Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today for the tenth time in as many years, Dutchess County has been awarded the federal Ryan White C.A.R.E. Act, Title I grant. Dutchess County will receive $1,222,865 for the 2005 Fiscal Year. The County received $1,231,242 in 2004.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “I am pleased with the County’s long-standing participation in this nationwide initiative to ease the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Many communities have seen drastic cuts to their awards this year. We are extremely fortunate to have Congressman Sweeney looking out for us in Dutchess, due to his efforts our amount was only reduced by less than 1% during a time of fiscal restraint.”
Dutchess County first became an Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA, a federal statistical area for federal funding purposes) under Title I of the Ryan White C.A.R.E. Act in 1994 and applied for its first funding under Title I of this legislation that year for FY 1995. The purpose of Title I funding is to support and enhance local community services and programs for persons infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in certain areas that qualify and are designated as Eligible Metropolitan Areas (EMAs) by the federal government. There are only 51 EMAs throughout the United States. Dutchess County is among the “small EMAs,” while New York City is the largest.
“When Dutchess first became eligible for Ryan White C.A.R.E. Act funding, I envisioned an opportunity to improve the health and human services available in our County for persons infected with and families affected by HIV disease,“ said Steinhaus. “This federal funding continues to increase our community’s capacity to enhance and develop necessary and vital services that may be difficult or impossible to achieve relying solely on local revenues.”
The Dutchess County Department of Health functions as the County’s Administrative Agency for the Ryan White, Title I Program and the Dutchess County HIV Health Services Planning Council, which is appointed by the County Executive, establishes local service priorities and funding allocations in Dutchess. Since its first Ryan White, Title I award in FY 1995, Dutchess County’s grant has increased over the years by 225%.
“The fight against HIV and AIDS is vital to the health of our community,” said Steinhaus. “We will continue to work toward enhancing human services for those in our community affected by this horrible disease.”