MCA programs and services are supported by several partnerships and collaborations within and outside of USC. These linkages, training programs, and referral services ensure that MCA patients receive the highest level of care and have sustained access to the many services available to them throughout Los Angeles County.
MCA Interdisciplinary Collaborations
MCA is an HIV interdisciplinary program that includes clinical, translational, laboratory and behavioral scientists, educators, and clinicians from three Schools within USC (Medicine, Pharmacy, and Dentistry) and six Departments within the Keck School (Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Preventive Medicine, Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Microbiology/Immunology and Pathology) who have successfully worked together in HIV research, prevention, and care for over 20 years. Primary and subspecialty medical care are combined with research to provide state-of-the-art management. Collaborations with other Schools within USC (such as Social Work, Engineering, Cinema and Communications) allow for innovative research and novel health interventions for patients and students. This multidisciplinary network of providers and collaborators has enabled MCA to develop a truly unique and comprehensive model for family-centered patient care.
Los Angeles County Community Partners
Through our community partnerships, MCA assists families, children, and individuals in making optimal use of existing resources and opportunities to sustain and enhance their health. An emphasis on social services with strong ties to community organizations has resulted in outreach links that have been critical to retention and adherence to medical care and clinical studies at MCA.
MCA has been supported by a wide range of research and service grants. Through such support, MCA has participated in many national and international collaborative multi-site research networks and developed investigator-initiated studies.
- Since 2003, MCA has been a designated Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Ryan White HIV Clinic. This has allowed MCA to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary family- centered care.
- Since 1992, MCA has been a National Institutes of Health (NIH), Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG)/International Maternal Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Trials Group (IMPAACT) site allowing access to state-of-the-art clinical trials for new treatments, vaccines and prevention studies of HIV and co-infections for women, children and youth.
- Since 2007, MCA has been a site for the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS) allowing for the study of long-term outcomes of infants and children exposed to or infected with HIV (NIH).
NIH ongoing collaborations:
- STAR Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinical Trials Group (STI CTG)
- Women’s Interagency HIV Study
- Multiple vaccine studies, including current RSV vaccine for children
HRSA ongoing studies include:
- Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) to enhance patient navigation for retention of women of color into HIV care
- HIV Care Innovation: Patient-based treatment adherence project for HIV+ youth and pregnant women using Snapchat
- Motivational Interviewing (MI) training for all MCA staff
- Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III clinical trials supported by pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead, Pfizer, Merck, and AstraZeneca
Community Advisory Boards (CAB)
The MCA Center provides medical care and support services to individuals and families living with, affected by, or at risk for HIV infection. The MCA Center’s Community Advisory Boards (CABs) consist of adult clients living with HIV who reflect the ethnic, cultural, gender and age diversity of the clinic. Each CAB member possesses a unique background that contributes to consideration and evaluation of MCA’s activities, including clinical services, support services, and clinical research. The MCA Center has two CABs that represent our clinic’s diverse population: a Spanish language CAB and an English language CAB. They are governed by a set of bylaws created collaboratively with CAB members and MCA leadership. The CABs meet quarterly in-person at the MCA Center or virtually via Zoom. These meetings are facilitated by a member of MCA’s staff.
The CABs activities/tasks include:
- Ensuring that MCA’s clinical care and services are culturally appropriate and sensitive, responsive to patient needs, and are provided with dignity and respect
- Provide input on the quality of MCA’s services from the point of view of clients
- Providing collective input from clients regarding gaps in services and resources, and recommending strategies for service improvement to MCA Center’s leadership
- Providing input to the Medical Center, DHSP and Department of Health Services on MCA’s services and direction
- Facilitating communication and access to community resources that might be of interest and use to MCA patients, staff and researchers
- Ensuring that the needs and interests MCA clients are represented in the design and implementation of research protocols and interventions
- Helping to increase the MCA Center’s program presence in the community and building relationships with individuals, community groups, and research programs
- Attending national and local meetings that bear on MCA’s role and services
- Advising MCA’s quality improvement (QI) committee including providing input on QI projects
- Developing materials, interventions, and newsletters for the MCA clinic
- Through community partnerships, critical feedback, and development of tools, the CAB empowers, educates, and organizes HIV infected and affected individuals of all genders in Los Angeles County. and surrounding areas
Training: CAB members participate in workshop trainings to enhance their knowledge of HIV and HIV-related clinical research. These trainings help CAB members recognize knowledge gaps and build capacity to advise on innovative approaches to HIV care and services.
Leadership: As part of their CAB activities, some members serve on the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV including one CAB member who serves as the Co-Chair of the Los Angeles County Women’s Caucus. Additionally, some CAB members serve in the Los Angeles General Medical Center’s Patient/Family Advisory Council to promote better health services in the institution, as well as represent the MCA Center in several national and international HIV/AIDS research/clinical groups.
Awards: The MCA CAB has received awards for their community service and advocacy, including the 2019 Los Angeles Women’s HIV/AIDS Task Force Leadership Award. An Abstract from the Spanish language CAB has been accepted for presentation at a national meeting.