Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, Inc. is proud to provide full primary care and preventive services for persons living with HIV/AIDS. This includes confidential counseling and testing, confirmatory diagnosis, lab tests, ongoing treatment and follow up for the disease and its co-morbidities. Patients also receive dental care and referrals for behavioral health care and specialty services when needed. Case managers work with each individual to establish treatment plan goals and to work on preventing the spread of the virus.
The Ryan White services are provided at the Hattiesburg Family Health Center and its adjacent clinics, the Women’s Health Center for prenatal care and the Hattiesburg Community Dental Center for oral health needs.
Case managers and expert HIV providers are available five days a week from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. for HIV patients. Services are confidential and no one else in the clinic need know why any patient is coming in for a visit. Please call 601-582-2619 for complete information about the Ryan White programs. HIV positive patients and their affected family members are welcome to come to the clinic. The Hattiesburg Family Health Center will provide free HIV screening for anyone who requests the test. Call 601-582-2619 for information.
The programs have been growing for more than ten years. Following the opening of the Hattiesburg Family Health Center in 1995, SeMRHI recognized another major need in the community. People infected with HIV and AIDS were coming back to their hometowns. The HIV patients had to travel at least 90 miles for care, to Jackson, Birmingham or New Orleans.
The leadership and Board of Directors made a commitment to provide care for this illness. Several providers received training and became proficient at providing the complex and changing treatment. SeMRHI received planning grant funding for the Ryan White CARE Act in 1999, and Ryan White Title III and Title IV program funding was awarded in 2000.
The programs were placed within the growing Social Services Department. A competent staff of nurse case managers, social workers, and outreach workers makes sure that patients receive high quality care that meets the federal standards. There are currently more than 685 (December 2009) HIV patients receiving excellent quality care at the Hattiesburg Family Health Center. SeMRHI provides prevention education for thousands of area residents each year and also provides free counseling and testing for high risk people. A consumer advisory board and support groups are in place to further assist people with this illness.
For additional information, please call the Social Services Department at the Hattiesburg Family Health Center, 66 Old Airport Road, Hattiesburg, Mississippi at 601-582-2619