State, local agencies to receive newly released Ryan White program funds

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The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $1.84 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grants to states and municipal areas.
The Ryan White program provides funding for health services for people who lack sufficient healthcare coverage or financial resources to cope with HIV and AIDS.

Some $1.145 billion will be sent to states and territories under Part B of the Ryan White program, with $800 million of that specifically designated for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Part B awards include formula-base grants that can be used for home and community-based services, insurance continuation, ADAP assistance and other direct services.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency within HHS which oversees the Ryan White program, Tennessee is set to receive $18,922,455 in Part B funds.

Funds totaling $652 million will pay for primary care and support services under Part A awards, which are distributed to eligible metropolitan areas with the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS and to transitional grant areas experiencing increases in HIV/AIDS cases and emerging care needs. Part A awards include $44.8 million for the Minority AIDS Initiative.

Memphis is to receive $6,798,445 in transitional grant funding, while Nashville is slated to get $4,611,727, from the Part A disbursement. Local agencies had submitted grant proposals and received approval for those, so getting funding that’s slightly higher than last year’s levels is good news, said Joe Interrante, chief executive officer.

“The funds are administered by the Metro Public Health Department, and we wrote grant applications using some guesswork based on what we thought the city would get,” Interrante said. “Now those grants will be funded.”

Another $48.1 million is being sent out to fund early-intervention services that support medical, nutritional, psychosocial and other treatments for HIV-positive individuals. These Part C grants go to community-based organizations, including health centers and nonprofit providers of primary healthcare for people living with HIV.

Chattanooga Cares Inc. will receive $292,500 in Part C funds, while Meharry Medical College will get $292,500 and the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church First Response Center will get $217,712, according to the HRSA. In a later round, Nashville’s Comprehensive Care Center should also receive some funding, Interrante added.

At least 754 percent of Part A, B and C funds must be spent on “core medical services,” including outpatient health services, drug assistance, health insurance payments and medical nutrition therapy, according to the agency. The remaining funds are used for respite care, medical transportation, linguistic services and other support services that assist people living with HIV/AIDS.

“These funds are essential to supporting the safety net of care,” Interrante said. “They provide medications, insurance continuation, counseling, food … getting that funding is essential for what we do.”

For more information on the Ryan White program, click here.