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.
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
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.”
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
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.
The World AIDS Day event was sponsored by the Upham’s Corner HIV/AIDS Services and Upham’s Corner Visiting Nurses’ Programs.
- 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.
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
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.
Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Excellent job Nancy!
Charles "Poncho" Brown
Posted: January 10, 2013
Nancy J Conrad