MATEC will devote its Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) efforts to three innovative projects that will provide training to minority and predominately minority-serving health care professionals and allied health care professionals. Projects were selected to target highly impacted racial and ethnic minorities in the region. These projects are described below as the Clinician Scholars Program (CSP), the MAI Training Series (MTS), and the American Indian (AI) Training Programs.
The CSP, now in its fifth year, is a one-year standardized, participant-centered course of study specifically designed for minority or predominately minority-serving, front-line clinical care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, registered nurses, oral health providers, and pharmacists). The CSP approaches learning and individual practice transformation through intensive mentoring, an individualized approach, relationship building, longitudinal engagement, and a localized context with regional support. The program is designed to increase the capacity of clinicians to diagnosis, treat, manage, and prevent HIV/AIDS through focus on 11 core capabilities that were identified by the MATEC's regional clinical leadership to ensure that all participants who complete the CSP are proficient in areas necessary to provide at least an intermediate level of HIV/AIDS care.
In a recent article titled “Developing the HIV Workforce: The MATEC Clinician Scholars Program” in the Journal of Association of Nurses in AIDS Care , the MATEC reviewed evaluation data from Years 3 (2012-2013) and 4 (2013-2014) of the CSP and found that baseline and endpoint self-assessments of clinical knowledge and skills showed significant improvements in all 11 targeted capabilities, particularly managing antiviral medications, screening and testing methods, incorporating prevention into HIV care, understanding risk reduction methods, and describing current care standards. Mid- and end-point Faculty Mentor assessments also showed significant improvement in most capabilities. Additional benefits cited by participants include ongoing access to mentoring and training and sustained engagement in local and statewide HIV care networks.
Under the CSP, at least 19 clinicians are expected to be recruited and retained in the program each year. At least one Scholar per year will be included from each state and 2-4 scholars are expected to participate from LPs with higher demonstrated need and HIV data (Illinois, Michigan and Ohio). CSP participants, many representative of the ethnic and minority groups of the patient and trainee populations we serve, have the option to become MATEC faculty following their successful completion of this longitudinal program.
Depending on the level of MAI funding, LPs may elect to offer both the CSP and the MTS, which allows the LPs to determine which approach best meets the needs of targeted communities. MTS programming is designed to specifically increase knowledge and skills related to the following points on the HIV Care Continuum: (1) HIV testing and risk counseling; (2) Linkage to and re-engagement in care; (3) Retention in care; and (4) Adherence assessment and counseling. MATEC will offer a menu of topical training experiences including live offerings, online programming, and/or clinical consultation and participants will be required to complete 20 hours of training using at least three different training modalities. LPs opting to implement MTS will provide training needs assessment data linking MTS training activities to gaps and weaknesses in their local HIV Care Continuum, particularly minority population-specific gaps and weaknesses. The focused menu of MTS training topics described above, the multi-modal approach, and its longitudinal nature distinguishes it from other MATEC programming. LPs will provide training that includes multiple contact points between the trainer and audience. LPs will also be encouraged to consider the trainer-to-trainee ratio and congruence between trainer discipline/practice and audience discipline/practice.
MATEC’s American Indian (AI) Training Programs will be focused on addressing the HIV Continuum of Care primarily at two points: 1) diagnosing HIV infection through testing and 2) linking HIV-infected people to care. MATEC will continue its work with the AI communities in the region through existing relationships and infrastructure in Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Long-standing relationships with tribal councils built by the LPs in these states are key to implementing effective interventions and training in the AI community, particularly around a topic so affected by stigma as HIV/AIDS. MATEC-KS will continue to collaborate with health clinics that serve AI communities (e.g., Prairie Band Potawatomi Health and Dental Clinic; Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas Health Center, and White Cloud Health Station) by delivering targeted trainings and technical assistance that address the HIV-related needs of these clinics. This LP will also host the annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day educational event in Mayetta, KS, bringing together local and tribal health care providers around HIV and HCV issues. MATEC-MI will continue work with the Saginaw-Chippewa tribal clinic in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, which is in the process of seeking certification as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. MATEC-MI has been incorporating HIV-related training into this process to ensure quality HIV care and access for HIV-positive community members. Mount Pleasant is home to the Saginaw-Chippewa Tribal College and MATEC-MI will include the College when working to identify training needs of the tribal health care professionals. In addition to programs about routine testing and linkage to care, MATEC-MN (in collaboration with the White Earth Harm Reduction Coalition) will deliver an annual tribal conference in Mahnomen, MN that draws a national audience and takes advantage of the community momentum around HCV prevention and treatment. The conference successfully creates and sustains important collaborations among the public health communities that affect rates and outcomes of HIV. Mahnomen is also home to White Earth Tribal and Community College. MATEC-WI will build on the strong existing relationship with an Urban Tribal Clinic in Milwaukee, the Gerald Ignace Center, to work toward implementing routine HIV testing.
MAI Projects will be monitored closely to insure that they are reaching clinicians, allied-health providers, and organizations that are serving minority populations. This monitoring will be conducted by the Regional MAI Coordinator who will be based at MATEC-IN. Regional coordination of MAI efforts will include monthly calls with LPs to discuss progress and problems in each project.