New AHF facility will offer state-of-the-art medical care, including specialty pharmacy services, to those living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in Austin and Southern Indiana. Clinic and AHF Pharmacy are opening on the heels of a significant outbreak of HIV in Austin that unfolded over the past year driven primarily by intravenous drug use. To date, outbreak has resulted in 184 HIV infections in city of 4,200.
AUSTIN, Ind. (December 16, 2015) —Today AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) hosted a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new AHF Healthcare Center and AHF Pharmacy, in Austin located at 25 West Main Street in conjunction with Foundations Family Medicine. Both the AHF Healthcare Center and AHF Pharmacy will operate Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The grand opening event was followed by a community reception and luncheon at the Church of the New Covenant (1054 Clay Street, Austin)
The grand opening was attended by Hon. Douglas Campbell, Mayor of Austin; Hon. Terry Goodin, Indiana State Representative; Dr. William Cooke, AHF Medical Director and the City of Austin, Indiana’s only physician; Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President; Garith Fulham, Director Midwest Policy and Advocacy for AHF; Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Senior Director, AHF’s Public Health Division; and Staci Mullins, AHF Austin Pharmacy Tech.
The new AHF facility will offer state-of-the-art medical care, including specialty pharmacy services, to those living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in Austin and Southern Indiana. The AHF Healthcare Center/Austin and AHF Pharmacy are opening following a significant outbreak of HIV in Austin that unfolded over the past year driven primarily by intravenous drug use. To date, the outbreak has resulted in 184 HIV infections in city of 4,200; it is also thought that as many as 90% of these 184 individuals may be co-infected with Hepatitis C.
When news of the outbreak and the extent of its reach first surfaced last spring, AHF sent one of its mobile testing vans to Austin and began offering free HIV testing. AHF first offered its support after learning of the scope of the outbreak in the city and worked closely with officials in Indiana, including, Austin Mayor Douglas Campbell, Indiana State Representative Terry Goodin and Dr. William Cooke, from Foundations Family Medicine, the City of Austin’s only physician and who now also serves as Medical Director of AHF’s Healthcare Center, located in the same building as Dr. Cooke’s general medicine practice.
“The one organization that was there from the beginning, and has stayed, is AHF,” said Dr. William Cooke, founder and primary physician at Foundations Family Medicine. “Bringing the expertise of a global organization to Austin has been so valuable. I have been here for 10 years serving our community and this partnership has added great value in a time of crisis.”
“When news of this fast-moving outbreak of HIV infections first surfaced last winter, AHF offered to assist the State of Indiana, Scott County and the City of Austin in helping the individuals directly affected by this cluster of new infections,” said State Representative Terry Goodin, Indiana’s House District 66. “Both Austin’s Mayor Douglas Campbell and myself invited AHF to join our efforts and they have become an essential partner in our community.”
“Today, we are privileged to work in partnership with Dr. Cooke, Mayor Campbell, Representative Goodin and many others to address the situation on the ground in Austin as we formally dedicate the new AHF Healthcare Center/Austin and AHF Pharmacy on site at this location,” said Garith Fulham, Public Policy & Advocacy Director for AHF’s Midwest region and who has been working in Indiana on this issue over the past year.
“As this new AHF facility in Austin shows, AHF is nimble: we are ready and willing to provide whatever assistance we may in emerging public health situations such as the one that unfolded in Austin. We will now work closely with our partners to identify and link HIV-positive individuals into medical care and lifesaving treatment,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “We are honored to be able to bring our years of experience in HIV/AIDS care around the country and around the globe to this critical new HIV treatment clinic and partnership in Austin.”