Jewish Healthcare Foundation News
AIDS Free Pittsburgh Receives 'Partnership of Distinction' Award
Collaboration is essential to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP) has epitomized the collaborative approach across Allegheny County since 2015, building local partnerships to help communities work together to stop new cases of HIV/AIDS.
This successful effort is now being recognized by the University of Pittsburgh's Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement. AFP was one of five groups to receive the "Partnerships of Distinction" Award on March 29 in a ceremony at the Twentieth Century Club. JHF is the fiscal agent for AIDS Free Pittsburgh.
The award recognizes outstanding partnerships that are exemplars of community engagement. Awarded partnerships are ongoing, collaborative relationships between members of the University of Pittsburgh and external groups in which the activities of the partnership contribute to social and community development.
AFP is led by a coalition of government agencies, healthcare institutions, and neighborhood organizations that collectively performs education, outreach, and advocacy work to reach AFP's 2020 goal: Eliminate new AIDS diagnoses in Allegheny County and reduce new HIV infections by 75%.
"AIDS Free Pittsburgh is fortunate to have many valued partners affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh who are committed to advancing the initiative's mission through community-based research and awareness campaigns," said Julia Och, the JHF staff member who is project manager for AIDS Free Pittsburgh. "We are grateful for the opportunity for our community and academic partners to be recognized for their collective efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Allegheny County."
Darren Whitfield, PhD, MSW, an assistant professor at Pitt's School of Social Work, nominated AFP for the award. "I believe the work of the collaborative and results in terms of HIV outcomes is a direct result of the collaborative's efforts and commitment towards reducing HIV infections and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV," said Dr. Whitfield, who is an AFP Advisory Group member. "I look forward to the work still yet to be accomplished."
Since AFP's work began in 2015, there has been a 30% reduction in new HIV cases and a 56% reduction in new AIDS cases in Allegheny County.
For more information, visit aidsfreepittsburgh.org.