in the nation.
The level of commitment doesn’t stop there. In 2012, Dr. Cruickshank helped Dale Pierce form Different Roads Home, a nonprofit that offers supportive care services to those suffering from chronic illness. The non-profit, now at its own location in Charlotte, compliments the work Cruickshank has prided himself on with the level of compassionate care they offer. Together, and with great help and support from Cruickshank and Rosedale, Different Roads Home is now thriving in its own right. Currently with two other medical providers on staff, it is allowing Dr. Cruickshank to travel back and forth to Grenada where he is helping the minister of health develop a more robust HIV/AIDS program, in terms of care and prevention.
We don’t know what the future holds, but we know that with the passion and commitment of Dr. Frederick Cruickshank and his staff, we do know that the future is bright! Visit them on Facebook or at rosedaleid.com.
Red Ribbon Sponsor
Different Roads Home
When Different Roads Home started in a small office in Huntersville, N.C. in 2013 as a compliment to Rosedale Infectious Diseases, we never knew the path it would take. They say a lot is in a name, and for Different Roads Home that is so true. Dale Pierce, former practice manager at Rosedale Infectious Diseases, with the generous and unwavering support of Dr. Frederick Cruickshank, set out to start a non-profit that wasn’t duplicating services, but creating new opportunities to serve the HIV community of the greater Charlotte area.
The name Different Roads Home came from a book by Christian singer and author Janet Paschal. She wrote an award-winning book called “The Good Road.” In the book, she describes that we all take a different road home, places that can be all uphill or downhill, with twists and turns we may not expect. But there comes an impasse of the roads that is the same impasse of human condition where people just need help.
Different Roads Home sets out to do just that. Now in a new location in Charlotte, we offer a variety of supportive care services including an HIV support group called Positive Impact, a buddy and mentoring program, a Safe Space training ground for people of color, housing assistance, diversity training and disease prevention and education. Different Roads Home also houses the Jeanne White Ginder Food Pantry, where anyone with a chronic illness and a need can get assistance. The latest venture will be the opening over the holidays of an onsite computer lab for clients with access to printing and basic job skills training and resume building.
Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on our website at differentroadshome.org or call the office at 704-237-8793 for more information.
North Carolina AIDS Action Network
The North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN) improves the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and affected communities through outreach and public education, policy advocacy, and community-building to increase visibility and mutual support of people living with HIV/AIDS throughout our state.
Since our founding in 2010, NCAAN has made a substantial contribution to the HIV/AIDS advocacy community in NC. One of our most significant achievements was the elimination of the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting list and the restoration of a full formulary of covered medications in 2013.
As part of a coalition of advocacy groups we’ve twice (2013 and 2015) prevented a bill from passing the General Assembly that would have banned minors from receiving confidential sexual and mental health care. In 2016, we led a successful legislative campaign to secure premium assistance for ADAP, which will expand access to health insurance for thousands of low-income HIV+ individuals in North Carolina.
The PowerHouse Project is the health promotion and education component of Quality Home Care Services. The program was created to address health disparities and inequities within communities of color who are marginalized due to race and sexual orientation.
PowerHouse offers a drop-in safe space to engage the community for social support, HIV prevention, linkage to HIV care and other supportive services. The program is primarily funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement Mpowerment, an evidence-based behavioral intervention for gay and bisexual men and Sister-to-Sister for African-American women.
PowerHouse offers social support services created for and led by transgender women, and a program for heterosexual men through our community partnerships. The PowerHouse Project also offers free and confidential HIV screening daily.
Feel free to visit the PowerHouse Project located 1420 Beatties Ford Rd. or visit PowerHouse Project on Facebook.