Chevron NO/AIDS Walk Moves To Crescent Park Near Site Of CrescentCare’s $23M Future Facility
CrescentCare broke ground on its new $23 million community health center at 1631 Elysian Fields Ave. last month.
CrescentCare grew out of the local NO/AIDS Task Force, one of the oldest AIDS services organizations in the nation, and reps said it offers a full spectrum of quality care at low to no cost to the entire community with or without insurance.
At its future location, CrescentCare will combine four of its current service sites, tripling the Federally-Qualified Health Center’s capacity to provide primary and pediatric care, dental, HIV services, case management and behavioral health services, reps said. The new space will support more than 200 new jobs and also house a credit union on the first floor.
The 8th Ward comprehensive campus is located near the Elysian Fields entrance to Crescent Park, which is where the 28th annual NO/AIDS Walk presented by Chevron and co-sponsor Avita Pharmacy will take place for the first time on Sunday, Sept. 24.
The walk had been held in Audubon Park for more than a decade, but is now getting closer to its “downtown roots.”
“The choice to move back downtown was an easy one,” said Rodney Thoulion, director of development at CrescentCare. “The park is beautiful, the event space meets all of our needs, and most importantly it’s situated in the neighborhood we’ll soon be serving with our new community health center. It gives our current and future clients an opportunity to engage in activities outside of the service setting, which is very rewarding for us. Plus, it’s the neighborhood where the agency started!”
In the last 27 years, participants in the NO/AIDS Walk have walked more than a million miles, the equivalent of walking to the the moon and back two and one half times, and have raised more than $5 million dollars that serve New Orleans HIV and AIDS-related treatment and programs, reps said. The NO/AIDS Task Force supports more than 3,300 people and families dealing with HIV and AIDS and more than 8,000 who are tested annually.
“At the Chevron NO/AIDS Walk, people from all walks of life come together to raise awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Leah Brown, public affairs manager for Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Business Unit. “We’re proud to once again support this race, and proud to partner with the CrescentCare NO/AIDS Task Force as they work to provide hope, compassion and care to thousands of men, women and families affected by HIV and AIDS.”
The Festival for Life, a family event catered by Louisiana Pizza Kitchen-Uptown, will follow the Walk and feature more than 20 local vendors. “The walk is a true community effort," said Christopher Leonard, special events coordinator for CrescentCare. "Everyone pitches in, including sponsors, volunteers, staff, vendors and so many more contributors. It’s a display of the community’s commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic.”
Entertainment for the event will include 5-Finger Discount and the New Orleans Gay Men’s Chorus, and children will have an unique opportunity to hear favorite stories read aloud during Drag Queen Story Hour featuring Vanessa Carr Kennedy.
Chevron and the Disco Amigos dance troupe will host a walking warm-up prior to the event, and awards will be given after the walk to those who raised the most money.
According to the NO/AIDS Walk website, the event has raised $100,000 so far, half of its goal amount. Top fundraising teams include Avita Pharmacy, the Comprehensive Alcohol-HIV/AIDS Research Center and First Unitarian Universalist Church New Orleans, and top fundraising individuals include Jerry Purcell, Toby Lefort and Jean Redman.
Additional support for the NO/AIDS Walk is provided by sponsors Capital One Bank, Goldring Family Foundation, Corporate Realty, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, Ochsner, Dow, Intermarine, Macy’s, TJMaxx, Gambit, NOLA Media Group, Event Restroom and Ambush Weekly.
Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. at Crescent Park’s Elysian Fields entrance.
To register and for more information
For more information about CrescentCare
The NO/AIDS Task Force, now a division of CrescentCare, has been delivering HIV/AIDS services since its inception in 1983. Services offered (followed by the year of initiation in parentheses) include:
• Telephone hotline (1983)
• Community outreach (1983)
• Condom distribution (1985)
• HIV antibody testing and counseling (1985)
• Buddy/ companion program (1985)
• Case management (1990)
• Substance abuse and mental health counseling (1990)
• Support groups (1990)
• Early intervention services (TB, Hepatitis B, flu shots, etc.) (1991)
• Home delivered meals (1992)
• Benefits assistance program (1992)
• Street outreach (1994)
• Changing high-risk environments (1994)
• Food bank (1997)
• Treatment education/ adherence counseling (1998)
• Primary medical care (1999)
• Housing coordination (1999)
• Peer support program (1999)
• Case finding (2000)
• Community mobilization project targeting men who have sex with men (2000)
• Liaison nurse home visits (2001)
• Housing case management (2001)
• Medication disbursement (2001)
• Office in Houma/ Thibodeaux area (2001)
• Training for allied health care professionals (2002)
• Exchange house – transitional residential facility in Houma (2003)
• Community awareness network (CAN) office opens (2003)
• CDC funded internet chat interventions (2004)
• Avita opens on-site pharmacy (2004)
• Housing case management program (2005)
• CareVan implemented for mobile medical care and mobile counseling and testing (a gift from Elizabeth Taylor) (2006)
• National HIV behavioral surveillance site (2006)
• AIDSLaw of Louisiana co-located with the Task Force (2006)
• Primary Medical Care program expanded with full-time physician and expanded clinic hours (2007)
• Consumer advisory counsel (2007)
• Medical nutrition therapy (2008)
• Peer suite (computer lab and exercise room) (2008)
• Medical transportation (2008)
• Permanent supportive housing program (2009)
• SAMHSA intensive outpatient substance abuse therapy program (2009)
• CHAT program (Curbing HIV/AIDS Transmission) (2009)
• Primary medical care early intervention services (2009)
• Shanti L.I.F.E. (Learning Immune Function Enhancement) (2010)
• Case management program with Orleans Criminal Sheriff’s Office (2010)
• The Movement office opens (services for young black MSM) (2012)
• AIDSLaw of Louisiana merged with NO/AIDS Task Force (legal services in New Orleans and Baton Rouge) (2012)
• Food For Friends kitchen opens at First Unitarian Universalist Church (2013)
• Counseling and testing program in the Orleans Municipal Court (2013)
• New Orleans Syringe Access Program moves to NO/AIDS Task Force (2013)
• FACES (Family Advocacy, Care, and Education Services) program joined NO/AIDS Task Force (2013)
• Family Care Services Center opens providing primary medical care to anyone (2014)
• CrescentCare Health and Wellness Center (2014)
• LSU STD Clinic joins forces with CrescentCare (2015)
• Oral health services are offered (2015)
Rendering of the new CrescentCare community health center at 1631 Elysian Fields Ave.