HRSA Holds Annual Ryan White CARE Act Funding Conference
The Health Resources and Services Administration held its annual Ryan White CARE Act Grantee Conference in Washington, D.C., last week. A number of new studies were released at the conference, including four reports documenting the barriers to care that minorities face in accessing HIV/AIDS services. Although people in minority populations represent nearly 70% of those served by Ryan White programs, the studies state that minorities' access to these programs is still hampered by such "key barriers" as "restrictive eligibility criteria" for publicly funded health insurance, "distrust of government" and stigma associated with HIV. The four studies on minority access to HIV/AIDS services, which are published in the September issue of the journal Public Health Reports, include:
- "Responding to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Use of HIV Drugs: Analysis of State Policies," by Stephen Morin et al.;
- "Access to and Use of HIV Antiretroviral Therapy: Variation by Race/Ethnicity in Two Public Insurance Programs in the U.S.," by James Kahn et al.;
- "Differences by Race and/or Ethnicity on Use of Antiretrovirals and Prophylaxis for Opportunistic Infection: A Review of the Literature," by Herminia Palacio et al.; and
- "The HIV Care Continuum in Publicly Funded Clinics," by T. Anne Richards et al. (HRSA release, 8/20).
Studies Analyze AIDS Support Services
Eight additional studies released at the conference document the role that support services play in helping low-income and uninsured people access primary health care and treatment services. The studies conclude that support services are "essential" tools for helping low-income and uninsured HIV-positive individuals access care and help contribute to "early and consistent care" for people living with HIV. The studies, which are published in a special supplement of the journal AIDS Care, include:
- "The Impact of Ancillary HIV Services on Engagement in Medical Care in New York City," by Peter Messeri et al.;
- "HIV Multidisciplinary Teams Work: Support Services Improve Access to and Retention in HIV Primary Care," by Kim Stieglitz et al.;
- "Association of Ancillary Services with Primary Care Utilization and Retention for Patients with HIV/AIDS," by Wilson Lo et al.;
- "The Impact of Ancillary Services on Primary Care Use and Outcomes for HIV/AIDS Patients with Public Insurance Coverage," by Christopher Conover and Kathryn Whetten-Goldstein;
- "Recipients in Need of Ancillary Services and Their Receipt of HIV Medical Care in California," by Dixie Chan et al.;
- "A Profile of an HIV- and Child-Specific Program in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA," by Manya Magnus et al.; and
- "Women With HIV Infection: A Model of University-Based Care, Training and Research," by Linda Mundy et al. (HRSA release, 8/21).
Grants to Train HIV/AIDS Care Providers
In related news, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on Aug. 20 announced $25.6 million in grants to help train health care professionals in treating HIV-positive patients. The 11 grants were awarded under HRSA's AIDS Education and Training Centers program, which provides education, training and consultation through a network of regional and national training centers to providers treating HIV-positive patients. Ten of the grants will go toward regional programs, while one grant will be used to help boost HIV/AIDS care among minority health care professionals (HRSA release, 8/20).
HRSA Honors 'Outstanding HIV/AIDS Health Care Providers'
HRSA on Aug. 21 presented national awards to seven Ryan White-funded programs and individuals "for their efforts providing health care services to Americans living with HIV/AIDS." The awards and receipients include:
- Associate Administrators' Award: This award was presented to Terje Anderson, executive director of the National Association of People With AIDS, "for his contributions to the health, spirit and empowerment" of HIV-positive people.
- Hank Carde Award for Metropolitan Services: This award was presented to Wilbert Jordan, director of the OASIS clinic in Los Angeles, for his work in establishing "an innovative partnership" between the clinic and the Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy.
- Dr. Nicholas Rango Award for State Services: This award went to Lois Lux, Ryan White CARE Act Title II administrator for the community and family health division of the Washington State Department of Health, for her work in advancing networks of HIV services in Washington state.
- Gabe Kruks Award for Early Intervention Services: Mongomery, Ala.-based Montgomery AIDS Outreach, Inc. received this award for "implementing innovative approaches to managing and preventing" HIV infection.
- Rebecca Denison Award for Family Care Services: This award was given to Sara Abdirahman, an immigrant African woman living in Washington, D.C., who "has worked to overcome international, cultural and health care barriers and serves as a role model for other immigrant African women and their families."
- Russell E. Brady Award for Innovative Services Delivery: Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., received this award for creating an "innovative" program to ensure continuity of care for HIV-positive inmates and people who use drugs and alcohol.
- AIDS Education and Training Centers Services Award: This award was given to Michael Reyes, Pacific AETC director, "for his leadership and commitment to the AETC program and clinician education" (HRSA release, 8/22).
New HRSA Web Site
In addition, HRSA on Aug. 23 launched the CARE Act Technical Information and Education site, a new "comprehensive" Web site developed to help Ryan White grant recipients and other providers "plan and deliver high-quality HIV/AIDS services." Deborah Parham, associate administrator of the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau, said, "The health care provided to people with HIV/AIDS is changing so rapidly. CATIE will help us offer the latest service and treatment information to as many providers as possible, which will lead us to better patient care" (HRSA release, 8/23).
Kaisernetwork.org's HealthCast later this week will feature webcast sessions of the conference. Daily Report readers will be alerted when the sessions are available online.