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FALL 2016

From the Executive Director As I travel through the 8 county region that the

and incarcerate people, then we could fully

highly effective and we can prove that it decreases

consumption facilities. STAP is in the process of

Southern Tier AIDS Program serves, I hear many

fund prevention and treatment. I found myself

overdose deaths by 50%. That fact alone should

hiring medical staff to work at our Ithaca SEP.

people discussing the impact of heroin in our

pondering this fact as I watched a local news story

really be enough for us to pursue it vigorously as a

Were they allowed to supervise those injecting

communities and wondering if there is anything

trumpeting $100,000 in heroin being “taken off

course of action and offer it to anyone who wishes

or consuming drugs, they could be present

we can do to make the situation better. While the

the streets.” I wondered how many millions of

to use it as a recovery tool.

to prevent overdoses, demonstrate correct

problem seems intractable, the short answer is

dollars had been spent to accomplish this. The 30+

yes. There is plenty that we can do if we have the

year process of cutting treatment and prevention

courage to be innovative and break out of the old

budgets to enrich enforcement and incarceration

approaches that are not working.

has been an abysmal failure. It is time to undo the

I have repeatedly heard law enforcement

damage and change course.

Harm reduction offers creative and innovative solutions to dealing with drug use. Now that the data has proven how wildly successful syringe exchange has been at preventing HIV and Hepatitis C infections and facilitating entry into

officers, judges, in fact, the entire enforcement

Well, if incarceration and enforcement aren’t the

treatment, the only remaining question is why

community, say that we cannot incarcerate our

answer, then certainly we should be providing

we did not do it sooner and on a wider scale.

way out of the situation that we find ourselves in

more treatment, right? Well, what type of

The training of people to prevent overdoses

with heroin. This is interesting to me, because


with Narcan has spared countless families the

when I look around, what I see is the growth of budgets and more resources dedicated in this area. I see state lawmakers touring the state on listening tours and then arriving at recommendations that largely focus on making new behaviors illegal and increasing penalties for drug related behavior. It appears that despite the rhetoric that we cannot jail our way out of people using heroin, we are certainly continuing to try, and this is a shame. If we could divert even the smallest portion of the money it costs to investigate, arrest, prosecute

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One of the things that we know from our syringe exchange programs (SEPs) is that 80% of those using SEPs have been through treatment at least

heartache of losing a loved one and given many an addicted person another chance at life and recovery.

injection techniques to prevent heart infections, abscesses, vein damage, provide basic medical care and prescribe suboxone. The staff of the SEP could work to assure that participants had food, clothing and shelter or facilitate entry to treatment. They could use the washer/dryer or the shower. They could spend time with a group of people who know their darkest secret and exhibit unconditional regard for them anyway; people who recognize their basic human dignity and reaffirm it. This is the most critical factor in the success of harm reduction approaches is that we accept the person as they are today, do not mandate change and let them decide when and

once and sometimes multiple times. Let’s be

Syringe Exchange Programs are great for disease

frank, 20% is not a very impressive success rate.

prevention and Narcan is a wonderful tool to

what to change.

The average addicted person requires 3-7 episodes

prevent overdoses, but if we really want to dig

of treatment before they can remain abstinent.

in and prevent the harm that arises from drug

— John

We need services that can work with people when

use, we would open supervised drug injection/

they are actively addicted or have had a relapse. What we know from working closely with people addicted to heroin and opiates is that medication assisted treatment (methadone and suboxone) is |



Doggone Fun On The Run JULY 2016 The weather gods love us! The forecast was for thunderstorms with the highest percentage scheduled the same time we were holding the Doggone Fun on the Run. BUT, break out the sunscreen! It was a glorious day. Absolutely beautiful! We changed a few things up this year and introduced a new feature—Rescue Runway. We have always invited our local rescues to come to the event and showcase their adoptable dogs looking for homes. After all, we know that the best dog owners in the world are at the Doggone Fun on the Run. We had so many adorable sweet dogs there and many were adopted. In fact, so many, that we will hold Rescue Runway every year. The 2016 Doggone Fun on the Run raised a total of $12,915. Sumo was, once again, our Top Dog. Sumo will receive a gift from Bark Box every month. It’s our way of saying thank you!

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS Presenting Sponsor Petco Foundation Sponsors All Paws Inn Epona Farm Excellus BCBS Frito-Lay, Inc. Hoffman Car Wash Jones Humdinger Outback Steakhouse Pastor Joyce Allen

Top Dog

Sumo, $12,915 raised

Petco, Johnson City Price Chopper Speak Animal Hospital The Blue Buffalo Co.

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AIDS Ride for Life Every year is an adventure with “The Ride”. As the

Donations arrived from 44 states and eight

years roll on, our STAP staff and ARFL team remain

countries outside the USA. With an 18 year event

thankful and humbled by the allegiance, loyalty

total of over $3.6 million, this sends a loud and

and tenacity of our Riders and volunteers. For

clear message regarding the importance of STAP’s

much of the year, we promote STAP and the Ride to


foster this popular event and increase awareness about STAP, what we do and the successes of our programs and services. Participants seem to recognize that their precious time and dollars raised lightens the load of our clients, offers hope and in some way heals our community. This year’s addition of the 21 & Under Club and Health & Nutrition Expo added a wonderful nuance to the Ride. Over the years, we’ve been through many weather conditions. This year surprised and challenged us

Another year complete, gear is stored away and many, many thank you notes have been composed. Our sincere hope is that the hundreds of people who participated in large and small ways to make this year such a success truly know how much we love and appreciate every one of them. Thank you, so very much, to our wonderful, dedicated Riders, who not only rode in wind and heat, but also spent months raising money. YOU made this all happen.

with 20 mph headwinds on the west lake side of our route along with 90 degree temps! Saying our Riders are troopers is an understatement! Our Pit Stop volunteers cheered, served water and snacks, our Support & Gear team maintained ever watchful eyes guarding and guiding Riders on the route around Cayuga Lake so all could enjoy a wonderful dinner ceremony and a new grand total of funds raised for our 18th Ride! This year’s total raised (so far!) is $220,891!

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our hope is that the hundreds of people who participated in every way… truly know how much we love and appreciate every one of them |


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Thank you to our highest fundraisers: Rider

committee community members: Adam Brumberg

Elizabeth Bixler who raised $5,785 and Team

and Drew Noden!

Outspokin’ who raised $18,948!

And thank you to the ARFL staff committee:

Thank you to the sixty High Gear Club fundraisers

Hannah VanOstrand, Program Assistant; Jacquie

who each raised $1,000 or more with a total of

Phelps, Assistant Ride Coordinator; Candace


Phelan, STAP Volunteer Coordinator & Cass

Thank you to our many Sponsors who didn’t bat an eye when they wrote a check to help pay Ride expenses, donated food or fixed countless tires and gave us hours of their precious time!

Park Coordinator; Autumn Cook, SAG Support Coordinator and Mary Kaminsky, Director of Development for their focus and dedication to the mission of the Ride!

Thank you to our wonderful, cheerful, hardworking, awesome Pit Stop Coordinators,

“Everyone needs four things in life: Something to

Medical Assistants and volunteers who were

do; someone to love, something to believe in, and

located all around Cayuga Lake!

something to hope for.” —Darren Hardy

Thank you to our Safety & Gear Crew, the amateur radio group and motorcyclists who monitor the entire route all day long looking out for our Riders!

— Cindy Rotella, Very Proud Ride Coordinator

Thank you to our Founders, Jerry Dietz and Russ Traunstein, for their continued enthusiasm and commitment and fabulous ARFL dedicated

And the Ride continues—save the date! Saturday, September 9th, 2017

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GET READY TO GET DIRTY Participating salons in 2016 include Acacia Aveda, Anousheh School of Hair, Bijou Salon, Elegance by Leigh Guyette, Hair It Is, Patrick J. Cleary Designs, Patty Ann’s Hair Design, Ridley Lowell School of Cosmetology, Studio 2: Hair & Nail Salon, and The Spa at Traditions. Photo credit:


Hair Warz The 2016 Hair Warz event was held on December 4th at the Doubletree by Hilton. Thirteen local salons competed to become the coveted Hair Warz Champion. The competition was fierce, with everyone bringing their A-game. These salons worked for months and it wa`s clearly evident by the amazing show they put on. In the end, Patty Ann’s Hair Design walked away with the grand prize of 2016 Hair Warz Champion. We are

1st Place

Patty Ann’s Hair Design

2nd Place

Patrick J. Cleary Designs

3rd Place

Hair It Is

Salon’s Choice

Elegance by Leigh Guyette

People’s Choice

Patty Ann’s Hair Design

Best Makeup

Elegance by Leigh Guyette

so grateful to each and every salon for their sharing of time, talent and resources. This show just gets better every year! The 2016 Hair Warz show raised over $20,000.

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Best Costume Design Elegance by Leigh Guyette Ozi Award

Acacia Aveda |



Syringe Exchange Program Expansion The syringe exchange program (SEP) in the Ithaca

funding and each site will have initiatives that best

office is expanding to offer low threshold medical

suit their community.

care to people who use drugs. Our clients often tell us about their experiences in emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, which are unfortunately mostly negative experiences. Stigma related to drug use is an unfortunate part of reality for people who use drugs and a major contributing factor to people’s resistance to seeking services. As a result, clients will forego professional medical care, even in emergency situations, to avoid interacting with providers and either treat infections on their own or disregard health concerns altogether. Care management staff have been able to assist and advocate for the clients that do feel comfortable seeing a medical professional, though that is a small percentage of all of the people we serve. The opportunity to increase the number

STAP will be using the funds to hire nursing staff full-time and contract with a doctor to be on-site for a few hours each week. The nurse will be able to triage health concerns and determine the next level of care, whether that is to see the in-house doctor or a referral to an outside provider or specialist. The goal is to prevent minor infections and conditions from becoming systemic infections and more serious illnesses or death. Clients express their level of trust and comfort with SEP staff and

Stigma related to drug use… is a major contributing factor to people’s resistance to seeking services

prefer to ask them about their health concerns. Soon, they will be able to ask a nurse and a doctor in the space they feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.

of substance using clients accessing professional medical care came through additional funding for the SEP to become a pilot Drug User Health Hub from the New York Department of Health AIDS Institute Office of Drug User Health. Two other agencies, in Albany and Buffalo, also received this

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Trauma Informed Care The Southern Tier AIDS Program is taking the lead on Trauma Informed Care (TIC), in conjunction with the AIDS Institute and Buffalo University. Trainings began on 6/8/16 and will continue to 11/7/16. Annheleen Smith, LMSW, Director of Programs is the STAP Champion and lead on TIC for STAP. She has attended trainings and will implement TIC to all agency staff with her team of champions: Lynn Theophanis, Behavior Health Education Coordinator; Addie Deacon, Human Resources Assistant; Beth Pittman, Harm Reduction Specialist; Percy Blank, Health Homes Care Manager; Jillian Lafferty, Health Homes Care Manager; Julia Rivera, Intern at Binghamton University. This will entail learning what TIC is and implementation of TIC in all aspects of STAP’s daily work. It will include all staff and all clients/ participants in programs.


Being trauma-informed when it comes to the

settings, relationships, and activity create a

social service setting is extremely important

trauma-informed culture in an agency. Without a

Trauma is prevalent in our daily lives. According

since individuals often bring a combination of

culture that embodies these five values, trauma-

to Harris, M. & Fallot, R. (2001), trauma occurs

vulnerabilities (substance abuse, mental health,

informed care can not be present (Harris, M. &

between 55–90% of individuals, with many

homelessness, poverty, etc.) to their service

Fallot, R., 2001).

individuals self reporting at least five traumatic

settings. In order to decrease the effect of trauma

events within their lifetime. Trauma can make

driven complications in an agency, agencies

individuals vulnerable, while increasing the

should take a trauma-informed approach. To

likelihood of mental health problems. Eventually,

be a trauma-informed agency, an agency must

trauma clouds the way individuals envision the

incorporate the understanding of prevalence and

world around them. One of the largest problems

the impact of trauma, while being mindful to the

with trauma is that trauma is intergenerational and

complex path an individual may take to find their

acts in a repetitive destructive cycle. Individuals

own solutions. Rather than being disregarded, in

who have been victims of violent trauma are

trauma-informed care, understanding trauma is

more likely to be violent to others in the future,

the central path to recovery.

making future individuals more vulnerable, while decreasing the quality of relationships (Harris, M. & Fallot, R., 2001).

Harris, M. and Fallot, R. (Eds.) (2001). Using Trauma Theory to Design Service Systems. New Directions for Mental Health Services. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

The key phrase “safety first and do no harm,” should be remembered when working in a trauma-informed agency, so that retraumatizing of the client and staff may be avoided at all cost. A reflection of the core values of safety,

…in trauma informed care, understanding trauma is the central path to recovery

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trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment in personal contact, physical |



Volunteer at STAP “If compassion was the motivating factor behind all of our

Volunteers cheer on cyclists at AIDS Ride for Life 2016.

decisions, would our world not be a completely different place?” — Sheryl Crow In the eight counties where the Southern Tier AIDS Program delivers services, it is safer, more welcoming, and more knowledgeable. Behind many of those services, there are volunteers working selflessly. Our volunteers put together and run our toiletry pantry, put together our mailings, answer our telephones, file, and organize. Volunteers stand in the rain, snow, the hot sun, to make sure our events are one of the best experiences our participants have. You will see them at our AIDS Ride For Life, the Mud Gauntlet, Celebrity Bartending Bash, and Hair Warz. In this time of complexities, some people seek help with drugs and alcohol. Our volunteers stand side by side with the staff helping people reduce the harm in their lives on a day-today, or in some cases minute-by-minute basis, helping in whatever way they are able. You will find volunteers teaching art, life skills, yoga, or tutoring our youth at our Identity Center. Yes, I have to agree with Cheryl Crow. The compassion and dedication of our volunteers is making a difference in our world. Thank you, STAP Volunteers! If you would like to volunteer, please contact Candace Phelan at or by calling (607) 798-1706 ext 115.

A special thank you to all of the volunteers who worked so hard 18 | positive focusto make Hair Warz happen! |


Southern Tier AIDS Program, Inc. 22 Riverside Drive Binghamton, New York 13905



Albany, NY PERMIT # 197 ZIP CODE 12205

friends who care

FALL 2016

STAP is serving more men, women, and children than ever in our nearly 35 years of providing services. Say “I care” by sending your gift today. Your generosity makes a difference! Yes! I can help the Southern Tier AIDS Program continue to provide services for people living with HIV/ AIDS and provide prevention services to help reduce the rate of HIV infection in the Southern Tier. Enclosed is my tax-deductible donation of:





Other: $

Checks should be made payable to: STAP, 22 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905

Please charge my donation to my:




CC #


Exp. Date CVV

Billing Zip




Stap Newsletter  

Fall 2016 Newsletter

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