Wonderful People Helping Out At PATH Center

Report written by Alexa Evans, VIP-BOLD Initiative Intern. March 21, 2014

We were supposed to meet with Jolene Bastas, the Director of the PATH Center Family Program, but they were dealing with an issue in the office. Instead, we spoke with another employee named Gregory. This program attracted my attention since it could be of great interest for our organization, and because they work with both HIV+ individuals and at-risk youth younger than 24 years old. We were also able to learn a bit more about how HIV functions inside of the body.

Diaspora Community Services is housed in the same building, so we were also able to learn more about their organization. While the PATH Center is quite clinical, Diaspora Community Services is more social. They offer several programs and services to provide more holistic care to their patients, such as a program called Health Homes that helps to resolve housing issues. Diaspora Community Services also works with a youth population (14-21 years old) in Bed-Stuy through their STAR Program, which is largely focused on reproductive health.

Reflection written by Jasmine Mondesis, BOLD Initiative Intern. March 21 2014

Although I spent a brief amount of time at the PATH Center, I’ve come across a lot of information. As we were touring, we came across a room where people who had contracted HIV would go and talk to a specialist. Our tour guide told us that, that room was especially confidential, and no one, not even him, can enter the room. Even the person’s identity was not to be revealed. When we walked in the hall, we were conversing about how some people are given the choice if they want to be classified by their name or their phone number. Many people wished to go by their name.

I think that having the opportunity to visit all of these health centers is an alarming and eye-opening experience. It has given me the chance to learn not only about HIV, but about wonderful people who are willing to help out anyone in need or who just needs someone to talk to.  Being just that, it is a hard job.

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