With the start of the New Year, we have a lot to look forward to – and that’s largely because of what we accomplished last year that we can continue to build on as we go forward. After all, do you truly know where you’re headed, if you don’t know where you’ve been?
Medical Case Management – Ending the AIDS Epidemic
Perhaps our biggest accomplishment is reflected in the outcomes we’re documenting for our medical case management services. Last year, we served approximately 3,700 clients in medical case management services. In the fall, we completed a 5-year review of our medical case management outcomes, which shows that the initial effect is particularly dramatic: average viral load drops 76 percent during the first six months during which a client receives ActionAIDS medical case management services. ActionAIDS clients who remained engaged in medical case management for 24 months had an average viral load of just under 3,000 – a 93 percent reduction in viral load. On average, clients in medical case management for 48 months haveundetectable viral load. At the same time, during 2013 (our most recent period with complete data) 95 percent of our clients were linked to HIV medical care.
Our New Annex West Clinic
In a first for ActionAIDS, we successfully collaborated with The Family Practice and Counseling Network (FPCN), a program of Resources for Human Development, to plan the opening of our first HIV primary care clinic – our new Annex West Clinic. By the end of the year, we completed renovations and other preparation for this new clinic, which opened this month.
Another Year of Successful Financial Management
On the ActionAIDS financial management front, our Fiscal Year 2014 audit was completed successfully in December. We’ve addressed our commitment to sound financial managementhere in blog posting last year, and once again we’re proud that for another year – now the fourth consecutive year – we have a year-end positive fund balance. We keep a healthy ratio between program and administrative expenses: the audit reports that 86 percent of our revenue went to programs and 14 percent went to administration. Moreover, we have continued todiversify our funding: in 2005, 71 percent of our revenue was from government contracts, but this past year only 42 percent was from government contracts.
Keen to look to the future, and with the very generous support of The Barra Foundation, we commenced a strategic planning process, guided by our independent consultant, Barbara Rice. Last year, our consumer and staff surveys, as well as focus group discussions, were completed. Although our new Strategic Plan for 2016-2018 will be finalized and adopted by our Board of Directors later this year, we have been involved at all organizational levels in this process, which is examining the mission and vision of ActionAIDS.
Staying Well at ActionAIDS
While the health of our clients is an utmost concern of everyone here at ActionAIDS, we also know that if we don’t take care of ourselves first, we can’t help others. Toward that end, our management committee established a Wellness Committee, chaired by our Finance Director, Zach Weiss, to develop programs to enhance employee health and wellness. In this ongoing effort, the Wellness Committee has instituted employee walks, yoga sessions, and mindfulness trainings for staff.
And Even More …
And that’s not all – we launched The ActionAIDS Blog in 2014, and continue to build our social media presence, with an eye toward HIV prevention initiatives. With a generous organizational capacity-building grant from Pew Charitable Trusts, we are developing a new third-party billing module, now in the final stages of testing, which will result in significantly reducing expenses while increasing our income.
And there’s even more. Stay tuned, we’ll be blogging about these activities and accomplishments – and more! – during 2015.
Looking Forward, with Gratitude
Finally, as we glance back at 2014 and look forward to 2015, we have a profound sense of gratitude – to our supporters, donors, and volunteers. Because of you, ActionAIDS is here, working to create the first AIDS-free generation. Thank you for your shared commitment to our mission.
–Kevin J. Burns, ActionAIDS Executive Director