Test Your Knowledge of the Affordable Care Act - As the three-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act approaches, the Kaiser Family Foundation has updated its interactive quiz that allows users to test their knowledge about what’s in – and what's not in – the health reform law.
Quiz takers can compare their health reform knowledge to that of their friends by sharing their quiz results on Facebook and Twitter. The quiz also includes links to more information about specific provisions of the law.
Treatment Cascade Waterfall
This is a 2-minute animated video that provides a brief overview of HIV in the United States and illustrates how improvements along each step of the treatment cascade can help us achieve an AIDS-free generation. It focuses on a number of key steps that are consistent with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Click here to view the video.
Click here to learn more about the National HIV/AIDS Strategy
CARES' Volunteer Appreciation Event and World AIDS Day Observation:
CARES held a special event on November 29 to recognize their donors, volunteers and community partners for their commitment in transforming lives through HIV/AIDS care, research and community awareness.
Volunteer of the Year Dalene Ingraham
Award of Excellence Paula Gammell
Leadership in Advocacy 2012 Hispanic Community Advisory Board Sindy Ausmer, Roxana Calderón, Martha Geraty, Carolina Gore, Gilda Perez, Marbella Sala, Raquel Simental, and Oscar Velasco
A special thank you to MAC Cosmetics for volunteering during this event.
A national call to action to bring LGBT health disparities out of the closet!
Twenty-five years ago, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed for the first time in Washington, D.C. and hundreds of thousands of people participated in a march for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The U.S. can celebrate progress on a few measures of social justice for the LGBT community – yet the nation has barely begun to address the silent crisis of health disparities in LGBT populations.
There are too many LGBT patients who are uncomfortable discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with health-care providers because they fear judgment or discrimination – and there are too many providers who need training on how to have these discussions with patients. This means that many LGBT patients forgo prevention screenings or seek care late in their illness or disease. And it means clinicians lack important information needed to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment options. The resulting tragedy is that the LGBT community suffers from worse health status in a number of health indicators, including cancer, heart disease and depression.
National Coming Out Day was created to raise awareness of and embrace and empower the LGBT community. This day recognizes something simple, yet elusive – the freedom of people to be who they are. That freedom is unattainable until the LGBT community feels welcomed by the nation’s health-care system.
Fortunately, beginning steps are under way that will lead to more personal and equitable care for LGBT patients. For example, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a landmark report in March 2011 titled The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. The report found that researchers need more data about the demographics of LGBT populations, improved methods for collecting and analyzing data, and increased participation of sexual and gender minorities in research. A few months after the IOM report, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a key advancement – a timeline for implementing an IOM recommendation to integrate questions about sexual orientation and gender identity into HHS population health surveys.
Research provides insight
To help address the critical need for research, the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center recently completed an anonymous online survey of Sacramento-area LGBT individuals. The survey collected information about health status, experiences with the health-care system and information relating to cancer.
Only one-fourth of respondents rated their health-care provider as “excellent” in relating to them in terms of sexual orientation; less than 20 percent rated their provider as “excellent” in gender identity
Less than one-third of female respondents reported having recommended mammograms; only 19% of male respondents had a recommended prostate cancer test
And nearly half indicated that providers did not discuss cancer risks or how to reduce them.
The Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Cancer Health Task Force plans to use the results to identify needs that can be addressed with additional research and outreach to health-care providers and members of the LGBT community.
UC Davis Health System is already taking action on a significant survey finding: a majority of LGBT individuals prefer sexual orientation and gender identity to be included in their medical records. Toward that end, we encourage our primary-care providers to learn their patients’ sexual orientation and gender identity and we soon will record the information in our patients’ electronic health records.
Other initiatives are ongoing at the health system to better serve LGBT health care needs. UC Davis School of Medicine integrates LGBT health issues into medical school curricula, we created educational materials and training modules to guide our health-care providers in interactions with LGBT patients, and we are developing a web-based list of providers who identify themselves as LGBT-friendly.
Passion makes a difference
The devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on gay men was one of the reasons I became an infectious disease physician and researcher. I saw firsthand in the early days of the epidemic the tragic consequences of the disease – too many people dying alone, rejected by family and society. I saw health professionals too often reluctant to provide clinical care. I saw too slow a public health response and too low a priority given to AIDS research funding. I saw the unconscionable impacts of discrimination, prejudice and stigma toward those suffering from the illness, which compounded the difficulties of fighting the virus. These experiences catalyzed my passion to advocate for those with HIV infection whose lives would improve with greater understanding from care providers and society. We have made much progress, but we still have far to go.
Every American has the fundamental right to know that health care will be provided without judgment or discrimination. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” National Coming Out Day is our opportunity to raise our voices together to proclaim that health-care disparities experienced by the LGBT community are unacceptable and that we commit to creating a health-care system that ensures better health for all.
Claire Pomeroy, M.D., M.B.A.
Chief Executive Officer, UC Davis Health System Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences Dean, School of Medicine University of California, Davis
CARES Recognized as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home
CARES applied for and was granted recognition as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home. We are honored to achieve this recognition on our first attempt. CARES is the only PCMH in Sacramento.
A patient-centered medical home is a model of care that strengthens the clinician-patient relationship by replacing episodic care with coordinated care and a long-term healing relationship. Each patient has a relationship with a primary care clinician who leads a team that takes collective responsibility for patient care, providing for the patient’s health care needs and arranging for appropriate care with other qualified clinicians. The medical home is intended to result in more personalized, coordinated, effective and efficient care. A medical home achieves these goals through a high level of accessibility, providing excellent communication among patients, clinicians and staff and taking full advantage of the latest information technology to prescribe, communicate, track test results, obtain clinical support information and monitor performance.
Click here for more information about Patient Centered Medical Homes.
Bono, Jon Stewart and the HIV/AIDS Message
One of the most interesting conversations on a health topic happened recently on The Daily Show between Bono and Jon Stewart. Bono told Stewart that we were "at the beginning of the end of the AIDS epidemic," promising an announcement the next day that would explain how a combination of early treatment, treatment for pregnant women, and circumcision, would turn the epidemic around if the American people would continue to put money into the cause. Stewart responded cautiously: "I am looking forward to hearing that," he said, "because that sounds remarkable and people's hopes have been raised before about the end of this disease, but I really hope that there is something."
The conversation between the two captures the tension between the opportunity for new optimism and the continuing need for realism about the AIDS epidemic. How do we strike the right balance between these two messages? Are there other essential messages?
The in+care Campaign is a quality improvement initiative focusing on retaining patients living with HIV in care and preventing them from falling out of care. Federally funded HIV providers across the U.S. are invited to join this collaborative effort.
CARES Addressing HIV, STDs,and Testing at an Early Age
CARES believes empowering youth to educate each other about HIV prevention and testing is the best way to stop new infections among Sacramento's youth. It is often the risky behaviors young people engage in during their high school and college years that set them up for subsequent sexual health problems.
Youth often face barriers to HIV testing, such as lack of resources to pay for testing and fear of their parents and peers finding out they are getting tested for HIV and STDs.
CARES has a successful youth-focused program utilizing social networks, viral marketing and texting to inform youth about where to find free safe sex kits and testing sites in their area.
To help equip this program with a qualified base of educators, please forward this notice to any qualified college age or high school students.
HIV & Aging: More adults are living with HIV
The miracle of growing old was all but unimaginable for them 30 years ago, at the dawn of the age of AIDS. But today the number of people 50 and older diagnosed with HIV or living with AIDS is booming, both across the country and in Sacramento County, where they account for more than a quarter of the 3,300 known cases.
A CDC study reported that new HIV infections in the United States continue at far too high a level, with an estimated 56,300 individuals becoming infected each year. Of all the new HIV cases discovered each year, at least one-third go undiagnosed for so long that the patients develops AIDS within a year of diagnosis.
So we're asking our allies in health care to help.
Please, talk to your patients about HIV
Offer regular testing
Share this message with your colleagues
And thank you for serving our community.
Here are some documents that you may find helpful: