acr health

Scott Willis/WAER News

Central New Yorkers marked World AIDS day today by remembering those who died of the disease, but also celebrating progress of AIDS prevention in New York State.  ACR Health Executive Director Wil Murtaugh says the state’s increase in the supplement of Pre-exposure Pills, or PrEP, is helping stop the disease before it can be contracted.

Taylor Epps/WAER News

Thursday is International Overdose Awareness Day and the opioid epidemic issue is hitting Syracuse hard.  One local health organization used the day to point out how overdose reversing drugs can save lives.

If someone overdosed near you, would you be able to save them? This hypothetical could easily become a reality. Alexandra Punch of ACR Health says the heroin and opioid epidemic is growing in the Syracuse Community.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The collapse of the latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has officials at one Central New York agency breathing a sigh of relief…for now.  Director of Insurance Programs at ACR Health Steve Wood says while the future is still uncertain, ACR Health will continue to provide insurance to anyone in need.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Mayor Stephanie Miner and representatives of ACR Health announced significant progress towards ending the state’s AIDS epidemic by 2020. New York’s AIDS crisis peaked in 1993 with nearly 15,000 new infections. In 2015, the number of new infections was down to 3,123, a 79% decrease. But the fight is far from over.

Denise Smith lost her 32 year-old son Ron to AIDS just last December. Ron was diagnosed in late 2013 after being disoriented and having trouble walking.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A statewide campaign visited Syracuse promoting safe spaces for people to use illegal drugs – in hopes of reducing overdose deaths and possibly curbing the drug use.  Angela Woody is with Vocal-New York, a group that works on drug policy, H-I-V AIDS issues, and mass incarceration.  She was in Syracuse with the Safe Shape Tour.  She says I-V and other drug users are shooting up or smoking in places that present a number of problems.

The opioid and heroin epidemic is still as problematic as ever in Central New York as treatment options continue to expand.  That’s according to the Director of Behavioral Health at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse.  Last year, 325 patients were admitted to the medication assistive treatment program and the current census has 700 patients enrolled for treatment services which can span several years or decades.  Behavioral Health Director Monika Taylor is anticipating funding from the State Budget and at the Federal level.

John Smith/WAERNews

The annual World AIDS Day Service was observed at LeMoyne College on Thursday morning.  The “Service of Remembrance” was filled with reflective readings, stirring music and handmade quilts bearing the names of loved ones.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Officials at ACR Health in Syracuse are urging clients not to hesitate to enroll in a health care plan despite the uncertainty of the affordable care act under a President Donald Trump. 

"The Affordable Care Act is still law.  Until that changes, we are going forward," said Brian Van Benschoten, Insurance Programs Coordinator

acrhealth.org

It’s time to sign up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act…and a Syracuse health agency is offering some help and clearing up some confusion.  A-C-R Health has 15 health navigators that help with open enrollment for people renewing a plan or signing on.  Director of Insurance Programs Steve Wood encourages people to come in to clear up income guidelines and potential tax penalties. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

About two dozen health services providers and other Syracuse-area stakeholders gathered Wednesday to discuss strategies to make hepatitis C screening and care more of a priority in New York State.  About 200,000 New Yorkers are living with chronic hepatitis C, and half of those infected are unaware of their status. Policy analyst at the grassroots group VOCAL-NY Clifton Garmon says the state needs to know hepatitis Cis a problem.

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