News and Updates

Artopia Submissions Now Open!

We are now accepting art submissions for Artopia 2017! Our Artopia page has updated info and the online submission form for those who want to give us your information prior to delivering your art piece(s). We are excited to see the creativity our Artopians will share this year!

Find out more about Artopia here. Artopia will be held on June 24th, 2017 at the Donald L Tucker Civic Center.

Submit art for the auction here.  The deadline to submit art is June 9th at 5:00 pm.

Buy tickets and view the art here.

AIDS Walk

Thanks to everyone to came out to support AIDS Walk, sponsored, joined a team, and helped us spread awareness! We met and passed our fundraising goal, with a total of $26,000 raised. A special thanks to our performers, Tuesday Supper Club, The Good Little Chickens, and the Seminole Tap Troupe for providing entertainment when the weather chased us out of the park. We are grateful that the BBC Community helps us raise awareness for the needs of those affected by HIV in our community, and how we can all play a roll in preventing its spread. 

FSU medical researcher: Much work remains on World AIDS Day 2016

Dr. Jonathan Appelbaum, professor of internal medicine at the FSU College of Medicine

Dr. Jonathan Appelbaum, professor of internal
medicine at the FSU College of Medicine

Florida State University’s Dr. Jonathan Appelbaum remembers that day in 1981 when a young patient was admitted to the hospital with a rare case of pneumocystis pneumonia. Appelbaum, an internal medicine resident at the time, and his colleagues did not recognize the man’s illness as an AIDS case.

No one would have. Not much was known at that time about the mysterious pneumonia cases claiming an increasing number of lives around the country. In June 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first announced symptoms of the unknown — and deadly — disease. Appelbaum’s young pneumonia patient did not survive.

As World AIDS Day 2016 raises awareness about the disease on Thursday, Dec. 1, Appelbaum — a professor of internal medicine at FSU — considers the progress researchers have made battling HIV/AIDS. It was a death sentence 35 years ago. The disease has killed about 660,000 people in the United States over that time, according to the CDC.

Today, there’s a stark contrast. While an estimated 1.2 million people in the U.S. are infected with HIV, many live relatively normal lives. HIV infection is no longer a death sentence. Patients are able to manage it like a chronic disease.

“The average life expectancy in the United States for someone is around 79,” said Appelbaum, who has researched the disease throughout his career. “If you’re infected with HIV at age 20, and you get care and follow up with medical appointments and take your medications, your average life expectancy now is 71. That’s certainly much better than the old days when if you got infected at 20, you were lucky to live to 30 to 35. It was about a 10 to 15-year lifespan.”

Continue reading here.

New Medical Facility Breaks Ground on Tallahassee’s Southside

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) – A new full-service medical facility on the southside of Tallahassee broke ground Tuesday.

Representatives with Care Point Health and Wellness Center announced that the $11 million medical facility is intended to function as a one-stop medical home for patients in the area.

 They said they are positioned to serve the Southside area of Tallahassee to include Southwood, Crawfordville and Woodville.

“We recognized the real need for a conveniently-located, full-service medical facility in this location,” said Rob Renzi, Executive Director of Care Point. “Ease of access for our state, city and county employees along with neighboring communities south of Tallahassee put us in a position for great success.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Care Point construction underway

, Democrat staff writer7:04 p.m. EDT September 13, 2016

The groundbreaking was a decade in the making.

On Tuesday, a boxed frame collected ceremonial concrete that was churned and smoothed. The inaugural foundation symbolizes the start of construction of Care Point Health and Wellness Center, which will stretch along an entire city block at South Monroe and Adams streets and Magnolia Drive. For the next year, the four-acre site will be a construction zone as the largest project on Tallahassee’s south side in more than a decade takes shape.

The Care Point Health and Wellness Center is an $11-million, 27,000 square-foot medical facility designed to be a central place for a host of medical services. Its location is designed to serve downtown employees, south side residents and those living as far as Southwood, Crawfordville and Woodville.

Big Bend Cares is responsible for the concept. The agency, which serves more than 900 patients living with HIV and AIDS, hopes to reduce the burden for its clients who have been bounced around for medical care. But it’s also designed to serve insured low-income families, single parents, senior citizens and under-employed residents.

Rob Renzi, executive director for Big Bend Cares, said many of his clients are looking forward to the wrap-around approach for their varied needs.

“This is what they’ve been asking for, for a very long time,” Renzi said. “The clients that we serve and the providers we contract with are really the onus on why this whole thing developed.”

Renzi, who is also Care Point’s director, said the building’s concept has long been discussed by the agency’s board and “it’s been a big relief that we are making progress.”

Big Bend Cares and Care Point will function as two separate entities. Health care partners within Care Point include Florida A&M and Florida State universities, the Apalachee Center and Southeastern Center for Infectious Diseases. Insured patients will get access to dental, lab work and radiology services, including mental health professionals and pharmacists. (The uninsured can still receive heath care at Bond Community Health Care Center and Neighborhood Medical Services.)

“The finished project is going to be amazing,” said Lourena Maxwell, board chairwoman for Big Bend Cares. “It’s going to benefit people who can’t take half a day off or go to three places to get their health care needs met.”

More than 100 attendees, including city and county commissioners, builders, designers and health care partners, saw an already transformed area. Eleven buildings, abandoned and blighted, were acquired from seven property owners in order to combine adjacent lots and create space for the new center. Money for the project includes $1.5 million from the Community Redevelopment Agency and Big Bend Cares fundraising.

The Care Point project is the first new major construction project on Tallahassee’s south side in more than a decade, said Assistant City Manager Wayne Tedder. He said the last major construction projects there took place more than 10 years ago when a Walgreen’s store was built across the street on Magnolia Drive and a Winn Dixie erected on Paul Russell Road.

“We’re looking at this from a planning perspective as an incredible addition to the south side of our community where we have been focusing our efforts for many years,” Tedder said. “I think this is going to be a great start for a lot to come on South Monroe.”

Read the original article here.

Perspectives: Chronic Disease Impact

Listen to our Deputy Director, Charlie Adams, talk about HIV/AIDS on Perspectives with Tom Flanigan here. They are joined by Candace DeMatteis, policy chief for the Florida Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease; Brenda Olsen, chief mission officer for the American Lung Association of the Southeast; and Dr. Nicole Bixler, president of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association to talk about the pervasiveness and impact of chronic diseases.

Big Bend Cares

2201 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301

850.656.2437 tel
850.942.6402 fax

general@bigbendcares.org