May 2017

Delivering a Customer Centered Patient Experience at ARCW

The recent videos showing the experience of airline passengers are bringing forth a robust conversation on consumer rights and customer service in the airline industry. It seems a new video is surfacing regularly and they are giving all organizations an opportunity to examine their own policies and outcomes.

Let’s acknowledge first, though, that ARCW is not an airline. At ARCW we routinely have satisfaction ratings well into the 90th percentile, far exceeding most airlines today.

In our most recent patient and client satisfaction survey, 97.7% of respondents said that they would recommend ARCW services to a family member or friend.

I am grateful for the effort that ARCW staff put forward to achieve high customer satisfaction.  We continue to work hard to maintain that performance and explore ways to further advance the experience of our customers.

Often times we recognize good customer service when we are its recipient: the meal comes to our table quickly and it is warm and delicious; the cashier resolves our pricing questions; the product we purchase exceeds our expectations. These are hallmarks of good customer service that we appreciate and which lead us to frequent those businesses again.

This is what we strive to achieve every day at ARCW. ARCW has always operated under the principle that being a nonprofit is a tax status, not a business model. In order to continue to serve our patients and clients to the best of our ability, we actively reinforce our focus on a market driven culture. Nowhere is this more evident than in our drive to provide outstanding customer service to the people we serve.

ARCW Statement on US House of Representatives Passage of AHCA

The debate on health care continues to capture much of our national attention. From political conversations to dinner table budget calculations, health care bills and insurance coverage never seem to be far from front of mind. This is especially true for people living with HIV, who face managing an expensive, chronic condition in order to maintain or regain their health.

Following the passage of the American Health Care Act earlier this month, ARCW President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Gifford issued a clarion call – our nation can and must do better in our efforts to change health care financing and insurance regulations.

“The passage of the American Health Care Act by the House of Representatives represents a significant step away from ensuring access to health insurance, healthcare and treatment for thousands of people living with HIV across the United States and at least 24 million people in total," Gifford said. “People with HIV need unfettered access to high quality health care and medications in order to keep or regain their health, and to protect public health as well. The bill passed by the House today puts this access in jeopardy making health insurance less accessible for low-income people and people who have a pre-existing condition and by substantially cutting Medicaid.“

Much of the attention in the debate in health care reform is centered on who is paying and what are they paying for, while not going far enough to support changes in the delivery of health care. Innovation in health care delivery –like the ARCW HIV Medical Home – is helping to improve patient outcomes while lowering costs to everyone.

“Leaders in the US Senate need to do better.  Health care reform must prioritize increasing the number of Americans who have insurance, enhancing access to health care providers and supporting innovative solutions for the management of complex, expensive and chronic conditions such as HIV through the delivery of coordinated, comprehensive care,” Gifford concluded.

100 Day Denver Benchmark

The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW), Rocky Mountain CARES (RMC) and Denver Infectious Disease Consultants (DIDC) officially merged on February 1, 2017. During the first 100 days of integrating the three organizations, a significant number of important benchmarks have been reached.

“Our early success in bringing together ARCW, RMC and DIDC to support the development of Denver’s first HIV medical home is a testament to the dedication and belief of our staff, patients, and clients in our shared vision,” said Karin Sabey, Vice President for Operations, Colorado. “The initial growth in our clinic, the acceptance of our model by partners and the greater community and the investment in our success by private and public stakeholders is awe-inspiring and driving us to continue to provide the best HIV prevention, care and treatment services we can.”

So far in Denver, RMC has experienced the following growth:

  • 380 patients served

  • 61 new patients enrolled – 46% of whom had not been in care in Denver

  • 5,660 prescriptions filled

  • Establishment of clinical pharmacy as a new service

  • Increased case management staff by 40%

  • Raised $12,650 in private funds, exceeding the total raised in all of last year

All of these accomplishments exceed original projections by this date.

Additionally, the state of Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) has awarded RMC a brand new $133,000 grant to significantly expand HIV prevention work in Colorado.  This funding will allow for RMC to hire, for the first time, full time HIV prevention staff.  The goal of the grant is to increase HIV testing and initiate PrEP navigation, education, and retention services.

Stay tuned for more exciting information to come as we expand services in Denver, and continue to enhance the patient experience in Wisconsin.

ARCW Raises Funds at Fabulous Affairs

All you needed was your own imagination on April 22 as together we raised $281,179 for the fight against AIDS at the Make A Promise Gala, a more than 6% increase over 2016.

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of our donors, our patients will have continued access to quality health care, and people at risk for contracting HIV will have access to effective prevention programs. We are grateful for your support.

Among many powerful moments that evening, one of the most compelling was Betty's Story. Betty's Story helped share the need for additional support to provide more access to lifesaving and life-affirming behavioral health services via telehealth. Watch the video to learn more. If you were unable to contribute to the evening's appeal, and would like to do so now, please click here.

On Friday, May 5, the Red Ribbon Affair celebrated its 25th anniversary. The event, named after the iconic badge that is the international symbol for AIDS awareness brought together 234 community members to raise $63,705 for the fight against AIDS in Madison at the Concourse Hotel.

Currently, ARCW is in the midst of a $1,000,000 capital campaign to support the full realization of the ARCW Medical Home in Madison. The ARCW Medical Home in Madison provides comprehensive and integrated medical, dental and behavioral health care; offers social services such as food pantry, housing services, legal consultation and case management; and coordinates aggressive HIV prevention efforts all in one location.

There is still time to give! Click here to support the Madison Capital Campaign.

ARCW PrEPs for Pride

It’s never too early to prepare for Pride! This year ARCW is partnering with PrideFest to bring about two pre-Pride events promoting and educating at-risk individuals on the use of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).

The first of event will take place the evening of May 23 at the Diverse & Resilient offices, from 6 – 8 PM. Guests interested in learning more about PrEP can speak directly with ARCW medical providers and pharmacists to learn if PrEP is a good fit for them. The event will also feature music, food, beverages and door prizes; including tickets to PrideFest.

The second event will take place on May 31, at Black Sheep. Be sure to “Like” our Facebook page for the most up to date information.

Click here for more information about these events and to RSVP.

ARCW will also be on-hand all weekend during PrideFest in the Health & Wellness area Friday, June 9, Saturday, June 10 & Sunday, June 11. At PrideFest, interested community members will be able to learn more about ARCW services for people with and at-risk for contracting HIV, as well as sign up for AIDS Walk Wisconsin and the AIDS Ride.

ARCW is proud to be an official sponsor of PrideFest!

ARCW in the Community Today’s Health News

On Tuesday, April 4 ARCW Vice President of Government and Public Relations Bill Keeton was an invited panelist discussing the future of healthcare reimbursement and coordinated care.

The Wisconsin Health News panel included invited guests representing health care systems and hospitals, insurance companies and consumer advocates. Despite the uncertainties facing the health care industry, the panel was unified in their confidence that coordinated care  - the kind of care ARCW prides itself in delivering - would continue to be supported as a best practice.

You can click here to read the full story in Wisconsin Health News.

Swinging Into Summer

ARCW rounded out spring with a bevy of events, setting up for a successful summer season

On April 21 the women of Gamma Gamma Sigma at UW La Crosse held their annual Teeter-Totter-A-Thon to raise funds for ARCW. The event featured music, lawn games, other fun activities and of course, teeter-totters. Click here to read news coverage of the event.

Between Make A Promise and the Red Ribbon Affair ARCW raised over $344,000 for the fight against AIDS.

It’s never too early to start planning for Pride weekend, and why not kick things with the most colorful run in Milwaukee? On Thursday, June 8 the Milwaukee Gay Sports Network will host its annual Big Gay 5K run at the lakefront. A portion of proceeds will be donated to ARCW, click here to register or for more information.

Join ARCW on the PrideFest grounds in the Health & Wellness area June 9, 10 & 11. Register for AIDS Walk Wisconsin & 5K Run or AIDS Ride Wisconsin – ACT 15, learn more about PrEP and other HIV prevention methods. We hope to see you there!

For the first time in its 15 year history AIDS Ride Wisconsin will connect Madison and Milwaukee. There are route options for every fitness level and schedule, including 25 and 50 mile routes. Click here to register or for more information.

Support ARCW on August 20 at the Second Annual Red Hot and Leather event, on August 20. The event is organized by a local volunteer with help from the Brew City sisters, and features food, drinks, raffle items, 50/50 raffle and entertainment. Ticket information coming soon.

AIDS Walk Wisconsin & 5K Run celebrates its 28th year on Saturday, October 7 at the Milwaukee Lakefront. Registration is open, visit for more information.