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LUTHERAN HEALTHCARE AND HUNTER COLLEGE JOIN TO PROVIDE HIV/AIDS SENSITIVITY TRAINING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LUTHERAN HEALTHCARE AND HUNTER COLLEGE JOIN TO PROVIDE HIV/AIDS SENSITIVITY TRAINING
Lutheran staff trained to provide support and care for people at-risk for HIV and people living with HIV/AIDS.

June 18, 2007, Brooklyn, New York…Lutheran HealthCare and the Hunter College Center for Community and Urban Health joined forces to train 946 of Lutheran HealthCare's nonclinical staff in skills to provide positive and sensitive support and care for people at-risk for HIV and people living with HIV and AIDS. The study, now released, shows the successful results of HIV/AIDS sensitivity training done during the summer of 2005.

"Reducing stigma and social isolation is a crucial step for improving care, quality of life, and emotional health for people living with HIV and AIDS," said Larry K. McReynolds, executive director, Lutheran Family Health Centers. "By providing training, policies, and procedures for all staff Lutheran remains in the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and supportive services."

The results of the study showed a significant increase in the comfort of the participants when interacting with people living with HIV/AIDS, employees surveyed were found to be four times as likely to have changed their behavior toward patients. Nonclinical staff trained included security guards, receptionists, personnel who deliver meal trays or clean rooms, individuals in records, and even the CEO of the hospital.

"We are extremely pleased to see the productive results of our HIV/AIDS sensitivity training at Lutheran HealthCare," said Jennifer J. Raab, Hunter College President. "This is just one example of the important work being done by the Hunter College Center for Community and Urban Health as well as all of the other health professions programs at Hunter."

Lutheran's work in the AIDS community is extensive. The Lutheran Family Health Centers network most recently received a special grant for $2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) to support groundbreaking oral health care initiatives for people living with HIV/AIDS. The Lutheran Family Health Centers have been committed to educating and serving HIV positive and those at-risk in Brooklyn communities for nearly 20 years. In 1988, Lutheran's Special Care Immunology Services Program was named a N.Y.S. Department of Health Designated HIV/AIDS Center. In 2003, Lutheran was the recipient of HRSA's first "US/Caribbean HIV/AIDS Twinning Collaborative" award to form a bi-lateral relationship to improve AIDS care in the Caribbean and the United States. In 2006, through community outreach and outpatients visits, the Lutheran HealthCare network provided 4,000 rapid HIV tests in Brooklyn.

Lutheran HealthCare: As Brooklyn's premier heath care network, Lutheran HealthCare (LHC) is a comprehensive medical and social support system committed to providing services for the whole person -- physically, emotionally and spiritually. The LHC system of community health providers includes Lutheran Medical Center, the Lutheran Family Health Centers, Lutheran Augustana Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, Community Care Organization, Inc, Health Plus, senior housing programs and more. Learn about LHC and its 124-year-old commitment to serving Brooklyn neighborhoods by visiting www.LutheranMedicalCenter.com.

The Hunter College Center for Community and Urban Health (formerly the Hunter College Center on AIDS, Drugs and Community Health) was founded in 1988 to respond to the growing public health crises devastating New York City's low-income communities, especially AIDS. The center conducts scientifically-sound, evidence-based health research, training and programming aimed at improving the lives of underserved populations.

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