UB's Hiv Education Program In Southern Tier to Be Supported By Bell Atlantic Grant

Release Date: October 23, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo will be introducing Southern Tier residents and rural health-care providers to a new, high-tech, HIV-education program, supported by a $20,000 grant from the Bell Atlantic Foundation.

Using state-of-the-art video teleconferencing equipment, community HIV-education and professional training sessions will be transmitted to selected rural locations in Cattaraugus and Allegheny counties.

The distance-learning program involves the cooperative efforts of the UB schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, and Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. UB also is collaborating with several other organizations, including the New York State Department of Health, the Rural Health Net and hospitals in the Southern Tier.

Offering the program to Western New York's rural community comes in the wake of the case surrounding Nushawn Williams, a former Jamestown resident who is accused of exposing and transmitting HIV to several women in that area.

"For many residents in Chautauqua and adjacent counties, the Williams case really brought to light the issue of HIV," said Marsha Marecki, associate professor of nursing and director of the HIV program. "A concerted effort throughout these rural communities will allow us to provide continually updated information about HIV, keep residents and health professionals well-aware of issues surrounding the virus and give UB students practical experience in providing educational forums about HIV for rural communities."

Jeannine Higgins, Bell Atlantic community relations director, said: "This project is an excellent example of using the power of telecommunications technology to increase access to health-related services and programs in the Southern Tier."

For students, parents and teachers in the rural counties, HIV informational community forums will be offered through BOCES schools in the Southern Tier. Three teleconferencing sessions, using UB's Project CONNECT two-way, interactive, video transmission, will consist of

UB faculty and student presentations from the distance-learning facility in Baldy Hall on the North (Amherst) Campus, and followed by question-and-answer periods. Sessions will be offered next spring.

The program also will include a continuing-education symposium, originating from the distance-learning classroom in Abbott Hall on the South (Main Street) Campus. It will be open to the university's interdisciplinary health professionals and students, as well as health professionals at rural sites.

Continuing-education units will be granted for participation in an HIV update professional program, offered by the UB nursing school. Another session, with the assistance of the state health department, will be designed specifically to prepare interdisciplinary students and preceptors on how to conduct pre- and post-test counseling for HIV.

For information on how you can help support the University at Buffalo, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/giving