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Montrose Clinic
will merge with the Assistance Fund

Montrose Clinic
will merge with the Assistance Fund

Houston's Montrose Clinic, a major provider of HIV care in southern Texas, will merge with the Houston-based Assistance Fund, which provides health insurance and helps provide antiretroviral medication to low-income HIV-positive people in the area, officials from both organizations told the Houston Chronicle. The groups will form a new nonprofit organization, which has yet been named.

Montrose Clinic executive director Katy Caldwell and Fund director Ken Malone say the merger was prompted in part by decreased federal funding to the two separate organizations. Caldwell says the Montrose Clinic's Ryan White funding was cut by 7% last year; Malone reports that the Fund's Ryan White grant was cut by 3%.

Details of the merger are expected to be completed by October 3, and the actual integration of the two agencies is expected to take up to one year. Malone will serve as COO of the newly formed agency. Caldwell and Malone say none of the organizations' employees will lose their jobs after the merger. Clients of the agencies will continue to receive services from the separate groups until the merger is completed.

"We want people to be able to get their insurance eligibility, their primary care, and their medication all in one place," Caldwell told the Chronicle. "This is a good deal. The reaction we've heard from clients and community members has been very positive." (Advocate.com)

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