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The History of Our Organization

1992

Originally Founded as Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN)

Spectrum Health Care was founded in 1992 (then Regional AIDS Interfaith Network "RAIN") by a group of socially concerned members of the United Methodist Church. With little assistance available for those who contracted the HIV/AIDS virus, our organization was focused on providing compassionate care to people who were dying of AIDS in Central Missouri.

In the early years of the agency, services were completely overseen and implemented by volunteers. As the organization grew, an executive director and staff were hired. At the governance of Cheryl Smith, the agency began annual awareness-raising and fundraising events including the Salute to Life Walk, the RAIN RIDE, the annual Wine and Art Gala, and the annual World AIDS Day Observances (worldaidsday.org). It was during these formative years that the agency took root as the premier resource for managed care, testing and education. While services and needs have changed, these core resources continue today.
1998

Growing with the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Case Management Contract

Spectrum Health Care received its first Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Case Management contract, through the State of Missouri, Department of Health and Senior Services, in 1998 and hired two case managers. As the years progressed and as patient numbers increased, Spectrum continued to add additional case managers, including those specifically assigned to justice involved individuals.

In 2019, Spectrum assisted over 750 individuals and their families through this program. Included in the program were referrals to health care services and payment options, HIV medication assistance, housing assistance, transitional case management to assist those leaving jail/prison; and of course, access to all programs and services that Spectrum provides.

In 2020, Spectrum made the difficult decision not to compete for the new contract cycle due to funding restrictions put in place by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Our clients are fortunate to have another local agency be awarded this contract and continue their care and assistance without interruption. While we may not currently have a Ryan White case management program for the HIV+ community, we will continue to have and grow services at our core for this specific community as the need and shortfalls for assistance is significant.
2002

Adding Housing Assistance Programs

The housing program was implemented in 2002 to provide monetary assistance to the clients including rents, utilities, deposits, emergency repairs, etc. These services have been funded since by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Program by a contract with DOORWAYS Housing in St. Louis for coverage of the North Central Region’s 37 counties. In addition to our HOPWA assistance program, Spectrum purchased and renovated an apartment building in 2004 that provided housing to eligible patients through the Columbia’s Shelter Plus Program. This property has since been sold to allow for more focused services to the community. Another expansion to the DOORWAYS contract occurred in 2013. This expansion included an additional 29 counties in the Southwest Region of the State. Spectrum now covers 66, which is over one-half of the 114 counties in Missouri, with housing assistance.
2017

Opening Our Primary Health Clinic

In 2017, after many years of planning, Spectrum opened our Primary Health Clinic. Our purpose was to provide a clinical service setting where all would feel welcome and heard. We offer our services on a sliding-scale fee structure, as well as taking most insurance plans to ensure that everyone have a place to turn – without judgement, with compassion and understanding, and with staff who are culturally competent to provide services to our community. Our Clinic staff work hand-in-hand with our program staff to ensure that their health care needs as a whole are met either by our clinic or through referrals. In three short years, we have expanded our clinical services to include a variety of coordinated care services to enhance the patient experience and health outcomes. Our purpose and mission for our clinic will always be helping our clients and patients achieve #BetterHealth!

In early 2020, the Spectrum family lost our long-time friend and Agency Medical Director. The clinic was officially renamed William L. Salzer, MD Memorial Clinic to reflect the importance of him to our agency and all those he touched during his medical practice and his service to this agency.
2017

Providing Walk-In HIV, STD/STI Testing with Spectrum After Dark

From our inception, Spectrum has been dedicated to providing expanded services to include HIV, STD/STI prevention, education and testing. Spectrum has been one of the only organizations to provide HIV, STD/STI testing free of charge to all patients. In 2017, our Prevention and Testing program implemented Spectrum After Dark, providing walk-in testing three nights a week. We continue to provide education presentations and services as requested by schools, colleges, and businesses. It is only through education and testing that we can help reduce the infection and transmission of HIV, STDs/STIs.
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