The Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation Announces Name Change & New Partnership With CAN Community Health

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Monday, December 17th, 2018

The Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation Executive Director, Jeremy Hobbs, announced this week that they had changed their name to "The Debra Smith Wellness Center, Inc."

The Chattahoochee Valley Better Way Foundation began as a way to provide the people of Columbus who are living with HIV a better way of life by providing support, education, testing and linkage to care. In 2009, Jeremy Hobbs, the Foundation's Executive Director met Debra Smith a longtime survivor of AIDS and Cancer at the Annual Positive Living Conference in Ft. Walton Beach Florida. From that moment on, Debra was a significant force at the Foundation and became a mother figure to every client who walked through the door. Her story gave so many hope that they could move forward with their treatment and live healthy, happy and productive lives. In 2013, Debra's cancer returned, and she passed away. For five years the Foundation thought long and hard about how they could give Debra a fitting memorial and tribute. They decided to memorialize the legacy of a remarkable and beautiful woman that gave so many people hope and name the agency, The Debra Smith Wellness Center. Now her story, life and the compassion she blessed everyone with will be the customer service approach for all that come through.

In making the announcement, Hobbs said, "Our name may have changed, but our mission remains the same, to provide HIV/AIDS education and prevention services, eliminate stigma, and enhance the health and well-being of everyone impacted by HIV."

Along with the name change is the announcement that The Debra Smith Wellness Center will partner with CAN Community Health in order to provide medical services in addition to the HIV testing and outreach, HIV prevention and education, support groups, and care coordination already provided. The Debra Smith Wellness Center is set to open in Spring 2019.

"CAN Community Health is dedicated to providing the best health services, education, and counseling to people living with HIV. New partnerships with organizations such as The Debra Wellness Center are empowering us to deliver vital services in the communities where they are needed most, like Columbus," said Richard E. Carlisle, CAN president and CEO.