Our Approach to Team Care
Our physicians are all board-certified in general internal medicine and infectious disease. Your physician is responsible for your overall HIV medical care and is your healthcare advisor, whose major responsibility is to help you make the best and most appropriate decisions regarding your health care.
They will take a thorough medical history and physical exam, and obtain an appropriate laboratory evaluation, before making recommendations regarding your HIV care. Physicians work closely with clinic nurse practitioners, nursing staff, social workers, mental health providers, and dietitians.
You will follow up with your HIV physician regularly. If you have a primary care provider, your HIV physician will communicate and work closely with them.
Nurse clinicians are experts in HIV care and can assist in managing acute and long-term medical issues. They can evaluate problems, order lab tests, call in prescriptions, and make referrals to other specialists. They have immediate access to physicians and consult with them as necessary. You can reach our nurse clinicians by phone during business hours; they are usually available for clinic appointments on the same day or the next day.
Many non-medical issues can affect your HIV care. Your emotional adjustment, relationships and social support, substance use, or finances can be very important as you make decisions about your health care. Social workers have experience in dealing with all of these issues and are familiar with the many resources available for people living with HIV. They work with you and your HIV team to make sure you are able to access the resources you may need. Social work services are confidential and there is no charge.
There is a wealth of nutrition and diet information available for people with HIV infection, and our registered dietitian can help you understand how that information might apply to your particular medical needs. You can get answers to your questions about vitamins, mineral and herbal supplements, exercise, or dietary changes. She can tell you more about possible side effects of your HIV medications and how diet can help.
We have counselors who specialize in working with people infected or affected by HIV. We recognize that having HIV can be a difficult and sensitive issue for many people. We can help if you need to talk about sexuality, adjustment and coping, depression and anxiety, medical treatment, and lifestyle. If our department cannot provide the services you need, you may be referred to another department or agency.
All medical and mental health staff are trained to help you think about prevention issues, disclosure, and partner notification, keeping in mind the importance of having a satisfying, healthy sexual life.
There are several ASOs in the region, and we encourage you to find the one near you. They provide a multitude of services such as case management, social support and organizations, and more information about financial support, housing, food, and transportation to medical appointments.
We understand the confusion and stress surrounding insurance coverage (or lack thereof) and finances. Please do not hesitate to talk to the nurses about any financial concerns you may have. They have a lot of expertise with various programs available to people with HIV. If there are any problems obtaining your medications (the pharmacy is out of stock or you are without medication for some reason), or have questions about copays and deductibles, call your nurse. Please also let us know right away if there are changes in your employment or insurance status.