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Continuing to Expand Our Mission: We Need Your Input

President's Forum

June 2002

In this space in the last Nexus, I discussed the strategic vision of the Academy. I described how our vision would continue to improve the quality of care for HIV patients, and some of the accompanying strategic decisions of our organization.

In this issue I want to discuss the specific programs that demonstrate the Academy's mission of supporting health care providers in HIV medicine and ensuring better care for those living with AIDS and HIV disease. The initiatives are listed in the cover article of this issue, and they represent the Academy's commitment to our mission.

Many of our members and several nonmembers continue to ask our staff and Board, "Are you only involved in credentialing and reimbursement?" In short -- No.

As you know, the Academy does provide a credentialing process for HIV Specialists. That process has already been widely accepted in HIV medicine, as over 900 HIV health care providers have chosen to apply for the credential, twice the number we had expected in this time period. We are hopeful that this number will continue to increase. Yet, credentialing is no tour primary function, and it does not consume the majority of our resources. Nor do our Practice Management services, such as the Reimbursement Hotline (800-REIM-HOT).

Actually, the largest portion of our time and resources goes to our Education Committee. That committee creates and revises (yearly) the Core Curriculum Educational Objectives and the HIV Medicine Competency Exam (apart of the credentialing process). The largest single initiative is the Self-Directed Study Guide, which will become a basis for CME initiatives and provide critical review for practicing HIV health care providers.

In the coming year, we will publish a revised Core Curriculum and the Self-Directed Study Guide. However, you will notice that the list in the cover article also includes conferences, articles, and a study in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. So we have continued to diversify our methods of supporting HIV health care providers. And we will continue to do so with your help.

How do we choose our initiatives? Most of the projects listed in the cover article were brought to our organization by members interested in improving patient care and were chosen because they fit our strategic mission. We have been very careful to choose initiatives that address issues that interest our members. In the past, we gathered this information from member and community meetings in cities around the country. This year, however, we will be sending out a membership survey toward the end of the summer. Our hope is that your responses will guide us in choosing the initiatives for the next year and a half.

This year we will again hold a membership meeting during ICAAC. Last year's meeting was a review of current initiatives. This year we will present the results of the membership survey, preview the Study Guide, and have interactive discussion on the next steps for the Academy. So please make plans to join us!

If you have any suggestions or projects that you believe would aid in reaching the Academy's mission, please call our office at 310-278-6380.

Thanks to Our Credentialing Staff

As you have read, we have received over 900 applications for the AAHIVM HIV Specialist credential, which was twice what we projected for this period. To meet this high demand, our staff has contributed far beyond the call of duty. I want to thank all the staff of the Academy for the extra effort they took in this high-pressure time to meet our members' needs. A special thanks goes to our Credentialing Coordinator, Luz Castro-Bran. She has created an efficient, effective, and credible process and has been especially effective in communicating with our members.

A New Executive Director

The Academy has reorganized certain responsibilities to better meet the needs of all of our stakeholders. As President I will mainly handle creation of policy and communication with primary stakeholders, such as the Board of Directors, partner organizations, faculty, and members.

On April 1, we promoted Jerry Calumn to Executive Director. He will be responsible for implementation of initiatives and policy and most operations. Jerry has long been an openly HIV-positive advocate, and he continues to bring that perspective to the Academy. In the last year he has helped put in place a strong infrastructure for the Academy, and he will continue to be a vital part of our organization. Congratulations, Jerry!

Back to The Nexus June 2002 contents page.

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This article was provided by American Academy of HIV Medicine. It is a part of the publication The Nexus. Visit AAHIVM's website to find out more about their activities and publications.