1. The capital funds for and the establishment of the RCH program to fill the gap in the continuum of care for HIV/AIDS individuals.2. Funding for education and training.3. A new electronic medical record system.4. A nursing call system.5. A new HVAC unit.
Leeway is a 40 beds skilled nursing facility, it is the only sub-acute nursing home in the State devoted to AIDS care. Leeway is uniquely equipped to address the mental and physical challenges of people with HIV/AIDS. In the past 5 years, Leeway has developed clinical expertise to address the complex clinical and social issues of patients who are graduating from in-patient care to independent living. The services provided in Leeway include clinical services, dietary services, therapeutic recreation, and social services such as groups, substance abuse counseling.
Residents will have an increased quality of life and have the ability to return to independent living in the community.
Pam B. met a new man who said all the right things and made her feel loved again, but as a crack cocaine user, he led her into addiction.
Today, Pam is recovered. It was not an easy road. She had been on the streets for two years and was at a point too sick to get up off a street corner. “I thought I was going to die and I knew I didn’t want to die on the streets,” Pam recounts. Fortunately, she was taken to a hospital and then to Leeway, Inc., the state’s only skilled nursing home for people with AIDS.
At Leeway she had a bed and a place to eat regular meals. She began to take her medications and to feel better. Once her health was stabilized, she could focus on her addiction and depression. She began attending residents’ groups and meetings. She had forgotten how to laugh, but had found it again at Leeway.
Pam applied to Leeway’s supportive housing and was accepted. “I can come and go as I please. I am allowed to make choices. I love it here.”
Pam now advocates for people who suffer from HIV/AIDS and homelessness. For her advocacy work, Pam received the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition’s (CARC) Clarence Daniels consumer advocacy award, and was elected to CARC’s Board of Directors. Pam is also an active participant in Narcotics Anonymous and worked to bring the 12-step meetings to Leeway, where she now facilitates meetings.
Leeway has enabled Pam to start anew and runite with her family. Looking ahead, she has set many goals. She would like to take a trip abroad, to study English at Yale, and to return to work. She would also like to write a motivational book with daily readings for people with HIV/AIDS.
“Leeway saved my life,” says Pam, “And now I want to give back.”
Heather Aaron is Leeway’s Executive Director. Ms. Aaron brings over two-decades of professional experience in designing and implementing public health programs. Ms. Aaron received her Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Health Administration from the Yale School of Medicine in 1985 and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Hospital Administration from Quinnipiac University. She is a member of the American Heart Association, the American Hospital Association and has served as president of the Delta Foundation a non for profit community based organization serving youth. Her leadership, dedication, and excellence in all aspects of healthcare administration received recognition by the 2008 Cambridge Who’s Who. She has provided leadership in hospitals and nursing homes in the tri-state area as a CEO and CFO and is very committed to the future of Leeway and the mission to continue to be a leader in HIV/AIDS care delivery.
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A healthy community is a rich community. When we enjoy good health, when we engage in wellness activities – and when we support people living with disease or disabilities -- there are profound physical and psychological benefits. Simply put, we are all stronger and happier. To support the health and wellness initiatives in your community is to put good health within reach of all.
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