For World AIDS Day, Think Patient-Centered

Categories: Capacity Building

Every year on World AIDS Day, we look at the advancements made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and ask the question: “what more can be done?”

world aids dayThe Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) is committed to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy’s (NHAS) goal to “make the United States a place where new HIV infections are rare, and that when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.” We believe that patient-centeredness is vital to making that goal a reality.

But what is patient-centeredness, and why do we think so highly of it?

Put simply, it is putting the needs of the patients first. A core tenet for HIV/AIDS prevention and care providers looking to achieve patient-centeredness is access — access to HIV prevention services (testing, non-occupational pre-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). These are the most important tools we have for HIV prevention, and ensuring they are available and affordable is a shared goal of NHAS and PCDC.

So if you’re an HIV prevention service provider, take a moment on this World AIDS Day to ask yourself these questions:

  • How patient-centered is your practice?
  • What is your capacity for offering HIV testing?
  • Do you offer expanded hours (evenings and/or weekends)?
  • Can patients reach you outside of business hours for timely clinical advice?
  • Can all patients, including those receiving HIV/AIDS prevention or care treatment , contact your practice and receive responses online?

All of us have a part to play in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Those of us in health care should strive to make our organizations places that respect and value all of our patients. We must remove barriers to care in whatever ways that we can to support effective prevention and treatment. At PCDC, our role is to communicate the principles of patient-centered care and assist primary care practices to systematically rethink how the practice works so that the needs of patients come first.

Join us in continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS by using patient-centeredness to expand and improve access to life-saving testing and interventions for every patient, in every community, that needs it.

Click to learn more about how PCDC is helping practices become more patient-centered.

About the Authors:

Sarah Blust, LMSW, MPH, Program Director

Phone: 212-437-3955Email: sblust@pcdc.org Sarah Blust, Program Director, leads PCDC’s CDC-funded HIV prevention capacity-building assistance program and manages large-scale training and technical assistance projects that support the delivery of HIV prevention services within primary care and health care organizations. With 20 years of experience in the health care field, Sarah has worked in clinical settings as a direct service provider and program manager and now provides training and consultation to health care organizations across the country to support their delivery, operations and infrastructure. Her training and technical assistance experience covers a variety of areas such as HIV/AIDS, women’s health, reproductive health, cultural competency, motivational interviewing, mental health, behavioral health, patient navigation, care coordination, quality improvement, and the use of evidence-based interventions. While at PCDC, Sarah co-authored the nationally recognized Care Coordination Fundamentals course created in partnership with 1199SEIU and partnered with HealthHIV to provide national training and technical assistance as part of the HRSA-funded National Center for HIV Care in Minority Communities. Prior to PCDC, she served as Program Manager for MIC Women’s Health Services, a program of Public Health Solutions and provided HIV testing and reproductive health counseling at Planned Parenthood of NYC. As a licensed social worker, Sarah worked for over five years as a therapist for children and families within the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) system. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, and her masters’ degrees from Columbia University.

Denise Anderson, Senior Program Manager

Phone: 212-437-3971Email: danderson@pcdc.org Denise Anderson, Senior Program Manager, works in performance improvement primarily as a practice transformation coach for PCMH. Denise also works on care coordination, high-impact HIV prevention and other special projects as requested. She holds a bachelor's of science in human ecology with a concentration in dietetics from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She received her master’s in public health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health in 2007. She is a third year doctoral student in the joint (Rutgers/NJIT) PhD program in Urban Systems, Urban Health Track. Ms. Anderson most recently became a National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA), Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), Certified Content Expert (CCE). Denise has taught Human Resources Administration and Strategic Planning as an Adjunct Instructor at Rutgers, School of Public Affairs and Administration and is currently Adjunct Faculty at William Paterson University (WPU), School of Public Health, teaching Disparities in Health. She has over 10 years’ experience in public health, specifically as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in HIV/AIDS to include care and treatment, education, and prevention. She is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Prevention Specialist (PHPS) fellow, class of 2008. Ms. Anderson most recent position prior to joining PCDC was as Project Director, Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP)/Population Management at a hospital in Newark, N.J.