The department of community health and family medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville is using a national grant to further support telehealth services for patients living with HIV.
The Association of American Medical Colleges awarded the department a $15,000 Telehealth Equity Catalyst Award to provide pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, via UF Health Virtual Visit to vulnerable patients in the region. PrEP is medicine people at risk for HIV take to prevent contracting the virus from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, the medicine is highly effective in preventing transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Reetu Grewal, MD, an associate professor of community health and family medicine at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, is overseeing the implementation of the grant. The newly created division of digital health will assist.
“UF Health Jacksonville is already leading the way in providing top-notch virtual care for patients living with HIV, allowing them to connect with our providers in a personalized, secure and confidential manner,” Grewal said. “We are pleased to receive this funding to further develop our care in a way we believe will ultimately lead to greater health outcomes. We plan to expand our existing program to include HIV prevention in our community through a convenient telehealth platform.”
The AAMC funding is the latest in a series of grants and awards the department of community health and family medicine has received in recent years to grow and enhance its telehealth services, particularly for patients living with HIV. Scott Shipman, MD, MPH, director of clinical innovations for the AAMC, lauded the department for its efforts.
“Thank you for the opportunity to partner and learn from your team to advance health care equity though telehealth and health technology in new and effective ways,” Shipman wrote in a congratulatory letter to Grewal. “The AAMC wishes you the best as you and your team continue this important work.”