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Meet Partnership to End AIDS Status Inc.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Partnership to End AIDS Status.

So excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
PEAS Inc. was founded November 1, 2009 by LaRonia Hurd-Sawyer, RN, MSN-CNL, MPH, Executive Director/Founder with a group of female health professionals/ Public Health advocates dedicated to the eradication of HIV/AIDS and other health disparities from the communities in the Mid-South. The Board of Directors of PEAS Inc. have a combined 25+ years of multidisciplinary experience. PEAS Inc’s staff has assisted at the community level in efforts to assess service gaps, community needs, coordinate and plan the allocation of resources for persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and other STIs disparities that is placed within minority communities. Most of PEAS Inc.’s recipients of services are essentially 90% African American/Hispanic, English and Spanish speaking; predominantly from the Memphis and Shelby county area. Approximately 80% of the recipients of services provided by PEAS Inc. include Ciswomen/Cismen, Transwomen/Transmen, and those of LGBTQIA experience, due to large numbers of or high percentage of single-parent or women-headed homes in the Memphis TGA area.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
With everything comes challenges, but that’s what makes this journey worthwhile. There’s lack of funding to assist with housing and retention to care, sleepless nights, tearful days, joyous occasion and tedious years. Most days you think no one is gaining from your work, But it’s so rewarding, once you’ve realized you’ve helped at least one person change their lives.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Partnership to End AIDS Status Inc?
The mission and goal of PEAS Inc. is to deliver services and comprehensive HIV/HCV testing and education to the most highly affected communities during vulnerable hours and in non-traditional settings. PEAS Inc has served more than 10,000 residents in the Memphis and Shelby County area. LaRonia is certified through the Centers for Disease Control to facilitate life changing interventions such as SISTA/TWISTA, ANEA, HepConnect, COMPASS, PrEP/Prevention, ARTAS and a Certified Syringe Supply/Exchange Program.PEAS Inc.’s core values and principles of operation include but are not limited to providing equal access to services and resources to all clients, operating a client-centered organization, providing a safe haven for all clients, employing staff who commit to remaining non-judgmental and professional, and assuring the confidentiality of all clients.

Provide equality of service resources for all clients, Operate a client-centered organization, being Transparent to all we serve, Providing a safe haven for all clients/ non-judgmental and Confidentiality of all clients

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Lessons learned during the COVID 19, is nothing is promised, live life and keep the wheels rolling until they fall off. Also, we’ve learned how to compromise, when the pandemic hit, it came immediately and no one knew the answers. It was by far the scariest things for us and our clients, but that’s when you realize, ” I’ve trained for this exact moment”, you pull up your boot scraps and still get the job done. COVID made us become more creative than we’ve ever been and in times we’ve been amazed with our outcomes.

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Image Credits

Freddie B Poindexter (Dipsy)

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