AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin – Making a Difference in HIV Outcomes
By Amy Mosher-Garvey, Director Account Management, Forward Health Group
One of my great delights working in the account management department at Forward Health Group is when the trajectory of my work in data analytics and improved outcomes crosses with that of my clinical experience.
Perhaps the best example of this is our partnership with the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. A clinical social worker by training, I remember spending time with ARCW (back then it was known as Milwaukee AIDS Project). I rode along with their staff doing needle exchange out of non-descript minivans, and visited with their social services department. I was impressed with the work they did, the passion they had, and the trust they engendered with their very disenfranchised population. ARCW cared and dove in to work with a population that was often misunderstood and stigmatized by society at large.
Fast-forward to my days with Forward Health Group and my path crosses again with this amazing organization. They have grown; they do so much more. But their commitment to keeping a promise made many years ago by a group of men in Milwaukee has been unwavering. ARCW still offers the same services they did when I worked with them twenty years ago, but they also offer housing and legal assistance, a food pantry, transportation, employment services, medical, dental, behavioral health, and most recently Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services to prevent those who are not yet HIV positive from becoming so. That coordination of services in one place is paying off. ARCW has seen outcomes that few other programs have. Their patients experience an unheard of 90% undetectable viral load, and the Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, praised ARCW for their strong work in a recent statement on healthcare innovation. ARCW is the nation’s first and only HIV Medical Home.
ARCW has never been an organization to shy away from tough subjects. From sexually transmitted disease prevention, to needle exchange, to gay rights, and more recently the opiate epidemic, ARCW is a strong voice of advocacy in the public arena. In blogs and press releases and proclamations and public education campaigns, they are telling the story of what people need to know to stay safe and healthy. Information is key in any change effort, and the partnership we have with ARCW allows us to play a part in helping ARCW continue the work they do by leveraging their data to tell their story. We are honored to partner with them in the fight.
Every spring I wait for the mail carrier to deliver my invite to ARCW’s premier event—the MAKE A PROMISE Gala and Auction.
It is a night our entire team looks forward to every year. On this one night the community comes together to celebrate the progress we have made in the fight against AIDS. The stories are authentic and moving. The award recipients are inspiring. The generosity is breathtaking.
This year’s gala is April 22. You can find more on the event and much more at www.arcw.org. FHG will be there, and we encourage you to join us in our support of this amazing organization as we look forward to a world without AIDS.