Partners through pandemic


AIDS Healthcare Foundation donates relief assistance at Baptist Hospital SmartHealth Clinic

  • AHF Pharmacy partners with Baptist Hospital's SmartHealth Clinic to help patients through the pandemic.
    AHF Pharmacy partners with Baptist Hospital's SmartHealth Clinic to help patients through the pandemic.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is donating assistance for HIV-positive patients at Baptist Hospital’s SmartHealth Clinic to help them with economic hardships that could arise during the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.

“AHF Pharmacy is extremely proud to collaborate with Baptist Hospital’s SmartHealth Clinic in the fight to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19 on those who are living with HIV,” AHF announced April 6. “Through this dynamic partnership, many of Southeast Texas’ most vulnerable citizens will receive financial assistance with housing, utilities, food and transportation as they navigate the unforeseen hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Los Angeles-based AHF is a global nonprofit organization providing medicine and advocacy to over 1 million people in 43 countries. The group is currently the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the world. AHF Pharmacy is the prescription management division of the AHF, where 96 cents of every dollar generated goes directly into patient care. Through ongoing community partnerships, AHF’s goal is to ensure that HIV-positive individuals domestically and worldwide have access to expert medical care, robust advocacy and life-saving medication.

SmartHealth is a navigated wellness program that provides comprehensive medical care for chronic disease management that includes HIV and Hepatitis C. The program’s clinical team consists of Board Certified Medical Directors, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Licensed Social Workers and Licensed Vocational Nurses. All patients receive services in “a judgment-free environment.”

The Baptist SmartHealth Clinic accepts patients by referral/consultation. Prior to legal social distancing restrictions put in place during the ongoing pandemic, the Baptist SmartHealth Clinic would see patients either face-to-face for a traditional office visit or qualifying patients could utilize the clinic’s tele-management services. The telehealth services are currently more popular than ever with many patients opting to stay at home to continue treatments, when possible. The program focuses on patients who have no health-insurance or have Medicaid, as these patients tend to have less access to care on an outpatient basis, but patients are admitted to the program regardless of their funding status, reports the clinic. HIV eligibility and care are delivered according to HRSA and Ryan White B/C guidelines.