Kaiser Permanente Announces $1.3 Million in Grants for HIV/AIDS Services

PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kaiser Permanente recently announced more than $1.3 million in statewide community benefit grants to help 74 organizations promote HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, screening, support and treatment for people living with the disease.The individual grants were made throughout 2007 and were given to nonprofit organizations that provide a wide range of services for people with HIV and AIDS, including youth education, housing assistance, and food pantries."Kaiser Permanente has made HIV prevention and treatment a priority because the rate of infection continues to rise in some populations," said William J. Towner, MD, Regional HIV/AIDS Physician Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. "Today, Kaiser Permanente Southern California provides service to more than 5,000 identified HIV-positive members. We provide quality care to our HIV-positive patients and partner in services for non-members who are at risk of, or have acquired the disease. The latter is where our community service grants play an important role," said Towner.Two of the 42 Southern California non-profit community organizations - Project Angel Food, and BIENESTAR - have been providing services for over 20 years to men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS."Since 1989, Project Angel Food has served over 10,000 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County. We are grateful to partner with Kaiser Permanente in bringing nourishment, help and kindness to so many people in need," said John Gile, CEO, Project Angel Food. "The Project Angel Food Program prepares and delivers nutritious meals prepared with love for men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetesand other serious illnesses, because hunger and illness cannot wait.""While HIV/AIDS is present throughout all of the communities Kaiser Permanente serves, the disease looks different from one community to the next, and affects people in very different ways," said Michael Allerton, HIV Operations and Policy Leader for Kaiser Permanente's Northern California Region. "These grants ensure we help target underserved populations with an emphasis on culturally competent care."In Southern California, for example, Kaiser Permanente provided BIENESTAR funding to support the June 2007 Alianza Latino AIDS Conference - the only skills-building conference in the U.S. held entirely in Spanish. "Latinos make up the largest number of AIDS cases in Los Angeles County. This one-of-a-kind conference focuses on empowering HIV-positive Spanish-speakers through workshops that provide knowledge and skills to effectively advocate for themselves and their health needs," said Cesar Portillo, Vice President for Strategic Development at BIENESTAR.Since the early 1980's, Kaiser Permanente has been a leader in meeting the tough challenges of this virus, both through its medical care and its work in the community. In addition to grant giving, Kaiser Permanente's commitment to preventing disease of all kinds, including HIV/AIDS, is demonstrated by the organization's innovative public health programs:Beginning with the HIV Research Clinics in 1987, today all medical centers participate in studies which have helped move HIV-AIDS treatment forward.Prenatal care has been another area of success. As a result of a concerted effort to increase HIV antibody testing, an impressive 90 percent of pregnant women receiving prenatal care at Kaiser Permanente in California are voluntarily tested for the HIV virus.Another innovative program is the Living Healthy with HIV in Southern California and the Positive Self-Management Program (or PSMP) in Northern California. These self-care classes for people living with HIV are led by specially trained, HIV-positive persons.Focusing on prevention, the organization's Educational Theatre Programs' HIV/AIDS health education play "What Goes Around," premiered recently at the Kodak Theatre, updating "Secrets," the groundbreaking play that was seen by approximately 1.6 million high school students statewide since it premiered in 1988.Southern California organizations receiving funding in 2007 include (by area):Baldwin Park - AltaMed; Asian Youth Center; and East Valley Community Health Center.Bellflower - AltaMed; and Whittier Rio Hondo AIDS Project.Kern - Bakersfield's AIDS Project; Clinica Sierra Vista; and Ebony Counseling Center.Los Angeles - AIDS Service Center; BIENESTAR; Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team (APAIT); Asian Pacific Healthcare Venture (APHCV); HIV & AIDS Legal Service Alliance, INC. (HALSA); LA Mission Community Clinic; PATH-People Assisting the Homeless; Project Angel Food; Rainbow Bridge, and The Serra ProjectOrange County - Action: AIDS Care Team in Our Neighborhoods; AIDS Services Foundation Orange County; Laguna Beach Community Clinic; and The Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County.South Bay - Joint Efforts, Inc.; South Bay Family Healthcare Center; and St. Mary Medical Center.San Diego - Auntie Helen's Fluff'n Fold; Being Alive San Diego; Christie's Place, Inc.; Fraternity House, Inc.; Mama's Kitchen; Neighborhood Healthcare; North County Health Services; Operation Samahan, Inc.; San Diego Youth & Community Services; Special Delivery San Diego; and Vista Community Clinic.Ventura and San Fernando Valley - Northeast Valley Health Corporation; Project Angel Food; Tarzana Treatment Center; Valley Community Clinic; and Ventura County AIDS Partnership.About Kaiser PermanenteKaiser Permanente, founded in 1945, is a not-for-profit integrated health care organization, with physicians, nurses, and staff working in collaboration to provide high-quality care to its members and address the health care needs of its communities. The Northern California Region serves over 3.3 million members. It includes 6,000 physicians in The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG) and about 66,000 employees. The region has 19 major medical centers. The Southern California region also services over 3.3 million members, with more than 6,000 physicians in the Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG) and about 50,000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers. This year, Kaiser Permanente will invest approximately $808 million in programs benefiting Northern and Southern California communities. www.kp.orgFor more information about the grants, or to interview representatives from Kaiser Permanente, please contact Socorro Serrano, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Media Representative at 626-405-5534.http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20071130005168/en/Kaiser-Permanente-Announces-1.3-Million-Grants-HIVAIDS