Winston-Salem, N.C., HIV/AIDS Group Files for Bankruptcy, Leaving Gap in HIV/AIDS Services
A Winston-Salem, N.C.-based not-for-profit HIV/AIDS service agency closed two weeks ago, leaving a "gap" in financial and emotional support services for HIV-positive people living in the area, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. The agency -- HIV Outreach Programs and Education, or HOPE -- is in the process of filing for bankruptcy, according to Bernard Davis, chair of the HOPE board. HOPE provided case-management services to area HIV/AIDS patients, held play-therapy sessions for HIV-positive children, organized support groups and operated a food pantry program. Davis would not provide details regarding the agency's financial situation but said that the group's debt was greater than its income. He said that clients were made aware of the closure "as soon as the decision was made," according to the Journal. Before deciding to close, HOPE reduced its staff, programs and number of clients it served. The group operated on grants, donations and federal reimbursement for case-management programs through Medicaid and the Northwest Care Consortium, which administers funding for local HIV/AIDS patients. NCC reimbursed HOPE $94,000 for case-management services and had a contract for $110,000 this fiscal year, but the group only received $30,700 because of its cutbacks, according to NCC Executive Director Rich Wooldredge. "Our main focus was to care for the clients, and it was hard to take care of our debt and take care of our clients," Davis said, adding that if the group could go back, it "would have slowed the train down" sooner and ensured that its programs were subsidized by grants. HOPE was only one of two HIV/AIDS agencies serving Forsyth County, the Journal reports (Hoppenjans, Winston-Salem Journal, 2/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.