White House Leaders Join Discussion in N.O. About New HIV Care
NEW ORLEANS – More than 80 public health professionals and community members from Louisiana gathered with members of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy to share plans, challenges and successes in their work to end the HIV epidemic. Staff with the New Orleans Health Department and its Ryan White Services and Resources division presented details of the recently launched HIV Care program Friday in a listening session with the White House Office of National AIDS Policy Director Harold Phillips and staff members. The event took place at the University Medical Center.
The new HIV Care program, Centralized Linkage, provides access to free or low-cost HIV primary care appointments and support services.
“The Centralized Linkage program is another strong example that we are using all tools available to provide our citizens the best HIV care and support,” said Vatsana Chanthala, director of Ryan White services and resources. “We are grateful for the support of the White House, federal partners and local stakeholders for the funding and collaboration that allows us to provide these services.”
The Centralized Linkage program, one of the components of the Bounce to Zero campaign to end the HIV epidemic, went live earlier this year; the program features a call or text option staffed by service coordinators who connect persons with HIV with a comprehensive suite of resources to manage an HIV diagnosis including primary care appointments and assistance with transportation, medication, housing and insurance.
The Centralized Linkage system can be accessed through a call/text line at (504) 884-3307. A Centralized Linkage Coordinator works with individuals to connect them to HIV care providers. The phone line is available to both clients and providers.
The “Bounce to Zero” campaign is the local implementation of the national effort of Ending the HIV Epidemic by reducing the number of new HIV infections in the United States by 95% by 2030. It is coordinated by Ryan White Services and Resources of the New Orleans Health Department.