Florida AIDS Agencies Center One and Community Health Care Set to Merge
The "financially ailing" Broward County, Fla., AIDS group Center One has called off its merger with the not-for-profit Care Resource, and will instead merge with the medical group Community Health Care, the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. The merger with Community will allow Center One to avoid making cuts in its AIDS services while "preserving the Center One name and prominence," Center One officials said. Center One offers AIDS counseling, case management, alternative therapy, HIV testing, education and transportation. Besides adding medical care to Center One's services, the merger with Community will allow the agency to "eliminate redundant jobs, save on rent and allow the hiring of a specialist to revive Center One's weak fund-raising," the Sun-Sentinel reports. Center One scrapped its plans to merge with Care Resource after the latter group said it "wanted to absorb" Center One. Care Resource also had concerns about Center One's financial stability, after auditors found that Center One's debt was $350,000 and "growing weekly," according to Care Resource Executive Director Rick Siclari. The merger between Care Resource and Center One would have created the largest AIDS not-for-profit group south of Atlanta, Center One officials had announced eight weeks ago. Center One officials believe that the merger with Community will help combat the agency's "money woes." However, some AIDS officials are skeptical that the Center One-Community merger will be able to solve Center One's financial problems. Siclari stated, "I'm not sure how they will find the efficiencies that will let them stay alive" (LaMendola, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 1/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.