CARE CONNECTIONS – GETTING LINKED TO HIV CARE, RESOURCES & SUPPORT IN NORTH TEXAS
Receiving an HIV diagnosis is often an overwhelming and frightening experience. Where do you go? Who do you call? What should you do next?
We can help. The North Texas Care Coordination Team is a group of nonprofit organizations committed to helping you connect to a comprehensive system of healthcare and resources. Whether you are newly diagnosed or have lived with the disease for many years, we are here to support your efforts to manage the challenges of living with HIV and AIDS.
To connect to the HIV/AIDS care system, simply call one of the following organizations and ask for an “intake session.”
In Dallas County, call:
AIDS Arms, Inc. 214.521.5191
Bryan’s House 214.559.3946
Parkland HHS 214.590.4551
Welcome House, Inc. 214.421.3948
For help in counties beyond Dallas, one of the following organizations can help you:
AIDS Arms, Inc. (Ellis & Navarro Counties) 214.521.5191 or 1.866.495.3400
AIDS Services of North Texas (Denton, Collin, Hunt, Kaufman, Rockwall Counties) 1.800.974.2437
AIDS Resource Center of Texoma (Cooke, Fannin & Grayson Counties) 903.813.1272
AIDS Resources of Rural TX (Henderson County) 903.813.0169
AIDS Outreach Center (Tarrant County) 817.335.1994
Your Intake Session is your first introduction to what is available to help you take care of your health and begin to plan for the future. There are services available that, based on certain eligibility criteria such as income, are free of charge. These services are funded by the Ryan White CARE Act and other funding sources. They include medical and dental care, case management, medication and insurance assistance, HIV education, transportation, mental health counseling, food, legal services, childcare, housing, substance abuse treatment and home health services. Intake Sessions are scheduled within one to two weeks of your call, although appointments for urgent situations can be scheduled sooner. Every effort will be made to locate an Intake Site convenient to you. Home visits are available when illness or transportation problems exist.
All individuals who seek care and resources funded by the Ryan White CARE Act must complete an Intake Session. It involves providing important information about yourself so we can best assess your needs and eligibility for services. There will be forms to fill out, documents to provide to the Intake Specialist, and an in-depth discussion about how we can help you deal effectively with HIV/AIDS now and into the future.
There are several important documents you must bring to your Intake Session, including:
- A medical statement of HIV diagnosis
- A picture ID such as a driver’s license
- Proof of residency within one of the eligible North Texas counties, such as a lease, utility bill, or driver’s license.
- Proof of income such as recent pay stubs, social security, food stamp or disability statements
- Proof of insurance if available (private, Medicaid, Medicare)
- Mother’s maiden name
- Medical history such as significant illnesses, hospitalizations, current medications and current medical provider
- Emergency contact information
Your Intake Specialist will fill out a Common Intake Form and several other forms that ask many questions. These questions are not meant to intrude on your privacy! They are meant to provide critical information on how best to serve your needs and insure you better understand your diagnosis and the HIV care system. The good news is that once these forms are filled out, they will not have to be filled out again at Ryan White-funded organizations to which we refer you.
We will also discuss the benefits of HIV case management and how it can assist your long term efforts to participate in health care, offer support as you and your loved ones adjust to your diagnosis, and help link you to future services you may need such as legal and counseling services, job retraining, social security, Medicaid, Medicare and many other community resources. Case Managers are specially trained to respond to the needs of HIV+ people – They can be your advocate and guide to accessing important services, support, education and staying involved in healthcare. Case management is free of charge to any HIV+ person.
Once the Intake Specialist completes the required paperwork and assessment for eligibility and need, he or she will provide you with immediate referrals to needed medical care and supportive services. They will inform you on how to make an appointment and what additional paperwork you may need that is unique to those service organizations. They will also provide you a referral form for all of the referred services and educate you on how to access additional services you may need in the future. Only a case manager can provide referrals once the Intake is completed, so it is important to consider case management as a potential service you may need.
Once your Intake is complete and you receive your Intake Packet and referral form, you simply call the referred organizations for a first appointment. Be sure to ask if there is any additional information you need to bring beyond the Intake Packet we provide you. Your Intake Specialist can help you make these appointments if you choose.
You should make plans to spend one to two hours at your Intake Session so your Intake Specialist can take the time needed to complete required paperwork, explain the HIV care system, provide you information about HIV and the importance of ongoing healthcare, and provide you referrals to needed care and resources.
Absolutely! It is important that your loved ones be involved in your care and support. We welcome them at the Intake Session. We can help them better understand HIV and become a stronger support system for you. There may also be services we can offer them as affected family members such as counseling or childcare for your children. In addition, we have access to many other non-HIV related services in the community that may be very helpful for caregivers, partners and family members.
Information provided at the Intake Session will be collected into a file and entered into a Texas Department of State Health Services database called ARIES. ARIES information is confidential to protect your privacy, and will be used to track the HIV epidemic, the needs of the people impacted by the disease, and services used. All Ryan White funded organizations are required to enter this information and maintain strict confidentiality of the information you provide to us. Only you can provide permission for us to share that information with others.
You will be provided a complete copy of all forms we complete during Intake. It is important that you keep this packet with you whenever you attend a first appointment at other service organizations we refer you to. We will also, with your permission, share needed information with these referred service organizations to help expedite the referral process so you can begin needed services as quickly as possible.
All Intake sites are also case management sites, so its easy to get linked to this service. The Intake Specialist will assess your needs and provide their opinion about your need for case management; however, it is available to any HIV+ person upon request. Once you request the service, the Intake Specialist will help you choose the best site to meet your unique needs. You will be referred immediately and a Case Manager will call you for a first appointment. They will provide additional assessment and begin a comprehensive care plan that focuses on reaching optimal quality within your medical, financial and emotional life. Ongoing referrals will be provided to insure you remain linked to medical care.
HIV education, treatment adherence planning, home visits, family/partner education and testing, and support groups are just some of the additional support available to you in addition to the wide range of services throughout the North Texas area. Home visits are available at several of the case management sites and bilingual services are available at most for Spanish, French and American Sign Language. You should ask about the availability of and the criteria for home visits when you contact one of the listed sites.
Not a problem. Not everyone needs case management and some only need intermittent assistance. If you do not want or need future referrals beyond the Intake Session, you are not required to accept case management.
If you should need future referrals, you will require a Case Manager to assist you. Simply call your original Intake site and let them know your needs. They will link you with a Case Manager as soon as possible in an area that’s most convenient to you.
We are here to help! If you are HIV+ and need assistance, please call us. We stand ready to guide you through a complex care system with the best possible impact on your health and well-being.