September 23, 2010

HIV/AIDS service moving to One Hundred Oaks

HIV/AIDS service moving to One Hundred Oaks

The Comprehensive Care Center (CCC), one of the nation's largest and most successful outpatient HIV/AIDS treatment facilities, is moving to Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks.

Beginning Oct. 4, most clinical services to CCC patients will now be provided by the Vanderbilt Medical Group under a new name, the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Clinic.

The CCC, an independent, non-profit organization, will continue to administer the federal grants that support the clinic, and provide a wide range of services including psychiatric, nutritional and medical case management, and specialized care for pregnant women with HIV.

Also moving to the office tower at One Hundred Oaks are the Vanderbilt AIDS Center's clinical research programs and Nashville Pharmacy Services, which specializes in HIV therapy.

The arrangement “is great for everyone,” said CCC founder and chief medical officer Stephen Raffanti, M.D., MPH, an associate professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt. Providing highly specialized and expensive care to patients with HIV and AIDS is “an incredible challenge,” particularly for a small, stand-alone facility, Raffanti said.

“It's a huge win for Vanderbilt's research and teaching missions,” added Richard D'Aquila, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt AIDS Center and the Infectious Diseases Division in the Department of Medicine.

The CCC has been a critical site for Vanderbilt clinical researchers for years. Relocation will “allow us to do more translational research than we were able to do before,” D'Aquila said. “It means we have a better opportunity for teaching trainees at all levels.”

Since it was established in 1994 as a collaborative effort between Nashville's hospitals, business community and Vanderbilt University, the CCC has enrolled 7,400 patients in care. Until recently it was located near Centennial Park.

Currently the CCC provides care for more than 2,400 patients in Nashville and through satellite clinics in Cookeville, Columbia and Springfield.

Through innovative and personalized disease management, it has prevented — in almost every case — transmission of the AIDS virus from HIV-positive pregnant women to their babies during or following delivery.

D'Aquila said the relocation will strengthen collaborations with other AIDS organizations, including Nashville CARES, and the city and state health departments to overcome barriers that prevent early diagnosis, access to services and retention in care.

The ultimate goal, he said, is to “prevent and cure this still-spreading, lifelong infection.”