Sunday, March 1, 2009

Groups Praise National AIDS Office Appointment

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Observer Update) - Several AIDS service organizations and advocacy groups have issued statements in support of President Obama’s appointment of Jeffrey Crowley to head the Office of National AIDS Policy, reported HIV Plus Magazine.

Crowley, who is gay and a senior research scholar at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, also has previously served as deputy executive director at the National Association of People With AIDS. He earned a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

“Jeffrey Crowley brings the experience and expertise that will help our nation address the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis and help my administration develop policies that will serve Americans with disabilities,” Obama said in a statement. “In both of these key areas, we continue to face serious challenges and we must take bold steps to meet them. I look forward to Jeffrey’s leadership on these critical issues.”

The following groups issued press releases in support or Crowley’s appointment:

The HIV Medicine Association

The HIV Medicine Association applauds President Obama for his appointment of Jeffrey Crowley as director of the Office of National AIDS Policy on the President’s Domestic Policy Council.

Crowley’s policy expertise, analytical skills, and commitment to our nation’s most vulnerable people make him uniquely qualified to take on this vital but challenging post. We are extremely fortunate to have him at the helm during this critical time in the HIV epidemic, as the number of people living with HIV and AIDS continues to grow and our health care system struggles to provide lifesaving care to all those in need.

As frontline HIV medical providers, we look forward to working with him on tackling the challenges ahead, including reforming the health care system to support early and reliable access to lifesaving HIV care for people living with HIV regardless of where they live in the country.

HIVMA is the professional home for more than 3,600 physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV and AIDS. HIVMA promotes quality in HIV care and advocates policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the AIDS pandemic informed by science and social justice.

AIDS Project Los Angeles

AIDS Project Los Angeles congratulates Jeffrey S. Crowley, MPH, a well-known AIDS activist and health care researcher, on his appointment as the new director of the Office of National AIDS Policy.

Until his appointment, Crowley was a senior research scholar at the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University. He is widely known for his expertise in disability issues, especially health care financing and the Medicaid and Medicare programs.

“The Obama administration could not have picked a better person for this position,” says APLA executive director Craig E. Thompson. “Jeff has worked in the HIV/AIDS community and understands our issues. His appointment reassures us that prevention, care, and treatment for people living with HIV or AIDS will be given full consideration as the Administration moves to develop a national AIDS strategy and implement comprehensive health-care reform.”

Crowley has advised a broad range of community organizations and government committees on HIV issues and access to health care for people with disabilities. He previously worked at the National Association of People With AIDS, where he implemented the National HIV Testing Day campaign and the Ryan White National Youth conference.

Crowley was a featured speaker in 2006 when APLA presented a community forum in Los Angeles on the implementation of the new Medicare Part D prescription drug program and its impact on people with HIV or AIDS.

The director’s position at ONAP has been vacant for several years, and the office languished during the Bush administration. Crowley will be joining a well-respected team in the executive office of the President’s Domestic Policy Council and will report to DPC director Melody Barnes, who has a long-standing commitment to HIV and AIDS issues.

“Jeff’s appointment will help fulfill President Obama’s campaign promise to craft a national AIDS strategy to stem the rise of new HIV infections and end the epidemic in this country,” Thompson said. “Jeff will bring both compassion and technical expertise to a challenge that will demand both.”

The National Association of People With AIDS

President Barack Obama announced his appointment of Jeffrey S. Crowley to head the Office of National AIDS Policy, the office with responsibility for the development of a national AIDS strategy for the United States. While the United States requires an outcome-focused AIDS plan for all countries receiving support through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the United States has never had such a plan.

The National Association of People With AIDS is thrilled that Crowley was appointed as director of ONAP. Crowley served as the director of policy for NAPWA between 1994 and 2000. NAPWA has endorsed the call for the United States to develop a national AIDS strategy that is coordinated, outcome-focused, and includes people living with HIV in its development and implementation.

"At a time where HIV incidence continues to rise among gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities, President Obama has demonstrated his keen strategy and compassion for the lives and struggles of Americans living with or at-risk for HIV in this country," says NAPWA president and CEO Frank Oldham Jr. "Our president continues to make history by appointing a qualified, openly gay man to lead domestic policy efforts."

"The announcement serves as a portent of things to come -- for the development of a national AIDS strategy for the United States that is responsive, evidence-based, and inclusive of people living with HIV or AIDS," says Kali Lindsey, NAPWA's vice president for federal government affairs.

Crowley, MPH, is a senior research scholar at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute and a senior scholar at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. In these roles, he is recognized and respected for his capacity to integrate public health research with political strategy to achieve policy changes.

He has authored numerous reports and policy briefs, and has testified before various Congressional committees and the Institute of Medicine on several occasions. His primary areas of expertise are Medicaid policy, including Medicaid prescription drug policies; Medicare policy; and consumer education and training.

Crowley previously served as the deputy executive director for programs at NAPWA. While at NAPWA, he helped implement several key initiatives including the National HIV Testing Day Campaign and the Ryan White National Youth Conference.

Crowley has spent the last 14 years working to improve access to health and social services for people living with HIV or AIDS, people with physical and mental disabilities, low-income individuals, and other vulnerable populations. His writings have been printed in numerous publications and journals.

Crowley received his master of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, and his bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from Kalamazoo College. He is also an alumnus of the United States Peace Corps, where he served as a volunteer/high school science teacher at the Nsongweni High School in Swaziland.

NAPWA was founded in 1983, when a group of people living with AIDS got together in Denver and wrote a manifesto of self-empowerment -- known as the Denver Principles -- for those living with HIV. The Denver Principles demanded that the voices of people living with HIV be heard. It asserted the right of people living with HIV to participate in the decision-making processes -- at all levels -- that would fundamentally affect their lives. The same people who wrote the Denver Principles then founded NAPWA.

NAPWA invites all people living with, affected by, and concerned about HIV to recommit themselves and their organizations to the Denver Principles as Congress moves toward a debate on health care reform.

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