Upstate News

July 13, 2010
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Designated AIDS Center wins state grant

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. —The state Health Department has awarded a $662,500, five-year grant to the Designated AIDS Center (DAC) at Upstate Medical University to expand its capacity to provide hepatitis C care and treatment to patients who are co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C. The grant was awarded by the Health Department’s AIDS Institute and Health Research Inc., which is supported by funding from the Ryan White Care Act.  The DAC will use the funding to provide the patients with expanded hours of on-site services for mental health, alcohol/substance abuse, and nutrition counseling.  These services are in addition to the DAC’s medical care and social work services.

“Approximately 25 percent of our patients are co-infected with hepatitis C and approximately 60 percent of our patients have a mental health or substance use diagnosis or are mentally ill and chemically addicted,” said Judith Rees, N.P., the center’s program director.

“It is critical that our patients receive counseling to successfully adhere to their treatment programs. Better adherence leads to better health outcomes for patients, fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, the prevention of new HIV infections and a reduction of healthcare costs,” she said.

The Designated AIDS Center provides HIV specialty and primary care to 863 adults and children in a 17-county region that covers 15,778 square miles. Upstate University Hospital has a full range of outpatient services available to people with HIV, including dental, ophthalmology, oncology, dermatology, and gynecology.

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