March 07, 2013
LAWT News Service
AltaMed Health Services—a Southern California non-profit health care organization—sponsored HIV prevention for on-site testing at Macedonia Baptist Church in Watts last Sunday March 3.
Macedonia Baptist hosted a day of prayer and healing for residents of the Watts community who have been affected by HIV/AIDS and encouraged all church individuals from the community to receive testing.
“HIV/AIDS has been taboo in the Black Church for far too long. It is the Church's responsibility to inform and inspire people to live better lives and one of the ways we do that is through information and education,” said lead pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church Shane Scott. “HIV/AIDS is here to stay, but it doesn't mean we have to keep carrying it and dying from it! Macedonia is committed to supporting those infected and affected by this epidemic.”
Pastor Scott, who took a test during the morning’s service, invited AltaMed to provide the testing and encouraged congregants to get tested themselves. After the service, congregation members were able to meet with the AltaMed representatives and receive their own, free HIV test.
“There is an alarming disparity in the rising HIV infection rates among communities of color,” said Castulo de la Rocha, AltaMed’s president and CEO. “Our organization believes that de-stigmatizing testing, and making it a part of routine health care for all individuals will help us identify and treat the disease early, allowing patients to live long, healthy, productive lives.”
While serving communities throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties for more than 40 years, AltaMed Health Services is a non-profit community health provider that is introducing the organization to the South Los Angeles Community.
Beginning in 2014, AltaMed is scheduled to open a senior care site at 1776 East Century Boulevard, the organization is connecting with local partners to meet members of the community.
The site will care for frail, elderly residents who are eligible for nursing home care, but will remain in their homes thanks to this new site. Enrolled participants will receive adult day care, dentistry, laboratory, diagnostic services, meals, and physical and occupational therapies. Transportation, home care, hospital and nursing home care are coordinated as necessary.
Residents interested in learning more about the new site can call AltaMed’s Community Access Point at 1-877-462-2582.