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Care Resource Expands Project DA²RE into Broward County

In 2019, Care Resource became one of three program grantees supported through HIV Care Connect, a $7 million, five-year initiative established by the Merck Foundation. The initiative helps to reduce disparities in access to care and improve health outcomes for persons living with HIV in vulnerable and underserved Southeastern U.S. communities.

Project DA²RE (Disparities in care Addressed through Access, Retention, and Equity) originally only included Miami-Dade County, but has recently expanded to include Broward County. This program specifically focuses on reducing disparities in health outcomes for low-income persons of color, men who have sex with men, and transgender persons living with HIV. The project identifies barriers to access health care and provides a broad range of services to address these vulnerabilities.

According to Dennis Zenebe-Tice, Linkage Assistant at Care Resource, “We focus on helping our patients identify the social determinants that prevent them from reaching their best health outcomes. The DA²RE program assists patients in regaining control of their health and by removing obstacles that prevent them from reaching and maintaining viral suppression.”

Reducing disparities in access to HIV care and treatment requires multilevel strategies to improve linkage to and long-term engagement in HIV care. Obtaining HIV care continues to be a challenge for many people throughout South Florida. There are various barriers to care associated with social determinants of health, which include economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, education, stigma, social context, and trust in the health care system.

“After I was released from prison, getting high-quality medical care was a big challenge for me. I was struggling to get the care I needed because I didn’t have stable transportation and was struggling to afford food. When I went to another local non-profit shelter to get medical care, it was depressing because I felt like they didn’t care about me or my health. At Care Resource, the first time I walked in, the staff were so warm and welcoming. They helped me through my problems so that I could focus on my health. Every time I walk in, everyone knows my name and asks me how I’m doing. Going to Care Resource has made such a positive impact on my life.” – Angelena, Care Resource Patient

Project DA²RE now covers Broward and Miami-Dade Counties including Liberty City, Overtown, Little Haiti, North Miami, and Miami Beach. Care Resource, in partnership with Pridelines, is also coordinating care and patient-centered interventions, strategies, and support to enhance patients’ self-management and motivation to access and stay in care.

“We’re excited about the work that we’re doing and look forward to the outcomes of the project at the end of the initial five-year grant. The information and feedback that we receive will enhance policies and procedures for patients and staff at Care Resource. Our goal is to continue having ongoing conversations with our community land improve health outcomes for all of our under-resourced patients.” – Melvin Fort, Access and Retention Supervisor at Care Resource.

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