Programs and Services
The organization provides the following free programs and services in an effort to reduce the burden of health disparities on minority communities:
Deacons for Defense Initiative
Comprehensive grassroots organizing with local faith groups to solicit their support and participation in addressing health disparities. Compassionate and sensitive prevention education strategies are used to facilitate the most effective community level interventions.
Sexual Minorities Health Crisis
Client-centered programs designed to address the lack of healthcare access, stigma, homophobia, and insensitivity of health issues that impact the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. Self-esteem building and personal empowerment models are used at the individual, group, and community levels to reach the community members.
Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS (BABAA) Program
This program is designed to educate community members about HIV/AIDS and what individuals as well as the community as a whole can do to become more knowledgeable and empowered to address those issues that impact the infection rates of HIV/AIDS in the Black community. We at Williams & Associates, Inc are committed to building upon the long history of the Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS agency. As a program, our efforts to address the prevention, treatment, and care of those living with HIV/AIDS are centered on the concept of empowering the community that is most impacted by the AIDS epidemic at this time. Components of the BABAA program include:
- HIV Risk Reduction Services (RRA): A program designed to provide HIV primary and secondary prevention education and services to those living with HIV. Utilizing CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) sanctioned effective behavioral interventions, this component of BABAA is aimed at delivering prevention services to those living with HIV and those identified as high risk for HIV infection. Working in concert with our local and state departments of health, as well as with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are pursuing a high impact prevention approach; providing prevention services to those living with HIV/AIDS and those at high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. These efforts include linkage HIV positive clients to care and treatment, and testing those at risk for infection, and linking those newly diagnosed to care services as well. The behavioral interventions currently being implemented through the BABAA program are as follows:
- Mpowerment: The Mpowerment Project was developed for young Gay and Bisexual men who have sex with men (MSM), ages 18-29. It focuses on increasing HIV testing; decreasing sexual risk behavior among HIV positive, HIV negative, and young Gay and Bisexual MSM who do not know their status. A core component of this program/service is the drop-in-center known as Rustin’s Place (named in honor of the late civil rights leader Bayard Rustin).
- D-up! Defend Yourself: is a community-level intervention for Black men who have sex with men (MSM). D-up! is designed to change social norms and perceptions of Black MSM regarding condom use. d-up! finds and enlists opinion leaders whose advice is respected and trusted by their peers. These opinion leaders are trained to change risky sexual norms in their own social networks. Opinion leaders participate in four session training and endorse condom use in conversations with their friends and acquaintances.
- Healthy Relationships: Healthy Relationships is a five-session, small-group intervention for men and women living with HIV/AIDS. It focuses on developing skills and building self-efficacy and positive expectations about new behaviors through modeling behaviors and practicing new skills. Decision-making and problem-solving skills are developed to enable participants to make informed and safe decisions about disclosure and behavior.
- Early Intervention Services (EIS): EIS services include counseling individuals with respect to HIV/AIDS; testing (including tests to confirm the presence of HIV antibodies, referrals; other clinical and psycho-social support services regarding living with HIV/AIDS and treatment education, support and adherence. The following services are components of the agency’s EIS program:
- HIV Testing Counseling Testing and Referral Services (CTR): HIV testing and counseling services involved targeted testing to high risk populations, along with linkage to care services for those identified as HIV positive. Rapid HIV testing services are provided (results in 15 minutes), and also includes screening for other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Hepatitis C.
- Psychosocial Support Services: Support services in the form of support groups, pastoral care, caregiver support, and bereavement counseling are made available to those clients living with HIV/AIDS and their support system. The psychosocial support services provided to clients include, but are not limited to the following group level services:
- WILLOW- Women Involved in Life Learning from Other Women: A small group-level, social skills building and educational services for adult women living with HIV. It consists of 4 four hour sessions which are delivered by two trained adult female facilitators, one of whom is a woman living with HIV. WILLOW emphasizes gender pride, informs women who to identify and maintain supportive social networks, teaches coping strategies to reduce life stressors, enhances awareness of STD transmission and HIV re-infection risk behaviors, teaches communication skills for negotiating safer sex, reinforces proper and consistent condom use, distinguishes between health and unhealthy relationships.
- Medical Case Management Services (MCM): A range of client-centered services that links clients with health care, psychosocial and other services to insure timely, coordinated access to medically appropriate levels of health and support services, continuity of care, ongoing assessment of the client’s and other family members’ needs and personal support systems, and inpatient case management that prevents unnecessary hospitalization or that expedite discharge, as medically appropriate, from inpatient facilities.
Advocacy in Action
“We don’t get all that we fight for, but we fight for everything we get,” this saying is especially true when it comes to addressing minority health disparities. Our core belief, “all people have the right to be healthy and to live in a healthy community,”
Advocacy in Action is based on what is known as Health Equity. Health equality means that everyone has a fair opportunity to live a long, healthy life. It implies that health should not be compromised or disadvantaged because of an individual or population group’s race, ethnicity, gender, income, sexual orientation, neighborhood or other social condition. We at Williams & Associates, Inc know firsthand the challenges facing minority communities when it comes to tackling the health issues that impact entire communities. That is why we have a program entitled Advocacy in Action. Through this program the agency is able to work with volunteers on raising the awareness around health disparities and other public health concerns through education of political leaders, community stakeholders, elected and non-elected community leaders, as well as the public in general.
Holistic Community Health Care
A program designed to address community health care from a holistic approach. Focus is on minimizing and eliminating health disparities to enhance overall positive health outcomes for all populations in the community. Education, prevention and wellness models are the major program components.
- The Center for Excellence in Minority Health: The Center for Excellence in Minority Health is a comprehensive health education, prevention, and wellness program of Williams & Associates, Inc. The programs and services of the center target minority populations with the goal of minimizing the impact of health disparities, improving health outcomes, and facilitating the effective leverage of community resources for improved access to preventative and primary health care services. Plans are underway for the opening of a actual location of the center, which will stand as a stand-alone entity and will provide culturally competent preventative health care services to minority communities, and will strive to include them in the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs and services.
- AIM4PEACESTL is a youth crime prevention program targeting youth 11-18 years old in at-risk neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis. The goal of the program is reduce crime among 11-18 year old youths by providing a safe place to gather, skill building activities, life- skills training, conflict resolution, tutoring, , mentoring and an array of supportive services for the youth and their family members. The project is a public health approach to crime reduction and will rely on partnerships with law enforcement, business, faith-based organizations, schools and concerned residents.
Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges
Capacity Building and Technical Assistance is a capacity building and technical assistance program of Williams & Associates, Inc. Through this program for-profit and non-profit agency seeking assistance in the development of agency infrastructure, program development, evaluation, marketing, and administration can access assistance in such service areas from the experts on staff at Williams & Associates, Inc. The lack of infrastructure and capacity hinder community action and mobilization geared toward addressing the many health and health care issues that impact minority communities. Community engagement is a critical strategy for addressing minority health disparities. We at Williams & Associates, Inc are serious about preparing the community to address the many serious health issues that impact our communities. Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges is the agency’s effort to improve the capacity to develop and sustain community mobilization and agency infrastructure in order to support program services and interventions, to improve capacity to mobilize minority communities, and increase their awareness, leadership, participation and support for addressing minority health disparities. Services provided through this program are free of charge. For more information about this program, please contact James E. Green – Director of Operations.