PA Thrive Partnership Comes Alive at Clarion, Serving Surrounding Counties

| May 2, 2022

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – After over 30 years of healing, healthcare, and hope, the Northwest Pennsylvania Rural AIDS Alliance rebranded itself as the PA Thrive Partnership, officially introducing its new name at Clarion and Erie last week.

(PICTURED ABOVE: Cutting the ribbon on Thursday, April 28, for PA Thrive were Debra D. Sobina, Assistant Dean of Education, Health, and Human Services; State Representative Donna Oberlander; Clarion University President Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson; Leah Magagnotti, interim Thrive Executive Director; and Dr. Gwyn Price, Dean of Education, Health, and Human Services).

(Photos by Dave Cyphert/ProPoint Media Photography)

Officials from PA Thrive Partnership and Clarion University were on hand to talk about the agency’s services, history, and future.

Free HIV testing, swag with the new name and logo, and light refreshments were available.

Leah Magagnotti, interim executive director, said Clarion is the administrative center, and Erie is administrative and clinical. There are also seven clinics with HIV clinical services and treatments in Clarion, Jefferson, Venango, Warren, Crawford, Lawrence, and Erie Counties.

Magagnotti started with the Northwest program 24 years ago as a nurse, followed by many years as a supervisor, and then a short time as assistant director until the former director left in December to take a position in North Carolina.

“Since January, I’ve been acting or interim executive director,” Magagnoti said. “It is a new position for me, and I’ve learned a lot in the last four months.”

PA Thrive Partnership will continue to offer services to people living with HIV in northwest Pennsylvania. Those services are medical case management, emergency, financial assistance to those who qualify, housing opportunities, HIV medical care provided by HIV specialists, high-impact prevention services, mental health counseling, discounted pharmacy services, and referral services to ancillary agencies/primary medical services. The agency expects to add nutrition counseling, food bank services, and an STI (sexually transmitted infection) clinic soon.

“We’ve never had a social media presence before,” Magagnotti said. “What we have now is a website. Instead of being under Clarion University’s website, we now have our own site at pa-, along with Facebook and Instagram accounts.

“The intention really is to educate communities, stakeholders, but it’s also a place where people that are HIV positive, maybe who moved into the area, and don’t know where the services could be found. They can go on the web, ask for HIV services. Our website will come up and then there’s listings of what services are offered and the numbers to call.”

The Clarion office has a staff of 40. Some of the funding comes through the state and the rest comes directly from the federal government. The Northwest Alliance at Clarion was developed after a grant was secured by the Clarion University Small Business Development Center.

Offices are currently in Joe’s Gym, but a search is on for a possible location.

“We are looking at options,” said Clarion University President Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson who attended the branding ceremony. “It’s an important part of who we are and want to find a place that suits their size needs and their service needs.”

PA Thrive also includes a mobile testing van. Details are included in the video below.

PA Thrive Partnership Mobile Testing Van

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Video by Ron Wilshire:

“Our goal is to work with and for the communities of northwest and north-central Pennsylvania,” proclaims PA Thrive Partnership. “By being their partner in the treatment of HIV and AIDS, we hope to improve, protect, and promote their health.”

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