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Latino HIV/AIDS Community Benefits From Mount Sinai's Unparalleled Resources and Comprehensive Care Approach

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 AIDS/HIV News J E 4
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NEW YORK, Aug. 16 With Mount Sinai's recent take-over of the St. Vincent's HIV Clinic in Greenwich Village, the underserved Latino HIV/AIDS population in the greater New York area is now under the auspices of one of the preeminent, multi-disciplinary hospitals in the nation and a pioneering institution in HIV/AIDS care and research since 1989. The take-over was completed in July and resulted in the seamless transition of 2,700 patients, a majority of which were Latino.

"Treating the Latino HIV/AIDS community presents unique challenges, and this transition was especially concerning for them," said Dr. Lugo, an Infectious Disease specialist at the new Mount Sinai HIV clinic. "Knowing that they are now benefiting from Mount Sinai's world-class physicians and unparalleled research capabilities, we've been able to quickly calm fears and provide the sense of continuity that was desperately needed," concluded Dr. Lugo.

The addition of St. Vincent's program to the successful HIV program already in place at Mount Sinai's Upper East Side campus has made the Mount Sinai Comprehensive Health Program (MSCHP) one of the largest HIV programs in the country, with an anticipated 36,000 patient visits annually. It includes primary care and, infectious disease physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and specialists in dermatology, gynecology, and adolescent care. There are also subspecialty programs for HIV patients in neurology, renal care, hepatitis C co-infection and cancer screening.

"I've been a patient at the clinic for thirteen years and I can honestly say that we are a familia," said Ernie Alvarez, an HIV/AIDS patient and leader of the Mount Sinai Consumer Advisory Board, a patient advocacy group. "Through the transition, Mount Sinai embraced us and now, we're an even a bigger, stronger 'family' that is optimistic for the future," added Alvarez.

"The Latino population in the U.S. has always been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and today, approximately 20% of all new cases come from within that community," said Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS. "HIV/AIDS is not only a physical disease but also, it is a mentally and emotionally challenging one and Mount Sinai is one of the best things that can happen for this community. We look forward to partnering with them to keep the HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment at the forefront of the national dialogue," added Chacon.

The Mount Sinai clinic is currently located in the same building as the former St. Vincent's clinic, the O'Toole Building, is serving about 300 patients each week. The clinic offers assistance in Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese and has a staff of social workers who offer case management, substance abuse, and social work services. The new Mount Sinai clinic accepts the same insurance plans as the St. Vincent's clinic did and provides patients with MetroCards for transportation.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of America Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171 bed tertiary and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation's top 20 hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated a Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

For more information, visit www.mountsinai.org. Follow us on Twitter @mountsinainyc.

SOURCE The Mount Sinai Medical Center
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