A Holistic Approach to HIV Treatment: The Jacques Initiative Change Lives, Engaging Community
The JACQUES (Joint AIDS Community Quest for Unique and Effective Treatment Strategies) Initiative (J.I.) was initiated in 2003 by the Institute of Human Virology (IHV). The IHV is the first center in the United States to combine the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders - most notably the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. The J.I. program has been named in memory of a dear friend to the IHV and a well known contributor to the field of HIV/AIDS activism. Joseph William Jacques — or “Joe” as he was affectionately called by those who knew him — devoted his life to improving the health and well being of patients living with HIV/AIDS. The mission of the J.I. program is to provide a holistic care delivery model that provides long-term treatment success for urban populations infected with HIV. Their focus is to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV illness through care delivery while providing early intervention services through activities such as testing, outreach and linkage to care. They are committed to providing a “safe place” for their clients through professionally delivered services and providing access to clinical research for all.
The core framework of J.I.’s novel approach to HIV care and delivery is based on proven strategies for adherence, including an integrated pharmacy and observed therapy. The success and progressive expansion of the program and its staff have simply been based on their desire to serve the needs of the community and clients living with HIV. The J.I. staff are unique and passionate, with various fields of interest that include medicine, research, nursing, pharmacy, testing and community outreach. Approximately 20% of the J.I. staff are living well with HIV, so they have not only been able to tell people that such as life is possible, but to show them. They believe to change a city you must engage the city and engage the community in the fight against HIV/AIDS. From a patient load of 250 when their clinics first opened to now 2500 the IHV has provided expert clinical care to Maryland including some of Baltimore’s most underserved: the uninsured, addicted, and homeless. This presentation will introduce the J.I. program activities and present a “hub & spoke model”, a comprehensive continuum of care for HIV outreach, linkage to care, medical care and treatment support in Baltimore.
Derek E Spencer, MS CRNP, is the Executive Director of the JACQUES Initiative, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine. This program was initiated in 2003 after planning, fund raising, and dialogue with patients and area AIDS service organizations. The program provides treatment preparation for patients and their identified support systems (family and friends) while offering specialized treatment support. In addition to treatment adherence the Program has expanded in the areas including primary care and case management, the corrections system, outreach, routine testing program, mental health, and integration with the faith based community. As program director for this initiative, Mr. Spencer is responsible for supervising a staff of 32 employees to include professional and nonprofessional staff; acquisition of funding for the Initiative and all of its patient programs; monthly reports and narratives to various funding sources. As a primary care provider at The Institute of Human Virology, Mr. Spencer also serves in three practice settings: education, primary care, and research activities.