Interning at Medical Care Development








"MCD's mission is to improve the health and well-being of people.  We will do this in a partnership with communities, organizations, and governments.  We pledge to develop and operate creative, compassionate, and practical programs that result in the delivery of services that will improve health status" (6).

During an internship at Medical Care Development (MCD) this past January, I served as the assistant to the Director of Population Health Programs and learned much about the various organizations involved in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Maine.  As part of my internship, I had the unique opportunity to attend HIV Advisory Committee, Community Planning Group, and AIDS Walk meetings. 

The HIV Advisory Committee (HIVAC) in Maine is made up of representatives from all organizations involved in HIV treatment and prevention, as well as legislators, individuals living with the disease, individuals working with those at high risk for contracting the disease (i.e., criminal justice officials), and Maine CDC representatives.  Currently, the focus of the HIVAC is to promote three new pieces of legislation concerning AIDS in the state.  In fact, one of my jobs as an intern at MCD was to draft a policy paper to be presented to the state legislature outlining the results of a survey of 173 intravenous drug users in Maine.  This policy paper will be used as supporting evidence for increasing the number of syringes that can be legally transported in Maine, in hopes that giving intravenous drug users access to a greater number of syringes will decrease needle sharing and the subsequent likelihood that HIV will be spread among this population.   

The Community Planning Group (CPG) in Maine consists of 11 members who in and of themselves represent all of the high-risk HIV/AIDS populations in the state.  As a group, the CPG's job is to develop the "State of Maine Comprehensive HIV Prevention Plan."  Since Maine, like all states, is limited in its funding for HIV/AIDS, the CPG uses epidemiological and survey data to select priority populations and recommend effective ways to prevent and treat the disease to Maine's Bureau of Health.  The CPG is a crucial component of Maine's fight against HIV/AIDS because it allows for meaningful community involvement, especially among those who are ultimately the most affected by the state's HIV/AIDS policies.










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