Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center is Awarded Funding for Prevention and Access to Care Programs

Programs highlight HIV rapid testing, prevention education about HIV/AIDS and improved access to care services 

CHICAGO – The Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center announced today funding to support important prevention and access to care programs.

“The three most essential elements for controlling the AIDS epidemic are testing for HIV, finding all infected individuals, and engaging them in care and treatment.  Patients who are receiving successful treatment for HIV stay healthy and greatly lessen their risk of spreading the virus to others,” said Dr. Robert A. Weinstein, Chief Operating Officer, Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center and Chairman of Medicine, Cook County Health & Hospitals System.

The Community Awareness Program’s (CAP) services are vital especially in light of the Obama Administration’s release of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy which stresses the importance of identifying undiagnosed HIV positive individuals as well as reducing the number of new HIV infections.  CAP began through CORE Center staff volunteering time, but has grown in the last 5 years into a fully funded program of the Center.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Grant Healthcare Foundation, Michael Reese Health Trust and the Polk Bros. Foundation are the primary funders for CAP.

Project CONNECT is a new pilot project funded by the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust under one of its new program priorities – Access to Health Care.  Project CONNECT will decrease frequent inpatient hospital stays and increase the utilization of outpatient care visits.  CORE Center staff will engage and retain patients in care that will ultimately improve health care outcomes, quality of life and the utilization of public health resources.

The Chicago Department of Public Health awarded funding for three important prevention programs.  CHAT (Community HIV/AIDS Talk) will target Latino gay men from the westside.  WHAT (Women HIV/AIDS Talk) targets African American women from the southside of Chicago.  Project LEN (Link-Engage-Notify) will link newly diagnosed and return-to-care HIV patients with staff to create and accomplish goals leading to healthy lifestyle choices such as treatment adherence, partner notification, safer sex behaviors and disclosure of infection.