AIDS Arms appoints new CEO

Dr. John T. Carlo

AIDS Arms has selected Dr. John Carlo as its new chief executive officer. Carlo has served in a number of leadership positions with medical and epidemiological organizations, including program director and principal investigator for the University of Minnesota’s BioWatch Program, an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Carlo will begin at the agency December 3. He replaces longtime executive director Raeline Nobles, who is leaving the organization after more than 15 years.

In addition to his work with the BioWatch Program, Carlo’s experience includes serving as medical director and health authority for Dallas County Health and Human Services, as well as the position of Dallas County’s chief epidemiologist, where he helped oversee the creation and operation of a temporary clinic treating more than 10,000 patients during the evacuation of Hurricane Katrina.

“I am truly excited and honored to be joining AIDS Arms, an organization which has such a strong history of supporting our community in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” Carlo said. ”I look forward to working with our dedicated board of directors and a talented staff as we continue the mission to provide outstanding medical and support services to clients and patients.”

Carlo completed his Doctor of Medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, followed by an internship and residency at Baylor University Medical Center.

“We were extremely fortunate to have Raeline Nobles serve us so well for the past 15 years. After a nationwide search led by Scott Chase, JD, to find her successor, I am very excited to have someone of the caliber of Dr. Carlo become our new CEO,” said AIDS Arms Board Chair John Loza. “His experience, intelligence and commitment will serve AIDS Arms well as we move into a new era.”

—  David Taffet

Trinity Clinic grand opening celebration

The grand opening celebration of the new Trinity Health and Wellness Clinic in Oak Cliff was held on Tuesday, Oct. 11. (photos by David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

—  David Taffet

LifeWalk steps off Sunday in Lee Park

Nobles says that park will not be fenced this year but is worried about added cost and barrier affecting next year’s event

KICKING UP THEIR HEELS | The LifeWalk organizing committee gets ready for Sunday.

 

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

New requirements by the city of Dallas could affect proceed totals from this year’s AIDS Arms LifeWalk, and at least one more new requirement is expected to be added to the list next year, according to LifeWalk organizers.

The 21st annual LifeWalk steps off from Lee Park on Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. for the 3.2-mile walk. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Last year’s event raised $401,000 and this year’s goal is $500,000.

Although thousands of people are expected for the event, Lee Park will remain unfenced this year, even though the city has said such gatherings will require fencing in the future.

Officials with the Dallas Tavern Guild, which stages the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and the Festival in Lee Park each year as part of Dallas’ annual LGBT Pride celebration, decided to get ahead of the new requirement by fencing in Lee Park this year for the festival, although the city requirement had not yet gone into effect.

Tavern Guild officials also chose to charge a $5 admission fee to the festival this year to help offset expenses and raise extra funds that will be distributed to parade beneficiaries.

The admission fee raised the ire of some in the community, and attendance at the festival was down compared to last year. But Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman said the drop was not significant, and noted that the admission fee brought in about $25,000 that will be divided among beneficiaries.

But AIDS Arms Executive Director Raeline Nobles said new city requirements have already had an impact on LifeWalk, and she is worried that the new fencing requirements could affect next year’s walk.

“There were a lot more expenses from the city this year,” she said. “It really hits the bottom line.”

The cost of fencing next year will add an additional, unwelcome expense. But Nobles said she isn’t going to worry about that until after this weekend’s event. Right now, her main concern is getting people out to participate in this year’s fundraiser.

“Anyone can participate in LifeWalk,” Nobles said. “You can walk alone or bring friends or join a team. We even have poop-out vans: In case you can’t walk the entire three-mile route, someone will pick you up and bring you back to the park to have a good time.”

She also invited people to just come to the park and cheer.

“We need cheerleaders at the start and finish and at the water stations,” Nobles said. “We have pompoms for anyone who wants to cheer the walkers on.”

Registration for LifeWalk is $40 for people and $10 for dogs participating in LifeBark. People get a T-shirt and dogs get a bandana to show their support for people with HIV.

AIDS Arms is the primary beneficiary of LifeWalk, but other organizations also receive funds from the event, including AIDS Services of Dallas, Legal Hospice of Texas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus, Bryan’s House, Resource Center Dallas and the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.

Money raised goes toward programming rather than capital costs. The chorale uses funds for their HIV fund, including giving tickets to performances through the year to people with AIDS.

Nobles praised that effort, saying that socializing is an important holistic element in treating HIV.

The Women’s Chorus will present a program at AIDS Arms in March on National HIV Women’s Day. Those expenses, Nobles said, should be covered by the group’s LifeWalk proceeds.

Nobles said it would be tempting for AIDS Arms to use the money to finish paying off the agency’s new Trinity Health and Wellness Center in Oak Cliff. She said that the new facility cost more than $2 million, and AIDS Arms needs to raise just $35,000 more to pay off the facility.

Trinity Health and Wellness Center opened in September and will have its formal grand opening in two weeks.

But despite the temptation, AIDS Arms will instead use proceeds from LifeWalk to support programs for clients at Trinity as well as at AIDS Arms’ older clinic, Peabody Health Center in South Dallas.

AIDS Arms also uses the money to administer HIV tests to more than 3,500 people a year and for case management for more than 3,400 people.

LifeWalk began in 1990 as a fundraiser for Oak Lawn Community Services. When that agency closed, management of the event moved to AIDS Arms.

LifeWalk Co-chair Marvin Green noted that his Green Team will mark its 20th year of participation in LifeWalk. He said he put the team together for the first time in the second year of LifeWalk because he had already lost 20 friends to AIDS.

That first year, three team members raised $75. This year, the 32-member Green Team has collected about $22,000.

Co-chair Fred Harris said that there were quite a few new teams this year.

“We’re reaching out to new communities,” Harris said. “There’s new energy. We’re branching outside Oak Lawn.”

He said teams are using creative new ways to raise money and AIDS Arms has actively brought in new sponsors such as Chipotle.

“Stoli is coming with a first-ever LifeWalk drink,” Nobles said. Returning sponsor Caven Enterprises will serve beer and Ben E. Keith donated iced tea.

Harris said planning has gone well, and that “LifeWalk is a well-oiled machine.”

Harris said he has seen more use of social media this year than ever, reaching out to people outside the Metroplex.

“This year Facebook has become a very powerful tool,” he said, not just for fundraising but also for recruiting walkers.

Last year, about 3,500 people walked, and this year, “Registration is ahead of where we were this time last year,” Harris said.

Waterpalooza, another AIDS Arms event, was moved to Pride weekend this year, just two weeks prior to LifeWalk. Harris said they took advantage of that event to sign up teams and walkers and generate excitement for this weekend’s walk.

Among the new teams, Harris said, are the DFW Sisters.

“Their efforts have been tireless,” he said. “They raise the bar.”

Nobles said that WFAA Channel 8 morning anchor Ron Corning will serve as M.C. in Lee Park. Although he’s appeared at several events since arriving in Dallas, this is the first big public event the openly gay television host has emceed.

LifeWalk received the Human Rights Campaign family-friendly designation, and Nobles said there will be bounce houses, clowns and face-painting for children.

Harris said the event is pet-friendly as well, “because pets are our family.”

There will be games and puppy pools for dogs as well as doggie adoptions, Nobles said.

She said the day would be a lot of fun but asked people to participate because the need is greater than ever.

“With the growth in the number of newly-infected people in Dallas County who need help in this economy, we’re seeing people who never would ask but must,” she said.

Next year, Nobles said, she would like to see LifeWalk return to Oak Lawn, but new city regulations for events may change those plans. Among the events changing plans this year because of the city involved Lone Star Ride.

Last year, Lone Star Riders participated in LifeWalk on bike. This year, city regulations banned bikes from walks so LSR riders who participate will have to walk.

Green was thinking about bigger plans for future LifeWalks. Other cities that raise more money stage longer walks. He said he’d love to use the new Downtown Deck Park that should be completed next year and dreamed of seeing LifeWalkers crossing the new suspension bridge that should be open in March 2012.

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

—  Michael Stephens

Clinic passes city inspection

CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY | AIDS Arms Executive Director Raeline Nobles, left, and IT Manager Cory Claflin look at the blueprints as they inspect the finish-out work at the new Oak Cliff clinic on Sunset Street. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

AIDS Arms begins staffing new clinic and plans September opening

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

City inspectors gave the new AIDS Arms clinic in Oak Cliff its certificate of occupancy on Friday, Aug. 5, according to Executive Director Raeline Nobles. The first patients will be seen on Sept. 19.

The clinic staff will begin training on the medical records computer system next week.

Nobles said that the only construction that needs to be completed is in the pharmacy area, but that will be open by Sept. 19 as well.

Work crews are feverishly finishing installation of fixtures throughout the renovated facility, she said.

The clinic on Sunset Street in Oak Cliff is 15,000 square feet, three times the size of the Peabody Clinic in South Dallas.

Nobles said that the clinic is for anyone with HIV, whether they have insurance or not.

The pharmacy, with a separate entrance to the street from the clinic entrance, will be open to fill all prescriptions, not just those for AIDS Arms clients.

In addition to medical services, other AIDS service organizations will have space at the clinic to provide services to clients in one location.

While most of the money needed to complete the clinic has been raised, Nobles said that a small amount is still needed to pay off construction costs so fundraising for the project continues.

—  John Wright

PHOTOS: AIDS Arms clinic begins to take shape

AIDS Arms Executive Director Raeline Nobles sent the latest pictures of construction of the new clinic in Oak Cliff.

“It’s starting to look like something real — with walls!” said Nobles.

The clinic should be completed before the end of the summer.

The new clinic’s main reception area as of June 21.
The main staff hallway on June 23.
On June 30, being inspected by Clinic Administrator Godfrey and the Scott and Reid construction team.
Paint, tile, fixtures and other finish-out are the next step.

—  David Taffet

AIDS at 30: Now’s the time for heroes to stand up

By RAELINE NOBLES

So much has been accomplished around HIV/AIDS. But so much more has to still be achieved before we can all go home and say, “Our job is done.”

This is especially true now in an environment of significant political turmoil at the state and national level, funding cuts coming from every direction, apathy about the epidemic from donors, volunteers, providers.

Yet, there still exists a huge and growing need to reduce stigma, increase access to care, change values and behaviors around sexual health and relationships, develop new efforts for drug-related HIV prevention — the list goes on and on!

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the HIV field for both medical and social services, yet a very, very challenging time as well.

HIV-positive individuals since the very beginning have had to be heroes for their own advocacy, health and lives — as well as that for others. It would be so easy right now in all the constraints of dollars and attitudes for many HIV professionals to throw their hands up and leave the field. In fact many have and are.

But instead, now is the time for heroes to stand up, push our chins up and march smartly forward on behalf of 1.6 million people living with this disease, and work to overcome all of the challenges before us, AND take full advantage of the opportunities in front of us all.

Evolution and revolution are not that far apart. Both are exciting to be a part of, to influence. Both are also more than a little intimidating, frightening in terms of the effect of “losing the battle,” and sacrificial in many ways of our personal lives in order to “win the battle.”

In times of trouble, adversity and closing doors, there are so many windows of opportunity for positive change for those of us willing to climb through them.

Raeline Nobles is executive director of AIDS Arms Inc.

—  admin

AIDS Arms new clinic gets cool

The new AIDS Arms clinic in Oak Cliff is making rapid progress. Construction should be complete by the end of the summer. Here are the latest pictures Executive Director Raeline Nobles sent of the work being done:

Two of the air conditioning units being delivered to AIDS Arms new clinic
One unit being transferred to the roof
The HVAC unit is almost in place. The man at the bottom right is directing the crane operator on where to place the unit since he cannot see the roof directly.
Some additional supporting parts going up to the roof
The operation to place the HVAC units takes the entire parking lot
At the same time as the roof delivery, additional construction supplies going in one of the main entrances to the new clinic

—  David Taffet

Demolition complete at new AIDS Arms clinic

Heavy equipment completing demolition at the new AIDS Arms clinic on Sunset Avenue in Oak Cliff.

Construction on AIDS Arms’ new Oak Cliff clinic on Sunset Street is progressing on schedule.

AIDS Arms Executive Director Raeline Nobles reports that all demolition is complete with plumbing now being installed in the foundation of the building.

“In addition, the new HVAC system is being put into place,” Nobles said. “Wall materials have begun to be delivered as well.”

The new facility on Sunset Avenue should open for clients by the fall. The building formerly housed the administrative and social services offices of AIDS Arms. Those have moved to 351 Jefferson Blvd., Suite 300.

The new clinic will compliment the agency’s Peabody Clinic in South Dallas. A full-service pharmacy, laboratory, diagnostic and exam rooms and an HIV research center will all be part of the new facility.

Other support services that are offered by AIDS Arms and other agencies will be provided in a community resource center at the clinic.

Construction began May 4 after a sledgehammer party to begin tearing down the old walls of the facility.

—  David Taffet