Thursday, June 02, 2005

Blue Mountain Heart to Heart

I was still drinking coffee at my church during the coffee and goodies hour after Sunday worship when I noticed that quite a few people were going into the Fellowship Hall. I stopped someone and asked if this was some committee meeting or something open to everyone. It was open to all, but they were just finishing up a video, so I had missed most of the presentation by a staff member from Blue Mountain Heart to Heart. But a few years earlier I had attended a Heart to Heart open house, and at one time the PFLAG group of which I was a member met at their small office before moving back to the church after a few months or so.

I talked to the Heart to Heart staffer as she was packing up and got her permission to use their printed info in my blog. And I still have more of their info to type.

If Walla Walla city and county have Heart to Heart, then other places may have a similar program even if called by a different name, and a reader of my blog might steer a person needing help to a place nearby. So I need to get to Heart to Heart to see if they have any brother or sister orgs and if so, get their contact info. In the meantime, here is some info from a flyer they had at my church.

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Blue Mountain Heart to Heart is a private, nonprofit organization that provides case management services to people living with HIV/AIDS and works to prevent transmission of the virus in our community.

Our History

In 1991, Heart to Heart was conceived by a task force of health care professionals, social service professionals, social service agencies, and concerned individuals who came together to respond to the earliest cases of HIV/AIDS diagnosed in the Walla Walla Valley. Today, Heart to Heart is a leader in HIV/AIDS education and prevention in the greater Walla Walla Valley area and much of southeastern Washington.

Fact: In the State of Washington, individuals between the ages of 14 and 25 make up 21 percent of newly reported HIV infections. Teen pregnancies in Walla Walla and Columbia counties are higher than the state average, indicating that many of our youth are engaging in high-risk behavior. Yet many young people believe they are not at risk for contracting HIV!

Fact: As a group, minority women of childbearing age have the fastest-growing rate of infection. Our population of permanent and semi-permanent agricultural workers is growing in relation to the burgeoning wine industry. Our bilingual, bicultural programs are critical in crossing the cultural barriers that impede prevention education.

Fact: A cure for HIV is a long way off.