Volume 3 issue 2 - spring 2011


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Volume 3 issue 2 - spring 2011

  1. 1. Volume 3, Issue 2 Spring 2011 North Jersey Community Research Initiative Community FirstInside this issue: About NJCRINJCRI Project WOW! 2 The North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI) is New Jersey’s largest and mostAnnual Health Fair comprehensive HIV/AIDS community-based organization.NJCRI Staff Develop- 3ment Trainings Our mission is “to help people with HIV/AIDS and those at risk for HIV/AIDS.” We conduct state-wide HIV clinical trials, and provide HIV treatment, care and prevention servicesNJCRI Project in the Greater Newark Area. Populations we serve include youth and adults, men and women,REACT 4 men who have sex with men, people who acquire or who are at risk for HIV through injection drug use and others.NJCRI’s My Brother’sKeeper Drop-In 5Center NJCRI also seeks to address the concerns and disparities of access to health care faced by mi- nority populations. Some of the non-HIV related services we offer include behavioral research,Congratulations Pro- chronic illness management education, street outreach, substance abuse treatment, transporta-ject WOW! 6 tion, food pantry and technical assistance to other community-based organizations. Approximately 8,000 people avail themselves of our free and confidential ser-NJCRI’s Project Ac- vices each year.cess 8 NJCRI Hosts its 2nd Annual Statewide ConferenceUpcoming Programs Harm Reduction and Treatment in NJ: Having Faith in Recoveryand Events 9 NJCRI’s Harm Reduction and Treatment in New Jersey: Having Faith in Recovery conference was held on January 26th, 2011 at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey. The confer- ence was sponsored by the Office of Minority Health through NJCRI’s Project CHETA and it featured 16 speakers from various organizations such as Yale University School of Medicine; the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services; Hyacinth AIDS Foundation; the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Epidemiologic Services Unit; Drug Policy Alliance; South Jersey AIDS Alliance; Rutgers University School of Social Work; and various Faith-Based organizations. The conference had four workshops on the fol- lowing topics: Harm Reduction and Syringe Exchange; Modalities of Treatment including Suboxone & Methadone; The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Assisting in Recovery; and HIV and Substance Use: The Current Epidemic. More than 170 people registered to attend NJCRI’s 2nd annual conference and despite challenges with the weather, about 95% of registrants attended. A big thank you goes to all the speakers and NJCRI staff. This amazing conference could not have happened without everyones assistance. A video of NJCRI’s Executive Director, Brian McGovern’s speech is available on NJCRI’s website at www.njcri.org.
  2. 2. Community First NJCRI’s Project WOW! First Annual Health FairNJCRI’s Project WOW! had their First LGBT YouthHealth Fair in Newark on Saturday, February 5, 2011and it was a big success.NJCRI had the opportunity to show it’s one stop shopservices by having several of our programs service ouryouth clients from Care and Treatment providing bloodpressure, glucose and physical screenings, Counselingand Testing, Project WOW! services, My Brother’sKeeper, Project Renew, and our Education Services.Several outside agencies and vendors attended includ-ing Nurse Practitioners, State of NJ Commission for theBlind and Visually Impaired, The Lennard Clinic, Es-sex Medicaid District Office, Planned Parenthood,Citizens in Action, and many more including a massagetherapist.Great Job Project WOW! National Black HIV/AIDS DayOn February 7, 2011 Project Renew hosted a National Black AIDS Awareness Day Celebration Program atNorthern State Prison (NSP). Similar to our World AIDS Day Program in December 2010 the event featuredperformances by the NSP R&B Band and the Holy Innocent Choir. One of Project Renew’s NSP clients gavean inspiring and rousing speech about the importance of discussing sex and HIV/AIDS with the youth as wellas the pivotal role parents play in educating their children. The audience was thoroughly engrossed in his pres-entation and Antonio Alexander moderated a panel discussion immediately following it. Panelists includedAnnmarie Daly from Town Total Health Pharmacy, Cynthia Jackson who is a member of the NSP Social Ser-vice staff, Dr. Anita Vaughn a well-known infectious disease physician, Vieshia Morales a NJCRI MedicalCase Manager and Loretta Shelton, Project Renew’s Post-Discharge Case Manager. Our staff and partners de-livered a program filled with imperative information, engaging discussion and great entertainment,“By continuing to alienate and discriminate against a group of our own people simply be-cause they are infected with HIV/AIDS we’ve become bullies and should learn to changeour perspective. We’ve created a stigma that in some cases has injected a feeling of fear andhopelessness...we MUST stop spreading AIDS in the Black community.” - excerpt fromclient’s speech Page 2
  3. 3. Volume 3, Issue 1 2 Volume3, Issue 2 Volume 3, Issue NJCRI’s Staff Development TrainingsNJCRI is happy to report that New Jersey Departmentof Labor and Workforce Development approved itsapplication for a Customized Training grant. AuraCaicedo and Caroline Harris worked diligently withManageAssist on the grant application and staff train-ing schedules. The staff development trainings startedthe second week in February. NJCRI’s Project Access Drop-In-CenterThe new and latest addition to the Project Access Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) will be a Drop- in Center,opening April 4th, 2011. The drop- in center will be accessible to all clients of our SEP, the homeless & drugusing populations. The center will allow people to take showers and wash a single load of clothing. There willbe a drop- in center room where clients can watch TV and movies, there will also be short educational work-shops available for clients.The hours of the Drop- in Center will be Monday- Friday 9am-4pm. NJCRI Event Spotlight Page 3
  4. 4. Volume 3, Issue 2 Community First NJCRI’s Project COPEProject COPE is currently in our 3rd year of operation and continues to successfully refer heroin and cocaineusers into local drug treatment programs.In November 2010 Bob Baxter, Project Director, and Nimaako Brown, Project Manager, attended the annualSAMHSA Grantee Meeting in Alexandria, VA. During the meeting Nimaako created and presented a story-board presentation summarizing our NIATx Change Project. As part of SAMHSA’s efforts to ensure granteesmeet their program objectives COPE received technical assistance from NIATx, an independent programbased at the University of Wisconsin. Our goal for the change project was to increase our quarterly follow-upfrom 59% in the 3rd quarter to 75% in the 4th quarter. We achieved a 72% follow-up rate for the fourth and fi-nal quarter of Year 2 of the grant.At the same SAMHSA Grantee Meeting Project COPE was recognized as one of only six national programsthat have syringe exchange and HIV/TCE programs co-located. Seeking Cures For Tomorrow Providing Support For Today! A Brief Introduction to NJCRI’s Project NJ REACT NJ Risk Evaluation, Access to Care and Treatment (NJ REACT) is a Behavioral Survey Unit located at NJCRI that conducts health interviews in the Greater Newark Area. The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Survey is comprised of a questionnaire that focuses on a differ- ent target group each year. One year might be intravenous drug users (IDUs), the next year it might be men who have sex with men (MSMs). The formula is developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to determine areas of interest to complete surveys and to look at groups with the highest risk of getting HIV. Last year, NJ REACT exceeded their goal of interviewing 450 high risk heterosexuals. Of the 639 eligible people interviewed, 631 got tested for HIV and/or Hepatitis. One hundred people over the original goal (550) met the definition, according to the CDC. The information gathered assists in evaluating current behavioral trends and helps direct prevention ef- forts. The purpose of the studies is to gather information on individuals HIV testing habits, risk factors, perceptions, and knowledge of services, in addition to other relevant questions. Participants are compen- sated for their time. The interview takes approximately 40 minutes. Participation in these services has led to improved services to the community. For more information, call (973) 483-3444 ext. 145 NJCRIs Project NJ REACT is funded by a grant from the CDC and the NJDOHSS Page 4
  5. 5. Volume 3, Issue 2 My Brother’s Keeper Drop In Center NJCRI My Brother’s Keeper is a new program for MSM’s be- tween the ages of 25 and 34. This program offers mentorship, counseling, a supportive men’s group, health education training and risk reduction workshops. For this and more information on other services, activities, or events, call (973) 483 – 3444 ext. 111. After Hours at NJCRI’s Project WOW!Funded by New Jersey’s Department of Health behavior change in photos. The youth are able to track(DOH), Division of Addiction Services (DAS), their individual progress and hold themselves account-and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), able for their actions, helping to make them less sus-NJCRI’s Project WOW! is Newark’s first drop- ceptible to HIV or frequent substance use.in center specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The Money for cameras and equipment was purchased us-drop-in center provides opportunities for young ing funds from a Division of Addiction Services (DAS)people to socialize and build supportive net- grant. The Photography Program takes place on Tues-works while learning new HIV and substance days from 5-7 p.m.abuse prevention skills in a safe space. Project WOW is now offering the following groups:On average, Project WOW serves up to 400youth per month who live in the NJ/NYC met- Monday: Professional Developmentropolitan area. With its dedicated staff and Tuesday: Yoga and Photographyyouth advisory board (Leaders of the Future Wednesday: Creative Writing“LOF”), Project WOW was awarded the 2010 Thursday: Substance Abuse – “Last Call”Sakia Gunn Community Service Award byNewark Essex Pride Coalition during Newark’s Project WOW is collaborating with Project USE in aPride Week. mural project which will be displayed in the Project WOW! Drop-in Center.Aunsha Hall, Manager of Project WOW! en-courages the youth to “spread the word that Pro-ject WOW! has all these things going on. Thereis always something to come to that you may beinterested in”.WOW’s latest project uses photography as ameans to encourage the youth to identify“triggers” and change those behaviors that putthem at risk. After taking part in group level in-terventions, they begin documenting their Picture: NJCRI’s Project WOW! Staff Page 5
  6. 6. Community First Congratulations Project WOW!On Thursday, March 24th from 1pm-3pm, Proceed’s national training department will hold their annual we-binar for organizations across the country directly funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) titled,“The Real World: Best Practices in EBI Implementation for HIV Prevention Programs”. During thiswebinar, 3 programs will be highlighted, one of which is Project WOW!Aunsha Hall, Program Manager, Project WOW!/My Brother’s Keeper would like to “thank the staff ofNJCRI’s Project WOW!, the Project WOW! community advisory board, and everyone else at NJCRI fortheir passion and commitment to providing quality service to those who come into this building”.NJCRI’s Project WOW! Youth Center offers a number of different activities everyday of the week. Here’s a few:2:30pm-5:00 pm (EVERY DAY): Come experience our one of a kind Drop-In center and conversewith men and women your age, ranging from 14 to 24 years old. Also during this time you cantake advantage of our Cyber Cafe to do homework...get insight on the world around you...updateyour facebook...or even check out the latest clips on YouTube. What’s good on Mondays???5:00-7:00 pm: Take a ride down memory lane as we explore the fabulous world of YouTube bychecking out recent balls and KiKi functions.7:00-9:00 pm: “DRAMA” NJCRI’s Project WOW! Drama Club has been established to provide anopportunity for YOU if you are interested in theater and looking to participate in all aspects ofplay production. What’s Hot Here @ NJCRI’s Project WOW! on Tuesdays???4:00-5:00 pm: “YOGA” Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation makes youhealthier in body, mind and spirit. Yoga lets you tune in, chill out, shape up -- all at the sametime.5:00-7:00 pm: Game Night! (Ready @ Rumble Tournament)7:00-9:00 pm: “RUNWAY” So you want to walk like Richi Juicy, Thailand Bakardi, or DutchElite LePore? Well this once in a lifetime opportunity is just for you. Page 6
  7. 7. Volume 3, Issue 2 What’s good on Wednesdays???5:00-7:00 pm: Do you like to express yourself through Writing? Are you interested in seeingyour work displayed around the Drop-In center for your peers to view and acknowledge. Thenthis Creative Writing course that allows you to free your mind and release your thoughts is justfor you.7:00-9:00 pm: Wild Out Wednesdays! Come wild out with us while we interact in the KiKi Scenewith fun safe competition. What’s Hot Here @ NJCRI’s Project WOW! on Thursdays???5:00-7:00 pm: “Tea Time” Got a lot on your mind? Need somewhere to go and blow off steam? Doyou want to discuss issues and problems and not be judged? Well then Tea Time is right for you.7:00-9:00 pm: Do you want to learn how to perform, master the elements, gain confidence andcommand the crowd all in 1 course? Then the “Vogue Boot Camp” hosted by Jersey’s very ownLegend CiroQ is just up your alley. What’s good on Saturdays???5:00-7:00 pm: Take this time to participate in an all-out discussion about a topic started by You!Young Mens Group is a way to get our community on the same page through conversing withothers who may or may not share the same interests as you.7:00-9:00 pm: Saturday Night Live!!!! Our newest hottest day here @ NJCRI’s Project WOW!Whether you are trying to sharpen up that performance…take over the runway…or toughen upyour realness, Saturday Night Live is right for you! What’s Hot Here @ NJCRI’s Project WOW! on Sundays???5:00-7:00 pm: This is the time when our core-group LOF (Project WOWs very own Leaders ofthe Future) meets and plans drop-in center activities, events and much more. Want to be a partof the magic??? Talk to our LOF coordinator here, Lamar Hicks.7:00-9:00 pm: Need to blow off some steam? Well then come on down and release some of thattension at this time when we play the beats for you to express yourself through the art of vogue. Page 7
  8. 8. CommunityIssue 2 Volume 3, First NJCRI’s Project AccessProject Access (NJCRI’s syringe exchange program) has now enrolled almost 1800 clients. It was originallyanticipated that the project would serve approximately 250 injection drug users (IDU). More than 25% of Ac-cess clients have been placed in drug treatment which is remarkable considering the average age of partici-pants is 41 years of age and many clients have extensive drug histories (in many cases exceeding 20 years).IDUs are coming to Access from locations throughout New Jersey not just from the Newark area.Usually COPE fills all the 200 methadone/suboxone treatment slots assigned to IDUs at the Lennard Clinicthrough the MATI Program are as well as the additional 35 treatment slots funded under the PIP Project. Ar-rangements continue with the Organization for Recovery (OFR), a methadone/suboxone treatment center inPlainfield, to enroll NJCRI clients at no cost. Clients are picked up at two locations in Newark and transportedto Plainfield for their medication.NJCRI’s Project Access is conducting a mobile exchange at Newark Community Health Center in the parkinglot of their Ludlow St facility two days a week. We recently expanded our SEP hours of operation to 36 hoursa week (the most of any SEP in New Jersey.)NJCRI’s SEP services have been enhanced with the addition of Candice Tobin, R.N. who provides health ser-vices and referrals to medical services for Access clients. Clients also will receive inoculations (includingHepatitis A & B), health care education and testing for HIV, STIs, pregnancy, etc. These services are fundedthrough a grant from the Division of AIDS Services. We received funding from the AIDS Division to open anIDU Drop in Center and purchase vaccines for SEP clients. Vaccines and equipment have been purchased andrenovations have been completed for the space to be utilized for the center.NJCRI has received funds from the New Jersey Health Care Foundation for a second year of support for Pro-ject Access and has applied for two additional foundation grants.NJCRI remains hopeful that funds will be available from CDC and SAMHSA to directly support SEPs nowthat the federal ban on syringe exchange funding has been lifted and the US Surgeon General has recognizedsyringe exchange as a legitimate part of drug treatment. NJCRI’s United We Stand Night of OutreachUnited We Stand-Nights of Outreach collaborates with over 10 local organizations to conduct community out-reach during non-traditional hours, usually evenings. Nights of Outreach targets areas of high incidence of sub-stance use to provide education, HIV rapid testing and other on-site testing to people that would normally notget prevention, care and treatment information.The most recent meeting was held on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011. This year’s activities and schedule were dis-cussed and new members were welcomed. For more information, call (973) 483-3444 x 203. Page 8 Page 8
  9. 9. Volume 3, Issue 2 Phone: 973-483-3444 Upcoming Programs and/or Events Fax: 973-485-7080 E-mail: njcri@njcri.org My Brother’s Keeper Drop-In Center Founder For information, call (973) 412-7080 William P. Orr, M.A. Game night every Wed. from 6-9 p.m. Board of Trustees Carol Mori Board President Support Groups For information about upcoming group meetings, call (973) 483-3444 John V. Jacobi, Esq. Vice President Looking for Love? - Men’s Discussion Group Thomas A. Flynn, MBA, FACHE Wednesday, March 30, 2011 Treasurer For information, call (973) 483-3444 ext. 111 Jeffrey Bomser Project WOW! KIKI Function In Memoriam For information, call (888) 688-9078 Institutional Review Board James M. Oleske, M.D. Project Access Drop-In Center Chair For information, call (973) 412-7080 Youth Advisory Board Kaleef C. Washington Basic Motivational Interviewing Chair For information, call (973) 483-3444 x 204 Directors Group Development: Groups, Groups, Groups! Brian McGovern, L.S.W. For information, call (973) 483-3444 x 204 Executive Director George Perez, M.D. What Next? Managing Chronic Disease & Living with Intention Medical Director For information, call (973) 483-3444 x 204 Corey DeStefano, B.S. Director, Clinical Research and Compli- ance Officer Does your organization have a presence on Twitter or YouTube? If so, follow NJCRI at Robert C. Baxter, M.P.A. http://www.twitter.com/NJCRI Director, Addiction, Prevention and Educa- http://www.YouTube.com/NJCRI tional Services http://www.vimeo.com/NJCRI http://www.slideshare.net/NJCRI Joseph Rothenberg, M.B.A. Director, Finance Donate Over the Phone (973) 483-3444 ext. 191 Donate on our Website Seeking Cures For Tomorrow Providing Support For Today! www.njcri.org Donate By Mail Send Us A Check NJCRINewsletter created by: Aura C. Caicedo 393 Central AvenueEdited by: Bob Baxter, Nimaako Brown, Aura C. Caicedo, Caroline E.S. Harris Newark, NJ 07103