I received the email below from Fairness Ft Worth. Read on and let me know what do you think? Will you call? Should you call? Is this the appropriate place for cuts or is it not?
What would happen if suddenly 350 local people with HIV/AIDS suddenly lost access to care? Today, it happened. Right in our backyard. But if you think it couldn’t possibly get worse than that — it did.
Patients from Weatherford to Abilene lost the only medical home they’ve known when AIDS Resources of Rural Texas (ARRT) shut their doors yesterday. Local Ryan White Fund administrators have managed to find placement for around 80 clients in Fort Worth and elsewhere. But that leaves nearly 250 people with no doctor, no clinic and no hospital to take them. These are also the folks with no access to health insurance or to Medicaid.
Unfortunately, when ARRT closed some federal bureaucrat had the bright idea that the funds for their clients would no longer be needed either. So, they told us one week ago that $240,000 already expected for this year will no longer be available, immediately — and not to expect funds in future years either. They figure if these clients now go elsewhere, then funding those agencies would suddenly be a duplication of services. Yes, it’s that nuts. This Draconian action even compromises the care of people already receiving services.
WE NEED YOU NOW! This is actually a REAL emergency in our area and it’s time for congressional intervention TODAY!
If you’ve ever known someone who lived with HIV/AIDS, please — do this in their honor. Call the Congresspersons’ offices below and
* ask that HRSA (pronounced “her’sa”) restore “PART C RYAN WHITE” funding for Rural Weatherford and Abilene, Texas.
* mention that the funds are for PEOPLE in the region – wherever they may obtain care now, not just for the region itself.
* mention that no available care means people with HIV/AIDS have no choice but to go to expensive emergency rooms.
* mention that clients out of care and education will have increased viral loads – which in turn is likely to increase the spread of HIV in communities least prepared to deal with it. Medical care = prevention!
These calls are easy to make. The staff who answer expect citizens to voice concerns, so PLEASE DO!
LIVES ACTUALLY DEPEND ON OUR WILLINGNESS AS A COMMUNITY TO FLOOD THEESE OFFICES WITH CALLS — TODAY. Fairness Fort Worth joins the many service providers and the North Central Texas HIV Planning Council in standing for those who need our voices to survive.
The following are the Congressional people who need to hear this from you via letter, fax, email and phone. Letter is best. If you’re short on time to call them all — pick two. It all helps:
Congresswoman Kay Granger (who actually represents all of Weatherford and west side / downtown Fort Worth.)
1701 River Run Road, Suite 407
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Enter 76086 6585 for the zip code (this is the zip code to the former ARRT Weatherford office) to enter Ms. Granger’s email site, then complete the form using your address.
Congressman Michael Burgess (East Fort Worth, north Tarrant County)
1100 Circle Drive, Suite 200
Fort Worth, TX 76119
Congressman Joe Barton (southeast Fort Worth and Arlington)
6001 West Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway,
Arlington, Texas 76017
(817) 548-7029 fax
Congressman Bill Flores (Johnson / Hood Counties)
1 North Walnut Street
Cleburne, TX 76033
Phone: (817) 774-2551
In the Abilene area:
Congressman Randy Nuegebauer
Toll free number 888-763-1611
500 Chestnut St.
Abilene, TX 79602
Phone: (325) 675-9779
Fax: (325) 675-5038
In the Wichita Falls area:
Congressman Mac Thornberry
4245 Kemp, Suite 506
Wichita Falls, Texas 76308
Phone: (940) 692-1700
Fax: (940) 692-0539
If you would like to add a cc, please include:
Dr. Deborah Parham-Hobson
HIV/AIDS Bureau, Health Resources & Services Administration
Department of Health and Human Services
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
THANKS FOR TAKING ACTION! When a phone call or two can save lives — it’s worth it!