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Comprehensive Care Clinic’s Ruby Gala set for Feb. 10

Jan. 11, 2024, 4:09 PM

 

by Bill Snyder

The Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Clinic (VCCC), Nashville’s original nonprofit medical home for people living with HIV, will hold its annual Ruby Gala on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at Marathon Music Works, 1402 Clinton St. in Nashville.

Presented by title sponsor NPS Pharmacy, and other sponsors including Gilead Sciences and Music City PrEP Clinic, the Gala will feature live and silent auctions, a plated dinner curated by Chef’s Market, an open cocktail bar, and entertainment by one of Nashville’s most popular party bands, Burning Las Vegas.

Funds raised during the Gala directly benefit VCCC clients, supporting necessities including transportation, nutrition, housing, utilities, medical equipment, medication copays, dental care, harm reduction, newborn essentials and caregiver services, and help support the recruitment and training of HIV practitioners.

The Gala also raises awareness in the community about the role the VCCC plays in helping people with HIV overcome barriers to treatment. Despite effective drug therapy, the number of new HIV cases continues to increase throughout the South, and there is a critical shortage of HIV specialists.

For more information and tickets, go to https://give.vanderbilthealth.org/event/ruby-gala-2024/e504073 or through the event Instagram @rubygalanashville. For more information about the VCCC, go to https://www.vanderbilthealth.com/comprehensivecare, or email VCCC medical director Sean Kelly, MD, at sean.g.kelly@vumc.org.

Recommended by the city’s AIDS Task Force, the original Comprehensive Care Center opened its doors on Feb. 1, 1994, at the height of the AIDS epidemic. It became part of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2010.

Task force member Stephen Raffanti, MD, MPH, a professor of Medicine and infectious disease specialist at VUMC, served as the center’s original medical director until his retirement in 2022 when he was succeeded by Kelly, associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

The VCCC currently provides HIV treatment and primary care for approximately 4,000 people living with HIV and offers pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV-negative individuals who are at risk for HIV.

Designated as a Center of Excellence by the state of Tennessee, the VCCC is recognized by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration as one of the top four HIV clinics in the nation.

At the Gala, Tennessean Lashanda Salinas will receive the Raffanti Award for her national activism to repeal obsolete HIV criminalization laws. Named for Stephen Raffanti and his wife, Lucie Raffanti, VCCC’s registered dietitian for 20 years, the award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to people living with AIDS.

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