PASCRELL, LAUTENBERG, TORRES ANNOUNCE $4.5 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS FOR HIV EMERGENCY RELIEF IN PATERSON
FUNDS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT BERGEN AND PASSAIC COUNTIES
PATERSON- U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08), Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres today announced that the City of Paterson has been awarded $4,485,650 in federal funding for HIV emergency relief. The funding was made available through the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency (CARE) Act and will be used for outpatient and ambulatory health and support services throughout the Bergen-Passaic Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA).
"I have been a strong supporter of the Ryan White CARE Act since the program's inception in 1990. The funding provided through CARE has allowed Paterson and the local HIV Health Services Planning Council to significantly decrease AIDS related illnesses and deaths in New Jersey," stated Pascrell. "This federal-local partnership has made great strides in our fight against HIV/AIDS, but much work remains. New Jersey continues to rank fifth in the nation with the number of AIDS cases. As Congress works to reauthorize the CARE Act, I remain steadfast in my support. I am fighting in Washington to ensure Passaic and Bergen Counties, and the state at-large continues to receive its fair share of funding and local control of this vital program."
"As an original supporter of the Ryan White CARE Act I am strongly encouraged by the success of this legislation which reaches more than half a million Americans every year, said Senator Frank Lautenberg. "New Jersey, however remains at the heart of our nation's AIDS epidemic. As the rates of new HIV infections continue to increase, the need for care and treatment services remains strong. This additional funding will help ensure that thousands of New Jerseyan's can receive the services they need to remain healthy."
"We are very thankful on behalf of our family, friends, neighbors who are living with HIV/AIDS to have this resource that was enacted by federal legislation," stated Mayor Torres. "How we measure success and accountability has become an increasing concern nationally, and I am proud to say that we are leaders in this area through the use of performance-based contracts and a dynamic interactive outcomes tracking tool developed by my administration and RDE systems called eCOMPAS (an Electronic Comprehensive Outcomes Management Program for Accountability and Success). This tool tracks desired outcomes in a realistic timely fashion, as well as provides data to the provider so that improvements in service delivery can be enacted upon promptly."
The federal funding that was awarded to Paterson is a slight increase in funding from the previous year. The Bergen-Passaic EMA is to receive the only increased funding in the state. Paterson will acts as the lead administrative agent for the funds and is responsible for the overall management and rapid disbursement of funds to medical and community-based providers in the city and throughout Bergen and Passaic Counties.
In accordance with the legislative mandates of the CARE Act, the City of Paterson will work closely with a regional HIV Health Services Planning Council to determine the needs and unmet needs of people living with AIDS. Together the City of Paterson and the HIV Health Services Planning Council will establish a comprehensive service delivery plan to execute the funding in areas mostly needed.
Currently, the State of New Jersey has 6 of 51 established EMA's in the nation which are designated to receive these federal funds to provide medical care and supportive treatment to persons living with HIV and AIDS. In 2004, nearly 4,000 People living with HIV/AIDS resided in the Bergen-Passaic EMA.
Since 1990, the Ryan White CARE Act has provided medical care and treatment for low-income, uninsured or underinsured people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. Pascrell supports an increase in Ryan White CARE Act funding and has led Congress in increasing funds for the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). On March 16, 2006, Pascrell collected the bipartisan support of eighty-three members of Congress in a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting an increase of $197 million in ADAP funding.