Daniel Tietz, a registered nurse and attorney with over two decades experience in nonprofit management and human services, has joined ACRIA as its Executive Director effective March 15, 2006. He succeeds J Daniel Stricker, who stepped down after eleven years of service.
Tietz most recently served as Deputy Executive Director for Operations at the Coalition for the Homeless. During his four-year tenure, he led an agency-wide overhaul of the Coalition's organizational structure, systems, and staffing, and helped guide a $20 million capital campaign.
He also has a strong background in serving people living with HIV and AIDS. As Deputy Executive Director for Day Treatment and Residential Services at Housing Works, he served as chief administrator for that agency's three licensed adult day healthcare centers and two residential programs in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Prior to joining Housing Works, he served as Director of Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, New York City's contractor for HUD funds aimed at providing housing for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, he has advocated on behalf of human rights and social justice issues through independent political activity, including campaign management.
With his broad clinical, management, and legal background, and his demonstrated commitment to the underserved and marginalized populations ACRIA exists to serve, Daniel is uniquely qualified to lead the agency into the next phase of the fight against HIV and AIDS.
ACRIA is pleased to announce that the services formerly delivered by our Treatment Education Department -- client and staff workshops, individual counseling, technical assistance, and publications -- now fall under the aegis of our newly formed HIV Health Literacy Program.
Health literacy is the ability to read, understand, and use basic medical knowledge and information effectively. Functional health literacy is associated with illness-related knowledge, an understanding of disease processes, and treatment perceptions. HIV-positive people with low health literacy tend to experience more frequent and more severe bouts of illness, require more frequent and longer hospital stays, and are less likely to comply with prescribed treatment and care regimens than those whose health literacy is high.
The new name recognizes the breadth of our services and does not indicate any change in our commitment to providing comprehensive HIV healthcare and treatment education to those who need it most.
ACRIA's HIV Health Literacy Program, working closely with our Research Department, has embarked on the Community Mapping Initiative, a program to "map" HIV-positive people throughout New York City with regard to a variety of factors affecting their access to care, their ability to participate actively in their own care and make informed decisions, and the concrete effects on their care of the availability of community-based treatment education.
The overall purpose of the program is to form a statistical picture of the health literacy needs of HIV-positive people throughout New York City, to see how those needs may differ in different groups, and to advocate for those needs. Our aim is to assure that ACRIA's HIV health literacy services are responsive to the needs of those we serve; to examine differences in the needs of different groups, e.g., HIV-positive women of color versus white men, or older versus younger women of color; to develop an advocacy strategy and tools that communicate those needs to policy makers and the general public; and to build public and private support of community-based treatment education services, particularly in communities of color.
People with HIV-positive form not only the target population of the program but its backbone as well, acting as community monitors to collect information and enter it into our computer database for analysis. A detailed questionnaire has been prepared and is being administered at our HIV health literacy workshops at community-based organizations across the city and elsewhere in communities of color. A detailed report, with maps presenting the information graphically, will be prepared and distributed in late June.
The Community Mapping Initiative is funded by a grant from the New York City Communities of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition (NYCCOCHAC).
The initial findings of ACRIA's groundbreaking study on HIV-positive New Yorkers over the age of 50 -- Research on Older Adults with HIV, or ROAH -- have been presented at several locations around the city. Dr. Stephen Karpiak, ACRIA's Associate Director for Research, has presented at St. Luke's/Roosevelt, Bellevue, and NYU Medical Center, and is scheduled to talk at Cornell-Weill Medical Center in May. Research Associate Andrew Shippy presented on the Spanish population data from ROAH at the Latino AIDS Forum in Albany in March.
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.