Grand opening today for Magic Johnson Clinic at FW’s AIDS Outreach Center

Executive Director Allan Gould at AOC

AIDS Outreach Center, Tarrant County’s largest AIDS services provider, will host a grand opening for its new Magic Johnson Clinic at 6 p.m. today.

The clinic is at AOC’s office at 400 N. Beach St. in Fort Worth. Also opening is a new pharmacy to provide medications needed by clients.

AOC partnered with Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation to open the clinic. AHF is the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the U.S. They operate 10 clinics in California, six in Florida, two in Washington, D.C., and one in Georgia. This is the first in Texas and the sixth designated as a “Magic Johnson” center.

AHC’s Condom Nation 18-wheeler has been in the DFW area through the weekend providing HIV testing and distributing condoms. It will also be at the opening this evening.

—  David Taffet

Visit Genghis Grill today to help AOC

As lunchtime rolls around, think about how tasty stir fry is when the proceeds go toward a good cause.

If you’re in Fort Worth today or feel like taking a long lunch, head over to the Genghis Grill at 4469 Bryant Irvin Road in Cowtown.

Orders for dine-in and take out from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. will have 20 percent of the proceeds donated to AIDS Outreach Center.

Just mention AOC when you check out and the percentage will be donated to the organization. You can also order online.

 

—  Dallasvoice

National HIV Testing Day events

HIV rapid test

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. Here is a list of some of the locations where HIV rapid testing will be offered free:

Oak Lawn:

Nelson-Tebedo Community Clinic
4012 Cedar Springs Road
10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Free rapid walk-in public testing, open to the public
214-528-0144

South Dallas:

Abounding Prosperity
2311 MLK Jr. Blvd.
2 p.m. –6 p.m.
Free rapid testing with UT Southwestern and Parkland also doing testing in the Red Bull tent. 97.9 The Beat will broadcast from the event.
An executive from the Centers for Disease Control will be in attendance and make remarks about 3 p.m.
214-421-4800

North Dallas:

AIDS Arms Mall Take-over Tour
Valley View Center
13331 Preston Road
10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Free HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia testing
HIP HOP 4 HIV concert tickets will also be available at this location

Fort Worth:

AIDS Outreach Center
400 N. Beach St., Fort Worth
9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Kaplan College
9 a.m.–8 p.m.
2001 Beach Street, Fort Worth
817-916-5229

Around the Metroplex:

AIDS Arms free rapid HIV testing in partnership with Walgreens Stores at these store locations:

5001 Ross Ave.
3 p.m.–7 p.m.
Free rapid HIV testing

2909 Lemmon Ave.
1 p.m.–5 p.m.

1651 West University, McKinney
3 p.m.–7 p.m.

AIDS Arms testing on these college campuses:

Free rapid HIV testing and education
Paul Quinn College
3837 Simpson Stuart Road
10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Collin College
2800 East Spring Creek Parkway, Plano
10 a.m.–3 p.m.

—  David Taffet

Casino Night kicks off Dash for Hope AIDS 5K

Gamblers feeling lucky can test their fate at a Casino Night on Thursday that supports the 20th anniversary of the AIDS Outreach Center’s Dash for Hope AIDS 5K Run.

The event is from 6-9 p.m. at Ben E. Keith Beverage, at 7001 Will Rogers Blvd. in Fort Worth.

Both Ben E. Keith Foods and Ben E. Keith Beverage are on the same street, but the beverage building is on the east side of Will Rogers Boulevard a few blocks north of Ben E. Keith Foods.

Admission is $25, which pays for burgers, beers and casino chips worth $750. Those who register for the Dash for Hope AIDS 5K Run will receive an extra $250 in casino chips and any winnings can be used to bid on silent auction items.

The 5K run is  from 1-5 p.m. April 1 at the Trinity Park Pavilion at West 7th Street. The registration cost for runners and walkers is $25 until March 25 and $30 from March 26-31. Registration is $35 the day of the event.

To register for the 5K or for more information, go here, email aidswalk@aoc.org or call 817-916-5224.

Below are directions to Casino Night, at 7001 Will Rogers Boulevard in Fort Worth:

From Interstate 35 West, take exit 42 toward Everman Parkway

Go East on Everman Parkway, approximately 1/2 a mile

Turn left or onto Will Rogers Boulevard, approximately one mile

Destination will be on the right

 

—  Dallasvoice

Top 10: N. Texas helped mark AIDS anniversary

AIDSat30

HOLDING VIGIL | Hundreds gathered for a commemoration in downtown Dallas on World AIDS Day.

No. 5

In 2011, the world marked three decades of AIDS. It was June 5, 1981, that the Centers for Disease Control first reported on five cases in which otherwise healthy young men, all gay, had been treated for pneumocystis carinii pneumonia at three separate Los Angeles hospitals since the previous October, with two of them dying of the disease. A month later, on July 4, the CDC reported on 26 cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma, again all in gay men, within the previous 30 months, with eight of the patients having died. As scientists struggled to find the cause, the plague became known as GRID, or gay-related immune deficiency syndrome.

But it wasn’t until a year later — on June 27, 1982 — that the term AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, was coined. Human immunodeficiency virus — HIV — wouldn’t be discovered until 1983 by Institut Pasteur in France, and it was identified as the cause of AIDS by Dr. Robert Gallo in the U.S.

By 2011, more than 25 million people worldwide had died of AIDS, and new infections continue, with men who have sex with men once again leading in terms of new infections, according to the CDC.

Despite the frightening infection rates, federal funding for HIV/AIDS services is dwindling, with community-based AIDS service organizations struggling to find new ways to raise money, offer services and educate the public. One North Texas organization, AIDS Resources of Rural Texas based in Weatherford, announced in July that it could no longer keep its head above water and would be closing its doors as of Sept. 1.

Most clients who had been accessing services at ARRT were absorbed by the Tarrant County AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth, where Executive Director Allan Gould pledged to continue to provide services to its growing client base, despite increasing cuts in federal and state funds.

In late September, AOC announced its intention to partner with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, based in Los Angeles, to open an AIDS clinic in 2012. On World AIDS Day, AHF officials and basketball legend Magic Johnson announced that the planned AOC clinic would be one of three Magic Johnson clinics opening in the next year.

Observances of the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic worldwide began in early 2011, while in North Texas, the first such commemoration came in late June when Dallas Voice and a host of partner organizations and business presented a public forum focusing on the status of HIV treatments today. On July 1, Dallas Voice published a special issue, AIDS@30, focusing on current treatments, research and education efforts, as well as profiles on individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

AIDS service organizations joined together for World AIDS Day commemorations on Dec. 1, including a display of panels from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in downtown Dallas, and on Dec. 6, Charles Santos spearheaded The Gathering, an unprecedented collaboration of performing artists from around North Texas who donated their time to a performance at The Winspear Opera House. About 1,000 people attended the event, which raised more than $60,000 for local AIDS service organizations.

— Tammye Nash

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 30, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

AOC to host new Magic Johnson HIV/AIDs clinic

Gould expects new clinic to open in April, giving HIV/AIDS patients in Tarrant County more options for care

Magic-Johnson

Magic Johnson

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

FORT WORTH — Officials at AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, headquartered in Los Angeles, announced on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, that basketball legend and AIDS survivor Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be lending his name to three new AHF-affiliated healthcare clinics — including one planned at AOC’s Fort Worth facilities.
The other two new AHF Magic Johnson Healthcare Centers will be in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Atlanta.

AOC and AHF officials had announced in late September that the boards of the two agencies had signed a letter of intent to develop the Fort Worth clinic.

AOC Executive Director Allan Gould said this week his agency is “very excited” that the clinic being planned here was chosen to be an AHF Magic Johnson Healthcare Center.

“It is definitely something we had hoped for, and we are very honored that the Magic Johnson Foundation and AIDS Healthcare Foundation trust us to operate this new clinic,” Gould said. “His [Johnson’s] name will bring an even larger degree of publicity to our agency and to the work we do here. And hopefully, that will open some doors that were not so fully opened to us in the past. This can’t be anything but great news for us.”

AHF is the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the U.S., and serves more than 100,000 patients overall in 22 countries. Created in 1987, the foundation generates its operating capital through its own self-created social enterprises, including AHF Pharmacies, thrift stores, healthcare contracts and other strategic partnerships.

Johnson, who was still playing pro basketball in 1991 when he announced publicly that he was HIV-positive, is chairman and founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation. The foundation raises funds for community-based organizations focused on HIV/AIDS education and prevention.

“Magic Johnson is not just an outstanding businessman and a sports legend. He is also a hero to thousands because of the way he lends his name to the fight against HIV/AIDS,” Gould said. “When he stepped up to declare that he was HIV-positive, he did a tremendous amount to help lessen the stigma of AIDS.”

Gould said the most important aspect of the new AHF Magic Johnson Healthcare Clinic at AOC is that it will “offer clients a choice.”

“I am not saying anything negative about JPS Healing Wings [HIV clinic] or the Tarrant County Health Department’s AIDS clinic. They do a great job,” Gould said. “But there are still people lining up at both those clinics every day to see a physician and get the care they need. Now there will be a paradigm shift in access to medical care in our region. Now those clients will have a choice.”

He said that the new clinic, “ideally, could see up to a thousand clients a year, once it is staffed. But I think in the first year we will see 400 to 600 patients.

What that will do is lower the number of patients going to Healing Wings and the public health clinic, and shorten those lines, that wait time. This gives those clients another opportunity to access expert, top-of-the-line, cutting edge medical care.”
Gould said the new clinic will occupy about 4,000 square feet of AOC’s facilities at 400 N. Beach St., and that it will include a pharmacy, as well.

Gould.Allan

Allan Gould

“This new clinic will offer medical treatment and prescriptions, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay,” Gould said. “That’s a huge element that we will be bringing to the table that has not been previously available” in Tarrant County and surrounding rural counties AOC serves.

Gould said AHF first approached AOC officials about five months ago, and that AOC officials “were really honored” to be considered as the site of a new AHF clinic.

“It is something we have wanted to do for some time,” Gould said. “Having a clinic has long been an integral part of our mission, and when we moved to our new location here on Beach Street, we did so hoping that the additional square footage this new space gives us would give us the chance to have a clinic.”

But even after they were approached by AHF, “we took our time and did our due diligence,” Gould said. “It takes times to figure out if you want to be a federally qualified health care clinic or go a different route. You have to look at all the parameters involved and all the different permits and licenses you have to have. It can become quite daunting.”

Even when they announced the letter of intent in September, he said, details were still being negotiated. That’s why when AHF CEO Michael Weinstein said during his visit to Fort Worth last month that he would love to see the new clinic open on Feb. 14, 2012, “our jaws just dropped to the floor,” Gould said.

“Even under the best circumstances, the process of getting [construction] permits and rearranging the existing offices — opening by Valentine’s Day simply was not feasible.”

Still, Gould said, word of the new clinic is already getting around and “We are already getting resumés for physicians who want to come and run this clinic, from nurse practitioners and others who want to work here.

“This truly is a huge event for Tarrant County,” Gould continued. “I know there are a number of community health care clinics in Dallas, but this will be the first one in our area that isn’t run by a major medical facility. The role that AOC has been trying to foster for some time is now coming to fruition, and that speaks volumes about the respect we have built up.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

LSRFA distributes funds

Co-chairs and agency representatives at LSRFA wrap party

Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS distributed proceeds from the 2011 bike ride on Sunday, Oct. 23 at a party held on the rooftop of the Wyly Theatre in the Arts District.

Three agencies — Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Services Dallas and AIDS Outreach Center — split the $125,000 proceeds. About half the riders and crew were on hand for the check distribution.

Riders and crew also signed up for the 2012 ride that takes place on Sept. 23-24.

John Tripp finished his second year as event co-chair. Danny Simpson will be senior co-chair for 2012 and David Hodge begins a two-year term as co-chair. More pics from the wrap party available here.

—  David Taffet

AOC announces partnership with AIDS Healthcare Foundation to open HIV/AIDS clinic in Fort Worth

Allan Gould, right, executive director of AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County, today announced that the combined boards of AOC and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have signed a letter of intent to plan and develop the Community Healthcare Clinic in Fort Worth specifically to offer medical treatment to people with HIV/AIDS.

Gould told Dallas Voice this afternoon that “if all goes as planned, we anticipate that the clinic will be open by April 2012.”

In a written statement released today, Gould said the clinic will “underscore AOC’s mission of being the ‘one stop shop’ addressing the HIV client’s vital medical, emotional and social service needs. He also said plans are in the works to implement a mobile health care van to meet the needs of those with HIV/AIDS living in rural areas.”

He said that estimates are the clinic will initially serve more than 400 individuals when it opens.

Based in Los Angeles, AIDS Healthcare Foundation is the nation’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care, offering cutting-edge medical care to more than 27,000 people in the U.S., Africa, Central America and Asia, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay, according to AOC’s press release. In the U.S., AHF operates 14 healthcare centers and 11 pharmacies in California, Washington, D.C., and Florida.

Read Gould’s statement in its entirety below:

—  admin

Tarrant County Pride starts Thursday

Suzanne Westenhoefer performs Friday night at the Sheraton Fort Worth as part of a full weekend of Tarrant County Pride events

You can catch our Friday issue for a complete story on Tarrant County Pride events coming up this weekend, but the fun actually starts on Thursday, before the Friday issue hits the newsstands. So here’s a list of events on tap to let you start getting your Pride on early.

The Sheraton Hotel in downtown Fort Worth is the host hotel for Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association’s Weekend Pride Stay package, and there are lots of events planned there on Thursday, beginning at noon. There’s the Fort Worth Trading Post in the Piney Woods Room on the second floor, from noon to 10 p.m., plus an art exhibit and the “Big As Texas Auction,” both in the second floor foyer from noon to 10 p.m.

A number of different community nonprofits are participating in the Community School House educational sessions on Thursday at the Sheraton: From noon to 1 p.m., AIDS Outreach Center presents “Stress Reduction;” from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Healing Wings presents “Safer Sex is Sexy: Take Responsibility for your Sexual Health;” Outreach Addiction Services presents “Sex: Safety the Gay Way” from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Stonewall Democrats present “Make Your Voice Heard” from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Fairness Fort Worth presents “Grassroots Organizing: The Creation of Fairness Fort Worth” from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Trinity Metropolitan Community Church presents “Overcoming Spiritual Abuse and the Ex-Gay Ministries” from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

—  admin

Double your donation on Sept. 15

Sept. 15 is the day to be generous to local organizations because many of those donations will be matched. Make a donation to participating organizations through DonorBridge from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and contributions of $25 or more will be doubled.

Among the AIDS service organizations benefiting are AIDS Arms, AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Outreach Center, Bryan’s House, Legacy Counseling Center and Resource Center Dallas. Other community organizations that are participating include the Turtle Creek Chorale.

DonorBridge is run by Communities Foundation of Texas, with the support of The Dallas Foundation and the Center for Nonprofit Management.

—  David Taffet