At a ceremony at Banco Popular's Rockefeller Center branch in early December, ACRIA sealed a new partnership aimed at expanding and enhancing HIV healthcare and treatment education within New York's Hispanic and Latino communities. Our new partners are the DreamMakers, a community service volunteer program of Fundación Banco Popular, and the program involves both financial support and active participation.
The monetary support came in the form of a check to ACRIA for $25,000 to support our treatment education efforts in Spanish-language-dominant communities. The participation will take place over the coming year and will be a two-way process. ACRIA will conduct a series of luncheon workshops for Banco Popular employees -- DreamMakers -- aimed at teaching them about HIV and AIDS and some of the issues of particular importance in Latino and Hispanic communities. The DreamMakers in turn will take the message back to their communities, assisting in both education and outreach. The DreamMakers will also act as advisors to ACRIA's Treatment Education Department, reviewing and contributing to written materials and curriculum development to help ensure that ACRIA's efforts in Spanish-language communities are culturally and linguistically appropriate and accessible.
In addition, Banco Popular will provide meeting spaces in their facilities for our workshops and trainings and our intensive technical assistance program.
The new partnership is the result of a collaboration between ACRIA's Treatment Education Director Luis Scaccabarrozzi and DreamMaker Edward Castro Gomez of Banco Popular's Financial Operations division.
Treatment Educator Lisa Frederick traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, in November to represent ACRIA at the 2005 North American AIDS Treatment Action Forum (NATAF). Together with representatives of agencies from Canada and Mexico, Frederick cofacilitated a workshop on "Methods and Strategies for Educating About HIV Treatment," part of the conference's Care and Treatment Track. The workshop stressed the perspective and experience of the education providers while highlighting the central goals of treatment education programs. The presentation used interactive activities to review the basic skills required to conduct training, for example by presenting case studies followed by discussion on how to engage adult audiences and other aspects of adult learning. Approximately 85 people attended the workshop.
ACRIA researchers presented findings from their behavioral studies of older adults with HIV at two conferences held back to back in Orlando, Florida, this November.
The first was a "CE Pre-Conference" on Aging and HIV held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC), cosponsored by ACRIA and ANAC and focused on the special needs of the growing numbers of HIV-positive individuals aged 50 and older. Dr. Stephen Karpiak, ACRIA's Associate Director for Research, gave the opening keynote address. He, with Research Associate R. Andrew Shippy, presented preliminary data from ROAH (Research on Older Adults with HIV), ACRIA's 1,000-person cohort study just concluded. In addition, ANAC's Research Committee was presented with the results of an Internet-based study of stigma among nursing professionals, conducted jointly by ACRIA, ANAC, and Indiana University.
Mr. Shippy also attended the annual conference of the Gerontological Society of America -- relocated to Orlando from New Orleans -- and reported on ACRIA's research on stigma among employees of community-based and AIDS service organizations. In addition, he presented data from ACRIA's earlier study of depression and cognitive impairment in older adults with HIV.
In an effort to attract and retain a corps of committed and well-rounded volunteers, ACRIA has overhauled its volunteer recruitment, screening, training, and utilization procedures. Our goal is to offer individuals the opportunity to observe and become a real part of the agency and its programs -- to get a sense of what we do, why we do it, and how a not-for-profit organization works.
We have redesigned our volunteer application form and polled our staff about volunteer opportunities in their programs or departments. If you are interested in working with us, call Jack Denelsbeck at (212) 924-3934, ext. 120. Jack will schedule an interview to explore how you can put your own unique talents to work at ACRIA and become an important part of our team.
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.