AIDS PREVENTION: Kaiser Permanente Sponsors Community Outreach Program
In response to Alameda County officials' recent declaration that AIDS constituted a state of emergency among the area's African-American population, Kaiser Permanente has launched a community outreach program designed to help HIV/AIDS patients better manage their health and live fuller lives. Kaiser's Positive Self-Management Workshop, to begin in February, is a series of six classes conducted by a specially-trained HIV-positive instructor. While a similar program has been offered at Kaiser medical centers for employees for some time, the new workshops will be open to the general public. "This is a proven program that improves people's health and empowers them," said Joe DiMilia, HIV coordinator at Kaiser's Oakland Medical Center. He added, "People who take this class are more confident, healthier and live less symptom-filled lives. They're better able to manage their symptoms and less likely to be hospitalized or to have acute episodes with HIV." The two-and-a-half hour sessions will provide people with practical skills for taking care of themselves, familiarity with community resources and information and advice on how to ease the daily difficulties of living with the disease. Michael Allerton, HIV operations policy coordinator for Kaiser, said, "We have a history of being good community citizens in areas where we practice." The insurer is now finalizing partnership agreements for the program with other community organizations throughout the state (Kaiser Permanente release, 11/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.