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Summer 1999

CRIA Welcomes Jerome A. Ernst, MD, as Medical Director

CRIA is pleased to announce that Jerome A. Ernst, MD, MPH, assumed the position of medical director on July 1, 1999. Dr. Ernst brings to CRIA extensive experience in HIV primary care and clinical research, as well as a strong commitment to improving access to decent medical services for underserved populations.

Dr. Ernst graduated Magna cum Laude with a Medical Degree from the University of Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1969. He then completed his residency and a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in the Bronx in 1977. Since then, he has become one of New York City's leading practitioners in both pulmonary and HIV care. In addition to his position as chief of the division of pulmonary diseases at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center starting in 1977, Dr. Ernst also directed Bronx-Lebanon's AIDS Center, which he founded in 1987. Most recently, Dr. Ernst earned a Masters of Science degree in health policy and management from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University in 1996.

Under his leadership, the AIDS Center at Bronx-Lebanon became one of the largest providers of quality care for HIV positive residents of the Bronx and has conducted numerous clinical studies of significant national importance. Much of Dr. Ernst's research has resulted in major government grants, including awards from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health.

Most importantly, Dr. Ernst has demonstrated an enduring commitment to promoting the quality of life for underserved PLWAs throughout New York City. He has long been a strong proponent of community-based healthcare. Starting in 1974, he assumed the responsibility of organizing a primary care team of physicians, nurse practitioners and nurses to operate the Morrisania Neighborhood Family Care Center in the South Bronx. More recently, Dr. Ernst has provided ongoing direction to the staff of two large community-based AIDS non-profits through his participation on the Board of Directors of Bronx AIDS Services and the Highbridge Woodycrest Center.

In particular, we look forward to utilizing Dr. Ernst's considerable abilities in behavioral science research. Answers to such questions as which interventions increase adherence to HIV treatments, and which strategies are most effective in reducing the infection rate of HIV, are of vital concern to the scientific and HIV community. CRIA is confident that Dr. Ernst's energy, enthusiasm, and experience will quickly result in innovative and valuable new research PLWAs nationwide.

CRIA Also Welcomes Irene Cergnul, MD, as Study Coordinator

CRIA is also delighted to announce that Irene Cergnul, MD, will be joining our staff as a new study coordinator.

Dr. Cergnul has been actively involved in HIV/AIDS care and clinical research since 1984 when she began studying infectious disease medicine in Central Europe. Since moving to the United States four years ago, Dr. Cergnul has assisted Dr. Ernst in his diverse clinical research agenda at both Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine here in New York City. Her expertise in the area of medical assessment of reported clinical data has been particularly valuable to Dr. Ernst's research, and we expect that her considerable skills in this area will benefit CRIA's mission as well.

Currently, Dr. Cergnul's greatest priority is helping to develop new treatments and healthcare services for HIV-positive adolescents. We look forward to supporting this interest through her work at CRIA.

CRIA to Participate in the 1999 Combined Federal Campaign

For the second consecutive year, CRIA has been approved for membership in the Medical Research Agencies of America (MRAA). Participation in this federation of 30 nationally prominent medical research non-profits allows CRIA to solicit donations from federal employees across the United States through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). If you are a federal employee (including armed services personnel) and want to support CRIA's vital clinical research agenda, look for our member number 1713 in the MRAA federation section of your CFC guide.

CRIA is also a member of Share America, another federation which allows us to participate in private-sector workplace campaigns, such as those conducted by large national corporations. Donations can be made directly to CRIA through the Share America Internet Web site at .

Special Thanks to Our Community Advisory Board

CRIA's Community Advisory Board (CAB) plays an important role in evaluating our treatment education program, helping us develop and guide the many services we provide to the HIV/AIDS community. The CAB reviews all of CRIA's educational services and suggests how we can make them both more accessible to and sensitive toward the diverse communities we serve. Current members of the CAB include Tim Baros, Michael Christian, Denise Goodman, Kerry L. May, and Brian Schuman. We are grateful for the time, commitment and wisdom they have contributed to our ongoing mission.

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This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication CRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.