THE CONNECTION YOUR LINK TO THE AIDS COUNCIL OF NORTHEASTERN NEW YORK
The AIDS Council will be acknowledging our 30th anniversary in 2014. When I reflect on this milestone, it feels like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I am incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made and the impact we’ve had on the community. On the other, it’s difficult to imagine HIV has been with us for more than three decades. The AIDS Council and similar organizations grew out of a movement created to address a huge need. Many people, mostly young, were dying and few seemed to care. As a result of a groundswell of advocacy and awareness-raising, a robust system of support, treatment, outreach, and prevention arose to get the word out and tackle the epidemic. Fast forward 30 years and we are so desensitized to the ravaging effects of HIV that we talk about the 34 million people infected globally (1.2 million in the U.S) and the 1.7 million people who died from the disease in 2011 as if these appalling numbers are inevitable. The data in and of itself is no less shocking than it was in the 1980s. We’ve seen the conversation about HIV/AIDS change dramatically over 30 years. The focus has gone from caring for the dying, to preventing new infections, to getting HIV-positive people into treatment. Many believe there is a cure or that “AIDS is taken care of.” That could be a fair assumption given the sparse attention given to HIV/ AIDS in the public discourse! Science is an amazing tool; perhaps someday there will be a true cure or perhaps we will have a workable, accessible and affordable vaccine. But we’re not there yet. Until we are, we need to redouble our commitment to doing what works: prevention and access to and support for treatment. In spite of the continuing need, New York State received a significant cut in funding from the Centers for Disease
join us in recognizing our 30th anniversary and commit to supporting us
Control and Prevention; that cut was passed onto the AIDS Council and other organizations. As a result, several successful and important services are being eliminated or cut dramatically. These include a program which helped incarcerated individuals make a successful transition back to the community, a testing initiative targeting high risk men who have sex with men, a program that helped active substance users get into and complete treatment, and 26 sites for a condom access program which distributed free condoms in the City of Albany. Additionally, as a result of federal sequestration, we received partial cuts to our housing/rent assistance program, our project targeting young gay men and a program providing care coordination to women and families. Finally, our state funded grants received a 1.28% cut across-the-board which, while a small percentage, adds up to a lot. These cuts have hit us all at once and it is painful to watch such essential services be dismantled just as our efforts gained a foothold in reversing HIV incidence in the region. The result will be fewer interventions, less linkage to care and, eventually, more infections. More people are living with HIV than ever, meaning there are more who need our care and support and more who can pass that infection onto others. Whether it’s for one more year or 30, we need to keep arming people with the information and resources they need to prevent infection and make sure they get the best health outcomes possible if they are infected. Now is not the time to retreat. We ask that you join us in recognizing our 30th anniversary and commit to supporting us as we navigate this challenging environment and continue our efforts to end this epidemic.
MICHELE MCCLAVE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
FOR AS LONG AS HIV IS HERE
T E A M
DIRECTOR OF PREVENTION SERVICES
MICHELE MCCLAVE JULIE M. HARRIS
DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
DIANA AGUGLIA PLATTSBURGH REGIONAL DIRECTOR
WILLIAM F. FARAGON DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & OPERATIONS
MICHELE MCLEOD DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR OF GRANTS & QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
SHERRY PISCITELLA DIRECTOR OF CLIENT SERVICES
DONNA VANCAVAGE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING
Back Row left to right: Sherry Piscitella, William F. Faragon, Travis O’Donnell, Donna Vancavage Front Row left to right: Nancy Fisher, Julie M. Harris, Michele McClave, Diana Aguglia, Michele McLeod
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2013 The 19th Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Celebration Kick off the holiday season with hundreds of your closest friends!
WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS: DOMINIC P. CAROTA, MARY JANE BENDON COUCH, ESQ., GLORIA HERMAN, JEFFREY KAUFMAN, VICTOR MENDOLIA & KELLEY WINSLOW.
MARK T. RYAN, CPA | PRESIDENT
MARY STRUNK | TREASURER
JOAN R. HAYNER | VICE-RESIDENT
KATHERINE HERLIHY, ESQ.| SECRETARY
OCTOBER 1, 2013 - DECEMBER 6, 2013 2013 Holiday Sponsor Program Bring hope and enjoyment to our clients and their families during this holiday season
DOMINIC P. CAROTA
THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014 The 11th Annual Dining Out For Life® Dine Out. Fight AIDS.
MARY JANE BENDON COUCH, ESQ.
DEBRA ZIMRING, MD, PHD
The New Board President Shares Why He Chose The AIDS Council Board
What made you decide to join the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York’s Board? Some years ago I met our Executive Director, Michele McClave, at a Dining Out for Life® event and that chance meeting led me to learn more about the agency. Up until that day, my only awareness of the AIDS Council was attending fundraising events in support of someone I knew who had received assistance through the agency. The housing assistance and direction to health services would eventually help my friend return to college and begin a successful career. So I saw firsthand the impact of our good work and when I was invited to join the Board I knew this was a new home for me. Why is being on the AIDS Council Board an important commitment to you? I truly believe in the mission of the AIDS Council and living this requires a commitment to reach out to the men and women living with HIV and AIDS, often alone and forgotten by the silence of our own communities. The basic nature of our humanity is caring for each other. So, it is my hope that we realize all the good that comes from our work because no service we can offer, nothing material we can provide, has the possibility to replace the simple act of love we show to one another. What do you believe the future holds for the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York? It’s been 30 years since researchers identified HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and since that time we have made great strides in getting people to treatment, offering prevention services and growing awareness so that people are more relaxed talking about it. But still, the fact remains that the virus kills people and there is not a pill to prevent that. As long as AIDS remains the world’s
leading infectious cause of death, we will remain committed to reducing the risk, fear and incidence of HIV infections and assisting those living with or affected by it. Yet, in order for the agency to carry out its mission we need the continuing financial commitment at national, state and local levels. That’s perhaps the most important way our friends and supporters can impact the AIDS Council: be our strongest advocates.
I saw firsthand the impact of our good work and when I was invited to join the Board I knew this was a new home for me.
If you could say one thing to our donors, what would that be? I can’t say just one thing because it’s too important for our donors to know three things. First, the giving of your time or money truly motivates and encourages us as a Board to do more. Second, you really do make a difference in the lives of so many women, men and their families living among us in the communities we serve in Northeastern New York. Lastly, your donations go directly to assist those most in need, whether it is the mother who requires transportation to a medical appointment, the young man who requires assistance in securing housing, or helping teens build skills that will reduce certain health risks. What would people be surprised to know about you? When I find time to relax, I have a passion for taking my canoe or kayak and trekking into the deep woods of the Adirondacks to a remote pond or lake. Some may not find this relaxing given the carry required to reach that lone body of water, but that’s what replenishes my soul this time of year.
Mark T. Ryan, Board President
FEATURED BOARD MEMBER MARK T. RYAN PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD
What happens when you take an event planner, a photographer and a successful Sommelier? Dining Out For Life® magic!
On Thursday, April 25, 2013 Katie O’Malley and JP Elario wowed their crowd of friends and family at dp An American Brasserie and Yono’s Restaurant from mid-morning until the close of business, as volunteer Ambassadors for the AIDS Council’s Dining Out For Life® event. Katie and JP made it their mission to raise as much money as possible for those affected by HIV/AIDS. They worked hand-inhand with owner, Dominick Purnomo, on two signature cocktails, creating the “2013 Cocktail Throwdown” with 100% of those drink sales going to the AIDS Council, on top of dp’s and Yono’s percent of sale donation. Combined fundraising total from their efforts equaled $4,952, with Katie and JP raising a record-breaking $3,906 in diner donations! When asked why she volunteers, Katie says, “As a small business owner, I find it to be so important to give back directly to the many organizations that help people who need it the most within the community. Dining Out For Life® for the AIDS Council combines so many of my favorite things in one spot: entertaining, being surrounded by great people, good food and drinks – and all for a great cause.” “People don’t talk about HIV/AIDS openly anymore. Dining Out For Life® gives us the opportunity to band together and talk about prevention and why it’s important” says JP passionately. “I know people living with the disease, and this is my chance to directly help them.”
Katie O’Malley and JP Elario
I know people living with the disease, and this is my chance to directly help them.
what their favorite part of this event is. Positive energy, puffy donation envelopes, feasting on tasty menu items and competing in their cocktail throwdown didn’t even come close to the agreement that “ALL OF IT” makes the day so special. Dominick felt strongly about his Ambassador team saying, “There could not have been two more perfect Dining Out For Life® Ambassadors for us other than Katie and JP. Their upbeat attitudes and infectious enthusiasm permeated our entire staff which led to our guests enjoying themselves even more than usual, contributing to greater generosity. The proof is in the pudding as the dynamic duo set the standard of Dining Out For Life® fundraising in the future.” Who won the Cocktail Throwdown? Tipping the scales at 87 to 74, the Blog Stalker took down the Sparkletini. What will happen in 2014? We’ll all have to wait and see! How do you become an Ambassador for Dining Out For Life® on Thursday, April 24, 2014? Contact the Development Office at the AIDS Council! It’s as easy as that! We love to welcome more volunteers to our growing family. Katie O’Malley is the CEO of SPARKLE for Katie O Weddings and Events. JP Elario is OWNER and PHOTOGRAPHER for Elario Photography. dp An American Brasserie and Yono’s Restaurant is located at 25 Chapel Street in Albany.
It was hard for Katie and JP to come up with a response when asked
DINING OUT FOR LIFE ®
HIGH IMPACT PREVENTION Adapting
There is good news regarding New York State’s success over the years in HIV prevention. For example, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) AIDS Institute reports the following successes in HIV prevention: • Between 1993- 2010, newly diagnosed AIDS cases decreased by 79% • Between 2002-2010, new infections decreased by 37%
We have learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t and continue to adapt to address changes in the epidemic. Aligned with the White House’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy, prevention programs have shifted from broad-based community awareness and education programs to behavior change interventions targeting those most at risk for infection based on epidemiological trends. In addition, linking HIV+ people to medical care— and retaining them in it—to reduce viral loads is now considered a priority prevention intervention since someone with an undetectable viral load is much less likely to transmit HIV. ‘Test and treat’ is not only a care issue for the person infected (better outcomes, longer life) but it is also a community prevention strategy. The AIDS Council remains committed to offering services reflective of best practices in the field. This fall, we will be initiating an HIV Testing Recruitment program. This strategy, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enlists HIV+ individuals as well as those at high risk to recruit persons from their social, sexual or drug-using networks who may be at risk for HIV infection. In doing so, we can better reach those who were previously unaware of their HIV infection and refer them to appropriate medical care and
prevention services. We also will be participating in a program with the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute’s Viral Hepatitis Section to add on-site diagnostic testing to our current Rapid HCV screening in order to streamline and facilitate access to medical care.
we provided HIV, STI and/ or Hepatitis C testing to 268 individuals from mid-April to mid-August via our mobile van.
And lastly, we provided HIV, STI and/or Hepatitis C testing to 268 individuals from mid-April to mid-August via our mobile van. Outreach by our Given the Chance and Project HOPE Peer Associates in conjunction with the mobile van greatly enhances our reach within communities most impacted. Because these and other evidencebased “High Impact Prevention” interventions and strategies are very targeted, you may not see us in the community as much. In order to prioritize use of limited resources and meet funder requirements, sites where we previously offered testing, group education, and/or condoms to the general public have been significantly reduced. But we are still here and working hard to reduce the incidence of HIV, STIs and HCV in our community. Join us! Look for our white van, our staff and Peers out and about (the Given the Chance, Real Talk, and Project HOPE shirts are great!), or join the dialogue on our Prevention social media sites: Project HOPE: www.rubbaboyz.net/; www.facebook.com/ProjectHOPEneny; https://twitter.com/ProjectHOPEny; w w w. g e t t e s t e d fo r s y p h i l i s. o rg Real Talk: www.realtalk1317.com/; www.facebook.com/realtalk1317; https://twitter.com/RealTalk1317 or on the AIDS Council pages.
Tester Katrina during HIV test session
AIDS Council Client Services Manager, Laurie Lanphear, describes the experience working with the clients as “rewarding and fulfilling knowing that you are making an immediate difference.” She also notes that her clients are, “overwhelmed with gratitude knowing that they have somewhere to start.”
This year, one of the biggest changes in the Client Services Department is the transition from the Medicaid COBRA HIV Intensive Case Management Program to the Health Home model of care. A result of the Medicaid Redesign Team (established by Governor Cuomo), the Health Home initiative is designed to improve care for people on Medicaid and reduce Medicaid costs. In January 2012, the Department of Health began converting programs such as ours to Health Homes.
Laurie Lanphear, Client Services Manager
describes the experience working with the clients as rewarding and fulfilling
The AIDS Council has been modeling this type of care coordination for decades and we are excited that participation in Health Homes allows us to expand our care coordination services to individuals with other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.
Health Homes are designed to deliver care management to people with complex medical and behavioral health conditions such as HIV/ AIDS, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, substance abuse, and serious persistent mental illness. Under the Health Home model, Care Managers (formerly Case Managers) communicate with all professionals serving the client to ensure their needs are addressed in a comprehensive manner and clients are accessing care and treatment appropriately. The goal is to reduce emergency room visits and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations by encouraging people to access primary and preventative care. Care Managers work with clients to create an individualized patient centered care plan, implement the plan, and provide support services and referrals to needed services.
For more information on Health Homes or if you would like to refer a client please contact Carol Jetter at email@example.com or by phone at 518.434.4686 Ext. 2227.
The biggest adjustment for the AIDS Council is that the oversight of this program has transitioned from the New York Sate Department of Health to six local health care providers designated by the state as Lead Health Homes.
How a Simple Change to Your Estate Plan Can Benefit The AIDS Council
If you have ever accessed a service or seen the outreach efforts of the dedicated staff and volunteers, you know the impact that the AIDS Council can have. What you might not know is how costly it is to keep the programs running – or, how easy it is for you to help them continue doing it.
it is to maintain community outreach programs, fund advocacy work, contribute to daily operations, or any other directed, legitimate purpose. By doing this, not only can you benefit the Council, you can feel proud in selecting the program and service most important to you.
As a tax advisor or accountant can more fully explain, a charitable deduction is permitted any time a donation or contribution is made to a qualified charitable entity. An organization who has received “501(c)(3)” status from the IRS is a qualified charitable entity and contributions to that organization can be claimed as a charitable deduction on your income tax return.
As you know, a charitable donation during your lifetime permits a deduction on your annual income tax return. There are rules governing charitable donations, but the AIDS Council will gladly work with your tax advisor to ensure your donations to the Council are deductible. For example, you must itemize your deductions on your individual income tax return in order to take a charitable deduction. In addition, if you claim a charitable deduction for a cash gift, you must verify your claim. The written acknowledgment from the charity must show the charity’s name, the date of the donation and the amount given. If you are contributing $250 or more, the written acknowledgment must also state that you did not receive anything in return for that donation.
While lifetime gifts are a tremendous boost to an operating budget, consulting with an estate planning attorney as to how to include the AIDS Council in your final plans will mean that they are able to continue providing services for years to come. Simply naming the AIDS Council to receive a bequest in your Will – either a fixed dollar amount, percentage, or the remaining of the estate after other bequest are made – is a simple change to your Will that can make a huge difference. If you are looking to become more creative in your giving, consider naming the AIDS Council as the beneficiary on a life insurance policy, investment account, bank account or annuity. This simple change does not require the involvement of an attorney and can be done by contacting the life insurance company, brokerage house or bank. A change of beneficiary can be modified at any future time in case your circumstances change, but it is never too early to make arrangements now. If you have a spouse or partner you wish to ensure is well cared for, it is also possible to create a trust that would exist to support your partner during his or her lifetime, but enable the AIDS Council to receive the assets that remain in the trust after your partner’s death. Your wealth will be available for both of your lifetimes, but the AIDS Council will then receive the remaining funds to further our mission. An advantage of naming the AIDS Council in your Will or Trust is that you can focus your bequest for particular purposes – whether
Estate tax planning can also be done through charitable gifting. In NY, a person may only pass $1,000,000 free from estate tax. The use of the unlimited charitable deduction – either in the first spouse’s and/ or the second spouse’s estate, can enable assets to pass to qualified charities such as the Council free from estate taxation. Your estate planning attorney, financial advisor and accountant can work together to demonstrate to you how this is possible, and can calculate how strategic gifting to the Council can help reduce taxes while ensuring the means to continue their work. As the AIDS Council prepares to celebrate 30 years of serving the Northeastern NY region, they look to the next 30 years and know that sustaining services and growing to meet the challenges the community will face in the next several decades can only happen through the generosity of supporters. Please consider speaking with your estate planning attorney or accountant and consider naming the AIDS Council as part of your estate plan. For more information on charitable contributions, contact Donna Vancavage, Director of Development & Marketing at 518.434.4686 Ext. 2428.
What you might not know is how costly it is to keep the programs running
G U E S T
W R I T E R
JulieAnn Calareso, Esq., of Burke & Casserly, P.C.
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Beaujolais Nouveau the 19th annual
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If we made an error, you have a change of address, would like to be added or removed from our mailing list, to sign up for our email list, or have ideas for future articles, please contact our marketing department at 518.434.4686 Ext. 2424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Connection is a publication of the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. ©2013.
To buy your tickets visit www.aidscouncil.org or call Donna Vancavage at 434.4686 Ext. 2428
FRIDAY, November 22, 2013 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
The Rensselaer Banquet & Conference Facility at the Hilton Garden Inn – Troy