Jul/Aug 2016

ARCW Celebrates Grand Opening of New Medical Home

On Thursday, June 30 more than 125 people toured the newest ARCW Medical Home in downtown Madison. The occasion was the grand opening of its new, $2.3 million facility, which was attended by patients, donors, community partners and friends of ARCW just a year and half after the AIDS Network and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin merged to provide improved access, care and services to people confronting HIV and AIDS.

A program included remarks by the Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, the Chief Medical Officer of UW Health Peter Newcomer, MD, and Mike Gifford, ARCW President and Chief Executive Officer.

“When you look at the results of this merger… that this one happened a mere 18 months ago… the result is spectacular,” Said Parisi.

“They [ARCW] are not a healthcare organization, they are a care organization. They go well beyond healthcare and do the things that even a multi-billion dollar company like UW Health cannot do – and we need to learn from organizations like this, and learn to partner with them and do some of the things they do so well,” Newcomer added.

The grand opening coincided with the launching of public phase of the capital campaign to pay for the construction of the project. Betty Harris Custer, a Madison executive, active volunteer fund raiser and ARCW donor is chairing the campaign. Harris Custer introduced seven donors whose gifts have propelled the capital campaign to $709,000, 70% of the current goal.  All ARCW supporters will have an opportunity to support the campaign and naming opportunities begin at $15,000 payable over three years, she said. The more money that is raised, the more we can cover the full cost of the build out, she explained.

“A record number of people are at risk for HIV, on top of the record number of people who are living with HIV. They need our help and we need yours.  Your help to close out this campaign will be vital to our future success,” said Gifford.

To learn more about the capital campaign and how you can donate to it, reach ARCW Development at 608-316-8621.

Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services Elected President of Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin

Nick Olson, Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services at ARCW, has been elected president of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW). PSW is the largest pharmacy organization in the state and is influential in the health care political landscape.

Nick has been involved in PSW his entire school and professional career.  In 2002, he was elected Student President Representative to the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin for UW Madison.  Nick will start in August 2016 as the president-elect, become president in August 2017, and will take over as chairman of the board in August 2018.

Excitement Mounting for 27th AIDS Walk/Run

Fundraising Under Way, Sponsorship Breaking Records and Special Friends Step Up

October 1 will mark the 27th annual AIDS Walk Wisconsin and 5K Run, with much of the fund raising groundwork being laid right now. Already, much activity is leading to excitement around sponsorship and special team fund raising competitions.

All efforts for the Walk/Run are in anticipation of the arrival of TV, film and Broadway star Taye Diggs who is serving as Honorary Chair of this year’s event.

“I expect to see everyone down at the Summerfest grounds on Saturday, October 1st,” Diggs said. “Go to www.AIDSWalkWIS.org today. Register, raise pledges and if you raise $1,000 or more in pledges, I get to have my photo taken with you at the Walk. Let’s make that a goal.”

In addition ARCW, is pleased to share the following announcements:

  • Milwaukee’s Cream City Foundation once again is sponsoring AIDS Walk Wisconsin’s Cream City Challenge, which invites corporate LGBT employee affinity groups to form teams for the Walk and compete for the trophy awarded to the top fund raising team. When corporate LGBT teams register and hit certain milestones, they will be rewarded with grants from the foundation. The team from Northwestern Mutual has won this competition in its first two years. Will they achieve three in a row?

  • The ever-popular Raising The Bar competition celebrates teams representing Wisconsin’s gay and LGBT-friendly bars which compete to be the top fund raising team and receive the coveted customized Raising the Bar light from the Walk/Run’s presenting sponsor, MillerCoors.

  • Sponsorship for this year’s event is breaking records as it moves toward its unprecedented goal of $200,000.

  • Fresh off of their July 9th home town concert opening at Summerfest for Death Cab for Cutie, REYNA will make an appearance at the opening ceremonies October 1. Featured on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Wisconsin Bands To Watch List in 2016, REYNA features the Banuelos sisters, Vic and Gabby, who have actually marched in previous AIDS Walk Wisconsin events. The sisters have fearlessly reinvented themselves this year from their earlier pop-rock band, Vic and Gab. Their Vic and Gab farewell show in October was so anticipated it had to move from Milwaukee’s intimate Cactus Club to the Pabst Theater. Now, as REYNA, they emerge even stronger and you can see them live at AIDS Walk Wisconsin & 5K Run.

  • Honorary Chair alumnus, Ryan Braun (2012) has personally contributed $25,000 to this year’s event through the Brewers Community Foundation. Look for a special Ryan Braun Challenge coming closer to the Walk.

  • Homecoming will be extra special this year for the Wauwatosa East Marching Band and Color Guard because they will be spending the first part of their day in service to the fight against HIV. Sure to be one of the most prominent teams marching in this year’s event, they will perform at AIDS Walk and lead walkers out along to the route.

  • Outdoor and television marketing begins this month as well as the event heats up to October 1.

“The demands of the AIDS epidemic are greater than ever. A record number of people with HIV – many of whom are living in deep poverty - will turn to ARCW this year for health care and supportive services that will keep them alive,” said Mike Gifford ARCW President and CEO. “Our walkers are the difference between being penniless with nowhere to turn for care and living healthy with HIV.”

To register yourself or a team, go to www.aidswalkwis.org or call Nick Giebel at 414-225-1615 or Melanie Stagg at 414-225-1570.

ARCW Advocates for Patients at PrideFest 2016

On June 10, 11 and 12, ARCW staff from across different departments and service areas came together at PrideFest in Milwaukee to celebrate the LGBT community and extend ARCW services to attendees on the grounds of Maier Festival Park.

Staff from the medical clinic, pharmacy and prevention were on the grounds to educate festival-goers on the new ARCW PrEP clinic. A total of 63 individuals signed up to learn more about the program.

In addition to service providers, the ARCW special events team and volunteers were at Pridefest to help get interested individuals signed up for AIDS Walk Wisconsin.

Pridefest attendees could take advantage of a buy one ticket, get one free promotion if they brought a canned food donation for the ARCW Food Pantry. Attendees were exceptionally generous this year, helping the pantry collect one and a half tons of food.

ARCW Leads Advocacy Efforts in DC

On June 22, ARCW Vice President of Government and Public Relations, Bill Keeton, led briefings in the United States Senate and House of Representatives to garner support for the HIV Clinical Services Improvement Act (HR 2637, S 2097). Joining Keeton were AIDS Arms President and CEO John Carlo, MD and Carolyn McAllaster from the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (SASI) and Director of the Duke University HIV/AIDS Policy Clinic. More than 50 Senate and Congressional staffers, advocates and health policy professionals attended the briefings.

The HIV Clinical Services Improvement Act was introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Mark Pocan to help support the long-term sustainability of organizations that provide health care to people living with HIV across the United States.

“Unfortunately, too many Americans with HIV are unable to access the health care they need because of where they live,” Keeton told those in attendance. “Whether they live in urban centers or in rural areas, people with HIV should have access to the health care and medications they need to live long, healthy lives. This legislation will help make sure the organizations that provide this access can continue to provide care and treatment to the growing number of patients who need it.”

The HIV Clinical Services Improvement Act would allow certain health clinics - like the ARCW Medical Center - funded under the federal Ryan White Program to be eligible for higher reimbursement rates through the Medicaid program. The legislation, which was written at the request of ARCW, is supported by national AIDS advocacy groups including AIDS United, the Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition, the HIV Medicine Association and state and regional organizations including Equitas Health, AIDS Arms, and SASI.

Resource for PrEP Information on Facebook Continues growth and Expanded Reach

A Facebook page launched to ensure all eligible patients are able to access PrEP – the newest tool in the HIV prevention toolkit – is continuing to grow.

The goal of the ‘Let’s PrEP Wisconsin’ page is to inform state residents about PrEP, provide resources and referrals, and also post fun, engaging and relevant information in a way everyone can find interesting and informative.

Click here to like the page and learn more.

ARCW Continues to Expand PrEP Clinic and Serve New Patients

Recently, a patient who was newly diagnosed with HIV had his first appointment at ARCW and was accompanied by his partner, who does not have HIV. Both of them were extremely concerned about their relationship and each other’s health. 

Sara Olson is the nurse working with the couple. Realizing the partner without HIV may be a good PrEP candidate, she immediately connected with Katlyn Stalnaker, Services Coordinator at ARCW.

Katlyn met with the partner who does not have HIV, who had never heard of PrEP, a single pill that when taken daily can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by more than 90% when used with other safer sex practices. Katlyn spent the next hour with the gentleman, explaining what PrEP is, how it works, as well as the benefits of the program and how to access medication. After assessing the patients level of comprehension Katlyn worked to ensure that he had a thorough understanding of the treatment. She reassured him that he was taking a positive step in protecting his health and well-being.

Katlyn made sure the patient could receive PrEP services at ARCW which include doctors’ appointments, labs, and medications on a sliding fee scale, as he does not have health insurance. The ability to enroll in the PrEP program for patients without insurance is just one of the many unique aspects of the ARCW program.

After that initial PrEP screening and enrollment process with Katlyn, the patient was able to get in to see  Dr. Kartikey Acharya, one of the ARCW health care providers who specializes in PrEP.   During the appointment, Katlyn also worked with Stephanie Hartwell in the ARCW Pharmacy to begin the application process for the drug manufacturer’s patient assistance program. 

Today, both men are glad they’ve come to ARCW and are very impressed by the teamwork, willingness to help and the customer service they received at ARCW.

Join other ARCW allies in helping to fully fund the ARCW PrEP Clinic by clicking here.


Wisconsin AIDS Ride Brings Total to $3.4 Million in 14 Years

It was a grueling, fun, challenging and rewarding four days. Riders completed 300 miles over four hot, late July days across southern Wisconsin to raise critical funds for the fight against AIDS.

The first place fundraiser was Kristin Mathews who was the runner up the past two years. She shot to the top of this year’s list, raising $10,796. Jeanne Marshall raised the second most, with Carol Samuels close behind.

The top fundraising crew member was Marilou Ward who rode the two previous years and was the top fundraiser both years.

It was also a close race between the two fundraising teams with Team Orange beating out Team Terrier for the second year in a row.
ARCW and the Wisconsin AIDS Ride are grateful to Shamrock Bar & Grill who donated lunch on Thursday and Friday, and Pita Pit for providing lunch on Saturday. Noodles & Company donated dinner Thursday night as well.

ARCW and the AIDS Ride are grateful to UW Health/Unity for their sponsorship of all 14 Wisconsin AIDS Rides.

Other corporate sponsors were ARCW Pharmacy, Gilead and American Family Insurance. Our in-kind sponsors were Machinery Row Bicycles, Z104/IHeart Media, Badger Bus, Creating a Peaceful World, Double S BBQ,  Our Lives, Scott White Chiropractic, and Sprint Print.

This year’s event raised $103,723 this year and more than $3.4 million over the past 14 years for the fight against AIDS.

Junior Board Prepares for Annual Fundraising Event

On August 24th, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin’s Junior Board will host its annual “Cocktails for a Cause” event, bringing together young professionals and their friends for an evening of cocktails, music and bidding on silent auction opportunities to raise money for ARCW. The event will take place at Engine Company No. 3 located in Milwaukee’s historic Walkers Point. Sip cocktails in the uniquely renovated firehouse building while bidding on exciting silent auction items.

Purchase of admission ticket includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres, free drink ticket, and live music by Roxie Beane. All proceeds will benefit the ARCW Pathways To Wellness campaign to support access to psychiatry care through the ARCW Behavioral Health and Wellness Clinic. Join the ARCW Junior Board for their annual Cocktails for a Cause event! Buy your tickets here.

August 24, 2016
5:30 PM – 9 PM
Engine Company № 3
217 W National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53204

Silent Auction Items from:

Best Place Pabst Brewery
Laugh Factory – Chicago
PJ Boylan Photography
Milwaukee Bucks
Lela Boutique
Ward’s House of Prime
Lakefront Brewery
Wisconsin Athletic Club
Milwaukee County Zoo

…and many more!

Allies Come Together to Benefit Milwaukee Organizations

On Friday, June 17, 165 people attended the 27th Annual Challenge Party. The event gets its name from the event organizers who produce the Challenge Party for four benefitting charities. These Challengers cover 100% of the cost of the event and then “challenge” members of the LGBT community and its allies to attend the event at $300, $500 and $1000 per person ticket levels. All proceeds raised from the event directly benefit the four charities.

Always held at a spectacular location, the event this year was held at the Mequon home of Peter Kudlata and Margie Freeman. The event raised $85,025 for local organizations that serve members of the LGBT community, which included $20,400 for the ARCW PrEP Clinic. ARCW thanks the donors who accepted this year’s challenge from the 2016 Challengers who included: April Calvert, Anne Curley, Sue Haertel, Peter Larson, Dale Leifker, Patrick Mutsune, Wendell Perkins, Emily Phillips, Steph Zilli and Sal Zizzo.

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.