New York State Health Department Awards $1.5 Million in Grants to Provide Clinical Education for Medical Providers throughout New York State

Six new Centers of Excellence will respond to the changing practice of HIV medicine and the educational needs of clinicians

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 20, 2008) – Six organizations will share more than $1.5 million in new funding to create Centers of Excellence that will provide HIV clinical education for health care providers throughout New York, state Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., announced today.

Created more than 15 years ago, the AIDS Institute's Clinical Education Initiative has been redesigned to respond to the changing practice of HIV medicine and the shifting educational needs of providers. The programs to be funded through the Centers of Excellence will strengthen the network of HIV educational resources now available to clinical providers in New York State. The goal is to increase access to quality HIV care in New York by providing progressive HIV education to clinicians, disseminating AIDS Institute clinical practice guidelines, and fostering partnerships between community-based providers and HIV specialists.

"These Centers of Excellence will play a major role in providing HIV clinical education for medical providers, which is critical to ensuring the quality of care delivered to persons living with HIV/AIDS," said Commissioner Daines. "We want to keep doctors, nurses and other providers up-to-date on the advances in the treatment and care of patients with HIV and AIDS."

AIDS Institute Director Humberto Cruz said, "Through its new program structure, the Clinical Education Initiative will focus on content areas that have been identified as public health priorities – preventing new infections, increasing testing and early diagnosis of HIV, and the management of substance use and mental health issues in patients with HIV."

The new Centers of Excellence are:

The Clinical Education Center for Upstate Providers will provide general HIV clinical education and training for community providers in upstate New York. The center will operate the CEI Line, a 24-hour toll-free consultative support phone line for practitioners to discuss case-based HIV clinical care with an HIV specialist. A $392,000 award has been made to Albany Medical College's AIDS Program.

The Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, Testing and Diagnosis Center will target emergency room and urgent care providers to increase screening for HIV, identify unrecognized HIV infection, and implement treatment after exposure to HIV, known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This center will also operate PEP-Line, a 24-hour, toll-free provider hotline for consultation on post-exposure prophylaxis. A $294,000 award has been made to St. Vincent Catholic Medical Center – Manhattan.

The Prevention and Substance Use Center will offer training for HIV primary care providers in addressing prevention of HIV transmission and substance use through increased screening, risk assessments, and behavioral counseling. SUNY Downstate Medical Center has been awarded $294,000 to provide these services.

The Mental Health Center will train clinicians in the identification and management of mental health issues most commonly encountered by HIV providers. Columbia University HIV Mental Health Training Program will use its $98,000 grant to create the center.

The Technology Center will develop on-line HIV clinical education materials, including webcasts, podcasts, self-assessment tools and CME activities on www.hivguidelines.org. This program will be operated by the University of Rochester with its $336,140 grant.

The Resource, Referral and Evaluation Center will serve as a resource for HIV education and training opportunities throughout the state, and will assist HIV programs in developing education plans for both clinical and nonclinical staff. The center will also oversee the evaluation of the CEI program as a whole. The Academy for Educational Development --Manhattan has been awarded a $147,000 grant to operate the center.

The Centers of Excellence will also collaborate in reaching out and identifying the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and in organizing regional educational conferences throughout the state.