Iris House and Voces Latinas Partnership

Iris House and Voces Latinas Enter Broad Strategic Partnership to Advance Women’s Health Social Support Services in New York City

Partnership creates one of the largest efforts in the U.S. focused on women’s health social support services for populations most affected by health disparities

Groups plan to launch National Center of Excellence for Women’s Health in 2017

New York, NY, June 8, 2016 – Iris House and Voces Latinas announced today the two organizations have entered into a broad strategic partnership to provide health social support services in New York City. The two groups will pursue joint initiatives and programs to enhance services for women who are living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS and other health disparities that impact minority women. The partnership will also establish a National Center of Excellence for Women’s Health, expected to begin operations in 2017.

Pictured:  Nathaly Rubio-Torio, Executive Director, Voces Latinas; Naima Walker Fierce, Board Chair, Iris House; Ingrid Floyd, Executive Director, Iris House

“We are excited to partner with Voces Latinas, creating a comprehensive and integrated effort to provide health social support services on a scale and scope not previously seen in the New York City area,” said Ingrid Floyd, Executive Director, Iris House. “Many providers are acutely aware of the growing crisis in funding for women’s social services of all kinds. To preserve and expand the vital services offered by Iris House and Voces Latinas, our partnership will allow us to pursue an integrated approach across our respective constituencies among native-born and immigrant populations. We will also be able to expand significantly our services in women’s HIV, STI and Hepatitis education, nutrition services and education as well as intimate partner violence, legal and immigration services, and other areas where there are profound health disparities.”

“Voces Latinas and Iris House have successfully implemented joint educational and outreach programs, and this partnership will deepen our ability to collaborate across all levels of our organizations,” said Nathaly Rubio-Torio, Executive Director of Voces Latinas. “We expect the partnership will enhance access, effectiveness, and the quality of services and broaden our range of offerings, while sharing and integrating the organizational capabilities, as well as cultural competencies, of each group. We are thrilled to be able to offer this new level of service to our clients.”

Key joint initiatives and programs planned for 2016 and 2017 include:

*Launch of National Center of Excellence for Women’s Health. The Center of Excellence will focus on creating models for delivering women’s health services locally and nationally including replication of proven service models of both agencies. 

*Collaboration on HIV/AIDS prevention activities focusing on women of color, including disparities in Latina health.

*Replication of program services in Harlem, the South Bronx, Queens and Central New Jersey

*Joint sponsorship of annual Awareness Days, summits, and conferences where women are the focus.

The partnership is in the process of developing plans for National HIV Testing Day in June and National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in October. These efforts have been funded in part by AIDS United through a sector transformation grant.

About Iris House

Iris House provides services for women, families and communities infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.  In addition to providing family-centered services that promote prevention, education and awareness, Iris House also offers practical services that address the day-to-day needs and reality of living with HIV/AIDS.  Iris House provides nutritional counseling and meal programs, intensive case management, scatter site housing, mental health services and support groups, and job and life skills training.  Since opening its doors in 1993, Iris House has assisted more than 1,800 individuals cope with HIV/AIDS, and in 2015 served more than 6,800 individuals.  For more information on Iris House and Iris House Programs, please visit www.irishouse.org

About Voces Latinas

Voces Latinas (VL) was founded in 2003 with the mission to reduce the rate of HIV transmission and violence among immigrants Latinas by empowering, educating, and providing leadership and advocacy trainings, which enable Latinas/os to have a voice and make healthier decisions for them and their families. Through collaborative relationships, VL also connects immigrant Latinas/os with culturally and linguistically sensitive resources and services to address their immediate needs including intimate partner and gender-based violence, mental health issues, immigration, feelings of isolation, and HIV/AIDS. The uniqueness of VL is that it serves a marginalized population facing multiple traumas {oppression, poverty, threat of deportation, interpersonal violence, sexual violence, survival sex}; specifically co-morbidity of violence against women and risk for HIV/AIDS.  www.voceslatinas.org 

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