AHF, Mission Support, grantee, San Diego County, Christie's Place, nonprofit, HIV/AIDS, education, comprehensive, social, behavioral health services, advocacy, women , children

Christie’s Place

Mission Statement: Transforming lives since 1996, Christie’s Place is a leading nonprofit organization that provides HIV/AIDS education, comprehensive social and behavioral health services, and advocacy.  Their mission is to empower women, children, families and individuals whose lives have been impacted by HIV/AIDS to take charge of their health and wellness. 

Advancing Health and Wellness: Christie’s Place is one of the most significant and influential women’s HIV organizations on the West Coast. Not only was its founder instrumental in ensuring women and families affected by HIV had a safe, nurturing place they could turn to for support and assistance, but it remains the only organization in San Diego County that is dedicated solely to advancing culturally and gender-responsive programs and services for women, children and families impacted by HIV. Throughout its history, Christie’s Place has been trailblazing and pioneering in its work to incorporate the voices of affected women in the HIV prevention, treatment and social justice movements – advocating for the complete physical, mental, spiritual, economic and social well-being of affected women and families. Today, Christie’s Place remains committed to continuing its legacy and advancing its role in the fight for health equity and social justice for affected women and their families.  

Description:  For two decades, Christie’s Place has built a staff of experts who are dedicated to supporting and strengthening women, children and families. As an organization devoted to providing quality, responsive programs and services to its clients, the agency has charted a course for the betterment of clients’ lives by delivering family-centered and comprehensive social services, cultivating hope and supporting women and families to become empowered. Their integrity, expertise and longstanding foundation in the community, along with the delivery of comprehensive services, provide them access to some of San Diego’s most vulnerable residents.  As San Diego County’s 2010 Public Health Champion and the 2011 Kaiser Permanente HIV/AIDS National Diversity Awardee, Christie’s Place has the proven expertise and credibility to lead the way in improving access to and participation in the full continuum of care and treatment.

The agency delivers comprehensive services closely linked to healthcare for women, children and families impacted by chronic health conditions, such as HIV, whose health and wellness are complicated by socio-economic factors such as extreme poverty, inadequate access to healthcare, sub-standard housing and homelessness, limited education and language barriers. Christie’s Place has filled a critical need for gender-responsive, family-centered, trauma-informed, culturally and linguistically competent services which address the unique needs of chronically ill women, empowering them to take charge of their health. Christie’s Place’s proven effective service model includes: an early intervention services center with resource coordination, information and referral services, medical case management, mental health services, childcare, family case work, patient navigation, transportation and outreach.

In 2010, Christie’s Place was awarded one of 10 national grants given to communities across the country by AIDS United to support its Access to Care initiative, funded by a federal Social Innovation Fund grant to support innovative strategies to improve community health. The grant—which requires dollar-for-dollar local matching funds—allowed Christie’s Place to implement the Coordinated HIV Assistance and Navigation for Growth and Empowerment for Women (CHANGE for Women) program aimed at improving local access to and retention in medical care. Through CHANGE for Women, Christie’s Place created a partnership of San Diego organizations and clinics to function as a collaborative network of care model to improve timely entry, access to and retention in care for women living in the County. This highly successful program improves the utilization of medical care and treatment and also strengthens the healthcare and social services systems through strategic alliances and implementation of a wrap-around service model.

The CHANGE for Women program serves low-income women living with HIV throughout all of San Diego County whether they are entering medical care, have fallen out of care or are at risk of falling out of care. It improves the utilization of medical care and treatment and strengthens the healthcare and social services systems through strategic alliances and implementation of a peer navigation service model. CHANGE for Women improves the utilization of HIV medical care and treatment for women by providing additional support to women who are having challenges navigating the healthcare system. CHANGE for Women addresses a myriad of barriers that affect engagement in medical care, including: access to care barriers-basic needs, isolation, stigma, medical system inadequacies, fears about accessing care, poverty, immigration, lack of information, transportation, and lack of culturally appropriate services, retention in care barriers-low health literacy, mental health conditions, substance abuse, domestic violence, history of and recent trauma, limited self-efficacy, limited support structures, lack of psychosocial support services, and lack of personal support structures and adherence to taking Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) barriers-lack of treatment education, lack of support, and lack of health literacy. Services provided within the CHANGE for Women program include: case management, medical care (Women’s Center of Excellence), behavioral health services, transportation, food support, legal assistance, human rights education, electronic medical record training and peer navigation. Further, CHANGE for Women clients are also provided access to the additional comprehensive services available in the Christie’s Place Coordinated Services program.

Contact Information:  Shannon Hansen, MSW, Program Manager, (619)702-4186, Hansen@christiesplace.org | www.christiesplace.org | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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