Dr. Kamillah Wood currently works with the Mobile Health Program at the Children’s Health Project of DC at THEARC in Washington, DC. Affiliated with Children’s National Health System, here Dr. Wood works to provide comprehensive medical care to underserved children in the Anacostia region of the city. In addition to providing clinical services, she created an educational program for parents and families called the Legislative Educational Advocacy Program (LEAP), which helped to inform local community members about current policy issues, the legislative process and the importance of civic engagement. She also conducts lectures and educational sessions focusing on the physician’s role in health policy and public health for the residents in the pediatric residency program. Prior to this position, she completed a fellowship in health policy and health disparities as a Mongan Commonwealth Fund Harvard University Fellow in Minority Health Policy, where she also obtained a Masters in Public Health from the Harvard University School of Public Health. In addition to her fellowship training, Dr. Wood completed her pediatrics residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she was selected to be a Chief Resident. In this leadership role, she helped to manage 137 residents within the program, while working on several hospital-wide committees to address issues from emergency preparedness to implementation of an inpatient electronic health record. During her residency training, Dr. Wood was also involved in several non-clinical activities, including helping to increase recruitment of minority applicants to the pediatric residency program, as the Co-President of the Multicultural Physicians Alliance. Furthermore, Dr. Wood conducted an after school teen group at a local homeless shelter using innovative tools to provide health education to this vulnerable population. Additional educational accomplishments include graduating Alpha Omega Alpha from George Washington University School of Medicine and Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University.
Kamillah Wood, MD, MPH
Senior Vice President, Health and Housing, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, Washington, DC
A View From Above: Publically Funded HIV Testing Patterns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
To describe HIV testing patterns in publically-funded HIV testing sites around major policy changes between 2004 and 2008, looking at certain demographic groups who are disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic.
Currently, there are 1 million Americans living with HIV, and 21% are unaware that they are infected. This stark statistic is at the crux of the spreading HIV epidemic, as those who are unaware of their HIV status are unknowingly propagating the disease within our communities. Thus, it is important to ensure that the appropriate policy and public health initiatives are in place to allow access to HIV testing. In addition, the HIV/AIDS epidemic disproportionately affects minority communities. Massachusetts is no stranger to this fact, as African Americans and Hispanics are affected by HIV/AIDS at levels 12 and 11 times that of White (non-Hispanic) individuals. Given these disparities, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Office of HIV/AIDS(OHA) is committed to ensuring access to HIV testing by providing funds to 41 clinical and non-clinical agencies across the state. These sites provide both testing and education, while also making referrals for other services including substance abuse care and mental health services. Between 2004-2008, several policy changes occurred both locally and nationally that could have potentially impacted HIV testing patterns in publically-funded testing sites. This includes the funding of rapid HIV tests, Massachusetts Health Care Reform, CDC Testing Guideline changes, and the CDC Expanded Testing Initiative, which was a grant to promote increase testing in African-American communities.
Data was obtained from the MDPH OHA counseling and testing database. Age range, race/ethnicity, gender and health insurance status were examined between 2004-2005 and 2007-2008, comparing changes before and after 2006. Aggregated data frequencies were obtained from both clinical and non-clinical sites, and analyzed using the statistical tests of inference on proportions and chi square test.
Data analysis revealed a greater number of HIV tests done after 2006, with a significant increase in those covered by Medicaid. A significant proportion of tests done in those who remained uninsured after 2006 were conducted in non-clinical sites versus clinical sites. This was true when specifically examining African Americans, who bear the greatest burden of the HIV epidemic. Thus, non-clinical sites pose an important role in providing access to HIV testing, especially for vulnerable populations. Without these publically-funded dollars, non-clinical sites would not be able to provide testing, and therefore funding streams for these entities should be maintained even with the expansion of health care coverage.
Overall testing patterns in the state were investigated here. Further data analysis by testing site or health service region may provide more detailed information of what is occurring in specific communities. In addition, looking beyond the 2008 period may reveal additional impacts from the policy changes mentioned.
Preceptor and Sponsoring Agency:
Dawn Fukuda , Sc.M., Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health