AIDS Community Resources of Syracuse, N.Y., is now called Access Care and Resources (ACR) Health. The healthcare agency changed its name to reflect its expanded services. In addition to providing healthcare for HIV-infected individuals, the agency also will treat people on Medicaid suffering from other chronic diseases such as asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, serious mental illness, obesity, and diabetes.
ACR serves approximately 230 HIV/AIDS-infected individuals in nine counties in Central and Northern New York. According to Michael Crinnin, ACR Health’s executive director, if the agency did not expand its services, the state would have stopped funding the HIV/AIDS program. The agency is dependent on state funds to serve its clients with HIV/AIDS, but approximately two years ago the state informed the agency that it would continue funding the HIV/AIDS program only if the agency agreed to include individuals with other complicated healthcare needs through the state’s new Medicaid “Health Home” program.
Crinnin explained that because of the stigma attached to AIDS, some patients did not want to use an agency that was meant for people with HIV/AIDS. Also, patients with HIV/AIDS did not want the agency’s newsletter and literature mailed to their homes because they did not want relatives and friends to know of their diagnosis. On the other hand, some donors were displeased by the name change because they viewed it as betraying their loved ones who died of AIDS.