In 2013, the Robert G. Walker Scholarship Program was established in conjunction with Florida International University (FIU) and the Monroe County Health Department (MCHD). The internship’s main thrust: to gather and assess statistics on the dynamics on HIV/AIDS, specifically pertaining to Monroe County, and to qualify and quantify the data the Agency and its collaborators had on-hand. A Bio-statistics Scholarship was subsequently added to allocate valuable resources, to prioritize expenditure and to enhance outcome reportage for future grant writing.
Data management is critical in order to triage consumers. Via a grant and leadership support from MCHD, all departments of AIDS Help’s internal record-keeping has been unified by software called ‘Client Track’. All work has been integrated into this model to centralize threshold mechanisms, resulting in a workflow that ultimately develops a consumer plan of care as well as assigning the appropriate Medical Case Manager.
Client Track also produces specific, real-time statistical reports on the face of HIV/AIDS and its relationship to other chronic illnesses, aging and housing needs. This data informs us what’s trending, which in turn steers us toward specific grants. The six most important items of interest to emerge:
1. The Graying/Aging of people living with HIV/AIDS
2. Leading Comorbidities among people living with HIV/AIDS
3. New HIV+ Cases within Monroe County who receive newer Antiviral medications..and when have the same comorbidities issues emerged first observed with more toxic HIV/AIDS medication.
4. PrEP (Truvada) taken daily… when do we start to see the same type of comorbidities with HIV + regimens?
5. What are the barriers specific to Monroe County toward achieving zero viral loads and no new HIV cases?
6. Can Monroe County develop a Community Based System of Care between primary and specialty care?
Data drives policy and procedures for required healthcare protocol for value-based health outcomes and best practice methods. As the Agency aggressively establishes itself as a research facility regarding Aging with HIV/AIDS, myths need to be dispelled and reality embraced, whether it is the unintended side effects of long-term HIV medications or what other comorbidities are associated with the illness.