Dr. Raffanti to receive national award

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by Terry Lee Derrick
Staff writer

The HIV Medicine Association, sponsored by IDSA (Infectious Diseases Society of America) will present Stephen Raffanti, M.D., M.H.P., and associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center, with an award for significant achievements in advancement in several areas of HIV treatment and research. The presentation will take place in October in San Francisco.

Raffanti joined Vanderbilt Medical Center in 1990 and was a major force in the creation of the Comprehensive Care Center (CCC) and its satellite clinics all around Tennessee, which have become national models.

“His devotion to optimal care is fueled by an iron will and unshakeable determination to make ‘the right thing’ happen for patients statewide,” said Richard T. D’Aquila, M.D., professor of Medicine, director of Infectious Diseases for Vanderbilt Medical Center, and director of the Vanderbilt-Meharry Center for AIDS Research.

In his letter of nomination for the award, D’Aquila said, “His clinical acumen, inspirational teaching, moral fiber, and determination have won him the greatest respect across the region and in the national organizations in which he participates.”

After many HIV positive patients were removed from TennCare coverage, Raffanti has pushed hard for HIV drugs to be included on the list of drugs available to HIV patients who were allowed to keep the coverage.

As if teaching students, educating other health care professionals, and seeing thirty patients a day on his days at the CCC were not enough, Raffanti is also project director of the Tennessee AIDS Education and Training Center. The center gives training to over 2,000 health care providers in Tennessee in regards to HIV/AIDS patient care.