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Agency Updates and COVID-19 Work Plan

June 30, 2020 – Columbia, Missouri

To The Communities We Proudly Serve:

We hope this finds you all well and managing this health crisis the best you can. At Spectrum, we have changed our way of seeing clients and doing business in new and creative ways over the last few months. Our “new normal” at the agency is one steeped in caution, care, and consideration for those we serve and our staff, board of directors and volunteers. While the State of Missouri has officially opened all businesses, with limited restrictions, the City of Columbia has kept some of the limitations in place. We will continue to monitor this situation and implement changes as the need arises. We continue to work under the same plan as we have for the last 30-45 days and will be sure to update you on any new changes as they are put into place.  You may find the most recent plan at Previous COVID-19 Work Plan Update – May 2020.

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In addition to the recent COVID-19 crisis, Spectrum has become accustomed to implementing changes needed for the agency. Over the past 18 months, Spectrum Health Care has been mapping out a new path, and we want to share our plans with you. When a group of concerned citizens formed the organization in 1992, it was in support of citizens with HIV/AIDS from across all of mid-Missouri who could not access or afford the care they desperately needed; thus, they were left alone and scared. Care Teams were mobilized to address the needs presented at that time by the national and global AIDS Epidemic. Then, as patient requirements changed, the solution was to contract with the State of Missouri’s Department of Health & Senior Services to provide Ryan White Medical Case Management.

Today, the needs of the HIV/AIDS community are vastly different; for the most part, the current requirement is access to competent care. In response to that need, Spectrum started a clinic in 2017 that provides for the HIV+ community, and anyone needing primary healthcare services. After lengthy discussions, it was clear that we needed to change our services again. This change meant that another agency would take over the medical case management contract. We could no longer see our future in the current case management model. Therefore, on July 1, 2020, Spectrum Health Care will no longer be the Ryan White Medical Case Management provider for the North Central Region of Missouri. We are working closely with the new contractor to ensure that no client has their services disrupted during this transfer.

Spectrum will partner with the new case management agency to assure you continue to receive prioritized access to the Primary Care Clinic in Columbia when you need an appointment.  Other services, including access to PrEP, prevention education, on site and outreach HIV/STI/viral hepatitis counseling and testing, and referral to other health care providers and resources as needed, will continue to be available.

We are reaching out to reassure ALL clients (current, past, and future) that Spectrum Health Care will continue our work to ensure that all HIV+ persons and their families will continue to receive quality care and remain an integral part of our mission. 

We are indeed entering this new phase with some emotions, and they are mixed.  We are sad that our team will be smaller, but we are also excited about the services and future that we are building. We are concerned about our client’s well-being, but we are thrilled that we will have services that impact a large portion of the community. Overall, it is a great sense of hope tinged with a lament for the past.

As we move forward with our new strategic plan to provide additional services and access points to care, we will take what we have learned from our time as a focused AIDS Service Organization.  We will apply those valuable lessons to our new mission to provide comprehensive, culturally competent medical services to marginalized populations in Mid-Missouri. 

Know that past, present, and future client and patient needs will drive our programs and expansion. We welcome you on this beautiful journey with us as we expand services and increase access to care throughout our region. 

Wishing you best health, and happy Pride month!

Cale Mitchell, Executive Director

#SocialDistancing  #WearAMask  #WashYourHands  #WeAreHereForYou

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