Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

AIDS: Heartland Alliance, 125 years of protecting the vulnerable
by Joe Franco
2012-03-07

This article shared 3361 times since Wed Mar 7, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The mission of Heartland Alliance for the last 125 years has been to advance human rights and respond "to the human needs of endangered populations—particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced—through the provision of comprehensive and respectful services and the promotion of permanent solutions leading to a more just global society."

Heartland was also one of Chicago's first responders during the beginning of the AIDS Crisis. Rev. Sid Mohn, president of Heartland, began a program for those diagnosed and living with AIDS that seemed revolutionary at the time.

"We saw AIDS as not just a public health issue but also one of social justice," said Mohn. "We wanted to treat this new 'gay disease' with both non-discrimination and a recognition that we needed organized systems of care not normally available to those with HIV before."

Heartland partnered with Cook County Hospital to provide one of the nation's first specialty clinics for those with AIDS/HIV. Heartland also became a fierce advocate of equal protection for those who were being treated. "We had to be sure that those people, the most vulnerable, who are normally 'cut out' of the table were not cut out at that table," said Karen Batia, the executive director of Heartland Health Outreach.

Since Heartland intervened, the face of AIDS has changed as have the funds made available to sustain their innovative programs. "We offered a holistic approach to those living with HIV. We offered not only the basic health needs but acupuncture, recreational outings and a community nurse," said John Dinauer, a case manager with the behavioral health unit for Heartland. "But things change. Funding changes. HIV changes. The money for our approach went away though we did try as long as we could to keep it going, We just ended our art therapy sessions but we think within time, that program will return."

Currently, Heartland operates more than 140 scattered-site housing units for those with HIV and AIDS. "We understand that providing housing, real, viable housing for those most marginalized who are living with AIDS is an important part of their actual treatment," said Dinauer. "My job as a case manager is comprehensive. Housing is a part but so is making sure our participants have healthcare and some sort of income. We also operate the Rafael Center to make sure our participants have some place to come to during the day."

HIV prevention has also been a recent objective for Heartland with the establishment of "Promise." "This is community-based intervention. We are reaching out to the unidentified community. These are predominantly African-American men who have sex with men. First, we identify advocates in the community then take those advocates' stories and disseminate them through those men who may be at risk. This is more than just distributing condoms. This is peer-to-peer intervention with counseling on safer-sex and testing," said Dinauer.

Batia, with Heartland Health Outreach, stressed the importance of medical care that went beyond the basics. "We recently merged with Vital Bridges so that folks would have access to quality, fresh foods. This is not a food bank with canned and non-perishables but actual grocery centers where people can come and 'shop'. We offer nutritional counselors to make sure that the nutritional needs of folks are met," said Batia.

HIV early intervention, funded by the City of Chicago, is another way that Heartland is seeking to ease and end HIV and AIDS in Chicagoland. "This program is for folks that we suspect are probably HIV positive and do not know it yet. We are looking at youth, single adults, men and women. We target these groups systematically based on the data we have available to us," said Batia. Heartland's early intervention program is multi-disciplinary, offering education, testing, harm reduction strategies and anything else that will promote the containment of HIV and AIDS.

Dinauer helps manage more than 140 scattered-site housing for those with HIV and Batia makes certain that the housing is there for those who need it. "We believe that access to both housing and healthcare are basic human rights," said Batia. "One of our greatest goals today is finding that housing, although with the new healthcare law taking effect in 2014, that may become somewhat less challenging for us."

The Affordable Healthcare Act ( AHA ) has become Heartland's and other centers like theirs greatest "what-ifs". "Heartland does have a strategic direction when AHA is in force in 2014," said Batia. "It is important to remember that just because the law is there that suddenly all of the problems we had will be solved. It is up to us to help enforce that law and make certain that we shape the service systems for the benefit of the most vulnerable. We need to make sure that our folks, and those on Medicaid will continued to be enrolled into coordinated care," said Batia.

"At the core of what Heartland does is provide medical care for those who need it most. But this is not enough. We must also be able to provide housing, connectivity, emergency care beyond the emergency room and security. Heartland works with the most vulnerable populations and oftentimes, these may seem small but these folks have no access to them," said Batia.

Heartland's work does not end at the borders of Cook County. Mohn just returned from a trip to West Africa. He said, "The work that we started in the 1980s and '90s we are trying to start here. This is more than medical services. We are also responding to the advancement of equitable healthcare for those living with HIV and AIDS and advocate for their full participation in society."

For more information on Heartland Alliance and the work that they do here in Chicago and abroad, visit the organization's Website at www.heartlandalliance.org .


This article shared 3361 times since Wed Mar 7, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Pritzker administration announces highly effective HIV treatment coming to Illinois in 2023
2022-12-02
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today on World AIDS Day that a new, long-acting HIV treatment called Cabenuva will become available to thousands of ...


Gay News

World AIDS Day: GLAAD releases 2022 State of HIV Stigma Study
2022-12-01
-- From a press release - (New York, NY - December 1, 2022) GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is releasing its third annual State of HIV Stigma ...


Gay News

GLAAD responds to renaming of Monkeypox
2022-11-30
-- From a press release - (New York, NY) - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the World Health Organization (WHO) announcement recommending a new ...


Gay News

WHO renames monkeypox
2022-11-29
On Nov. 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that monkeypox has been renamed "mpox." According to a press release from the organization, "both names will be used simultaneously for one year while 'monkeypox' is phased out. " ...


Gay News

Peppermint barks while Broadway bangs, and all the other dish to start the week
2022-11-28
"I love Broadway. I love what they do—Broadway Cares, but I also want to say the show is extraordinary!" —Nicole Kidman's impromptu speech after bidding $100K to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for Hugh Jackman's hat after ...


Gay News

Chicago's COVID level returns to 'medium'; boosters/shots encouraged
2022-11-26
According to the latest information on the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) website, the city's COVID-19 risk level is now at medium level. In a news release, the Chicago Department of Public Health explained Cook ...


Gay News

Transgender Day of Resilience: Town Hall panelists tackle allyship, discrimination and immigration
2022-11-23
Brave Space Alliance (BSA), Life Is Work (LIW) and Chicago Therapy Collective (CTC) hosted three free events across the city that they named—TDOR Weekend: A New Era, Together— to celebrate ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Grammy nominees, Gabrielle Union, Trevor Noah, Brendan Fraser
2022-11-20
Out Magazine compiled a list of some of the 2023 LGBTQA+ Grammy nominees. Among those on the list were Brandi Carlile (who earned another seven Grammy nominations this year, raising her career total to 25), Lady ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal challenges anti-HIV military policy
2022-11-13
Lambda Legal filed a legal challenge to the U.S. military policy that prevents people living with HIV from enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces, according to a press release. The current policy requires that applicants for ...


Gay News

Center on Halsted hosts health resource event for LGBTQ+ seniors
2022-11-11
Center on Halsted hosted How to Plan for your Changing Health Needs, a Senior Citizen Resource Fair with a particular focus for members of the LGBTQ community on Nov. 8. A host of representatives from medical, ...


Gay News

National AIDS Memorial names 2022-2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship recipients
2022-11-09
-- From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, California, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National AIDS Memorial has announced its 2022/2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders scholars, its largest and most diverse class ever, providing ...


Gay News

QPOC and transgender elders become focus of grad school student's master's thesis
2022-11-02
When we think about how LGBTQ+ age, helping people feel connected and "seen" is just one of the many ways a community can care for LGBTQ+ elders. It can contribute to their mental health as they ...


Gay News

Santa Speedo Run Northalsted to return, has raised more $500,000+ for Chicago's LGBTQ+ community
2022-11-01
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (Nov. 1, 2022) The Santa Speedo Run Northalsted is back with a full afternoon of events that begin at noon on Saturday, Dec 3. Proceeds from the annual event benefit Center on Halsted, Chicago's LGBTQ ...


Gay News

SAVOR Matcha Cita
2022-10-31
Just steps from the Morgan stop on the Pink and Green lines is a heavenly place. And if you don't believe this writer about Matcha Cita (1017 W. Lake St., with an additional spot at Studio ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Birth certificates, university items, drag-show standoff, 'Models of Pride'
2022-10-30
Following a lawsuit from ACLU, ACLU of West Virginia and the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' Vital Registration Office has introduced more accessible and safer policies ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.