Friday, January 06, 2012

Tenderloin Health AIDS Clinic Closing;
Does Sup. Kim Have Anything to Say?

Well, that was fast.

Just yesterday the Bay Area Reporter covered the horrible fiscal mess at the Tenderloin Health organization, a longtime AIDS service provider in one of San Francisco's poorest and densest neighborhoods serving thousands of people with AIDS or those at-risk of contracting HIV, all of whom have multiple drug and healthcare needs.

The BAR reported that the head of the Department of Public Health, Barbara Garcia, would be meeting with David Fernandez who is executive director of Tenderloin Health to discuss righting the financial problems at the organization. Has anyone heard from Supervisor Jane Kim, in whose district the agency is headquartered?

This morning's San Francisco Chronicle was on the story, from the angle that the organization is closing. From troubled to going-out-of-business literally overnight. Sheesh.

In recent years, we've seen the New Leaf mental health agency close, the Lyon-Martin Health Center announce an overnight closure that was averted after the lesbian and trans communities mobilized to save it, the disappearance of the Eagle Tavern and A Different Light book store, the Academy of Friends almost go under, a meltdown at the SF Pride committee and Equality California and many institutions experiencing hard economic times.

And I'm hard-pressed to think of which institutions came to the community before a crisis or closure happened. New Leaf did, and before they locked the doors and turned out the lights for the last time, they took a few months to wrap things up.

In my view, it's not just the monetary issues that afflict these institutions but a general lack of regular, respectful engagement and transparency with the clients receiving services. We should keep this in mind as Tenderloin Health shutters.

From today's Chron:

Tenderloin Health [...] will close due to financial problems, the center's board of directors announced Thursday.

Existing debt, the poor economy and the loss of federal funds led to the decision to close, said David Fernandez, the chief executive officer of Tenderloin Health since 2009.

Tenderloin Health was created by the 2006 merger of two long-term health providers, Continuum HIV Day Services and the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center. ...

Fernandez said he expects Tenderloin Health to close within months, but not before new providers are found for the existing clients. "The whole goal of this transition plan is to make sure there's no interruption in their service," he said.

1 comment:

Pamela Fitzgerald said...

As the former Director of Development I had several opportunities to raise money and pushed the board and Mr. Fernandez to go public and try to raise funds. They were extremely reluctant to do so and this resulted in many clients being transferred to other agencies.