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Uphams Corner Health Center Offers Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Program


Overview

The Uphams Corner Health Center (UCHC) offers comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment and support services and actively participates in community AIDS efforts. On November 29, 2012, the clinic held a World AIDS Day event and released balloons in honor of AIDS patients who had passed.


Comprehensive Case Management Approach to HIV/AIDS

For many years the Uphams Corner Health Center has offered a comprehensive, case management approach to patients with HIV/AIDS.  In fact, the UCHC AIDS Outreach program was one of the first programs in Boston willing to work with AIDS patients, back when fear, stigma, and misinformation were the norm. 

As Ms. Gwen Jones, social case worker, described it,  HIV/AIDS patients have a wide variety of needs. Not all of them take medication nor do they necessarily need help from other agencies, but for many, the support services provided by UCHC make a huge difference in their ability to live with their illness. Services include referrals, housing, employment and support groups.

Uphams Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Program Uphams Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Program

Gwen described the Health Center program:  “Three case managers to assess the patient's needs - two social case managers and a nurse case manager, with the effort involved taking anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It is from this process that we generate referrals if the client needs them. Prescriptions come from their doctor but we fill out the HDAP applications which help patients pay for their medication."
 
The comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS “makes a big difference in the patient’s quality of care.”  Ms. Jones emphasized the importance of relating to the unique circumstances that HIV/AIDS creates for each patient. “I think you have to try to understand a person with the HIV virus or with AIDS. A person has to be either infected or affected by the disease to really understand what the patient is going through. Still we do our best to provide the support services they need.”

Charles "Poncho" Brown, M.S. Coordinator of HIV Services/Community Connection can be reached at 617-287-0786 Ext. 31



World AIDS Day Event

On Thursday, November 29, 2012, over twenty Community Connection clients and two hundred people turned up to the Upham’s Corner Health Center (UCHC) World AIDS Day event. Attendees included UCHC patients, community residents and HIV/AIDS activists.

Minister Christopher Leslie lead the gathered in a moment of silence for loved ones lost to AIDS. Those present re-connected with friends, traded stories, and enjoyed food made by staff & Community Connection members.


Uphams Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Program Uphams Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Program


A former Upham’s Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Peer Advocate (identity kept anonymous) gave the keynote address. She spoke of the changing nature of the HIV/AIDS landscape from when she was first diagnosed in 1988. Casa, she said, was founded because people were, “Always at her house, eating, laughing, crying, and singing. It didn’t matter if you were gay or straight.”


Uphams Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Program Uphams Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Program
Uphams Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Program


Her son told her that he’d stopped crying for her after she kept going strong and healthy the first five years since her HIV diagnosis. That was in 1993. Today, she offers support to volunteers and others in her community.

In a solemn and reverent moment, staff set free balloons outside the Upham’s Corner Health Center, each containing the names of those who had passed, written on slips of paper by friends. 
  • Red balloons symbolized the HIV/AIDS Awareness efforts
  • Pink balloons reminded both staff and patients of a recently departed friend and UCHC colleague, Dr. Kathleen Bennett, who passed from breast cancer just before the event.
The World AIDS Day event was sponsored by the Upham’s Corner HIV/AIDS Services and Upham’s Corner Visiting Nurses’ Programs.


Uphams Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Program Uphams Corner Health Center HIV/AIDS Program


About the Uphams Corner Health Center

The Upham’s Corner Health Center is committed to providing high quality, low cost, culturally sensitive, community-based health and social services to the residents of Dorchester.

The goal of the health center is to provide each patient with primary care in comfort and convenience.  The Upham's Corner Health Center is organized to provide comprehensive, personalized and continuous health services.

Each registered patient is assigned a personal primary care provider. The personal provider along with a team of clinicians and their support staff provide the ongoing care, coordinate specialty services and inpatient care as required by the patient.

Information about Upham’s Corner Health Center’s events and services can be found by visiting their website,  www.uphamscornerhealthctr.com, or by calling 617-287-8000.

Comments

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Excellent job Nancy!

Charles "Poncho" Brown

Posted: January 10, 2013     Nancy J Conrad


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