Since 1988, the beginning of the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center’s existence, the nation’s health care delivery system has become increasingly complicated. The center leads the way in guiding our region’s hospitals, community health centers, and other providers in applying for federal funding under the Ryan White CARE Act and similar funding sources.
The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center assists facilities with program development, policy modification, and expansion of services, long-range planning, and other capacity-building initiatives. The center also provides technical assistance to improve organizational functioning and offers clinical services.
The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center is always striving to do more. The center’s staff members are constantly seeking opportunities to measure their performance and to identify ways to better serve their trainees.
Focus groups, program evaluation forms, formal audits, and other needs assessment instruments help in the planning of the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center’s programs and budget. Every dollar is meaningful in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the center devotes nearly 90% of its budget to direct program training costs, with the remainder dedicated to evaluation and other infrastructure costs.
Striving to provide the region’s health care providers with the best possible tools, the center is innovative in its approaches to reaching these providers where they work by offering on-site training, teleconferences, phone consultations, and online information and resources.
Through the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center’s ongoing organizational, government, and trainee contacts, it continues to assess needs and offer tailored training, consultation, and technical assistance. This longitudinal training approach ensures that the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center builds capacity at the local level through mentoring and support for clinicians who are treating those at risk or infected.
- Enhances HIV clinical treatment and prevention skills, as well as the acquisition of new skills and knowledge with didactic and skill-building training.
- Conducts clinical mini-residencies for community clinicians, utilizing AETC clinical experts to improve clinical skills and foster capacity building.
- Provides expert clinical consultation to ensure “best practices” for treatment, offers treatment co-management, and refers patients to clinical experts.
- Improves access to a comprehensive HIV care system for minorities, hard-to-reach populations, substance users, and women through its Minority AIDS Initiative, providing special training and capacity building to minority clinicians, agencies, and clinics.
- Trains minority providers, and others serving minorities and medically underserved populations, to build clinical capacity in local communities.
- Creates and maintains a high standard of HIV care through training and consultation, providing technical assistance for Ryan White CARE Act grantees to increase quality of care, reduce barriers, and improve access.
- Conducts capacity building at new, emerging, and established community medical service sites including Ryan White CARE Act clinics, community and migrant health centers, and others to reduce quality and system gaps.
- Trains clinicians on how to provide culturally appropriate interventions and care.
- Provides training in the prenatal and gynecological care of women, including how to reduce perinatal transmission through appropriate screening, testing, and medication protocols.
- Offers specialized training to prison clinical providers in state, county, and federal prison systems.
- Provides quality management training to agencies providing HIV care to ensure that treatment protocols are continually revised to reflect the current standard of care based on the latest research and best practices.
- Trains clinicians on co-morbidities of substance use, hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, and psychiatric disorders in the HIV population, in collaboration with other federally funded training centers.
- Conducts ongoing needs assessments of institutions, clinics, programs, and individual clinicians, so that training can be tailored.
- Rapidly disseminates information on advances in treatment via print, teleconferences, and the MidAtlantic AETC website.
- Conducts regular evaluation studies to measure changes in provider knowledge, clinician practice patterns and decision making, patient care outcomes, and HIV care system enhancements.
Scope and Reach of MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center Intervention
The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center makes every effort to reach all areas of our territory. Figure X provides Geomapping of the trainees reached throughout our region from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.
Our efforts to reach audiences throughout our region through a range of methods including the website, electronic notifications of training, outreach to specific sites and continual and consistent communication.
The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center devotes considerable time and travel from our staff to reach locations throughout of region to engage individual clinicians, agencies and programs to conduct assessments, identify training topics, arrange logistics, networking with communities and develop programming tailored to regional and local needs. Furthermore, the location of training programs demonstrates that our expert faculty travel to reach all areas of our region demonstrating our commitment to improving the clinical knowledge and skills of our audiences to improve the quality of care for persons with HIV.
Rural areas of the region have been hard hit with the loss of industry resulting in high rates of poverty within all age groups. There has also been an increase in drug and alcohol use in these areas which contributes to the growing rates of STI and HIV infection within rural, medically underserved areas.
These factors provide justification and a rationale for the need for AETC intervention to equip health care providers in these areas with the knowledge and skills not just on HIV but STIs, hepatitis, substance use, and psychiatric co-morbidities of HIV. In addition, there is a tremendous need for capacity building through consultation and technical assistance to enhance health care infrastructure, policies and procedures to improve service delivery.
Targeted Training Audiences
The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center offers education and training programs specifically designed to improve HIV/AIDS care, treatment and prevention services for:
- Physician Assistants
- Nurse Practitioners
- Dental Hygienists
- All members of interdisciplinary care teams
The most effective educators guide their teaching based on the principles of adult learning. The MidAtlantic AETC is proud of its tradition of training and education that is based on the unique needs of trainees, and provides the foundation for workshops, seminars, symposia, mini-residencies, teleconferences, and other training sessions that prepare providers and clinicians to provide effective HIV prevention, care, and treatment.
The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center takes great care to identify faculty and trainers who provide education which takes into consideration local vs. regional/national expertise, and matching faculty to audience needs, such as, discipline, practice setting, prior experience with the patient population, representation of minorities, and at-risk populations. Audience identification with the faculty serves as a catalyst for the participant to learn, provide quality care, and agree to ongoing follow-up opportunities.
The AETC training team considers many variables in determining appropriate faculty for all levels of training and chooses from a developed pool of expert faculty that includes all targeted disciplines and represents a cross-section of gender, race and HIV status. AETC staff coach each faculty member on the identified audience, information, such as, recent guidelines and specific issues and attend all programs to assess faculty performance and conduct evaluation.
The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center trains health professionals from various backgrounds and locations throughout the region. Training is tailored to meet the HIV prevention, care, and treatment challenges of specific geographic areas, clinics, and individual clinicians. The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center works diligently to prepare providers with skill and knowledge that is tailored to the populations they serve. This individualized focus is a key element of the center’s success.