If you are someone living with HIV/AIDS in the Monadnock Region and need assistance, please call Suzanne Mueller at 603.354.3241 or email Suzanne Mueller

Changes at AIDS Services for the Monadnock Region in 25th Year

Founded in 1989, AIDS Services for the Monadnock Region (ASMR) has been the AIDS service organization for the Monadnock Region for 25 years. The nonprofit agency has grown from an all-volunteer effort to an established presence in the community. The early years focused on creating a buddy program to assist people living with HIV/AIDS in their homes, providing transportation and personal services. In 1996, when advancements in medication allowed HIV+ men and women to live longer and more independent lives, client case management services were instituted. For the last 15 years, case management has continued to evolve according to client needs, and extensive community education, outreach and HIV testing has resulted in the agency reaching tens of thousands of people, all the while remaining true to its grassroots founders who had the foresight to establish a coalition that served the needs of a growing HIV+ population while educating the public.

In 2014, the agency has faced challenges beyond its control. When the Affordable Care Act went into effect in late 2013, a new requirement called for people living with HIV/AIDS to align themselves with an AIDS service organization in order to receive federal subsidies for medication and health insurance, rather than manage their care independently. The small agency was now required to accommodate a substantially enlarged client caseload, which grew by 60%, and its part-time case manager position was insufficient to meet the demand.

In order to responsibly address increased client needs, ASMR developed an innovative plan in conjunction with the Southern New Hampshire AIDS Task Force in Nashua, NH and supported by the NH Division of Public Health Services. The Task Force agreed to take on ASMR clients as their own to ensure that there would be no interruption of medical case management services for clients, and to employ ASMR’s case manager as their full-time employee. Further, in recognition of the need to alleviate disruption and preserve client stability, the Task Force agreed to maintain the office location at 17 Dunbar Street in Keene as a satellite location. MacNeil remained in the office through September to support the now full-time case manager during the transition and assure a seamless continuation of client services.

"The unanticipated influence of difficult extenuating factors, like budget cuts and federal mandates, requires adaptive leadership to ensure that the needs of vulnerable populations are met in an ethical manner. We are grateful to the Task Force for their support and understanding of the critical need for continuum of care. I’m relieved that HIV+ persons living in the Monadnock Region are in good hands."

MacNeil is now serving in an unpaid capacity to guide the nonprofit agency’s evolution by collaborating with stakeholders to assess future opportunities, including a name change that reflects capacity-building efforts with allied organizations. "Although the future is uncertain, we value our longstanding community investment and appreciate the chance to evaluate the possibilities with established partners." At this time, the agency continues to provide HIV/AIDS community and educational outreach as it has historically, including customary activities associated with World AIDS Day by partnering with Franklin Pierce University to provide the AIDS Memorial Quilt tour to interested schools and churches. The agency is also cooperating with Keene State College on several World AIDS Day activities between December 1-7, including an art installation in the Thorne Sagendorph Art Gallery and Quilt display. The 11th annual holiday fundraiser, Ladies of the Rainbow, will be held on December 6. For more information, contact Susan MacNeil at 603.313.0052, or susan.macneil@asmronline.org.

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