In March 1990, Positive Resource Connection hired its first full-time care coordinator and, as HIV infection continues to rise, we now currently employ eight care coordinators. Through our care coordination department, Positive Resource Connection serves over 400 persons with HIV and AIDS. This group includes a wide diversity of people: adults and children, men and women, homeless and homeowners, all racial and ethnic backgrounds, and all stages of the disease, from asymptomatic to hospitalized.
Care coordination has three primary goals: to increase the quality and length of life for persons with HIV, to reduce the transmission of HIV to others, and to empower people with HIV to remain self sufficient for as long as possible. To accomplish these goals, care coordinators assist clients in accessing medical attention, health insurance, housing, advocacy, education, counseling, nutrition, and referrals. Care coordinators conduct weekly support groups for clients, initial intakes with new clients, counseling and education, crisis intervention, development of individualized care plans, and quarterly re-evaluations.
Through care coordination, Positive Resource Connection provides a variety of programs that help to ensure that people living with HIV or AIDS are receiving the best quality of care.
- Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) – Positive Resource Connection has offered this assistance program for several years, providing eligible clients with long-term tenant-based rental assistance, short-term rental assistance, and utility assistance.
- Food and Nutrition Program – Implemented in 1996, Positive Resource Connection offers a food and nutrition program that provides low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS with food vouchers from the Community Harvest Food Bank on a monthly basis. PRC also provides a nonperishable food pantry to clients in need of food or hygiene items on an emergency basis.
- Direct Emergency Financial Assistance (DEFA) – This program helps eligible clients pay for their initial doctor visits, lab fees, and medications until they are eligible for other assistance programs.
- Client Emergency Assistance Program – Established several years ago, the client emergency fund provides persons living with HIV/AIDS with financial assistance not covered under HOPWA, food and nutrition, and emergency medical assistance.
- Residential Facility – Positive Resource Connection owns and operates a 19-unit residential facility for persons living with HIV/AIDS in downtown Fort Wayne. The residential facility provides one-bedroom apartments and efficiency units, all with full kitchens and private baths. Additionally, the house offers a common living room, dining room, kitchen, weight room, and meeting room.
- Support Groups – Positive Resource Connection provides support groups on a weekly or monthly basis for persons living with HIV/AIDS, friends and family members of HIV-positive persons, and Spanish-speaking HIV-positive persons and their families.
- MAC Food Program – The MAC Food Program is designed for individuals with a low CD4 cell count, an opportunistic infection, an AIDS diagnosis, or for people who may be at risk of wasting. The MAC program is a food delivery program that provides eligible individuals with at least half of the monthly calorie requirements to maintain or gain weight.
- Special Population Support Program (SPSP) – This program is available to anyone who is HIV+ (you do not have to be a client of Positive Resource Connection) and is interested in exploring options to reduce or cease their substance use/abuse.
The PRC will maintain confidentiality according to Indiana State statutes. Information provided to care coordinators will remain part of the client’s case file. It is accessible only to appropriate staff at agencies within the HIV Care Coordination program network and HIV Care Coordination program management personnel at ISDH. Electronic case file information is maintained at ISDH. All electronic information is considered highly confidential and is securely stored.