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[October 14, 2011]                                                  


STAR Health Center Receives Quality of Care Award

SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s STAR Health Center is the recipient of the 2011 National Quality Center Quality of Care Award for Quality Improvement Activities. STAR Health Center’s medical director, Jayashree Ravishankar, MD, MPH, recently accepted the award at the National Quality Center’s Steering Committee meeting in Washington, DC.

The STAR Health Center offers specialized care for HIV disease, hepatitis C infection, and substance abuse to the people of Central Brooklyn, and received the award for significant advances in care for HIV-infected patients with co-morbidities. The National Quality Center provides technical assistance to all Ryan White Program-funded grantees to improve the quality of HIV care nationwide. It is funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration HIV/AIDS Bureau through a cooperative agreement with the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute.

Dr. Ravishankar said, “Since HIV infection has largely become a manageable, chronic disease, we have seen an increase in illnesses associated with aging in HIV patients. An effort to improve the management of these co-morbidities was the obvious next step.”  

“Primary care indicators were added to our quality management program, focusing on diabetes and cardiovascular risk assessment in people with HIV, and we saw significant improvements in these important clinical areas,” she explained. In review of the
12-month period, diabetes care improved across all parameters. Diabetes evaluation using the A1C test increased from 56% to 75%, while use of aspirin to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, statin drugs to lower cholesterol, and medications to lower blood pressure increased to 100%.  

The STAR Health Center’s healthcare providers reported increased confidence in managing diabetes. Dr. Ravishankar added, “This success reinforced their interest to include other primary care indicators and to increase the use of clinical care pathways for the management of hypertension and other chronic diseases affecting their patients.”  

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator. 

SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.
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