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ECMC clinic directed by UB professor chosen to receive New York State World AIDS Day award

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Thu, Dec 13th 2018 07:00 am

The Hepatology Clinic at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), under the direction of a faculty member in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, has been awarded a New York State Department of Health Commissioner’s Special Recognition Award.

Given in honor of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the award was presented in Albany last week to Anthony D. Martinez, M.D., clinical associate professor of medicine at the Jacobs School and medical director of hepatology at ECMC.

Operated in conjunction with the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition of UBMD Internal Medicine, the ECMC Hepatology Clinic serves patients with hepatitis B and C viruses, liver disease, fatty liver disease, and HIV/hepatitis C virus co-infection.

The award recognizes individuals or teams in New York committed to eliminating hepatitis C by promoting testing, ensuring timely linkage to care and improving access to hepatitis C care, treatments and cures.

“This award recognizes what we have tried to build over the past six years in terms of an academic hepatology program,” Martinez said. “It puts the program on the map as one of the leading HCV programs in the state, and it really highlights our team at ECMC as a whole, which I think is the most significant aspect of this prestigious honor. I’m incredibly proud of this award, because it recognizes the team as a whole and no single individual. Our team’s commitment to servicing our community day in and out is why this program is so effective, and that’s what makes it so special.”

Beyond his clinical work at ECMC and UBMD Internal Medicine, Martinez works to expand HCV treatment services to a wide-ranging group of patients, especially those without immediate access to care, such as members of underrepresented groups, persons who inject drugs and those with mental health disorders. He works to develop novel ways to deliver care for hepatitis C and substance use disorders, based on co-localization of services and outreach to facilities where patients are already receiving care, such as substance abuse clinics.

Since its development, the ECMC program has treated more than 1,300 patients for hepatitis C and opiate dependency.

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