HIV/AIDS Program in Calif. Will No Longer Provide Ryan White-Funded Services
Beginning in late February, the Inland AIDS Project in San Bernardino, Calif., will no longer provide emergency assistance and an AIDS Drug Assistance Program because of changes in Ryan White Program funding administered by the county, the San Bernardino County Sun reports. Maxwell Ohikhuare, San Bernardino County public health officer, said the decision to halt the programs follows the Department of Public Health's 2008 audit, which found that IAP does not adequately administer Ryan White Part A and B services.
According to Ohikhuare, IAP was "substantially deficient" in meeting certain requirements of the Ryan White Program. He said, "While it is the primary responsibility of the Public Health Department to serve those in greatest need of health services, it must simultaneously ensure that contracted service providers are held accountable to local, state and federal requirements." Ohikhuare added that meeting these requirements is "especially important in light of our shrinking resources and increasing community needs."
According to Ohikhuare, the county has developed a plan to transfer IAP's approximately 700 clients to other organizations that provide Ryan White services, such as the Foothill AIDS Project and Bienestar. Wendy Hustwit, development manager for the Foothill AIDS Project, said her organization is available to take calls and intends to accept as many new clients as necessary. Although IAP's Web site verifies that the organization will no longer provide Ryan White services beginning Feb. 21, it also indicates that IAP will continue to provide services such as home-based care, transportation, mental health counseling, housing and food supplements. IAP could not be reached for comment on Monday, the Sun reports (Pfeiffer Trunnell, San Bernardino County Sun, 2/2).