Author: Philadelphia FIGHT

The Death of George Floyd and FIGHT’s response

A Statement From Philadelphia FIGHT Board President Bishop Ernest McNear and Chief Executive Officer Jane Shull about the death of George Floyd and FIGHT’s response

Philadelphia FIGHT joins in the national outrage about the death of George Floyd, the subsequent extraordinary delay by Minneapolis officials in charging the former police officers whom we watched murder a man accused of a nonviolent crime.  We share your outrage at the lack of national response to the unending list of these incidents,  that happen in every city and in every state with depressing regularity.  In a time when fear and anxiety about COVID-19 has taken over the national and local stage, and many are sheltering at home, or are forced into public contact by jobs that they cannot walk away from,  the death of George Floyd, the recent death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of the Louisville police, and the recent incident in Central Park in New York City involving Christian Cooper and a white woman who threatened him with racially motivated retaliation when he asked her to leash her dog, are clearly threatening to every person of color in the United States.  As a healthcare provider, we are sickeningly aware of the damage to the health of African American, Latinx, Asian and other people of color that comes from the stress of living in a society where they must fear for their safety at all times, in situations where the privileged white population can feel completely safe.  No one should have to worry for their safety because they are walking down the street,  moving about in the neighborhood, entering their own home, sitting in their own home, sleeping in their own home, engaging in recreational activities in public or private parks, being a child playing in public spaces, or private spaces, driving in their care, or engaging in any of the other activities that we have watched with horror lead to a senseless death of a person entitled to a life of dignity and worth.  

George Floyd Memorial

Much work needs to be done to address these issues.  For now, Philadelphia FIGHT is responding to these recent events in the following ways:  

As a healthcare provider our job is to take care of our patients’ health, and to do it without regard for race, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, age, or ability to pay. We will work to assure that every patient we serve is treated with dignity and respect.  Although right now taking care of your health has been made more challenging by COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, we want all of our patients to know that trauma and stress counseling is available at Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers.  If you are feeling traumatized, stressed, upset or just needing to talk to somebody, we can help.  We can meet with you by Telehealth, by Facetime, or by phone.  If you are not our patient but would like to receive care from us, counseling is available to you as well.  We are also offering spiritual counseling at this difficult time.  If you feel that your physical health has been compromised due to the stress of these unconscionable events,  please also call your care provider, or if you are not our patients but would like to become our patient, y ou can also call us.  To access our care, please call one of these numbers.  Adults 215-790-1788;  267-725-0252.  Ages 13-24 215-344-1632. For children call  2125-5325-8600.

Please do not hesitate to seek help if you do not have health insurance as we serve uninsured people as well.  And please do not hesitate to seek help for yourself at this time for any reason.  We need to take care of ourselves and each other.  

As a longtime provider of community education around HIV/AIDS and Healthcare,  Philadelphia FIGHT has long emphasized the links between the AIDS Epidemic, and more recently the COVID-19 Epidemic, and racial and social justice.  Our theme with AIDS Education Month is Prevention, Treatment and Justice, because all will be required to bring an end to AIDS in our lifetime.  Similarly with COVID-19, just as with AIDS, as this new epidemic has advanced it has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable in our society.  The racial disparities are clear and tragic, and the links between risk and economic status are equally savage. This year, AIDS Education Month is being held virtually – occurring only online – in order to keep everyone safe, and to comply with stay at home requirements and limitations on crowds. We invite you to particularly consider the following list of online webinars, each of which will include material on racial and social disparities and the effect on the health of people who have been disenfranchised.  In addition, we are planning to add an additional webinar that will directly address the impact of police killings and brutality on the lives of the people we serve and others like them.  

AIDS Education Month June 2020

Event NameDateTimeLink to Event
Goals for our city and strategies for our future: Ending the HIV Epidemic in PhiladelphiaJune 11:00 PMhttps://fight.org/event/goals-for-our-city-and-strategies-for-our-future-ending-the-hiv-epidemic-in-philadelphia/
Why is the Rona doing the most, especially with the Black community? Let’s discuss the facts and what we can do moving forward.June 411:30 AMhttps://fight.org/event/why-is-the-rona-doing-the-most-especially-with-the-black-community-lets-discuss-the-facts-and-what-we-can-do-moving-forward/
Please, Put on Your Oxygen Mask Before Assisting OthersJune 101:00 PMhttps://fight.org/event/please-put-on-your-oxygen-mask-before-assisting-others/
Healthcare and Human DignityJune 1210:00 AMhttps://fight.org/event/healthcare-and-human-dignity/
Impact of PrEP Education in Women Receiving Family Planning ServicesJune 1910:00 AMhttps://fight.org/event/impact-of-prep-education-in-women-receiving-family-planning-services/
Being Counted: HIV Surveillance, the Census & VotingJune 2610:00 AMhttps://fight.org/event/being-counted-hiv-surveillance-the-census-voting/

To our patients: 

Black Lives Matter.  Your life matters. 

If we can help you in the ways noted above or in any other way, to help you through this terrible time, please reach out.  And to all the communities we serve:  We will continue to seek ways to mitigate harm, and to change the social conditions that enable police killings, failure on the part of society to respond appropriately,  and the continued inequality and racism that underlies these injustices.  

Posted in <a href="https://fight.org/category/announcements/" rel="category tag">Announcements</a>, <a href="https://fight.org/category/in-memorium/" rel="category tag">In Memorium</a> Tagged <a href="https://fight.org/tag/george-floyd/" rel="tag">George Floyd</a> Leave a comment

Get to Know Your Words: Aerobic

Involving free oxygen. Also commonly called “cardio” when referring to exercise due to the increase of oxygen use through the cardiovascular system to meet energy demands

Aerobic: involving free oxygen. Also commonly called “cardio” when referring to exercise due to the increase of oxygen use through the cardiovascular system to meet energy demands
Posted in <a href="https://fight.org/category/word-wednesday/" rel="category tag">Word Wednesday</a> Tagged <a href="https://fight.org/tag/word-wednesday/" rel="tag">Word Wednesday</a> 1 Comment

Philadelphia FIGHT’s PrEP Team Receives the Linden Award

PHILADELPHIA – FIGHT’s PrEP team received the prestigious Linden Award at the 19th Annual Centers for AIDS Research national meeting for their outstanding research study on PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Dr. Helen Koenig, the medical director of our PrEP Program, and the PrEP research team demonstrated that a urine test can be used to monitor adherence to Truvada™ taken as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for prevention of HIV. This urine test has the potential to help people taking PrEP for HIV prevention and prescribing clinicians maximize the effectiveness of PrEP; a highly effective tool in ending the HIV epidemic. This work was done to address a major research gap as, currently, there is no way to reliably measure adherence to PrEP and help patients taking this medication overcome barriers to adherence.

linden award2

Dr. Koenig and her team presented these results at the National Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Symposium in Seattle, Washington where they also received award. This award, supported by funds donated to the NIH CFAR Program to advance research in HIV/AIDS, was awarded to the three investigators whose work demonstrated great significance, analytical and scientific rigor, novel/innovative methodologies, understandability to a wide scientific audience, and overall contribution to knowledge.

Learn more about Philadelphia FIGHT’s PrEP program.

Posted in <a href="https://fight.org/category/announcements/" rel="category tag">Announcements</a> Tagged <a href="https://fight.org/tag/helen-koenig/" rel="tag">Helen Koenig</a>, <a href="https://fight.org/tag/linden-award/" rel="tag">Linden Award</a>, <a href="https://fight.org/tag/prep/" rel="tag">PrEP</a> Leave a comment

Barbara L. Bungy Named Chief Operating Officer of FIGHT Community Health Center

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia FIGHT has announced the hiring of Barbara L. Bungy, MPH, MBA as the new Chief Operating Officer for FIGHT’s Community Health Centers. A member of the FIGHT Board of Directors since 2012, Ms. Bungy most recently served as the Board Secretary. She will begin on March 7, 2016.

20160127_BarbaraBungy_04_web

Ms. Bungy brings outstanding leadership to the Philadelphia FIGHT team. Over the past eight years, Barbara has been employed by Drexel University College of Medicine within the Department of Pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in several management positions including the Executive Director for the Center of the Urban Child, HIV Prevention Services Program Manager, and the Director of Grant Funded Programs within the Dorothy Mann Center for Pediatric & Adolescent HIV, a comprehensive primary and specialty HIV/AIDS care provider for HIV exposed newborns and HIV positive infants, children, adolescents as well as their affected families.

In her new role, Ms. Bungy will lead the clinical and administrative operations of FIGHT’s Federal Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC). “We’re truly excited to welcome Barbara to our senior management team,” said Executive Director Jane Shull. “She has been an outstanding Board Member at FIGHT, and a valued community partner and volunteer for many years. We’re confident that she is the perfect fit for this newly-created position.”

A graduate of Rowan University, Ms. Bungy earned two Master’s Degrees from Drexel University, an MPH in Public Health and an MBA in Business Administration. Barbara is a results-oriented individual who brings a wealth of knowledge in clinical operations, management, and systems in support of Philadelphia FIGHT’s mission and vision.

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Our 2015 AIDS Walk Team!

Thank you, Team Philadelphia FIGHT for helping us kick off our 25th Anniversary Celebration at this year’s AIDS Walk Philly. It was cold; it was early; but we did it! We raised over $13,000 which will go directly toward creating more services for people living with HIV and those at high risk. Thanks for your support!

 

Posted in <a href="https://fight.org/category/announcements/" rel="category tag">Announcements</a>, <a href="https://fight.org/category/upcoming-events/" rel="category tag">Upcoming Events</a>

Thank You for Making AIDS Education Month 2015 a Success!

Thank you to everyone that participated in AIDS Education Month 2015!

This year was a tremendous success.  We reached thousands of people through our events including brand new End AIDS Conference. With over 65 workshops and over 1500 people in attendance, the conference was our biggest and most ambitious AEM project yet.

We would like to thank our Honorary Chairperson Cherri Gregg and our AEM Co-Chairs Bishop Dwayne Royster and Ann Ricksecker for their guidance and assistance.

Stay tuned for a more detailed recap of the month and visit our Facebook page for exclusive photos.

Posted in <a href="https://fight.org/category/announcements/" rel="category tag">Announcements</a>

Dr. Kostman Joins Philadelphia FIGHT

Jay R. Kostman, MD, former Associate Director of the Viral Hepatitis Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has joined the medical staff at Philadelphia FIGHT.

 

Dr. Kostman, a graduate of Cornell University and Yale University’s Medical School, was the Co-Director of the HIV/HCV (hepatitis C) Scientific Working Group at the Penn Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). One of the Philadelphia region’s most prominent Infectious Disease specialists, Kostman has been named to Philadelphia Magazine’s “Top Docs” list every year for the last decade. From 1995 to 2000, Kostman was the Founding Medical Director at Philadelphia FIGHT’s Jonathan Lax Treatment Center.

 

“We’re so pleased to be welcoming Jay ‘back home’ to Philadelphia FIGHT,” said Jane Shull, Executive Director. “Jay is unquestionably an outstanding clinician with a wealth of knowledge and experience serving patients living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. He will be a valuable addition to our medical team at the newly-expanded John Bell Health Center at 1207 Chestnut Street.”

 

Dr. Kostman is the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in medicine, including the 2009 Srinivasan Award for Humanism in Medicine from the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of three scientific books, and has contributed to more than 60 publications in medical publications, including the Journal of Clinical Immunology, the Journal of Infectious Diseases, and AIDS Research & Human Retroviruses.

Posted in <a href="https://fight.org/category/announcements/" rel="category tag">Announcements</a>

FIGHT's PrEP Program in the Philadelphia Daily News

Philadelphia FIGHT’s PrEP program was featured in the June 26th issue of the Philadelphia Daily News. Dr. Helen Koenig, the medical director of our PrEP program and Caitlin Conyngham, Y-HEP Health Center’s Practice Coordinator, were included in the piece.

Check out the story here.

Posted in <a href="https://fight.org/category/announcements/" rel="category tag">Announcements</a>

Teyana Taylor Will Headline Hip Hop for Philly 2015

Philadelphia FIGHT, in partnership with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and over 15 community-based organizations, will present the third annual “Hip Hop for Philly” FREE concert featuring recording artist and actress Teyana Taylor. The concert will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2014 from 7 to 11 p.m.

AEM_HIP HOP Flyer_8 lofi

Tickets can be obtained only by young people aged 13-24 who receive a free HIV test at any participating agency or one of the Hip Hop for Philly free HIV testing events throughout Philadelphia.

Teyana Taylor recently released her highly anticipated first studio album, “VII” which features hit singles, “Maybe” ft. Pusha T and Yo Gotti, and “Do Not Disturb” feat. Chris Brown. The first lady of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music ensemble has been featured on West’s own “Dark Fantasy”, in addition to penning hits for Chris Brown among others. She also toured with August Alsina in 2014 to sold out venues across the country. Teyana is also an accomplished actress, having appeared in Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family.

The Hip Hop for Philly concert will also feature local artists. Dance troupe Project Positive will kick off the event, rapper E-Hos will perform and DJ NiiLo will be on the 1s and 2s. Hip Hop for Philly’s goals are to provide youth with inspiring role models, encourage them to know their HIV status, and educate themselves and their community about safe and healthy behavior. Last year, more than 1,200 youth received HIV tests.

Concert tickets are non-transferable, limited to one person, and available only while supplies last. For a full listing of our testing events and our partnering organizations, visit www.fight.org/hiphop.

Posted in <a href="https://fight.org/category/announcements/" rel="category tag">Announcements</a>, <a href="https://fight.org/category/featured-on-homepage/" rel="category tag">Featured On Homepage</a>

Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.

Learn More about Spotlight On
Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Mario CruzDr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.


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