This week, the Human Resources and Services Administration visited Apicha CHC to tour our facilities and to learn more about our implementation of the End the HIV/AIDS Epidemic services as a Federally Qualified Health Center.
HRSA is a federal agency that works to ensure and improve access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. The agency recently appointed Natasha Coulouris as their Associate Administrator for the Office of Regional Operations. Natasha Coulouris has served as a public health leader for over 20 years across local, state, regional and federal levels.
Coulouris is visiting health centers across the country to see how they are serving their communities. Coulouris and several other HRSA officials toured Apicha CHC's facilities: Wanda Planas, Administrator, Puerto Rico Office; Octavia Wisseh, Administrator, NYC Office; Claritsa Malave, Medical Officer, Puerto Rico Office; Cheryl Donald, Regional Administrator, NYC Office; Samantha Ebersold, Public Health Advisor, NYC Office; Chandi Ghosh, Sr Medical Advisor, NYC Office; Tanya Raggio, Medical Officer, NYC Office.
“I am greatly appreciative of Apicha’s hosting HRSA-Office of Regional Operations Associate Administrator Natasha Coulouris and HRSA-Region 2 staff for a tour of its facility. HRSA recognizes that Apicha plays a vital role in the community and is proud of Apicha’s evolution from an HIV-specific provider to one that provides a full spectrum of primary care services,” Cheryl Donald said.
HRSA's new End the Epidemic plan
HRSA recently unveiled its new End the HIV/AIDS Epidemic plan. "Ending the Epidemic: A Plan for America," will use new data and tools available to reduce new HIV infections in the United States by 75 percent in five years and by 90 percent by 2030.
What's the plan?
The ten-year plan, beginning in 2020, will aim to reduce new infections to less than 3,000 a year by 2030. In order to achieve this goal, the following strategies will be used, many of which are already currently implemented:
Diagnose all people with HIV as early as possible.
Treat HIV rapidly after diagnosis, and effectively, in all people with HIV to help them get and stay virally suppressed.
Prevent people at risk for using proven prevention interventions, including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and syringe service programs (SSPs).
Respond quickly to potential HIV outbreaks to get needed prevention and treatment services to people who need them.
How Apicha CHC Helps End the Epidemic
At Apicha CHC, we are very proud of our viral load suppression rate for all our HIV-positive patients, the number of our patients on PrEP, and the number of people we get tested.
Our healthcare providers are specialists in HIV prevention, treatment, and care. If you come for testing and remain for care at our community health center, you will receive consistent treatment from a healthcare provider who can attend to all of your health needs including HIV.
There are three ways we can help:
1. HIV Testing
We provide completely confidential HIV testing services at Apicha CHC. To sign up for our HIV Testing services, click here and select HIV/STD testing from the drop down.
2. We can get you PrEP
If you become part of Apicha CHC's PrEP Program, you will be assigned a medical provider at Apicha CHC who will assess whether PrEP is right for you and will prescribe you Truvada as PrEP.
Our PrEP staff can also help you:
- Enroll in insurance or sign you up for special PrEP cost programs
- Set up your appointments
- Remind you when your pills are running out
- You can easily pick-up your prescription at Apicha CHC's brand new in-house pharmacy or you can use our free delivery service!
You can request an appointment to get started on PrEP here. Be sure to select appointment type as "Access to PrEP/PEP".
3. Become a part of our HIV Clinic
If you know you're HIV-positive and don't currently have a medical provider or aren't happy with the one you do have, feel free to become a part of the Apicha CHC family.
You can request an appointment here. Be sure to select appointment type as "Primary Medical Care".