New York: Health Center Closing for Good
December 12, 2007
After 12 years of providing medical and non-medical assistance for HIV/AIDS patients, Catholic Charities' Adult Day Health Care program in Freeport will close at the end of January. The demand for the program's services has declined as the outlook for patients has improved, thanks chiefly to improved AIDS medications.
Its leaders stress that the day program is not being shut down for financial reasons but rather to better allocate resources to current needs, including counseling and affordable housing. "Closing the day treatment program will allow the agency to increase its commitment to meeting needs in these areas," said Paul Engelhart, program officer for Catholic Charities.
Catholic Charities will work with current program clients to create individualized plans for their continuing care and will still provide case management. While counseling and dental care will still be available at the same site on Main Street, clients needing medical attention will be sent to local hospitals.
Originally envisioned as a one-stop resource for medical, nursing, and nutritional care plus counseling and social activities, the program was set up to serve 50 people a day. At its peak, however, it served only about 38 people. That number had recently declined to 28.
Though the program's leaders see the change as positive, some clients worry about its effects. "I'm afraid some of the people who go there will have a relapse, particularly those with addictions," said one man. "This was the only place they had to go."
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.