Rocky Mountain CARES – AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin Merger

Why are RMC and ARCW merging?

Our organizations are merging to enhance access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services; to improve clinical outcomes and the experience of patients and clients; increase financial resources; enhance community involvement in the fight against AIDS and to champion the best practices of both organizations in Denver and Wisconsin.

How has the decision to merge been reached?

The Boards of Directors of RMC and ARCW and the two executive leaders of the respective organizations have been in discussions about enhanced partnerships and the potential of a merger throughout the past eighteen (18) months.

The organizations, with financial assistance from AIDS United, also engaged an attorney to do a thorough due diligence assessment of both organizations’ readiness for merger.

After much consideration, the Rocky Mountain CARES Board of Directors voted unanimously to merge with ARCW. The following night, the ARCW Board of Directors also voted unanimously in favor of merging.

So who are you now, RMC, ARCW or some new name?

The merged organization will continue to operate under the name Rocky Mountain CARES or RMC in Denver and as the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin or ARCW in Wisconsin. The staff, programs, volunteers, events, offices and abilities of each organization will be combined into one organization that operates in both Colorado and Wisconsin.

What will the merger mean for patients and clients?

Ultimately, the goal of the merger is to expand and enhance services in Denver and throughout Wisconsin by deploying best practices of both organizations.

Patients and clients currently receiving services from ARCW and RMC will not experience any disruption due to the merger.

Effective immediately, RMC will begin directly offering medical care to HIV patients in Denver.

Throughout 2017, RMC will continue to expand its services and will offer a new HIV Medical Home model of care with increased access to mental health services, pharmacy, a food pantry, legal services, and expanded case management services for HIV patients in Denver to attract and retain more people in care and address unmet needs.

ARCW will work closely with partners, clinics and hospitals in Colorado and in Wisconsin to provide the best possible care to people with HIV in both states.

What does the merger mean for people accessing HIV prevention and testing services?

Also effective immediately, RMC will begin offering pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to individuals at risk for contracting HIV. PrEP is the newest biomedical intervention designed to prevent at-risk individuals from becoming HIV-positive.

Ultimately, the goal of the merger is to enhance services in Denver and in Wisconsin by deploying best practices of both organizations in both geographic areas. RMC will continue to work with community partners throughout Denver to make sure that all at risk individuals have access to HIV prevention, counseling, testing and referral services.

As the fight against the HIV epidemic continues to change, this new organization will be well-positioned to evolve and ensure a comprehensive response to AIDS is maintained.

Where will I be able to get the services I have been receiving from RMC or ARCW?

Patients and clients in Denver will be able to continue to visit the current RMC office in Denver, even while that location is renovated and expanded. The current location will remain open and all services will be available in Denver during construction, ensuring there is no interruption in care.

As they have always been able to do, patients and clients will be able to receive direct services from ARCW offices in Wisconsin at our locations Appleton, Beloit, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Kenosha, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Superior and Wausau.

Prevention and testing services for people at risk for HIV, hepatitis C or other STIs delivered outside of physical office locations will continue uninterrupted as well.

How will the new organization be governed and managed?

Leaders from RMC will have significant leadership roles in the merged organization:

  • The new organization will be governed by a single board of directors with four members of the RMC Board of Directors joining the ARCW Board, ensuring strong representation in the governance of the merged organization.

  • ARCW President and CEO Mike Gifford will remain in that role.

  • RMC Executive Director Shannon Southall will remain in a consultative role and will continue to provide leadership related to HIV prevention, care and treatment in Denver.

  • Karin Sabey, who has an accomplished career leading HIV care and treatment services for a large HIV clinic in Hennepin County, Minnesota will become the ARCW Vice President of Operations for Colorado and will be leading RMC operations in Denver.

  • All RMC programs will continue uninterrupted.

How will the merger affect people who work at RMC and ARCW?

All employees of both RMC and ARCW will have the opportunity to continue employment with the merged organization. While some jobs may change, the overwhelming majority of ARCW and RMC staff will remain in their current roles.

Minimizing the impact on the day to day operations and staff is a key component to the success of the merger. There will be some changes for everyone who works for either organization as the two organizations become one larger, stronger and more effective organization together.

If at any time employees have questions about the merger, they should contact their supervisors, or their department’s vice president.

I have been a donor to RMC. Will my contribution stay in Denver to support services in my community?

Yes. Funds raised by RMC in Colorado will stay in Colorado, while funds raised in Wisconsin will stay in Wisconsin to support services in each state.

I have been a donor to ARCW. Will my contribution stay in Wisconsin to support services in Wisconsin?

Yes. Funds raised by ARCW in Wisconsin will stay in Wisconsin, while funds raised in Colorado will stay in Colorado to support services in each state.

Where can I find out more information about ARCW and RMC?

To learn more, please check out www.rmcarcwmerger.org, www.arcw.org and www.rockymountaincares.org

I have been a donor and have some additional questions about my donations. Who should I call?

Please call Dan Mueller at 414-225-1580 or Dan.Mueller@arcw.org

I am a member of the media and have some additional questions about the merger. Who should I call?

Call Bill Keeton at 414-225-1572 (o) or 414-313-2036 (c) or Bill.Keeton@arcw.org

I would like to reach the executive leadership of either RMC or ARCW. Who should I call?

You may call ARCW President and CEO Mike Gifford at 414-225-1547, or you can reach ARCW Vice President of Operations for Colorado Karin Sabey at 720-227-8697 or Karin@rockymountaincares.org

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