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HIV/AIDS Patients May Have Suffered Due To Dallas County Incompetence, Officials Say

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Dallas County Health & Human Services.

Officials say HIV and AIDS patients in Dallas County may have suffered delays in treatment and other vital services because of mismanagement and incompetence within the Health & Human Services department. 

Dallas County receives about $17 million a year from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. That money is distributed to about a dozen nonprofits that provide health care and other services to low-income patients.

But according to an internal email obtained by The Dallas Morning News, federal regulators last month found 32 points of concern within the Ryan White Planning Council, which oversees how that money is spent.

The result: funding delays to groups that serve about 9,000 HIV and AIDS patients. According to County Commissioner John Wiley Price, some patients had to wait weeks for medications they should have had within three days.

Inspectors also found that the county lacked a system to monitor care and commented that management of the program needed "immediate changes."

In a statement to the paper, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Health & Human Services leadership brushed off concerns over how the funds were administered.

Former Health & Human Services director Zachary Thompson released a statement of his own, saying he didn't know there were problems in that unit.

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.