HIV Innovation Award

Researchers at the George Washington University were awarded a $23,808,617 grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to study the use of a new model that aims to improve HIV and STI prevention and care while lowering healthcare costs. The project will test a system that relies on mobile technologies and an integrated care system in order to prevent infection with HIV and provide better care for those who already have the virus that causes AIDS.

Read the full press release


Government partners include Michael Kahrfan of the DC DOH HIV, Hepatitis, STD and TB division who will lead the integration of public health priorities in program design; and the Department of Health Care Finance, who will lead Medicaid payment reform.

Quality improvement partners include the actuarial firm Oliver Wyman and Dr. Diane Blake from the University of Massachusetts for cost analysis support.

Technology partners include Debra Callabresi of N-Tonic who will lead the programming for the home testing, counseling and care management system; Jim Larkin of Resources Online who will lead the programming of the interactive computer counseling tools; Dr. Ann Kurth from New York University who will lead the medication adherence technology development.

Donna Ramos Johnson of the DC Primary Care Association who will lead the management of the health information exchanges, in collaboration with CCIN and Prince George's county department of health.

Laboratory partners will be led by Dr. Charlotte Gaydos of Johns Hopkins University. Clinical partners include AmeriHealth, a DC Medicaid MCO; Whitman Walker Clinic; Family and Medical Counseling Services; Mary’s Center; MetroHealth and Providence Hospital.

Education partners include the Institute for Public Health Innovation who will train community health workers and lead certification standardization.

Community outreach partners include CCIN who will be overseeing the care management team, Community Education Group, Us Helping Us, and the Women’s Collective.


The research team at GW, along with a consortium of community partners, will use mobile health education, home testing, and an integrated prevention to care IT system, in the hopes of making it easier for DC residents to find out more about their HIV and STI status or put in place services that can keep them healthy and prevent complications of HIV infection and unnecessary trips to the hospital.

As part of the project, researchers will provide patients with mobile health tools to support health literacy, risk reduction and home testing; and community health workers will receive mobile tools they can use to better coordinate care for HIV infected people who have missed clinic appointments or medication refill visits—signs they are not receiving the primary care that they need in order to prevent health complications and costly crisis care, Spielberg says.

The model will also help community health workers and/or patients create comprehensive care plans that can be integrated into electronic medical records. With such a care plan, providers will be able to easily check on a patient’s medical history and provide supportive care that is aimed at preventing infection in the first place or keeping viral loads in check if a person is already infected.

After three years, the team hopes to have created a model system that could be adapted for other conditions and used in other places, especially cities like the District of Columbia, where the rates of HIV infection and other health disparities are high.


Principle Investigator:
Dr. Freya Spielberg