TRENTON, NJ - On October 23, Governor Chris Christie and Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd visited the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation in New Brunswick to announce more than $19.5 million in state funding for 54 community organizations, hospitals and health agencies for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Hyacinth, the oldest and largest organization in the state serving those with HIV/AIDS, received the largest funding award in the amount of $2.1 million to assist in their comprehensive array of services provided to those who need them most.
“This funding announcement is a significant investment in our community organizations that are on the frontlines in the battle against HIV. These grants will provide $11.2 million for HIV counseling, testing and education and $8.3 million for medical care and social services including housing aid and legal services,” said Governor Christie. “It’s community organizations just like Hyacinth that are providing a vital safety net and vision that is worthy of our continued support. We are joined by a common vision and belief that we have a moral imperative to help people in need of treatment.”
Governor Christie and Commissioner O’Dowd met with several clients of the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, an organization that has helped more than 50,000 clients over the course of three decades through prevention, counseling and testing, legal services, housing assistance, referrals for health care and assistance to offenders re-entering the community.
Commissioner O’Dowd said the grants “ensure that more New Jersey residents will know how to protect themselves, have the opportunity to get tested and get the treatment they need. Working with our partners, we can reduce the transmission of HIV and improve the quality of life of those living with
In Monmouth County, the following organizations received funding:
$140,600 Jersey Shore University Medical Center - Neptune
$290,000 Jersey Shore Addiction Services Healthcare, Inc. - Neptune
$63,700 The Center in Asbury Park – Asbury Park
$167,000 Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Inc. Community Health Center – Asbury Park
$343,000 Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Inc. - Red Bank
“We are very excited about the continuation and expansion in grant services and feel that it is a testament to the significance of VNA Health Group community-based services in the prevention and care of individuals dealing with HIV/AIDS. In 2011, we were able to reach more than 4,500 clients in our service area. This year, through the grant, we will be expanding our program to provide even more testing and counseling,” said Shannon Preston, MSW, LSW, Manager of HIV Services for Prevention and Care and State Chair, NJ HIV Planning Group, Visiting Nurse Association Health Group.
Earlier this year, the Administration distributed $8.1 million in federal funding to organizations providing medical and support services to those living with HIV/AIDS. These services include health care services, home health care, transportation, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, hospice care and other social services.
Nationally and in New Jersey, one in five living with HIV are unaware they are infected. Approximately 105,000 HIV tests were performed at 140 HIV testing sites last year. Testing sites, which are located in all 21 counties, include community organizations, hospitals, health departments, community health centers and other health care facilities.
More than 36,000 people in New Jersey are currently living with HIV. Nearly 7,000 state residents with HIV/AIDS receive medications through the Department’s AIDS drug distribution program.
The Christie Administration is directing resources more wisely to help New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents by:
- Providing nearly $1 billion to hospitals for the medical care they provide to New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents;
- Increasing funding for community health centers by $10 million to a record high of $50 million; and
- Increasing funding by $3.5 million in the current budget for cancer screening for those most in need to a total of $12 million in public funds (federal & state).
The grants range from $19,500 to $2.1 million. The grantees will receive funding in monthly installments. A complete list of grantees is available at http://nj.gov/health/aids/documents/2013_state_fiscal_hivaids_grant.pdf