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The Ryan White Program

The Ryan White Program is the largest federally funded program for people living with HIV (PLWH), and is third only to Medicaid and Medicare, as a source of HIV health care and treatment.  The program is named after Ryan White, an Indiana teenager, who contracted the disease in 1985 from a blood transfusion.  Ryan White spent his last years as a public advocate for HIV research and awareness before his death in 1990.  As a result of his efforts, the Ryan White CARE Act was enacted by Congress in response to the growing HIV epidemic, and the need to improve the availability and quality of healthcare for low-income, uninsured and underinsured PLWH.  The law, which has been reauthorized four times (1996, 2000, 2006 and 2009), establishes funding for Ryan White programs called “Parts”. Part A grant awards are issued annually to eligible metropolitan areas (EMAs) and transitional grant areas (TGAs), who are most disproportionately impacted by HIV. 

The Newark Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA) receives Ryan White Part A funding to ensure a comprehensive system of care for people living with HIV in the five county region of Essex, Union, Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties.  As the city in the EMA serving the largest number of PLWH, the Mayor of Newark, NJ, serves as the Chief Elected Official (CEO) for the Newark EMA Part A program. The city’s public health agency, the Department of Health and Community Wellness (DHCW) Ryan White Unit (RWU), is charged with the day-to-day management and oversight of the program. 

Part A funds are awarded each year to hospitals, health centers, and community-based organizations to increase their capacity to serve PLWH when there are no other resources available. The Newark EMA funds approximately 35 HIV Care Providers throughout the region, and serves over 6,000 people annually.  Services includes: outpatient ambulatory health services, mental health services, outpatient and residential substance abuse services, oral health care, medical case management, medical nutrition therapy, health insurance premium and cost sharing, early intervention services, housing services, non-medical case management, food bank/home-delivered meals, medical transportation, psychosocial services, emergency financial assistance, and other professional services (including legal services)

*For more information about the Ryan White Program, please contact the Ryan White Unit at (973)733-4402

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