HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Rosedale Health and Wellness’ Dudley’s Place recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, having now reached over 500 clients with HIV care.
Founded in 2019 by Rosedale’s Medical Director Dr. Frederick Cruickshank, Dudley’s Place was created to meet the growing needs of HIV positive patients in the Charlotte region and to provide HIV prevention for the community, the organization shared.
Named after his best animal friend, Cruickshank’s goal for Dudley’s Place is to provide love and support to clients like Dudley (the puppy) provided him — “Your new best friend”.
“Many of the patients I was seeing were missing the comfort and love Dudley provided me. I wanted to create the non-profit arm of Rosedale Health and Wellness to provide an extra layer of support to ensure that the clients were medically compliant and healthy, but also have a complete support system where they had a ‘best friend’ they could rely on. I am thrilled to see this vision come to reality for the community,” Cruickshank added.
While Dudley’s Place is only one year old, they have hired veteran HIV/AIDS advocates who support the mission and share the vision in ensuring client services at the highest level. Dale J. Pierce was named the first executive director of Dudley’s Place and who brings 25 years lived and work experience in HIV/AIDS. “This is one of my proudest moments accepting this job and developing an AIDS Service Organization from the ground up,” said Pierce. “Becoming a Ryan White Part A grant recipient started our first year off in an amazing way to serve clients. Thanks to the unique partnership with Rosedale Health and Wellness, we were able to subcontract to provide Ryan White services immediately.”
Dudley’s Place offers a variety of services for clients to best complement medical treatment for those dealing with HIV/AIDS to enhance their overall health.
In its first year, Dudley’s Place provided clients free transportation to medical appointments with over 7,000 miles of travel and $9,200 in Lyft rides. Dudley’s Place also provided 849 grocery gift cards totaling $42,450 and gave away 220 pounds of fresh vegetables from Dudley’s Garden. The Essentials Pantry provided 552 toiletry bags to clients with basic toiletry items at a $15 per bag value for $8,430.
Additionally, Dudley’s Place provided supportive case management to 510 clients and provided 250 hours of individual counseling. Through the Ryan White Part A program, 473 of clients received medical care/follow up, medical laboratory services, nurse visits and assistance with health insurance.
The partnership with Rosedale provides opportunities to participate in medical trials, nutrition and mental health counseling, onsite laboratory and pharmacy, case management.
“Year two promises more services for the community including advocacy and social events for clients, community education, condoms/safer sex supplies, support groups, PrEP, PEP, housing and volunteer programs,” Pierce shared.
The organization has announced that it has started its new Friends of Dudley buddy program. Participants who are recently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS are paired with someone else who has more years’ experience navigating the disease; is new to the Charlotte-area with more long-term residents; and/or are two clients who live in the same proximity. For those interested, call 704-977-2972. In other news, the campus has now become a Smoke Free zone. Visitors are required to finish their cigarettes and e-variety before entering the facility’s parking lot.