The Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases provides a number of patient resources programs and support groups.
Suffolk Project for AIDS Resource Coordination (SPARC)
The SPARC project, funded by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) under Part D since 1995, leads a collaboration among multiple Suffolk County community-based organizations and agencies to address the spectrum of issues and needs faced by HIV-impacted families. The primary goal of the SPARC project is to improve coordination of and access to HIV-specific services for HIV-infected women, children and adolescents. In addition to coordinating this county-wide consortium, SPARC provides patient transportation and respite services, providing relief from caretaking responsibilities for families of HIV-infected patients. The goal of these services is to provide access to counseling and support services, benefit/entitlement programs, court appointments or to address their own medical needs.
Ryan White Part A Programs
The Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases is also funded under the Ryan White CARE Act Parts A and B which helps those who have insufficient health care coverage or financial resources cope with HIV disease — providing both primary care and essential support services. These programs include one of only nine New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute designated Center of Excellence in Pediatric Care in the state, providing expert HIV medical and psychosocial services. In addition to the Center of Excellence initiative, Part A funds mental health services, nutrition services, medical case management, and emergency financial aid for patients in need.
Weekly Adolescent Support Group
Facilitated by a certified social worker, a weekly group is held for younger adolescents (ages 12 to 17). The group serves as an important and safe outlet for children living with HIV to discuss issues that are unique to them. In addition to group process, members participate in recreational activities throughout the year including an annual summer camp.
Youth Advisory Committee (YAC)
The Youth Advisory Committee consists of young people (ages 18 to 24 years) who are either HIV infected or affected. Facilitated by a certified social worker, the group meets quarterly to discuss service delivery and other issues related to living with HIV. Through the YAC, young people are encouraged to become advocates for those living with HIV/AIDS.
Community Advisory Board (CAB)
The CAB is comprised of parents and caregivers of HIV-infected children and adolescents, some of whom are also HIV-infected. This group serves as an educational venue for families as well as a forum for discussion of program and services advocacy.
Our faculty and staff regularly offer lectures and information on infectious diseases prevention and treatment to the community, schools, Head Start programs, and the media. Timely topics have included hand-washing, MRSA, H1N1 flu and seasonal flu, HIV and Lyme disease.