The Health Professional Student Association is part of a collaborative network supporting the University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC) at Fort Worth on a recently awarded $3 million U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration grant to address the growing shortage of healthcare workers who care for people with HIV.

HPSA will be serving on the steering committee as a consultant and will be tasked with connecting the grant team with health professional student champions for the National HIV Curriculum e-Learning Platform and dissemination of resources.

Dr. Waridibo Allison
Dr. Waridibo Allison

Dr. Waridibo Allison, vice president of health policy and director of HSC’s Center for Health Policy will lead a collaborative group of organizations to integrate the National HIV Curriculum (NHC) e-Learning Platform into health professional programs across the southern U.S. The NHC is a federally funded platform that provides the latest in HIV science, treatment protocols, practices, and federal guidelines for educating health professionals on the optimal care and treatment for people with HIV.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show the southern U.S. experiences the greatest burden of HIV infection and illness and lags far behind other regions in providing quality HIV prevention and care. Residents of the southern U.S. also face a greater chance of becoming infected with HIV and are more likely to die from the disease compared with other parts of the country.

One of the key goals of Allison’s team will be to establish a project known as the Targeted Access Knowledge and Education (TAKE) on HIV for Health Professions Programs. The project will use an evidence-based, sustainable and replicable approach to integrate the NHC e-learning program into health professions programs and collect, synthesize, and share its data.

“To end the HIV epidemic in the U.S., it is imperative that there is an adequate workforce with sufficient HIV knowledge and expertise to facilitate HIV prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment,” Allison said. “We are grateful to have this funded opportunity to bolster HIV knowledge within the health professions workforce pipeline. It is an opportunity we will not waste.”

“We are very excited by the opportunity to support Dr. Allison’s work,” said Laura Turner, Executive Director of HPSA. “We are looking forward to supporting their efforts to expand access to care for patients with HIV in underserved areas.”

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