Heartland CARES provides medical care and a number of supportive services for individuals living with HIV and AIDS and their families as well as community education and prevention services for the region we serve. Through various federal- and state-funded public health programs, Heartland CARES serves 27 counties in the Purchase, Pennyrile and Barren River Districts of Western Kentucky as well as 19 counties in Southern Illinois. While government grants do cover many of the costs associated with providing care and outreach to this region, it is the support of individuals, businesses and private foundations in the communities we serve that make it possible for Heartland CARES to deliver the high-quality care for which it is known.
Call, write, fax or e-mail Heartland CARES for more information about any of these care, support or community outreach efforts using the contact information at right.
Heartland CARES is designed for patients with HIV and AIDS, providing continuity and integration of health care. The aims of primary care are to provide each patient with a broad spectrum of care, both preventive and healing, and to coordinate all of the care the patient receives. This includes regular medical checkups, tests, blood work, immunizations, referrals and special care when a patient is sick. Emphasis is placed on continuity of care through hospital collaboration and community partnerships. Heartland CARES provides the comprehensive, compassionate, culturally sensitive care individuals and families living with HIV and AIDS want and need.
Behavioral Health Care
Heartland CARES’ behavioral health care services promote the mental health of people living with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones through a wide variety of both professional and peer-based health enhancement and harm reduction services. Clinical assessment, individual and group therapy and other psychosocial and spiritual supports are available to patients and their families. Counseling, education and referrals allow people living with HIV/AIDS an opportunity to address the challenges of adjustment to the impact of living with a chronic life-threatening illness as well as to explore options for recovery from drug or alcohol dependence, if needed.
Case Management can be critical in the effort to live well with HIV. HIV case management provides an individualized plan of care that includes medical, psychosocial, financial and other supportive services, as needed. In addition, Case Managers can help find answers to the complex questions about living with HIV. The primary goals of the Case Management Program are to ensure continuity of care, to promote self-sufficiency and to enhance the quality of life for individuals living with HIV.
Housing assistance through Heartland CARES provides a safety net of housing and support services for people living with HIV and AIDS. Stable, affordable housing offers the best opportunity for persons living with HIV/AIDS to access drug therapies, treatments and supportive services that will enhance the quality of life for themselves and their families.
Recent studies have found strong links between stable housing and medical care options and HIV transmission risks. Homeless people living with HIV/AIDS who received a combination of stable housing and case management were nine times more likely to enter into and stay in medical care, including adherence to HIV/AIDS treatments. This is a critical outcome for the patient, his/her family and the community as a whole.
Activities funded include case management services, housing information services, permanent housing placement (partial assistance with security deposit, application fee), short-term rental and mortgage assistance, tenant-based rental assistance, transportation assistance, personal empowerment client education and mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Proper nutrition is vital for persons living with HIV. Early nutrition intervention is important to preserve lean body mass, prevent infections, improve the client’s mental attitude and enhance the response to medications and other therapies. Malnutrition is a serious danger for people living with HIV/AIDS. Ultimately, nutrition therapy helps to enhance the quality of life and length of life for persons living with HIV/AIDS. General goals for all patients include achievement and/or maintenance of proper weight, lean body mass, keeping body chemistry within appropriate limits, minimizing medication side effects, prevention of food and water-borne illness, participation in physical activity and insuring adequate access to healthful foods.
Heartland CARES’ registered dietician provides individualized comprehensive nutrition care services to clients via telephone, office visits, and through one-on-one nutrition counseling and group nutrition classes.
Anonymous HIV Testing
Heartland CARES offers Rapid HIV testing by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Results from rapid HIV tests are available in 15 minutes; this testing includes an extensive pre- and post-test counseling session. Those with an appointment should allocate at least 20 minutes for the visit. However, for those dropping in for testing as a walk-in, we cannot ensure a specific length of time for the full visit, but multiple testers are available at all times during business hours. There is never a charge for HIV testing.
Heartland CARES’ Rapid HIV tests use a fingerstick to collect a small amount of blood for the test which is processed by the tester and produces results in 15 minutes.
Community Outreach and Education
Community outreach and education are key efforts in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Heartland CARES offers a variety of HIV/AIDS education and outreach programs that can be adapted to address audiences of all ages and of all ethnic, religious and socio-economic groups.
Since 2012, Heartland CARES, Inc. has partnered with NPS to provide an on-site pharmacy for our patients and the community.
The partnership has proven to be an important part of our mission to offer the most comprehensive and immediate care to our patients. The Pharmacist, Doris Stone, and Pharmacy Tech, Denise Miller, work with our patients and the medical staff to ensure that our patients are knowledgeable and adherent to their medications. Adherence leads to a more successful treatment.