New Focus within High Impact HIV Prevention Targets Healthcare Organizations as Key to Reducing New HIV Infections

CAI Selected as National Capacity Building Assistance Provider to Support Healthcare Organizations Working to Decrease HIV Infection Rates and Increase Early Detection

(New York, NY) As part of an effort to decrease the estimated 50,000 new HIV infections that occur each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has selected Cicatelli Associates Inc. (CAI) to serve as a Capacity Building Assistance provider to healthcare organizations nationwide.[i]

The CDC's effort concentrates on strengthening the capacity of the HIV prevention workforce to implement High Impact HIV Prevention interventions-- scalable, scientifically proven approaches tailored to specific populations-- with a new focus on treatment as a critical component of prevention. This strategy highlights the significant role healthcare organizations must play in decreasing new infection rates in the US by 25%. CAI's project aims to increase early detection, linkage to and retention in care, and treatment for those living with HIV.

"Although our ability to treat HIV has progressed dramatically, only 25% of infected men, women, and children are receiving the care they need to effectively treat their infection and prevent its spread," said Dr. Robert Cohen, CAI's Medical Director. "Focusing on the important role that healthcare organizations play in lowering the transmission rate and ensuring those who are HIV positive stay in care is essential. As a capacity building organization, we are excited to support the implementation of evidence-based High Impact Prevention strategies in diverse healthcare settings."

To assist with the implementation of High Impact HIV Prevention within healthcare organizations, CAI has assembled a team with extensive treatment and prevention expertise that includes the Black AIDS Institute (BAI), the Clinical Directors Network (CDN), the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, and the National Alliance for HIV Education and Workforce Development (NAHEWD). CAI has also included a national network of healthcare faculty that have pioneered effective implementation of High Impact Prevention and have particular experience working with young black men (ages 18-29), which is the only population that has seen a significant increase in HIV between 2006 and 2010.[ii]

"The Black AIDS Institute is proud to partner with CAI on this project," stated Phill Wilson, Executive Director of the BAI. "We are confident that CAI and the other members of the team assembled by CAI will work very hard towards an AIDS-Free Generation. We are also painfully aware that our efforts alone will not get the job done. We are never going to end the AIDS epidemic in America unless and until we build systems in care delivery and capacity building that reflect the diverse demographics of the epidemic."

In a February 2014 report, the CDC released a new study that indicates black individuals in the US continue to be the most affected by HIV. Compared with other groups, rates of new infection remain highest in this segment of the population at 44%, with an estimated 506,800 currently living with HIV in the United States.[iii]

"We are very pleased to be awarded this grant from the CDC to help healthcare organizations implement High Impact Prevention strategies," said Barbara Cicatelli, CAI's President and Founder. "We, along with a number of our colleagues, including the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) and the BAI, are concerned that no black-led organization was selected as a lead recipient in this new capacity building grant cycle. We believe it will be particularly important for CAI, working with black-led organizations, to assist healthcare organizations as they engage, treat, and retain in care the growing number of black individuals diagnosed with HIV. Given the disproportionate impact of HIV within the black community, CAI will make every effort to collaborate with all organizations who have long paved the way in establishing bridges between healthcare organizations and at-risk communities."

The CDC estimates that 1.1 million people in the US are currently living with HIV, including 180,900 (15.8%) of individuals who are unaware of their infection.[iv]

CAI's project, which is funded by the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Capacity Building Branch, will be led by Dr. Tony Jimenez, CAI Vice President and Project Director. To learn more about the project, click here.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For 35 years, CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in over 23 countries and in all 50 states. Offering over 1,500 training programs annually, CAI's passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world.

[i] http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/2012/HIV-Infections-2007-2010.pdf.

[ii] Prejean J, Song R, Hernandez A, et al. Estimated HIV Incidence in the United States, 2006-2009. PLoS ONE 2011;6(8):e17502

[iii] CDC. Progress Along the Continuum of HIV Care Among Blacks with Diagnosed HIV— United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2014;65(No.5). Published February, 2014

[iv] CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 U.S. dependent areas—2011. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2013;18(No. 5). Published October 2013

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Great American Smokeout Spotlights Pressing Need to Offer Cessation Resources to Every Tobacco User

New York State Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement Launched to Create Crucial High-Level Systems Change to Address Tobacco Dependence

(New York, NY) The Great American Smokeout annually reminds us that quitting smoking is essential for good health, but most underserved populations in New York have not been able to quit. As part of an effort to decrease the nearly 28,000 deaths from tobacco use annually in New York State, CAI has recently launched the New York State Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement. i Focused on systems change and policy-level work that facilitates tobacco use identification and treatment among underserved populations, CAI will support 10 contractors throughout New York State and work in partnership with key stakeholders, regional health care systems, and the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control.

The Center of Excellence will build on CAI's expertise in population-based tobacco control efforts to reduce the prevalence of adult smoking, especially among individuals with low incomes and serious mental illness. Research has shown that these key populations have significantly higher smoking rates as compared to the general public and less access to regular counseling and treatment.

"We know tobacco isn't an equal opportunity killer -- there has been almost no reduction in smoking rates in certain populations," said Michelle Gerka, CAI's Vice President of Community Heath Programs. "We are eager to work with large health systems on a targeted strategy to reach those populations who have not been able to successfully quit in New York State."

Using systems change strategies that will include creating and strengthening organizational systems to identify and document tobacco use, treating every tobacco user, and greater use of evidence-based interventions such as counseling and medication, the Center of Excellence will also promote referrals to services, such as the New York State Smokers' Quitline. In addition to providing capacity-building services and resources to local and regional partners like federally qualified health centers, CAI will support statewide efforts to increase the percentage of health care provider organizations that have formally adopted and implemented systems and policies to assist smokers in quitting.

"Our objective is to increase the number of healthcare providers and health centers making tobacco dependence treatment a systematic priority so that every tobacco user who seeks medical care is systematically offered tobacco dependence treatment," said Elizabeth Jones, Project Director for the Center of Excellence.

The newly established Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement becomes the second tobacco control initiative led by CAI and funded by the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control with a unique focus on organization and systems-level interventions. Since 2005, CAI has served as the Tobacco Control Training Center for New York State, delivering customized trainings to contractors to help decrease youth smoking rates and mobilize communities around tobacco control policies.

According to the CDC, tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of death and disease, afflicting nearly 600,000 New Yorkers with serious disease directly attributable to their smoking. ii To learn more about CAI's tobacco control and chronic disease prevention projects, visit our website www.caiglobal.org.

 

i Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs, 2014, Section C: Recommended Funding Levels, by State New York, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/best_practices/index.htm?s_cid=cs_3281

ii U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General., 2010, http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2010/index.htm?s_cid=cs_1843

 

About CAI

CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of underserved populations worldwide. For 35 years, CAI has provided customized capacity-building services to health and human service organizations in over 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering over 1500 training, organizational development, and capacity building programs annually, CAI's passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit www.caiglobal.org

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CAI and Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) Honor National Cancer Prevention Month by Saving Thousands of Lives

Program Successfully Navigates 1.2 Million Women into Screening Services, Educates Over 11 Million

(New York, NY) Every three minutes, a new diagnosis of breast cancer is made somewhere in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) early detection, in the form of mammography screening, is the only method that has proved effective, improving breast cancer outcome and survival.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month and since 2000, CAI has proudly worked on the prevention front, helping to save thousands of women's lives by managing the Avon Foundation for Women's Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP). Avon BHOP's mission is to link medically underserved women to breast health education and screening services. Low-income, under-insured, and other marginalized populations often need targeted, customized approaches to help them obtain regular mammograms and clinical breast exams.

In 2013, BHOP funded 101 community outreach and breast cancer screening programs nationwide, which target underserved populations with a low-rate of mammography and breast examinations.

"We've been privileged to manage grantmaking and provide capacity building support for Avon's BHOP," said CAI's President and Founder, Barbara Cicatelli. "Since 2000, through CAI, BHOP has awarded nearly $65 million in competitive grants to 250 community-based agencies throughout the U.S."

CAI administers a rigorous application and independent review process to select grant recipients, who in turn have made a major impact on the lives of underserved women across the United States who are in need of breast cancer screening services. Through 2013, Avon BHOP grantees had facilitated more than 1.2 million mammograms and breast examinations and educated over 11 million people on breast cancer awareness. Avon BHOP is funded by the Avon Foundation for Women.

To learn more about CAI's Avon BHOP project, click here.

Black Women with Breast Cancer 40% More Likely to Die of the Disease than White Women Says New Study

CAI's Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) Navigates Low-Income
Women of Color into Breast Screenings to Decrease Disparity

(New York, NY) A national study published by Sinai Urban Health Institute and the Avon Foundation for Women, and presented at the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Forum in Washington, D.C. this week, has found that, on average, the racial gap in breast cancer mortality is growing significantly wider.
The large-scale study, which is the first to examine racial disparities in breast cancer mortality in 50 cities over two decades, found that 1,710 black women — approximately five women per day — die annually on average largely due to racial disparities in screening and breast cancer treatment.
The cities found to have the largest racial disparities are Memphis, Los Angeles, Wichita, Houston, Boston, Denver, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas and Indianapolis.
While the study found a notable decline in the white death rate between 1990 and 2009, the black mortality rate remained virtually the same, resulting in a widening disparity gap. Researchers believe four factors led to this racial disparity in breast cancer mortality for black women: less access to screening, lower screening quality, less access to treatment and poorer quality of treatment. While black women with breast cancer were found, on average, to be 40 percent more likely to die than white female breast cancer patients, some cities have even wider disparity rates. For example, a black woman with breast cancer in Los Angeles is nearly 70 percent more likely to die from the disease than a white woman.


"The results of this new study are deeply concerning and indicate that far more efforts like Avon BHOP are needed to help close the disparity gap between white and black breast cancer patients," said CAI's Avon BHOP Project Director Kathryn Gates-Ferris. "Just last year, over 16,000 black women were screened for breast cancer through BHOP-funded programs, and those with breast cancer were navigated into high-quality treatment."

Since 2000, CAI has managed Avon BHOP and helped link medically underserved women to breast health education and high-quality screening services. Low-income, under-insured and other marginalized populations often need targeted, customized approaches to help them obtain regular mammograms and clinical breast exams.

In 2013, Avon BHOP funded 101 community outreach and breast cancer screening programs nationwide, which target underserved populations with a low-rate of mammography and breast examinations.

Through 2013, Avon BHOP grantees had facilitated more than 1.2 million mammograms and breast examinations for low-income women and educated over 11 million people on breast cancer awareness. Avon BHOP is funded by the Avon Foundation for Women.
To learn more about CAI's Avon BHOP project, click here.

CAI Launches School and Community-Based Initiative to Improve the Health of the Nation’s Most Vulnerable Youth

CAI Receives New CDC Funding Award to Promote Adolescent Health Through Community and School-Based HIV/STD Prevention

(New York, NY) As the nation continues to focus on improving academic outcomes for secondary school youth, the link between health and well being and academic achievement is clear. CAI is proud to be partnering with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health, to promote the health of our nation’s youth by initiating a groundbreaking 5-year, nationwide initiative to promote adolescent health through school and community-based HIV/STD Prevention. As one of the six National Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) awarded capacity-building assistance (CBA) grants, CAI will provide CBA to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to enhance access to vital health care services for some of the nation's most vulnerable youth.

Through this award CAI will work with 17 LEAs across the country to enhance and strengthen partnerships and improve linkages with school and community-based health care providers. Selected LEAs serve youth and families most impacted by disparities in rates of STDs and HIV. CAI’s capacity-building services will seek to address these disparities by supporting the implementation of coordinated, and evidence-based strategies to improve the quality and responsiveness of health care services, with a focus on addressing the unique sexual and reproductive health care needs of adolescents. For information about the new initiative, visit our website: connectionsforstudentsuccess.org