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Career Story: Director Of Hiv Services For A Community Health Center

Director Of Hiv Services For A Community Health Center

Job Title: Director Of HIV Services

Type of Company: I work for a community health center that provides medical, dental and mental health services to uninsured or underinsured people across Connecticut.

Education: BAS, Biology, Assumption College •• (Worcester, MA) •• MPH, University of Connecticut

Previous Experience: I was the housing director of a residence for people with HIV.

Job Tasks: I manage the day-to-day operations of a busy HIV department at a non-profit community health center, where I design and implement programs for people with HIV that allow them easier access to medical care and better adherence to medication and appointments.

My management duties revolve around the supervision of a highly skilled medical team made up of doctors, nurses, medical assistants and case managers who together provide services to 300 HIV-positive individuals. I am also responsible for the management of our annual budget of 2 million dollars in federal, state and city grants. One of our largest grants is to study the effects of good dental care on HIV positive patients to try to improve their general health through oral healthcare. On top of all this I run a drop-in center for people with HIV that provides services such as substance abuse, mental health and peer support groups and I supervise a Consumer Advisory Board of HIV-positive patients who give input into the types of services and best implementation of those services on a daily basis.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the daily interaction with patients and the unpredictability of my schedule.

The worst part of my job is the paperwork and sometimes difficult supervision of staff. I have 30 people who work for me and all of them come from different backgrounds and require specific styles of supervision. It is often difficult to get people to do their jobs in an efficient way without also making them unhappy.

Job Tips: My advice to someone pursuing this kind of career is to work hard on understanding your own passion for your job. Doing something that you believe in and having the desire to improve the lives of others is really important in this field. I would also say that knowing your boundaries and limits is important so that you never get burnt out from the very personal and emotional nature of the relationships you build with patients.

Additional Thoughts: This is a wonderful career option for someone who really enjoys being in the medical field but does not want to be a clinician. I get the joy of working with patients in a fast-paced medical environment but can also retreat to my administrative duties when I need a break.

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