The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) welcomed Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar II today to discuss the national HIV epidemic and EBNHC’s experience as a leading-edge provider of HIV prevention, screening, and treatment. In addition Secretary Azar toured the Family Medicine Department and had a chance to speak with Primary Care patients, many of who are part of the Community Care Collaborative, an Accountable Care Organization which the Health Center was the founding member.
In 1995, EBNHC launched Project SHINE, a clinical and supportive services department that provides a range of services including community-based prevention, screenings for HIV/STIs/HCV, PrEP, HIV care, behavioral health, medical case management, linkage and retention, and psychosocial support.
“We’re grateful for Secretary Azar for visiting us to see how community health centers play a vital role in the fight to end the spread of HIV as well as how we are a leader in providing value based care” said EBNHC President & CEO Manny Lopes. “EBNHC provides services to anyone in need, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. This includes critical medicine which they can access through our state of the art pharmacy. Through programs like Project SHINE and other clinical departments, the communities we serve have access to high-quality medical care and Behavioral Health Services support as well as treatment.”
“We offer the complete continuum of HIV care,” said Michael Mancusi, Vice President and Chief Behavioral Health Officer. “Project SHINE’s model is team-based, patient-centered medical home approach. Our mission is to improve health outcomes and quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS, prevent new infections, and link newly diagnosed individuals to appropriate care and services promptly and compassionately.”
In 2018, Project SHINE’s HIV-positive patients achieved a 97% suppressed viral load, which keeps the patient healthy and helps prevent sexual transmission of the HIV virus, compared to national average of 85.9% for Ryan White Programs. That year, the program provided 1,756 tests for HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and hepatitis C, with an average of 9.2 days from HIV-positive result to first visit with HIV infectious disease physician.