Nonprofit or community organization
Last modified: April 16, 2012, 3:58 PM
The Community Access National Network works to improve access to comprehensive medical services for people living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. These services must be affordable to the people who need them regardless of insurance status, income, or geographic location.
About Community Access National Network
Incorporated in 1996 as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) corporation in a grass roots effort led by Herbert W. Perry CPA/EA of Las Vegas, Nevada, CANN, formerly the Title II Community AIDS National Network (TII CANN), was intended to be a legal entity to act as a voice and platform for the people and communities affected by the federal funding streams of Part B of the Ryan White CARE Act. No such entity existed except one which represented State Health Department employees; this was deemed inadequate, and was unable to act quickly in Washington, DC on matters of great importance, particularly to HIV+ individuals. The founding Board embodies unusual HIV/AIDS experience in numerous ASOs & CBOs in many different States. Many of the group were (and are today) HIV+, and had experience in national AIDS advocacy organizations, such as Project Inform, AIDS Action, and National Association of People with AIDS. We also had experience among us in political campaigns, Congressional staff work, political appointments, pharmaceutical industry public policy work, and a broad history of HIV/AIDS related work with hospitals, AIDS clinical trial groups, State and local governments, and with federal government agencies and national government leadership. Even today, between Board members, staff and volunteers CANN personnel are active with the following organizations and efforts:
For a new AIDS organization with a national focus, TII CANN was very quickly swept up in the excitement of emerging HAART therapies as more and more new medicines became FDA approved and the race to get successful treatments to HIV+ Americans was beginning. Functioning as a completely volunteer organization with no paid employees, and relying on volunteer time and energy, much of 1996 to 2000 was consumed with efforts to establish the ADAP Working Group and address the critical issue of funding for ADAP. That funding level has grown from roughly $50 Million for palliative drugs in 1995, to over $1 Billion in resources currently.
The ADAP Working Group model proved EXTREMELY effective, and as a result we have helped and supported similar efforts at the state level in CT, NY, FL, ID, NE, GA, and elsewhere. Our previous newsletter "The Voice of TII CANN" quickly increased from a mailing list of 3,000 to 20,000. TII CANN was soon working on Reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act, working on Congressional and White House briefings, starting national discussions on HIV/HCV co-infection issues, and presenting posters at international AIDS conferences on cost effectiveness of HIV treatment.
We founded the National ADAP Educational Forum, which was an annual conference of major importance until the ADAP waiting lists were extinguished in 2006/2007. After 9 years we continued to be the lead sponsor and to Chair the event. TII CANN organized dozens of regional meeting and conferences, both with an ADAP, but also with a broader AIDS/HIV focus. Our board leadership has stayed constant. Many founding members are still board members, and the board majority remains HIV+. We have lost Board Members to AIDS as recently as 2002. Our budget has remained small and even today we have only two paid staff members.