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Milestones

YEAR
MILESTONE
1981
First pediatric and adult AIDS cases diagnosed in Brooklyn.

1985

SUNY Downstate's Division of Infectious Disease in the Department. of Medicine established the multi-disciplinary AIDS Team at SUNY Downstate's public hospital affiliate, Kings County Hospital Center (KCHC), providing the first clinic specifically for AIDS in Brooklyn.

Expansion of Pediatric Immunology Clinic at SUNY Downstate -- providing HIV counseling and testing as well as clinical trials for children.

First year of the Perinatal HIV Transmission Study.

1987
Clinical training to community-based physicians on HIV/AIDS begins.

The Infant and Child Learning Center is established to provide early intervention services for HIV-infected infants and children.
1988
A 10 bed inpatient HIV unit is established at SUNY Downstate's University Hospital of Brookyn (UHB).

The AIDS Prevention Center is established, providing HIV counseling and testing to adults as well as education and outreach.

Development of the AIDS Prevention Center - providing counseling and testing to adults as well as education and outreach.

First year of the Heterosexual AIDS Transmission Study.
1989
Development of the Brooklyn Pediatric AIDS Network (BPAN)-- providing comprehensive case management and primary care to HIV infected children in Brooklyn.

Development of the Adolescent Education Program - providing peer-led community-based HIV education to teens throughout Brooklyn.
1990
Development of the Pediatric-Maternal HIV Center -- providing HIV primary care to children at KCHC.

Development of the Brooklyn Group Support Project (now Supportive Counseling Services of SUNY) - providing support groups for HIV infected individuals and their families.

Development of the HIV Clinical Scholars Program - two year fellowship providing specialty training to clinicians in HIV disease.

First year of the Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS).
1991
SUNY's University Hospital of Brooklyn becomes a New York State AIDS Designated Center.

Development of the STAR Clinic (now STAR Health Center) - first outpatient HIV clinic on SUNY Downstate campus.

First year of the Women's AIDS Cohort Study (WACS) - prospective study examining the manifestations of HIV disease in women.

Development of SUNY AIDS Clinical Trials Unit - first adult clinical trials unit in Brooklyn (emphasizing trials for women and minorities).
1992
Development of Central/East European HIV Education Center.

The Health and Education Alternatives for Teens (HEAT) Program begins serving the needs of HIV-infected adolescents at KCHC.
1993
Development of The HIV Center for Women and Children, to help coordinate the activities of all HIV-related programs directed by SUNY Downstate faculty.

Development of the HIV Clinical Education Initiative - providing on-site training to area health care providers in HIV disease.
1994
Development of the Co-Located HIV/Gynecologic Care Program - providing both HIV and gynecologic care to HIV infected women at four sites at SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital Center.
1995
Two clinical textbooks, HIV Infection in Women and Primary Care of Women and Children with HIV: A Multidisciplinary Approach, edited by HIV Center faculty are published.

The Maternal and Pediatric Services of Brooklyn (MAPS) program is funded through HRSA's Special Projects of National Significance program to develop a model system for the prevention of perinatal HIV transmission at three Brooklyn hospitals.
1997
The Health and Education Alternatives for Teens (HEAT) Clinic is selected as a Clinical Science Group site as part of the NIH-funded Adolescent Medicine HIV/AIDS Research Network.
1998
The Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Units at University Hospital of Brooklyn and Kings County Hospital Center are consolidated.

The Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Clinic consolidates with the in-patient HIV care unit at University Hospital of Brooklyn.

Adult clinical trials are offered to STAR Clinic patients.
1999
The Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Clinic is renamed the STAR Health Center, reflecting a renewed vision of providing first-rate interdisciplinary health care to all persons with HIV disease.

The Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Program is awarded targeted Ryan White funding from a Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) initiative for a new outreach project entitled—Educating People at Risk (EPAR).
2000
The CDC funds SUNY Downstate's first large-scale, randomized community-based HIV/STD behavioral intervention project.
2001
The STAR Health Center (SHC) receives funding for the development of the first clinic in Brooklyn for the treatment of people co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C.

The SHC begins providing comprehensive mental health/substance use treatment through funding from the NYS Department of Health AIDS Institute.

The HEAT Program is awarded Ryan White Title IV (now Part D) funding through HRSA to establish a comprehensive care network to identify, enroll, and retain HIV-infected youth in medical care, and establish a youth service provider network in Brooklyn.

2003

Dr. Tracey Wilson is awarded 3 years of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct “Implementation of IDSA/CDC Guidelines for HIV Prevention,” a demonstration project to assess the effectiveness of guidelines to incorporate sexual and drug use risk reduction activities into the HIV medical care setting.

2006

The STAR Program is awarded $1,271,600 over 5 years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop and implement substance abuse, HIV and hepatitis prevention interventions for minority and reentry populations in Brooklyn.

2007

The STAR Programis awarded a $160,000 grant from the American International Health Alliance (AIHA) to establish a twinning partnership with the Centre for Health Systems Research and Development (CHSR&D) at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.  Through a Cooperative Agreement with HRSA, AIHA establishes an “HIV/AIDS Twinning Center” (www.twinningagainstaids.org) to support partnership and volunteer activities as part of the implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The goal of this partnership is to strengthen the capacity of CHSR&D faculty to manage their current HIV and TB research projects that inform HIV and TB healthcare practice and policy in the Free State, a largely rural area with a population of 2.9 million and an estimated HIV seroprevalence rate of 31%, the third highest rate of all the provinces in South Africa.

The NIH renews the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) grant (Minkoff, PI) ($15,000,000 for an additional 5 years). The WIHS is a collaborative, multi-site, longitudinal study that began in 1994 to investigate the natural history of HIV infection in US women, and represents one of the largest prospective cohort studies of HIV-infected and uninfected women in existence. Its six sites are located in California (Los Angeles, San Francisco), Chicago, IL, the Washington, DC area and New York City (Bronx and SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn).

2008

The STAR Program (DeHovitz, PI) receives an award of $2,250,000 over five years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand and enhance substance abuse treatment services in conjunction with HIV/AIDS services for high-risk substance abusing adults in Central Brooklyn. A major focus of this program is to introduce the use of buprenorphine (an alternative to methadone) into HIV care.

The STAR Program receives an award of $780,080 over five years from the NYS Department of Health AIDS Institute to enable the STAR Health Center Treatment Adherence Program to increase HIV treatment knowledge and adherence among HIV seropositive patients, and reduce HIV-associated morbidity and mortality.

The STAR Program receives an award of $259,826 over two years from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health to train researchers to address the problem of cervical cancer among HIV seropositive and seronegative women in Central and Eastern Europe. This project will build on the research training infrastructure provided by the New York State International Training and Research Program (NYS-ITRP), a cooperative program of SUNY Downstate, the SUNY Albany School of Public Health, and the New York State Department of Health.

The STAR Program receives an award of $294,000 from the NYS Department of Health AIDS Institute to serve as a state-wide Prevention and Substance Use Center under the Clinical Education Initiative (CEI). The CEI Center will provide state-of-the-art education and training workshops on prevention and substance use to front-line HIV care clinicians throughout New York State. 

2009

On December 1, 2009, SUNY Downstate commemorated a quarter century in the fight against HIV/AIDS with a special World AIDS Day program. The program, entitled “A Quarter Century of HIV Care, Prevention and Research,” featured opening remarks by John C. LaRosa, MD, SUNY Downstate’s President, who noted that “as part of Downstate’s 150th anniversary celebrations, we thought it fitting on World AIDS Day to look at what Downstate has accomplished in the fight against HIV/AIDS.” Kathy Powderly, CNM, PhD, Acting Director of Downstate’s Division of Humanities in Medicine, provided an introduction to the event and to Ron Bayer, PhD, an expert on medical ethics in the treatment of AIDS and Professor, Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Bayer spoke about the first 25 years of the AIDS epidemic and moderated a panel discussion featuring Downstate healthcare professionals. Panelists included:  Jeffrey Birnbaum, MD, MPH; Jack A. DeHovitz, MD, MPH; Joan Hittelman, PhD; Susan Holman, RN, MS; Sheldon Landesman, MD, FACP; Hermann Mendez, MD; and Howard Minkoff, MD. Each discussed their experiences delivering HIV/AIDS care over the past quarter century.  

2010

On March 19, 2010, the New York HIV Research Centers Consortium held its sixth scientific conference at the Kimmel Center of New York University.  The New York HIV Research Centers Consortium is a collaborative project of 29 HIV research centers in the greater New York area (the majority in NYS) (see www.cduhr.org for more information). The Consortium’s mission is to enhance scientific knowledge of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and related issues by facilitating inter-institutional, multi-disciplinary collaborations by scientists affiliated with HIV research centers in the New York region. The conference, entitled, “Innovative Applications of Information and Communication Technologies in Addressing the HIV/AIDS Epidemic,” brought together expert panelists to discuss the uses of new and existing media in HIV screening and prevention, HIV treatment and care, and ethical, privacy and security issues. The Consortium was founded in 2002 with the goal of bringing together the directors of major HIV/AIDS research programs in the New York area to share information and expertise regarding the HIV/AIDS research undertaken across New York centers, and to facilitate inter-institutional multi-disciplinary collaborations between Centers. The Consortium is administered at the CDUHR headquarters at NYU College of Nursing.

2011

The STAR Program receives funding through SUNY Stony Brook to develop a program to screen and treat first responders to the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center. The Stony Brook University Medical Center (SBUMC) World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (WTCMMTP) will expand its clinical center of excellence to care for thousands more who were exposed to toxic chemicals and who continue to suffer from upper and lower respiratory tract distress, mental health symptoms, and other conditions related to the environment at ground zero. In operation since immediately after 9/11, the WTCMMTP is a federally funded program largely supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an arm of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The STAR Program is awarded $450,000 over three years from the HIV/AIDS Bureau of HRSA to expand opportunities to train medical residents in HIV/AIDS care and treatment, in collaboration with Downstate’s Internal Medicine Residency Program of the Department of Medicine. This fully accredited residency program offers tracks in categorical medicine, combined medicine and emergency medicine, and preliminary medicine. The proposed project will initiate developmental work toward expanding the existing accredited primary care residency program to include an HIV-focused 4th residency track, with the ultimate goal of training 4 new residents per year or 12 new residents over the life of the project.

2012

The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) awards $500,000 over three years to SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s (DMC) NYS International Training and Research Program (NYS-ITRP) through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to support HIV prevention interventions in Ukraine.  Launched in 2003 by President George W. Bush with strong bipartisan support, PEPFAR is America’s commitment to fighting the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. Unlike the rest of the world, Eastern Europe and Central Asia have seen a rapid increase in HIV incidence in the past four years, driven largely by injecting drug use. By the end of 2010, Ukrainian authorities had reported over 150,000 HIV cases. Indeed, with1.1% of the population living with HIV, Ukraine has the highest prevalence in Europe.The NYS-ITRP, led by Jack A. DeHovitz, MD, MPH, is a multi-institutional, multi-national collaborative effort sponsored by the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health that provides training for scientists in low- and middle-income countries to strengthen research and public health capacities at their institutions related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis, and other emerging infections.  The program is administered by SUNY-DMC in collaboration with the Wadsworth Center and the Division of Epidemiology at the New York State Department of Health and the SUNY Albany School of Public Health. 

The Health and Education Alternatives for Teens (HEAT) Program receives an award of $1.5 million ($300,000/year over 5 years) from HRSA’s Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Program to identify, engage and retain HIV+ transgender youth in care.

2013

The STAR Health Center receives Level 3 recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a patient-centered medical home (PCMH). Level 3 designation is the highest achievable recognition for a medical group, awarded only to programs that pass a rigorous review process. Attaining a high score of 94.75 out of a possible 100 points required a strong team effort and is a testament to the quality and scope of the STAR Health Center's services.