Medical provider aids local counties

Some may see the building located across from the Palmetto on campus apartments with the electronic message board and not know what it is or what all it offers. For those in the dark about that building, it is Big Bend Cares, an agency that serves an area encompassing eight counties, area 2B according to its website

Some services that Big Bend Cares provides are dental, counseling, prescriptions, nutritional services, transportation, home health care, substance abuse counseling, lab/X-ray and medical.

“Our medical is the most significant line item because most of our clients don’t have the luxury of dental visits, and with this coverage a lot of problems can be fixed or prevented,” said Craig Reynolds, director of client services.

Primarily, Big Bend Cares provides education and support to people infected with or by this disease. It is the only HIV/AIDS organization that provides services such as case management services and is the main organization to provide such services to this area according to its website.

“Case management services is the linking of clients to appropriate services such as a psyco-social assessment that determines where a person is in their life,” said Reynolds.

Big Bend Cares provides a multitude of services to its patients infected with HIV/AIDS according to its website.

For starters, they offer a Medicaid waiver program, project AIDS care or PAC, that provides home based services such as, personal care, home-based nursing, medical equipment, home delivered meals and education and support to those infected with AIDS who qualify.

In addition they offer many services to those living with AIDS that need financial assistance. These programs include the AIDS Insurance continuation program (AICP), which provides premium coverage for some insurance policies; housing opportunities for persons living with AIDS (HOPWA), which assist with transitional housing, rent/mortgage and utilities for those in need and aids drug assistance program (ADAP), run through local county health departments assist in coverage for some medication according to its website.

Big bend cares also offers support groups that are open to anyone living with HIV/AIDS.

Lamar Douglas, director of education services, said Big Bends Cares is conducting three prevention methods approved by the center of disease control and are scientifically proven.

These programs give intense one-on-one counseling to those who are at high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, VOICES (video opportunities for innovative condom education) that is targeted at African-American heterosexual males and MPowerment, which is targeted towards men who sleep with men, and it tries o include better, safer sex habits, said Douglas.

For more information on the support group, or the services Big Bend Cares offers, visit their website or call (850) 656-2347.

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