Grant Program: Community Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities, FY 2007
Organization Name: Partners in Health/The PACT Project
Organization Address: 622 Washington Street, 3rd Floor, Dorchester, MA 02124
Phone Number: (617) 474-8500
Fax Number: (617) 474-8535
Title of Project: Increasing Health Promotion Services to HIV-Positive Individuals Living with HIV in the Boston Area
Project Director: Heidi Behforouz, MD
Description of Organization:
PACT was created in 1997 by a group of community activists, physicians and social scientists who were concerned by the growing incidence of HIV and the differential in AIDS mortality experienced by poor people of color. PACT recruits community health promoters from affected neighborhoods and trains them to provide health promotion and education services to low-income Latino, Haitian and African-American men and women. These services help participants: 1) Identify and overcome barriers to good health, 2) Access needed medical and social resources, 3) Manage side effects of medications and improve medication adherence, 4) Identify and address social problems that interfere with good health practices, such as the lack of food or housing, 5) Learn and practice risk reduction techniques, 6) Develop better communication skills in order to enhance rapport with health/social service providers and7) Improve life management skills and functional relationships within family and community. Since its inception, PACT has served over 330 HIV-positive patients in the health promotion program. At any given time there are 90-120 patients enrolled, roughly a quarter of whom are receiving daily, directly-observed therapy. It is estimated that 10-15 percent of the overall HIV/AIDS population in Boston (or 840-1,260 patients) meet the criteria for PACT services. PACT is currently expanding to try and meet this need.
Description of project:
With support from OMH, the three program goals of PACT are to improve the health of minority HIV patients, increase the delivery of health promotion services to homeless individuals and other marginalized patients in Boston and advocate for broader adoption of community health worker programs by the health care delivery system in order to improve health outcomes for minority patients. In order to increase the delivery of health promotion services to homeless individuals and other marginalized populations in Boston, the non-profit will partner with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Project, which will refer 50 minority homeless HIV patients to PACT over the course of the project period. Furthermore, we will conduct targeted recruitment outreach to clinics, hospitals and areas where members of the target population congregate.