AIDS network joins Penobscot Health Care

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted July 01, 2010, at 9:04 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Eastern Maine AIDS Network has joined Penobscot Community Health Care. It is a move that will benefit both organizations, officials said Thursday.

“The economy has made it very hard for nonprofits to fundraise and to maintain services,” said Sean Weber, program director for EMAN. “By coming under the umbrella of PCHC, we’re able to offer our clients more services such as dentistry and hearing evaluations. Because we will be part of a larger organization, we’ll be able to apply to foundations and other sources for larger grants than we would be able to on our own.”

EMAN will remain at its current location at 370 Harlow St. in Bangor serving clients in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties with the current staff, Weber said.

PCHC Chief Operating Officer Sharon Swanson called the merger “the perfect marriage.”

EMAN now has about 70 clients and is adding at least one new client every two or three months, Weber said. The budget for EMAN’s current fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, is $417,000.

The philosophy of both organizations is to treat the whole person, the Rev. Bob Carlson, president of PCHC, said Thursday.

“We offer comprehensive high-quality heath care without regard to the ability to pay,” Carlson said. “In our model, integrated care makes a difference. EMAN brings to the table patients who need that service and a staff with years of experience dealing with HIV and AIDS-related health issues and experience in reaching out to and educating the community about HIV and AIDS.”EMAN was founded in 1987 as a grass-roots response to the needs of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, according to information on the organization’s website. By 1991, it had established crisis-management and educational outreach programs. In 2002, EMAN established a syringe exchange program and moved to its current location.

The merger announced Thursday is similar to one announced in April between the Warren Center for Communication and Learning and PCHC. Last month, the Acadia Recovery Community, 179 Indiana Ave., in Bangor joined PCHC and went back to using its former name Hope House.

PCHC was founded in Bangor in 1997 and is now one of the largest primary care practices in the state. The agency serves about 50,000 patients from the Bangor area and beyond, according to information published previously.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/07/01/news/bangor/aids-network-joins-penobscot-health-care/ printed on July 26, 2014