July/August 2013

Longtime ARCW Ally Named AIDS Walk Wisconsin Honorary Chair

The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) is announcing today that Stephanie Klett, Secretary at the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, is the 2013 Honorary Chair of AIDS Walk Wisconsin & Run. ARCW produces the 5K charity Walk that will feature a 5K run this year as well.

Ms. Klett has been an advocate for AIDS care and treatment for more than two decades, when she adopted the fight against HIV as her platform after winning the Miss Wisconsin title in 1992-1993.

Launching her "Attitude on AIDS" efforts statewide, she addressed more than 53,000 teens with a message that separated HIV/AIDS facts from myths. Ms. Klett was recognized with a Governor's Commendation from Gov. Tommy Thompson. Her success in Wisconsin brought invitations to deliver the "Attitude on AIDS" message to a wider audience, which included an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America and as keynote speaker for the Hollywood Hope AIDS Service in Los Angeles.

Half-way through her year as Miss Wisconsin, Klett expanded her efforts by founding "Spotlight on Wisconsin" to raise money for the fight against AIDS. She phoned Doug Nelson, then-president of ARCW, and said, "You don't know me. We've never met, but I like the work you are doing and I'd like to help raise money for you." Spotlight on Wisconsin was born as a night of entertainment with proceeds going to the fight against AIDS. The first event was held at Beloit Memorial High School's theatre featuring performances by Klett's well-known comedian brother, Fred Klett, along with appearances by her Miss America pageant friends -- Miss Illinois, Miss Iowa, Miss Kansas and Miss Minnesota, all of whom donated their time and talents to raise $15,000. Spotlight on Wisconsin performances and related events continued for years, raising more than $125,000 for charity. One particularly memorable highlight was the 1998 appearance of newly-crowned Miss America Kate Shindle, an AIDS activist who kicked off her international HIV/AIDS efforts at Spotlight on Wisconsin in Beloit.

“We have 72 gorgeous counties in this state, and I count myself lucky to have traveled to all of them," Klett said. "A lot of people don’t realize that HIV has been reported in every single county of Wisconsin. AIDS Walk Wisconsin is a way that every person, whether walking or sponsoring, can help their neighbor. I encourage everyone to register, raise pledges and join me for this great event.”

“Right now in Wisconsin there are thousands of people living with HIV. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, co-workers, grandparents and friends," she said. "The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin has always been Wisconsin’s #1 organization in helping those infected or affected by HIV and AIDS. From services like a food pantry, dental and medical clinics, housing, and legal advocacy, ARCW is there when people need it the most. And that’s an asset to all of Wisconsin.”

Klett became known throughout Wisconsin as the longtime and Emmy-winning host of Discover Wisconsin TV and Radio, appearing on the program for nearly 20 years before her 2011 appointment as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in 2011. In that position she leads Wisconsin's marketing efforts to grow the $16.8 billion tourism industry, which is responsible for 183,000 jobs in the state.

“I think sometimes the work of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin is taken for granted. They have been Wisconsin’s leader in HIV and AIDS since the epidemic first came to light in the U.S., and have never rested on their laurels," she said. "ARCW is respected nationally for its efforts and they impact the quality of life here in Wisconsin every day. To say I am thrilled to be this year’s Honorary Chair of AIDS Walk Wisconsin is an understatement. This is the honor of a lifetime."

“Stephanie Klett follows a long line of notable Wisconsinites who have served in this position,” said Mike Gifford, President & CEO of ARCW. "Her passion for the fight against AIDS is authentic and her energy and drive to raise crucial funding will be key to this 24th annual event moving us past $11.1 million raised for HIV care and treatment programs in our state.”

A new feature of the event this year will be a 5K run along the same scenic route. To register for the event, visit www.aidswalkwis.org.

Mayor Marrett Storms the Bastille in his AIDS Walk Wisconsin 2012 Shirt

Look who stormed the Bastille July 11th in Milwaukee. It's runner #1, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wearing his AIDS Walk Wisconsin 2012 T-Shirt designed by Wisconsin Artist Lon Michels. The Mayor (who with his wife, Kris, served as Honorary Chair of AIDS Walk Wisconsin 2005) took time after the 5K run to take a picture with Dan Mueller, Chief Development Officer of ARCW and explained this was one of his favorite T-Shirts, "Not just because it is a great cause, but because the art has such a great message.

We are adding a 5K run this year! Register for AIDS Walk Wisconsin & Run today at www.aidswalkwis.org.

Update: HRC Names ARCW "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality"

ARCW is now recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the Healthcare Equality Index 2013. This annual survey is conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization. ARCW earned top marks for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing adequate healthcare.

“The AIDS epidemic continues to have a substantially disproportionate impact on the LGBT community, especially young gay men,” said ARCW President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Gifford. “We are proud to earn this recognition from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation demonstrating our unwavering commitment to provide the highest quality care to everyone who comes to our medical center.”

ARCW is one of a select group of 464 healthcare facilities nationwide to named “Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality.” Facilities awarded this title meet key criteria for equitable care, including non-discrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members.

“I am also proud that ARCW is among the inaugural class of a handful of LGBT Healthcare Equity Leaders in Wisconsin,” Gifford said. “This recognition by the HRC is the gold standard that health care providers and systems throughout Wisconsin must embrace and achieve if we are going to reduce the serious health disparities faced by LGBT people.”

HRC Health & Aging Director Shane Snowdon congratulated ARCW by saying, “LGBT patients deeply appreciate the welcoming environment provided by a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality. It makes a big difference to know that your local healthcare facility is fully committed to giving you the same care it gives your neighbors and co-workers.”

ARCW is home to the ARCW Medical Center - Wisconsin's largest and fastest growing HIV health care system. Through its integrated medical, dental and mental health clinics along with its pharmacy and dedicated social services that include food pantries, a legal program, and social work case management, more than 3,000 HIV patients in Wisconsin gain the health care and social services they need for long-term survival with HIV disease from ARCW through nine statewide locations.

Help 443 of Our Most Vulnerable Patients

443 = vulnerable, uninsured patients with HIV treated at ARCW
$1,875,650 = the annual cost to care for these most vulnerable individuals in our state. This is a significant challenge facing ARCW.

An ARCW patient is three times more likely to have his or her HIV well-controlled than the national average.

However, one-third of the people turning to us for care are even more vulnerable because these 443 patients are confronting HIV without health care coverage of any kind. ARCW believes that these patients have a right to the same positive medical outcomes as patients with health care coverage.

As an ally of ARCW, you can help. With your support we can give 443 patients access to:

  • Excellent medical, dental, mental health, pharmacy, and social services at the nationally-recognized, integrated, ARCW Medical Home.

  • The most advanced medications to treat HIV and other general health conditions.

  • Nutritious food, transportation to appointments, and emergency shelter.

You can support us by making a monthly gift or you can underwrite the medical care for one uninsured patient at a cost $4,240. You can even pay this off in installments.

To support our 443 uninsured patients, click here.

Allies Finalize Their 2013 Giving to ARCW

Goal is to Raise $2.2 Million by Year End, August 31st

Despite attendance and revenue increases at its most popular events this year, the ARCW still needs to raise $718,000 in the next six weeks to make the $2.2 million goal approved by its Board of Directors. The ARCW 2013 fiscal year ends August 31st.

Raising $2.2 million would be a significant achievement for ARCW. “You would have to go back to 2002 to find a year that raised more than this and that was primarily due to an estate gift,” said Dan Mueller, ARCW Chief Development Officer. "Raising $2.2 million would place 2013 as one of the four best fund raising years in the history of ARCW."

“Proposals to individual, corporate and foundation allies have been submitted and are winding their way through the approval process,” said Mueller. “In the meantime, we continue to seek support in face to face meetings, in phone calling and in grant proposal writing. We encourage every reader of Allies to give generously so ARCW doesn’t have to compromise its mission of prevention, care and treatment for  all.”

“No one can do what ARCW does with more efficiency and with the same quality outcomes as ARCW,” said ally Tim Bowers, founder and president of Global Health Engines, an inventor of applications and solutions for managing health benefits. Bowers is chair of the ARCW Development Committee and is on the ARCW Board of Directors. “I encourage donors to join my wife, Mary and I and support ARCW generously as we head into these final weeks of the 2013 fiscal year.”

To learn more about how you can support ARCW today click here.

Mark Your Calendars

For information on any of these activities, please call 414-225-1517

Sept. 12 – An Evening With ARCW; Boldt Construction, Appleton

Oct. 5 – AIDS Walk Wisconsin; Summerfest Grounds,  Milwaukee