January/February 2016

ARCW Madison Location Opens on World AIDS Day

The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) recognized World AIDS Day 2015 in several ways across the state, highlighted by the opening of its newest HIV medical home in Madison on December 1st. The ARCW HIV medical home provides integrated medical, dental and mental health care along with a pharmacy and critical social services to make sure people with HIV have all the tools they need to live a long, healthy life with HIV.

“World AIDS Day is a day set aside to remember the countless number of loved ones we have lost, to support the thousands of people living with HIV today who need access to health care and treatment and to rededicate ourselves to doing all we can as individuals and as a society to eliminate new infections from occurring,” said ARCW President and CEO Michael J. Gifford. “The opening of new medical home in Madison and our ongoing dedication to expanding HIV prevention and testing services to all who need them everywhere in Wisconsin are just two of the ways we mark this solemn and important day.”

In addition to expanded access to health care, medicine and social services, ARCW is now offering access to pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP, as an integral component of its health care and prevention services. PrEP works by providing HIV-negative individuals who are at high risk for contracting HIV with the same medication used to help HIV-positive individuals successfully minimize the amount of the virus they have in their body. PrEP has been shown to be more than 90% effective at preventing new HIV infections when used correctly. Combined with access to health care, regular testing and other HIV prevention strategies such as condoms, PrEP provides people with a game-changing way to stop HIV.

“Today, unlike the first World AIDS Day, we have the tools and medical science to provide patients with a long, healthy life with HIV disease and to stop new infections from occurring almost completely. What we still need now is what we needed then - the collective will from our private and public leaders to join us and seize upon the opportunity we have before us,” Gifford said. “There is much to be excited for as we look forward to a world in which everyone with HIV has unfettered access to health care, in which new infections are truly rare, and where people with HIV no longer face the stigma that helps to drive this epidemic forward.”

ARCW Implements Newest Tool in the Fight against AIDS

Until a cure for AIDS is found, treatment and prevention are the best ways to fight the disease. ARCW has launched its newest tool in the fight against AIDS, offering pre-exposure prophylaxis - also known as PrEP – through its clinic locations. PrEP works by providing HIV-negative individuals who are at significant risk for contracting HIV with one of the medicines that is used to treat HIV. When PrEP is taken as directed, it is proven to dramatically reduce the risk of HIV infection.

ARCW is welcoming individuals who are concerned about contracting HIV into its PrEP Clinics to assess their risk, learn more about the medication, and to consider adding this new method into their HIV prevention toolbox.

The patient experience in the ARCW PrEP Clinic beings with an in-depth consultation with an ARCW health care provider. Individuals who meet the clinical guidelines for using PrEP are then enrolled into care at ARCW, which includes sexual health care as well. While on PrEP, patients will be screened and treated for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), receive appropriate vaccinations and be monitored via quarterly doctor visits and lab testing.

This program is available to patients who qualify regardless of ability to pay. Patients who are uninsured will be assisted in enrolling in health care coverage or medication assistance programs.

ARCW Campaign to Raise $1M for New Medical Home

ARCW is attempting to raise an unprecedented $1 million to fund the buildout of its newest medical home located in Madison. The campaign, which is just beginning in earnest, has raised nearly $500,000 from allies eager to support access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services offered by ARCW in south central Wisconsin.

The facility, designed by Kahler Slater architects, features dedicated space for integrated and co-located medical, dental and mental health care clinics; comprehensive social services and prevention programs. Each dedicated area stems from a gracious lobby area with easy access to the new, cutting edge ARCW Pharmacy.

To date, $491,500 has been raised toward the $1 million goal from early support from Dick and Sharon Resch, Gateway Associates, KI, William F. Reinicker and William Wartmann.

“We encourage all donors to consider their support of this campaign,” said Dan Mueller, ARCW Chief Development Officer. “There are several naming opportunities and gifts to this campaign can be paid off over three years.” To learn more about this campaign and inquire about gift opportunities, email dan.mueller@arcw.org.

TMJ4 (Milwaukee) Reports on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

This in depth story, from one of Wisconsin’s leading news sources, includes an interview with Mike Gifford at ARCW.

Milwaukee's Florentine Opera to Benefit ARCW Patients Through Three Decembers

Use code 'ARCW' and $20 per ticket will go to the ARCW Pathway To Wellness Campaign

Milwaukee’s three-time GRAMMY award winning opera company is joining the fight against AIDS to help ARCW patients access psychiatry care. Every ticket purchased using the code “ARCW” will trigger a donation back to ARCW, thanks to a grant from ARCW and Florentine donor Joseph Pabst.

In what Opera Today calls a “modern masterpiece,” Three Decembers is an emotionally charged and critically acclaimed chamber opera by one of America’s leading operatic composers, Jake Heggie. The opera is making its Milwaukee debut with the Florentine Opera March 11-20. The performance on March 18th is dedicated to ARCW and will include a talk back after the performance with the artists and leaders from ARCW. A reception will follow.

Driven by Broadway-style cabaret, this 90 minute one act opera explores the emotional shrapnel, secrets and hard truths that take place over three decades in the lives of a mother and her adult son and daughter. At the center is Madeline, a widowed and aging Broadway diva who has long ignored her children as she pursues her own career.  Her daughter Bea nurses a failed marriage while struggling with alcohol abuse while her son Charlie is slowly losing his partner, Burt, to AIDS.

Against this dramatic tension, Heggie has written deeply-felt and accessible music to flesh out the characters’ tangled emotions and relationships. The score reminds one how achingly expressive simple songs can be. The poignant lyrics are laced with humor.

Three Decembers premiered in 2008, co-commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera and the San Francisco Opera.

Tickets to Three Decembers on Friday, March 18th at 7:30pm start at $30.00 and can be purchased online or by calling (414) 291-5700 for the Florentine’s Box Office. The performance will be held at the Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and $20 from each ticket sold will benefit the ARCW Pathways To Wellness Campaign, which funds the expansion of psychiatry care for ARCW patients.

2015 National Philanthropy Day Honors ARCW Ally

National Philanthropy Day Honoree Will Radler (second from right) is congratulated at the luncheon by ARCW staff (from left to right) Mary Hartwig, Mike Gifford, Chelsea Powell and Dan Mueller.

Each year, the Southeastern Wisconsin chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recognizes a group of honorees who have had a significant philanthropic influence on their communities. ARCW ally Will Radler was among those honored at the 2015 National Philanthropy Day Awards ceremony held November 9th, 2015. Mr. Radler was given the Even P. Helfaer Award in recognition for his extraordinary impact on philanthropy in our community. Mr. Radler became the first donor in Wisconsin history to make a $1 million gift to ARCW, which was the genesis of the three year Pathways To Wellness Campaign. This campaign’s stated goal is to provide enough funding for 60 hours of psychiatry care for the patients of ARCW. Mr. Radler has given generously to a variety of other charitable organizations in southeast Wisconsin as well.

The Evan P. Helfaer Donor Award is given annually by the AFP Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter for distinguished service in sharing resources with charitable organizations in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Mike Gifford Named to Top List in Milwaukee

Michael Gifford, President and Chief Executive Officer of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, was named one of the most influential people in Milwaukee according to a list published by Milwaukee Magazine.

The magazine, which ranks Milwaukee leaders across 10 areas of influence, lists Gifford as an influential leader in the Health and Wellness area. In addition to Gifford, the list includes ARCW partners and collaborators:

  • John Bartkowski, President and CEO of Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers;
  • Cathy Jacobson, Froedtert Health CEO and President;
  • Dr. Geoffrey Swain, Professor, UW School of Medicine and Public Health and Medical Director of the Milwaukee Health Department;
  • Joy Tapper, Executive Director, Milwaukee Health Care Partnership; and
  • Dr. Steve Hargarten, Chair of Emergency Medicine, Froedtert Hospital.

“We knew when we selected Mike four years ago that he was an up and coming health care leader,” said Jennifer Walther, who recently completed her services as Chair of the ARCW Board of Directors. “This honor for his vision, tenacity and leadership is well-deserved, as Mike has built and is expanding a unique HIV health care system that is leading our nation.”

After serving for five years as the Director of Government Relations and for fourteen years as the Chief Operating Officer, Gifford was selected to become the third President and CEO of ARCW.  His leadership during nearly his nearly quarter century tenure has enabled ARCW to emerge as the largest provider of HIV prevention, health care and social services in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the United States. The integrated health care and social service model ARCW has developed for HIV patients under Gifford’s leadership is also now a nationally-recognized model for how to develop a medical home to treat complex chronic diseases among medically and socio-economically vulnerable populations.

Building on the previous success he helped create at ARCW, Gifford is already looking forward to creating solutions for the next set of challenges the AIDS epidemic is presenting to patients and communities.

“It is an honor and humbling to be considered among Milwaukee’s health care leaders,” Gifford said. “But the fight against AIDS doesn’t afford the opportunity to look back. Our relentless pursuit of a world without AIDS is more than just words in our vision statement. ARCW is going to lead the creation of an AIDS-free generation.”

“This process will start by driving down the number of new infections and ensuring that the number of patients we serve grows by 50% over the next five years. And while continuing to grow, we won’t lose sight of the importance of the outcomes our patients deserve – chiefly among them, increasing the number of patients who are effectively managing their HIV disease from 85% to 95%,” Gifford stated.


Camp Bingo Rolls On

It’s not your grandmother’s BINGO. For 11 years Camp BINGO has put the sass in fundraising to raise money for the fight against AIDS.

January 31, more than 400 people packed into the ballroom of Madison’s Concourse Hotel with high hopes and hijinks to try to win big money and raise funds for ARCW. It was the first of the three-event BINGO series that includes cash prizes and sassy themes.  Guests dress to the theme and prizes are given out for the most popular costumes.

The event also features a $500 rollover jackpot. A specific number of balls is called and if there is no winner, the jackpot rolls over to the next game day with another $500 added to the pot. The 50-50 Raffle has become a big Camp Bingo draw as well, with last year’s three winners taking home more than $6,000. All the jackpots and prizes are donated by our sponsors. Last year Camp Bingo raised more than $32,000 to ensure access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services. The 2016 goal is $44,850. January’s event, “Bad Hair BINGO,” raised a monthly record $14,755 toward this goal. Along with $8,900 in sponsorship from generous partners, Camp Bingo is on track for a banner year.

Join us for the next two BINGO events:

  • Plaid BINGO, February 28, Sheraton Madison
  • Classy and Trashy BINGO, March 20, Sheraton Madison

Everyone 18 years of age or older is welcome. Admission is $20. More information and tickets are available at www.madcampbingo.org.

Jolly Holly Folly Breaks a Record

Fifteen restaurants and more than 400 allies gathered on December 16th at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts for the 20th annual Jolly Holly Folly, and helped to break a fund raising record for the event.

Guests sampled sumptuous tastings from the city’s most popular restaurants, including: Bartolotta’s catering, Blue's Egg, Cempazuchi, Corner Bakery Café, Classy Girl Cupcakes, Cubanitas, Indulge, Maxie's, Hotel Metro, Miller Time Pub, MOVIDA, Purple Door Ice Cream, Safe House, Sazama's, and Story Hill BKC. The evening then moved to the newly renovated Vogel Hall for a private performance of the hilarious Second City holiday comedy show, Holidazed and Confused Revue.

Jolly Holly Folly 2015 raised $55,360, the most this event has raised to date. Special thanks to long-time presenting sponsor MillerCoors for making this event the jolliest yet!

Allies Give Holiday Meals, Gifts to HIV Patients

ARCW allies donated 2,050 meals to HIV patients this year through the annual ARCW Holiday Food Pantry Appeal. The appeal invites donors to give a turkey with all the fixings to patients at Thanksgiving and a ham with all the fixings for the December Holidays. For patients too sick to come to ARCW food pantries around the state, ARCW staff delivered their holiday meals right to their kitchen.

In all, $27,861 was raised by ARCW donors for this campaign, which included a special social media appeal for Giving Tuesday led by the ARCW Junior Board that raised more than $2,000. The total raised represents a 37% increase over the previous year.

Recognizing the holiday season can be a challenging time for families struggling to make ends meet, each holiday season ARCW does its best to make sure the families we serve still have a magical holiday season.

Carrying on and expanding an AIDS Network holiday tradition, ARCW is honored to continue the Felicia Melton-Smyth Holiday gift drive. In 2002, Melton-Smyth, a long time AIDS Network advocate, held a fundraiser at the Shamrock Bar in Madison to purchase gifts for families in need served by the AIDS Network.

The gift drive is now headed by ARCW staff person Mari McLoone-Jambura in Milwaukee, and long-time volunteer Dana Crumpton from Madison. The gift drive serves over 160 families in the Madison area and 92 in the Milwaukee-Kenosha service area and collected over 1,800 gifts. Gifts were donated by a variety of dedicated community partners, including local churches, schools, individuals, and companies like KAPCO, which donated 73 gifts alone.

On behalf of the families served through your generous donations, ARCW thanks its allies for making this past Holiday Season special for ARCW families confronting HIV/AIDS.

For information on any of these activities, please call Nick Giebel in Milwaukee at 414-225-1615, or Dan Curd in Madison at 608-316-8601.

  • February 24, 2016 The Remedy Event, Boot Hill Pub, La Crosse

  • February 28, 2016 Camp Bingo, Sheraton Madison Hotel

  • March 18, 2016 – ARCW Night with the Florentine Opera, "Three Decembers" performance, Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

  • March 20, 2016 Camp Bingo, Sheraton Madison Hotel

  • April 9, 2016 – Make A Promise Gala, Wisconsin Center, Milwaukee

  • May 20, 2016 – Red Ribbon Affair, Madison Concourse Hotel

  • July 28 – 31, 2016 – Wisconsin AIDS Ride

  • October 1, 2016 AIDS Walk Wisconsin