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City opens model HIV/AIDS center.

The city opened the first "model office" for the HIV/AIDS Services Administration last week, located in the Amsterdam Center at 400 Eighth Ave.

HASA is the largest and most comprehensive cityrun HIV/AIDS service program in the country, providing a wide range of financial benefits, case management, housing and support services. The Amsterdam Center, which also houses HASA's Serviceline, is the gateway to HASA services for many clients from throughout New York City. Councilmember Christine Quinn, Councilmember Bill de Blasio, Peter Avitabile, a senior HASA manager and person living with AIDS, and Dr. Mathilde Krim, Founding Chair & Chair of the Board of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) joined the Mayor and the Commissioner at the announcement.

"We aim to make New York City a national model for AIDS care and treatment," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "HRA has responded to the current challenges and opportunities by undertaking an examination of service delivery and developing a 'model office' concept to ensure that its 31,000 clients, and their 14,000 family members who receive related support, get the best care and service in a customer-oriented environment."

"HASA was one of the first municipal agencies in the country to help people with AIDS when it was created in the mid-1980s, and it remains one of the most comprehensive," said Commissioner Eggleston. "Today, as the disease moves into its third decade, the needs of people with AIDS have continued to change. HRA has sought out and pioneered best practices in response to that change."

The new client-focused approach incorporates a spectrum of services and technological innovations. These include:

Reception staff and state-of-the-art reception area tools to orient and direct clients in a professional, efficient and caring manner;

Expanded vocational rehabilitation and employment services;

On-site disability assistance staff to help clients obtain Social Security Administration benefits;

On-site Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASACs) to provide screening, assessment and referrals to treatment;

On-site mental health professionals to provide screening, assessment and referrals to treatment;

Expanded access to medical services through the on-site presence of representatives of Medicaid Special Needs Plans (SNPs) for people with HIV/AIDS;

Technological enhancements, such as a new routing system to manage client intake, connect clients more quickly with assigned workers and identify future appointments;

And bilingual kiosks providing self-service information, answers to common client questions and locations of community resources.

The $3 million HASA Model Office, funded mainly by the City's capital budget, is the result of an extensive planning process involving hundreds of HRA staff, clients and community advocates. The "model center" concept will be extended to all 11 of HASA's offices.
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Title Annotation:Construction & Design; HIV/AIDS Services Administration model office
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 25, 2004
Words:436
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