Board of Supervisors Proclaims National HIV Testing Day

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas proclaiming June 27, National HIV Testing Day in Los Angeles County. On the national day of HIV awareness, local residents, community stakeholders, faith-based groups, elected officials, and county employees will mobilize to encourage individuals to test themselves for infection of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

In Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ district, a newly dedicated mobile testing van, called “The Health Spot” will travel through high-risk areas to provide screenings and educational information as well as to distribute condoms.

“Despite decades of advances in education and medicine, HIV infection continues as a vexing public health crisis in many communities in my district” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “Monday, June 27 will be a day of awareness, knowledge, engagement, and empowerment.”

While comprising 10% of Los Angeles County’s population, African Americans account for 24% of confirmed HIV and AIDS cases. Latinos in Los Angeles County comprised 23% of those infected with HIV as of 2009, despite being 15% of the County population.

In partnership with the National Association of People with AIDS, the National
HIV Testing Day seeks to encourage people to get tested and receive counseling

Nearly 90,000 people in California have contracted and died from AIDS since it
was first recognized as an epidemic in 1981, 31,000 of them in Los Angeles
County.

Courtesy of www.aids.gov

Education
www.Aids.gov
Access to Federal HIV information, policies (e.g. the National HIV/AIDS Strategy), programs, and resources.

http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/aids/
LA County’s Public Health website offers local information and resources on HIV & AIDS.

Engagement
http://hivstory.ning.com/
Share and read stories of hope and those who have faced challenges. Be inspired and inspire others

Empowerment
www.HIVtest.org
Type in your zip code and find testing locations near you. Knowing your status is empowering yourself.

To learn more about HIV/ AIDS or find testing sites and events happening locally in the 2nd District and around Los Angeles County please visit http://erasedoubt.org or call 1-800-367-AIDS (2437)

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas introduced the motion at the request of the
Empowerment Congress Health Committee.

The Empowerment Congress Health Committee is part of the Empowerment
Congress, a partnership among neighborhood groups, residents, nonprofit
organizations, businesses, religious institutions, and community leaders.

The Empowerment Congress was founded in 1992 on the principle that elected
officials are most effective when the constituents they serve are actively involved
in the decision-making process.

 

2nd District Seniors Share Secrets to Longevity

Mr. Charlie Hines, 80 years young, graduated from the Computer Class this week at the Willowbrook Senior Center.  His wife was also a graduating member of the class.  Mr. and Mrs. Hines have been married 56 years.  When asked about the secret to his longevity, Mr. Hines, a Mississippi native and retiree of the City of LA building maintenance services, stated, “Love and care for everyone.  No one I meet is a stranger.”

The Director of the Willowbrook Senior Center, Sandra Hamilton,  will be chairing a new Senior Council of the Empowerment Congress.  We look forward to participation from Mr. Hines and all of the continuous learners from the Willowbrook Center.


Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Introduces Motion to Ensure County Clinic Funds are Fairly Distributed

 

In an effort to ensure that health care funds are equitably distributed throughout

Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday agreed to carefully study

how the County is spending new monies going to the private low cost clinics that

treat hundreds of thousands of County patients.

 

In approving a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the board directed

Chief Executive Officer Bill T. Fujioka and the director of the Department of

Health Services Mitchell Katz to conduct a study on which geographic areas are

not getting their fair share of new federal dollars that are intended to help the

County can get ready for health reform.

 

In a letter to each Supervisor before Tuesday’s vote Supervisor Ridley-Thomas

made the case for the study, noting that in several areas of the County —

particularly South Los Angeles – County health dollars clearly are not being

equitably distributed and as a consequence there is a concomitant incidence of

preventable hospitalizations. With national healthcare reform imminent and

uncertainty as to how its implementation will affect County clinics, a study of

existing practices is timely. The Supervisor wrote:

 

“The Community Partner Clinics provide cost-effective, life-saving primary care

services countywide to our sick and low-income residents – many of whom

experience chronic diseases that could become life-threatening and expensive to

address if not treated and controlled.  Recent OSHPD data shows that many Los

Angeles County residents experience avoidable hospitalization because they

cannot get adequate access to primary care services – especially in South Los

Angeles.

 

We know scarce County funds are not equitably distributed according to the

allocation formula that this Board adopted and has been using, with only modest

changes, since 2000. A few years ago, the board recognized this problem by

funding the Community Clinic Expansion Program, but those funds only partially

addressed the imbalance. Furthermore, the CCEP dollars expire at the end of

next year.

 

Two options exist to address this problem. Either this Board, on the eve of health

reform implementation, must somehow identify new county funds to address the

problem, or this Board must thoughtfully consider options to distribute existing

resources in a way that would not disrupt patient care or diminish the funds

historically going to the community clinic partners.

 

Time is of the essence. The County is about to enter into new contracts with

community clinics to implement the new, federally-funded Healthy Way LA

(HWLA) waiver. These contracts are unprecedented in their scope, approach and

potential impact and must be carefully monitored. The contracts represent the

County’s last chance to bridge its comm8nity partner clinic system to health

reform in January 2014.”

 

A 2008 study indicated that while underserved areas can be found throughout

the county, certain geographic areas of the county are more underserved than

others.  To counter this geographic disparity the Board approved $44.8 million for

 

a Community Clinic Expansion Program (CCEP), one time funds to meet the

health care needs of these underfunded areas.  These CCEP funds will be

expiring at the end of the next fiscal year.

 

“This motion will help us ease the disparity between well-to-do and poorer areas

of the region, said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.”We want to be sure that each

district has adequate resources for its residents to receive optimal health care.”

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Invites You to a Community Meeting: The Future of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Where: Victoria Community Regional Park 419 E 192nd St, Carson, CA 90746
Date: June 22, 2011
Time: 5:30pm–7:30pm
Join Supervisor Ridley-Thomas for a community meeting to learn about the County’s master planning efforts on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Provide your thoughts on topics including what uses might be added to the site to promote health and wellness, ease of access and parking, and how these various uses can further promote job creation, neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Your feedback is critical to developing a plan that meets the needs of our community. The meeting will also include an update on current campus projects.
Phone: 626.300.2363
Email: cnash@dpw.lacounty.gov
Price: FREE

Ron Artest visits Jefferson High in LA with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas & Dr. Southard

Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers’ visit Jefferson High School in Los Angeles with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Dr. Marvin Southard to bring awareness to issues of mental health.