Community Health Systems,
Substance Abuse Treatment
Mission: Thrive Alabama empowers our patients to create a healthy community by providing compassionate, accessible, affordable, comprehensive care.
Results: For over 30 years, Thrive Alabama (formerly the AIDS Action Coalition of Huntsville, Inc.) has played a vital role in North Alabama's health services landscape. In 1988, the AIDS Action Coalition of Huntsville started with a small group of volunteers who hosted fundraisers to pay for rent and utility bills, provided food, ran errands, and, too often, helped people with AIDS die with dignity. Thanks to a $25,000 life insurance policy left by a former patient in 1992, the organization was able to open a clinic for people living with HIV which added much needed healthcare services.
In 2015, the AIDS Action Coalition of Huntsville began operating under the name Thrive Alabama to help lessen the stigma attached to HIV care. Also, additional services, such as behavioral health and counseling, were added to assist people who did not have HIV. Our clients are living bold, healthy lives thanks to Thrive Alabama’s comprehensive care and medical advances in HIV treatment. Two additional HIV satellite clinics were opened in Florence and Albertville to help cover the 12 counties in Thrive Alabama’s service area. In 2016, Thrive Alabama opened its Wellness Clinic to provide sexually transmitted infection (STI) treatment and PrEP, the once-daily HIV prevention pill. In 2018, Thrive Alabama launched ThriveMobile, a 33-foot clinic on wheels. With ThriveMobile, we provide free HIV and hepatitis C testing to people at community events, parks, homeless service areas, churches, colleges, and health fairs. In 2019, Thrive Alabama became a Community Health Center, providing a variety of medical services for people from all walks of life in North Alabama including underinsured and uninsured patients. Community Health Centers are community-based nonprofit organizations that serve populations with limited access to healthcare. Services are available to everyone, and fees are adjusted based on income for those with income or insurance limitations. Community Health Centers act as a strong foundation for providing primary healthcare to medically vulnerable populations especially in rural areas.
We are currently working on a capital campaign to build a new 72,000 sq. ft. healthcare center to house all of our services under one building. This new state-of-the-art healthcare center will meet the need for primary healthcare, pediatrics, dental, vision, behavioral healthcare, and more in the Huntsville/Madison County area for both insured and uninsured people. At capacity, we will be able to treat up to 12,000 patients at the new facility. Presently, we care for almost 4,000 patients in North Alabama. Our patients benefit from Thrive Alabama’s wide spectrum of services including adult primary medical care, pediatrics, outreach and health education, STI diagnosis and treatment, behavioral healthcare, substance abuse treatment, transportation, nutritional services, translation services, and case management services.
Geographic areas served: North Alabama - Thrive Alabama has clinics located in Huntsville, Florence, and Albertville, along with a STI clinic in Huntsville
Programs: Presently, we care for over 4,000 patients in North Alabama. We see both insured and uninsured patients on a sliding fee scale. Our current programs include:
• Primary Adult Healthcare: Thrive Alabama offers comprehensive, evidence-based primary healthcare services for people ages 19 and older. Our medical team works together to provide preventative care and manage common illnesses. Services include annual physical examinations, acute care treatments, chronic disease management, immunizations, cancer screenings, case management services, transportation, translation services, and nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian.
• Pediatrics: Thrive Alabama offers pediatric services for children ages 0 to 18 years. Our medical team provides overall primary healthcare, wellness exams and check-ups, vaccinations, and booster shots.
• HIV Healthcare: Since our founding as the AIDS Action Coalition in 1988, we have been advocates for better primary healthcare for people living with HIV. We provide comprehensive healthcare and case management services to patients with HIV. Additionally we offer HIV testing, prevention, and education services in the community.
• STI Treatment and PrEP: Thrive Alabama provides confidential testing and treatment for a variety of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at the Wellness Clinic. We also prescribe PrEP which is a daily pill for people who do not have HIV and are looking to stay HIV-negative.
• Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment: Thousands of people in Alabama have hepatitis C, but many do not know they are positive. Thrive Alabama provides testing and treatment using antiviral medications.
• Women’s Healthcare: Thrive Alabama offers family planning services and breast, cervical (pap smear), and colon cancer screenings.
• Counseling: Our licensed behavioral health specialists work with patients to support and help them manage their overall wellness with individualized treatment plans.
• Substance Misuse: The Den is a free intensive outpatient program (IOP) for minority men. We provide group therapy sessions, individualized treatment plans with a counselor and/or psychiatrist, free HIV testing, and case management services.
• Victims of Crime Support: We have expanded our behavioral health services to include a free program for victims of violent crimes. These services include victim advocacy, psychosocial support, and counseling.
Outreach and Education
• Health Education: Thrive Alabama offers free HIV testing and provides preventative education to people of all ages in our community. We visit high schools, universities, churches, and health fairs. Through collaboration with community partners and agencies including our state health department, we work to ensure preventative educational needs are met.
• SMASH: One of our most popular health education efforts is called SMASH – Student Movement Against Stigma and Hate. This program involves students educating their peers about HIV and STI prevention through a variety of engaging community events.
• ThriveMobile: ThriveMobile is our 33-foot clinic on wheels which helps Thrive Alabama serve people across our 12-county service area who might have transportation barriers to care. The vehicle has a fully-functional exam room and helps take our services to various events and locations to provide testing for HIV and hepatitis C, after which we can quickly link the patients to the care they need. We also do free biometric screenings as well. We currently partner with the Department of Human Resources, First Stop, the Salvation Army, New Futures, Huntsville Housing Authority, the City of Huntsville, and others to bring ThriveMobile out into the community.