As the ribbon fell to the floor, the Dudley’s Place open house officially began. The ribbon cutting was held June 24 in Huntersville. “We are eighteen months into being open, but COVID has slowed things down,” says Dale Pierce, Executive Director of Dudley’s Place.
A 501c3 non-profit, Dudley’s Place was established in 2019 to provide support for people living with HIV/AIDS while working in conjunction with Rosedale Health and Wellness.
The ceremony was a celebration of sorts; commemorating the 641 clients who have been aided by Dudley’s Place, while also raising awareness of the organization for possible future clientele. The collaboration between Rosedale and Dudley’s Place has made it possible to offer Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services. A grant through Mecklenburg County and the CDC has funded the uninsured or underinsured patients enrolled in the PrEP program.
Several members of Dudley’s Place staff and medical providers were present at the ribbon cutting and available to meet with and answer any questions that the public may have.
Dudley’s Place was named in honor of Rosedale owner and Medical Director Dr. Frederick Cruickshank’s dog Dudley. (Photo Credit: Jim Yarbrough)
Displayed on the organization’s walls are photos of the organization’s namesake, Dudley, a much-loved pet and companion to Rosedale owner and Dudley’s Place Medical Director Dr. Frederick Cruickshank. Regrettably, Dudley passed away three years ago, but his positive impact on Dr. Cruickshank and the staff at Rosedale lives on through Dudley’s Place.
In addition to being a uniquely positive company, Dudley’s Place is one of the only North Carolina-based organizations of its kind with a nutrition program. This includes counselling, coaching, menu planning and observation of a client’s diet and weight goals.
The nutrition program also provides aid to anyone who is in a crisis situation, with food emergency cards offered in certain cases. Since May 2020, approximately 2,200 clients were served with food vouchers at a cost of $115,000. Now Dudley’s Place can also provide multivitamins without any extra cost.
As part of their nutrition program, Dudley’s Place also hopes to offer clients a wider variety of fresh produce. Their new garden has grown herbs, fruits and vegetables, which have been distributed throughout the community. The organization also has a full body composition analysis machine that is able to determine what percentage of an individual’s body is comprised of water, fat, bone or muscle.
Dudley’s Place continues to work to educate the public about other available resources, such as their support groups for HIV+ and LGBTQ clients. These community outreach programs allow individuals to meet with potential peers, creating connections within their greater support network.
Says Pierce: “We are going to continue to reach out to clients and as more opportunities arise, procure more grants to lessen [the] burden for HIV positive [people].”
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