Rooted in the 1998 merger of Health Crisis Network (1983) and Community Research Initiative (1989), Care Resource is now South Florida’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization and a true leader in the community. We have also become since 2009 a Federally Qualified Health Center with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade and Miami-Beach, offering general primary care services to the whole South Florida community.
Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in South Florida and for more than 30 years, Care Resource has been dedicated to serving those suffering with or affected by HIV/AIDS and to meeting the changing demographics of the epidemic. The former Health Crisis Network (HCN), founded in 1983 by a group of dedicated volunteers, focused on providing a response to the epidemic with crisis intervention, social support and educational programs. Community Research Initiative (CRI), founded in 1989, pioneered the implementation of community-based clinical trials through its network of physicians across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Virtually all of the popular anti-retroviral drugs widely used today have been studied by the agency through its clinical research program.
Since merging, the agency has expanded and new services have been added in response to the needs of the epidemic. In 1999 primary medical care was implemented, creating a system to rapidly and effectively triage those identified as HIV positive into a comprehensive system for medical care and supportive services. Today, clients have access at a “one-stop” location to primary medical care, information and referrals, case management, mental health and substance abuse counseling, transportation vouchers, HIV counseling and testing and wellness screenings.
Furthermore, the agency’s many prevention and education programs go out into the community and engage populations at high risk, affected and/or infected by HIV/AIDS, by disseminating prevention information and connecting those in need to the healthcare system. Prevention programs target youth, men who have sex with men, the incarcerated, African-American, Haitian, and Hispanic men and women believed to be HIV positive or at risk of contracting the virus.
Care Resource has demonstrated excellence in the field of HIV/AIDS as it works to fulfill its mission and have a positive impact on Broward and Miami-Dade communities. Our work in the community has earned us the confidence of our clients and funding sources at local, state and federal levels. The agency currently has about 15,000 unduplicated clients and conducts more than 11,000 HIV tests annually. Fundraising activities and hundreds of invaluable volunteers help raise awareness, bring hope and build a sense of community.
The ever changing AIDS pandemic impacts a devastating number of people living in our community. More than 57,000 people in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties area live with AIDS. Tens of thousands more people are estimated to be infected with HIV. In fact, Miami-Dade County currently ranks number one in the nation, logging the highest number of new AIDS cases per capita in the United States. Broward County currently ranks number two in the nation in the same category. logging the second highest number of new AIDS cases per capita in the United States.
According to recent CDC studies, HIV/AIDS has claimed the lives of over 576,000 Americans. Today, over 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and 20% of those infected are unaware of their infection. With the development of additional services to meet these growing needs, comes the challenge of identifying financial resources to support our work.