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Our office

Our commitment to the prevention and treatment of HIV began when Dr. Sharon Lee started in practice in 1985. Caring for people who were uninsured and without resources came to include providing care for people who were ill and dying of a newly described disease- later to be known as AIDS and discovered to be caused by the Human Immunedeficiency Virus, HIV. During the first few years there were few treatments available and many patients who came to the clinic died from the disease. Today, there are many treatment choices and even expanding options for prevention of the disease.
 
FHC and especially Dr. Lee led the way treating HIV in Kansas City since the early days. We have kept up on the critical aspects of HIV care and treating our patients with developing medicines and technologies.
  • The earliest AIDS treating clinic in KC was founded by Dr. Sharon Lee and Dr. Lydia Moore in 1985.  It was funded largely by the doctors who gave up usual salaries and accepted pay of $10.00/hour, putting the rest of the practice funds back in to keep up with the needs.


  • Two years before AZT (Zidovudine) was available through pharmacies, Dr. Lee and Dr. Moore were the first in KC to acquire the medicine for scores of patients through National Institutes of Health Investigational New Drug Applications. 


  • The two joined with other activists who met in a local gay bar to plan and implement support services starting several long years before Ryan White funds became available in 1991. "Saving AIDS Victims Endowment" or SAVE started with funds from a number of well-resourced community members who wished to remain anonymous. At first SAVE organized volunteers to help needy AIDS patients in their homes with support including daily food delivery, transportation to medical visits, collections of necessary goods like toilet paper, etc. Later SAVE opened a small hospice house, the Good Samartian House (donated by Dick Keller) in 1986. Dr. Lee and Dr. Moore were the medical providers and went there several times a week to care for those in the house. Many in the community volunteered their time and donated for the upkeep of the house and for food and other needs.


  • Dr. Lee was the first volunteer Medical Director of the Kansas City Free Health Clinic's HIV Clinic and with Dr. Moore, Dr. Stephen Ramberg and Dr. Dave Govaker, saw patients once a week at the Free Clinic.


  • In 1988, for financial reasons, the executive director of GSP (without consulting the full board) announced to the media the closing of Good Samaritan House. A band, "Pink Floyd" was in Kansas City, saw the news about the intent to close the hospice and donated money ($10,000) to keep it open for a while. With growing service needs for people with HIV and support from the community, including the Mayor (Richard Berkeley) and his wife Sandy; SAVE split into two organizations- The SAVE Foundation (Housing) and the Good Samaritan Foundation (Support Services).The SAVE Foundation took over the responsibilities of the house, and renamed it SAVE Home. The Good Samaritan Foundation or the Good Samaritan Project (GSP) continued to cover other support services, including Ryan White case management for people with HIV and changed the name to "Thrive" in 2019.  Dr. Lee left the board of directors in protest over the treatment of the people living at the Good Samaritan House by the organization and media during the financial split; but continued to provide direct care services to the people at the Home.


  • In 1987 Trinity Lutheran Hospital stepped up among the regional hospitals (some other hospitals had vocally declined) to support the development of an in-patient unit (the Infectious Diseases Unit) to treat people with HIV. Dr. Lee admitted to the unit and through the next several years maintained the largest patient base on the unit (averaging 4-12 patients daily). Dr. Lee rounded there on her patients 7 days a week until 1993 when a dispute with the Hospital caused her to move her in-patient practice to the University of Kansas Medical Center. The hospital closed permanently in 2001. The TLH dispute centered around the expenses of some cutting edge treatments for people with HIV. Other doctors and administrators cautioned Dr. Lee about the costs and suggested (later demanded) she stop trying so hard (and so expensively) to keep people alive. Of note- Several of the patients that others indicated as "too far gone to save" in 1993 are still alive in 2019. Dr. Lee's efforts helped keep them alive until the new medicines were available in 1995.


  • In 1992 Dr. Lee convened an adhoc group to look at the development of a skilled nursing unit for people with HIV.  An earlier project within a nursing home (the TLC Unit at Southpark) had closed and yet the need continued to grow. Dr. Lee completed the Certificate of Need and other regulatory requirements after forming a new non-profit corporation once SAVE  declined to be the fiscal agent. Dr. Lee led the fundraising and the purchase and renovations were completed. The last obstacle was getting twenty copies of the thirty page application to the State for the semi-annual approval meeting that was rescheduled for 9:00 AM the day after Hope Care's President (Dr. Lee) was notified. With an all-night marathon to find and complete forms, write procedures and other items, and a drive to Columbia from Kansas City to get the documents turned in before the deadline, the plan was finalized and Hope Care Center opened in August, 1996. Dr. Lee stepped down as president to be the medical director and provided care for the majority of the patients for the next several years.


  • Dr. Lee is a nationally recognized expert in HIV treatment and has been a speaker and a leader in educational development for providers of HIV care through the American Conference on the Treatment of HIV since 2005. She participated in the development of the HIV Primary Care Guidelines while on the board of the Infectious Diseases Association of America's HIV Medicine Association and worked on the CDC Guidelines Panel for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.

 

 

 

 


Family Health Care has from the beginning had a focus on HIV care and is committed to the work of providing services for people with HIV infection and for people who are at risk for HIV infection.


  • Dr. Lee has provided direct medical care for people with HIV since 1985, and when Family Health Care was founded in 1989 HIV was one of the three priority diagnoses.


  • Family Health Care was the very first Kansas City site where Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP was made generally available.


  • Family Health Care is the only Kansas City site that provides PROMPT visits for HIV+ patients who are stable on treatment to have brief lab visits with one annual office visit.


  • Family Health Care is the only Kansas City site where same or next day Post-Exposure Therapy is made available.

  

 


Below are HIV information sites

 
Topic Title URL 
Adolescent transition Adolescent Transition Workbook http://www.aids-ed.org/aidsetc?page=etres-display&resource=etres-269& 
Adolescent transition Transitioning HIV-Infected Adolescents Into Adult Care, 2011 http://www.hivguidelines.org/clinical-guidelines/adolescents/transitioning-hiv-infected-adolescents-into-adult-care/ 
ART for adults and adolescents Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/contentfiles/lvguidelines/AdultandAdolescentGL.pdf 
ART for adults and adolescents Antiretroviral treatment of adult HIV infection: 2012 recommendations of the International Antiviral Society–USA panel http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1221704 
ART and management guidelines for adults, adolescents, infants, and children There are >30 guidelines covering a broad range of topics in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of HIV and its associated coinfections and comorbidities http://www.hivguidelines.org/clinical-guidelines/ 
ART for pediatric patients Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines 
ART for pregnant women Recommendations for the Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant HIV-1–Infected women for Maternal Health and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV-1 Transmission in the US http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines 
Chronic kidney disease Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Kidney Disease in HIV-Infected Patients http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/430257 
Hepatitis EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines: Management of chronic hepatitis B virus infection–2012 http://www.easl.eu/assets/application/files/4a7bd873f9cccbf_file.pdf 
Hepatitis EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines: Management of hepatitis C virus infection–2011 http://www.easl.eu/assets/application/files/4a7bd873f9cccbf_file.pdf 
HIV testing and counseling Revised Guidelines for HIV Testing http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5514a1.htm 
HIV testing in adolescents Testing for Adolescents http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/5/1023.full?linkType=FULL&resid=128/5/1023&journalCode=pediatrics 
Immunizations ACIP Recommendations http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/ACIP-list.htm 
Mental health Mental Health Care for People With HIV Infection: Clinical Guidelines for the Primary Care Practitioner http://www.hivguidelines.org/clinical-guidelines/ 
Occupational exposures Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/672271 
Occupational exposures HIV Prophylaxis Following Occupational Exposure http://www.hivguidelines.org/clinical-guidelines/post-exposure-prophylaxis/ 
Opportunistic infections Guidelines for Treating Opportunistic Infections Among HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines 
Opportunistic infections in children Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections among HIV-Exposed and HIV-Infected Children http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines 
Pediatric HIV Red Book: 2012 Report of the Committee of Infectious Diseases http://aapredbook.aappublications.org/ 
Perioperative management of HIV-infected patients Perioperative Management of HIV-Infected Patients http://www.hivguidelines.org/clinical-guidelines/adults/perioperative-management-of-hiv-infected-patients/ 
Resistance testing European Recommendations for the Clinical Use of HIV Drug Resistance Testing: 2011 Update http://www.europeanaidsclinicalsociety.org/images/stories/EACS-Pdf/2011-european-hiv-drug-resistance-guidelines.pdf 
Risk assessment Incorporating HIV Prevention Into the Medical Care of Persons Living With HIV http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5212a1.htm 
Sexually transmitted diseases Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2010 http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2010/STD-Treatment-2010-RR5912.pdf 
Transgender Care of the HIV-Infected Transgender Patient http://www.hivguidelines.org/clinical-guidelines/transgender/care-of-the-hiv-infected-transgender-patient/