Health Center Dispute With HIV Outreach Group Resolved

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An outreach group for H-I-V patients will be able to stay at Bond Community Health Center.

As we first reported last month, Bond sent the Minority Alliance Advocating Community Awareness and Action or MAACA 30 days notice to vacate the two offices they rent at Bond.

Bond Board Chair Antonio Jefferson said MAACA didn't have the necessary insurance.

However, the group showed they did have it and are only three years into a 15 year lease.

As a result, Bond leaders have retracted their demand for MAACA to leave.

There's an unresolved dispute between an HIV outreach group and Bond Community Health Center.

Bond administrators are trying to have the group removed from their main building.

"We do outreach, we test people, we link people to care, we link people to food whatever is necessary," said Tonie Dozier.

Dozier says the Minority Alliance Advocating Community Awareness and Action or MAACA provides those services for HIV patients.

MAACA leases two offices at Bond Community Health Center.

On September 11th, Bond sent a letter to MAACA giving the group 30 days notice to end that lease.

On Tuesday, Bond Board Chairman Antonio Jefferson told us why.

"Principally based upon the insurance requirements for the tenants," said Jefferson.

According to MAACA's lease, the group must have at least $1-million liability insurance.

On Tuesday, Bond sent another letter to Sylvia Hubbard of MAACA demanding proof of that insurance for the last two years be provided by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Hubbard sent Eyewitness News a copy of that certificate.

MAACA's just 3 years into the 15 year lease at monthly payments of less than $530.

Jefferson says Bond doesn't have an original lease copy and is investigating its authenticity.

"We have state contracts, state grants, you have to have a lease verified in order to hold these grants," said Dozier.

In addition to the ongoing lease dispute, Jefferson says Bond is ending its patient referrals to MAACA without cause.

Instead, those patients will be sent to Big Bend Cares.

The dispute comes after Hubbard spoke critically about Bond to Eyewitness News in August.

Dozier, in addition to her advocacy for MAACA is a Bond board member.

She's also been critical of Bond.

Reporter: "Do you think its retaliation?"
Dozier: "I kind of think so."

Reporter: "What's your response to that claim?"
Jefferson: "Not true."

In an e-mail to Eyewitness News, MAACA's Sylvia Hubbard called Bond's decision not to work with her group "disturbing".

She says it's both a state and federal mandate for agencies serving HIV patients like Bond and MAACA to work together.


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