magic_web.jpgEarvin “Magic” Johnson, who was diagnosed with the HIV virus in 1991, spoke at a news conference on Monday at the University of Miami’s Life Science and Technology Park ushering in a new, comprehensive approach to treating underserved South Florida patients living with HIV/AIDS.

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has announced a partnership with Magic Johnson Enterprises and Clear Health Alliance (CHA), a Medicaid specialty plan offered by Simply Healthcare Plans, a minority owned and operated managed care plan.

Miami-Dade County ranks first in the nation for new AIDS cases per capita while Broward County ranks second and Palm Beach County ranks sixth. Florida ranks third in the nation in the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Clear Health Alliance was created to provide high quality medical services to the growing HIV/AIDS population in South Florida, many of whom do not have access to care. A team of Miller School physicians is providing managed care focused on quality service, reducing transmission rates and maintaining the health of Medicaid patients living with HIV/AIDS.

“We need to educate the urban areas and underserved communities about HIV/AIDS, get them tested, get them to go back for their results, get them on a treatment program and then make sure they stay on the program and are compliant,” said Johnson. “The best HIV/AIDS care in America is right here at the University of Miami through the coordinated services offered by Clear Health Alliance.”

COMPREHENSIVE

“The goal of our enterprise is to deliver a variety of services to ethnically diverse communities,” Johnson said regarding his collaboration with the university and CHA.

“Aligning with Clear Health Alliance and doctors with the University of Miami will bring a comprehensive approach to caring for many Hispanics and African Americans affected by HIV/AIDS who, up until now, may have not had access to adequate care,” Johnson said. “We understand these needs and know that this partnership will bring real solutions to the challenges facing these patients.”

UNIVERSITY ROLE KEY

National recognition of the Miller School’s expertise in the field came with UM’s recent designation as a Center for AIDS Research by the National Institutes of Health, one of only 21 in the nation. The award brings nearly $7 million over five years to enhance research in HIV/AIDS.

“It is critical to move the needle in the AIDS epidemic,” said Pascal Goldschmidt, senior vice president for Medical Affairs and dean of the Miller School and CEO of the University of Miami Health System.

“With therapies and prevention programs we continue to develop, and the support of organizations such as Clear Health and Magic Johnson Enterprises, we can foresee a time when we will stop the AIDS virus in its tracks.”

Photo Courtesy of University of Miami