January 24, 1996

Media Contacts: Sarah Goodwin, 404/727-5686 - sgoodwi@emory.edu

The American Psychiatric Association has presented its coveted Gold Award to the Grady HIV/AIDS Mental Health Program of Atlanta, a collaborative project of the Grady Health System Infectious Disease Program and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Sponsored by the Roerig division of the U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group, Pfizer, Inc., the Gold Award is presented each year to recognize one program that has made an outstanding contribution to the mental health field. The Grady HIV/AIDS Mental Health Program was chosen because of its "extraordinary commitment to patients with HIV and AIDS through provision of comprehensive and compassionate patient care, aggressive education of mental health care providers and promotion of mental health services in community AIDS service agencies."

The Grady HIV/AIDS Mental Health Program is directed by J. Stephen McDaniel, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. McDaniel and his colleagues began psychiatric services to Grady AIDS patients on a volunteer basis in l990. In 1992, Dr. McDaniel was able to secure federal funding from the Ryan White C.A.R.E. Act, making possible the establishment of the Grady HIV/AIDS Mental Health Program. The program continues to receive funding from a variety of sources in addition to Ryan White, including the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, the Center for Mental Health Services, the Emory University School of Medicine, the Grady Health System and a grant from AT&T.

"This is one of a very small number of programs in the country that provides 'one stop shopping' for HIV/AIDS patients," said Dr. McDaniel. "Our program provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary mental health care system that has become a national model for other medical centers across the country."

The program offers services to all Grady HIV/AIDS patients that range from post-test counseling to treatment for the families of patients. It offers help to staff members who deal with the daily stress of working with AIDS patients and supports a project in the state of Georgia that trains traditional, as well as non-traditional mental health care providers, about HIV and AIDS.

"The multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, social workers and other health care providers have worked together to create a novel program for patients infected by HIV, based both on the best medical research data available and the needs of the patients," said Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Reunette W. Harris professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine. "The education, service and research components of this program area are all top notch. This award, the most competitive in psychiatry, is well deserved. I congratulate Dr. McDaniel and his team for this accomplishment."

The Gold Award has been presented to outstanding mental health programs every year since 1949. This recent award to the Grady/Emory program marks only the second time in 47 years that a Georgia program has received the top honor, and the first time the Gold Award has recognized a program devoted to HIV-related mental health care.

For more general information on The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, call Health Sciences News and Information at 404-727-5686, or send e-mail to hsnews@emory.edu.

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