The impact so far
Although relatively new, we have already seen this programme have a major impact. The nurse house calls in particular have allowed us to develop a highly positive and trusting rapport with many of our clients. They no longer feel like they are in this alone, and that has a ripple effect in terms of their ability to be active participants in managing their disease. Initially, most of our clients rely heavily on the nurse for guidance, but the longer they work with her, the more self-sufficient they become in keeping up with their medical appointments, in understanding their own particular medical issues, in being informed about their medications and side effects, and in being comfortable talking to their healthcare providers.
We’ve seen our clients gain confidence and independence in managing their condition, and as a result, we’ve seen significant and sustainable improvement in people maintaining their medical appointments and being adherent to their treatment. Combined, these things have a major impact on the health and overall well-being of the people we serve here at Union Mission.
“One of the things that I would want to leave with anyone who cares about people who are impacted with HIV and AIDS is that it's more than just numbers on a sheet of paper. It's more than just statistics that you may see or read about. These are the brothers, sisters, children, aunts, uncles, friends of many people within the United States, outside the United States, and we can never forget about the person behind that number and there is always a story. There is always someone who loved that person and that person is a person who has character, who has depth, who has worth and sometimes when they come -- by the time they get to us, they don't realize that or they've lost that in some way. So by initiatives such as this, we can remind ourselves about what it means to really care about the person next to us, whether you know them or not, it's about human kindness. It's about the spirit of giving, the spirit of love and for anyone who really, really forgets sometimes when they're sitting and just not necessarily realizing the impact, just remember that, because I always say, "If not now, when? If not you, then who?" And if not for initiatives to support our efforts, then where would we be.”
— Letitia Robinson, Union Mission
Another element of the Positive Action Southern Initiative that we’ve found tremendously impactful is the networking opportunities it’s afforded us. We have attended several community summits and networking meetings with colleagues across the region where we’ve been able to bounce ideas off of each other and learn about what’s worked well elsewhere. The information that we’ve been able to bring back to our community is invaluable, and it’s allowed us to look at novel approaches to adherence and care services that we otherwise may never have considered for Union Mission.