U of L WINGS Clinic continues to serve HIV/AIDS patients
Receiving the news that you or a loved one has HIV/AIDS may be one of life's most traumatic experiences.
With an assist from the University of Louisville's HIV/AIDS Program (WINGS Clinic), patients who have received such a diagnosis are able to face that future with a sense of hope.
Assisting nearly 1,300 patients of varying socioeconomic, ethnic and racial backgrounds, the WINGS Clinic provides a multitude of services including HIV primary care, HIV prevention and disease education, mental health counseling, nutritional assessments and education, and care access counseling.
Taking a multidisciplinary team approach to care, the WINGS Clinic strives to meet patient's needs beyond just the physical treatment of their condition. That approach is critical in helping patients through their course of care including adherence to their daily treatment regimen and treating concurrent conditions.
Monitoring the patients progress is a team comprised of doctors, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, case managers, pharmacologists and adherence counselors.
According to Dr. Julio Ramirez, chief of U of L's Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the WINGS Clinic, the program looks to continue to grow its services for HIV/AIDS patients.
"This year, the WINGS Clinic will witness a growth in the number of providers," Ramirez said. "In addition, we will renew our efforts in HIV training to further increase the number of HIV specialists in the region.
"Finally, we will expand our research activities regarding clinical trials to accelerate the discovery of new and more effective therapies."
The WINGS Clinic also aims to improve the quality of care through several measurements of performance. Those measures will ensure all patients receive the recommended care as set forth by DHHS, CDC and IAS/USA guidelines.
By indentifying opportunities for improvement (collecting and analyzing data, development, implementation and evaluation of initiatives), the WINGS Clinic can continuously work to influence better patient outcomes.
Another important goal of the WINGS Clinic is guaranteeing the patient's satisfaction with its services. To meet that challenge, the clinic will incorporate feedback received from its Consumer Advisory Board, suggestions gathered from periodically-released patient surveys, and two monthly educational meetings to maintain its state-of-the-art care model.
These collective efforts are made possible by funding received from the Ryan White Grant. The grant supports care and treatment for 500,000 people infected with HIV/AIDS that are either uninsured or under-insured and likely to receive little or no treatment without the assistance of the grant, or the programs it supports.
"The WINGS Clinic is a stellar program that embodies the best of what U of L has to offer: compassionate patient care through the hands of highly qualified and compassionate care providers," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chairman of U of L's Department of Medicine said. "The Department of Medicine is committed to continuing this activity, while investing in its programs to expand the services it provides."