Chattanooga, TN: Today, Chattanooga C.A.R.E.S, Inc. (Council on AIDS Resources, Education, and Support), a non-profit organization delivering healthcare, social, and educational services to individuals impacted by HIV, Hepatitis C and STI’s, announced the launch of their new name, Cempa Community Care. The staff at Chattanooga C.A.R.E.S, Inc. says they are excited to transition to their new name because of where the name finds its origins. Cempa is an old English root word for Champion. Director Shannon Stephenson says, “As our organization grows we will continue to be champions for our patients and community. We feel Cempa Community Care not only reflects the work of our staff and their impact on the community, but also the empowerment we hope each person who walks through our doors will feel. We want everyone to be champions, not only of their own healthcare but also their lives.” The rebrand was imagined as the next step in the evolution of the agency’s mission and vision representing a new era of holistic community care.
What does the future hold for the organization? In the coming months, Cempa Community Care will expand services to a second location in on the corner of E 3rd St and Central Ave, and launch outreach programs in outlining counties including a Syringe Trade and Education Program at ETSU’s Center Of Excellence. Additionally, to remain strongly held in its roots the Chattanooga C.A.R.E.S. Foundation, Inc. was created as a 509(a)(3) to help carry out the purpose of Cempa Community Care.
Founded in 1986 and awarded its 501(c)3 status in 1988, C.A.R.E.S has truly been the champions of the Chattanooga community. In the organization’s 32 years, they have grown to serve patients in 23 counties providing community outreach programs such as free rapid HIV testing, clinic services such as mental health and adherence counseling, and client support services including medical case management. A growing mission and vision are not new to the organization, in 2002 the organization was able to expand from education to treatment by opening the doors to their first clinic. Fast forward to 2016 for the mission to include the prevention, education, and services for HIV, monoinfected Hep C, and other STI clients. The development of the Cempa Community Care name ushers in this same sense of compassion, zeal, and dignity of the organization’s 32 year history.