The city has been issued a $4.2 million federal grant under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program to lead a regional effort against the pandemic, announced Bill Pascrell, the congressman representing New Jersey’s 9th congressional district.
The total grant amount of $4,209,264 will be used to provide medical, dental, mental health, case management, transportation, housing assistance, food, and legal services to hundreds residents living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the city, Passaic and Bergen counties.
“This federal-local partnership has made great strides in our fight against HIV/AIDS, but the need for care and treatment services remains strong,” said Pascrell, former city mayor. “This federal funding will help ensure that thousands of New Jerseyans can receive the services they need to remain healthy.”
The funds are coming from the United States Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Part A of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program which provides emergency relief to those severely impacted by the virus in the Bergen-Passaic Transitional Grant Area (TGA).
The city’s health department which serves as the lead agency for the funds will be responsible for the management and disbursement of the money to medical and community based providers in both counties.
“The Transitional Grants Area (TGA) provides funding opportunities for 18 agencies serving residents in Paterson, Bergen & Passaic Counties living with HIV/AIDS,” said Millie Izquierdo, director of the city’s Ryan White Program. “We are very pleased with the outcome of our grant application as well as the positive feedback that we received from HRSA [Health Resources and Services Administration] regarding the strength of our document.”
As of December 2012, there has been 6,094 reported cases of HIV/AIDS in Passaic County and 3,326 cases in Bergen County, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
Donna Nelson-Ivy, director of the city’s health department, said the current amount represents a $500,000 increase from last year’s grant.
In 2013, the city received $3,754,878 under the federal program which was created in 1990 shortly before the death of an Indiana teenager, Ryan White, who at the age of thirteen contracted the infection and succumbed to the virus five years later.
The recent grant marks an increase of $454,386. Nelson-Ivy said she expects to support 1,485 clients with the grant.
“Our TGA [Bergen-Passaic Transitional Grant Area] continues to thank Congressman Pascrell for his consistent advocacy for the services that we are able to provide to our brothers and sisters through the hard work of our 18 agencies and their staff,” said Nelson-Ivy.
“I’ll continue to fight to ensure Passaic and Bergen Counties, and the state at-large continues to receive its fair share of funding from this vital program,” said the congressman.