Public Release: 

Grasso and team awarded $2.8 million, 5-year grant by HHS HIV/AIDS Bureau

Grasso to play key technical role within platform designed to enhance access to and retention in quality HIV care for women of color

Stevens Institute of Technology

HOBOKEN, N.J. -- Dr. S. Vincent Grasso, a member of the Stevens Healthcare Information Technology Management Advisory Board and Seminar Leader for the Stevens Healthcare Educational Partnership (SHEP), will act as technical lead, solution provider and systems integrator within a nation-wide initiative to enhance the quality of care to women of color suffering from HIV/AIDS. The US Department of Health and Human Services is the funding agency for the project, which will be implemented in urban centers across America.

The Principal Investigator for the grant is Arthur E. Blank, Ph.D., a well-known Associate Professor within both the Departments of Family & Social Medicine and Epidemiology & Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center.

The issue is of particular importance, Grasso said, based on recent HIV data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the August 2008 report:

  • Women accounted for 26 percent of the estimated 37,163 diagnoses for adults and adolescents.

  • Of the 126,964 women living with HIV/AIDS, 64 percent were black, 19 percent were white, 15 percent were Hispanic, 1 percent were Asian or Pacific Islander, and less than 1 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native.

  • The rate of AIDS diagnosis for black women (45.5/100,000 women) was approximately 23 times the rate for white women (2.0/100,000) and four times the rate for Hispanic women (11.2/100,000).

  • An estimated 95,959 women were living with AIDS, representing 23 percent of the estimated 421,873 people living with AIDS in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

"It is a great privilege to work with researchers such as Dr. Blank and others at Einstein/Montefiore on this grant," said Grasso. "Despite the benefits that advanced healthcare IT is delivering to many organizations, HIV/AIDS clinics around the world that treat the medically and economically disadvantaged possess technically related requirements that are currently not fully met. The team, strategic partners, and solutions that are finally assembled will certainly meet the grant expectations and are expected to exceed them."

"The work that Dr. Grasso will lead in this major grant will result in profound benefits for many in our communities who have been afflicted with this epidemic," said Dr. Donald Lombardi, Director of the Stevens Healthcare Educational Partnership. "The work also reflects the commitment that Stevens has toward applying our reputation in applied research toward solving vexing challenges in our society."

"Widespread implementation of electronic health records is recognized as a crucial step toward IT-enabled healthcare reform," said Carol V. Brown, Distinguished Professor and Director of Stevens' Healthcare IT Management graduate program. "However, what is not yet widely recognized is that the Obama funds will be disbursed to healthcare providers who can demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records - not just adoption. Both hospitals and physician practices will need to invest in HIT education to achieve this goal."

In addition to clinicians such as Grasso, Brown's program advisory board members include CIOs at New Jersey hospitals.

"I have been a panel member on several of Dr. Grasso's Health, Technology & Society Roundtables that were hosted at Stevens," said J. Anthony Forstmann, special limited partner at Forstmann Little & Co. "This award reinforces the belief of many that he has his finger on the pulse of numerous healthcare IT crises currently afflicting the healthcare vertical, and that he is proposing to deliver serious solutions."

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Grasso is the executive vice president for Healthcare with LGS Global Ltd., a publically traded Hyderabad-based global IT Services provider, CEO of Technology Integrations for Medical Applications (TIMA), AYUDAMOS (501c3), and Waterfront Health Care Services, a New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Business Accelerator Client. He completed his medical training at Des Moines University, his surgical residency at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Manhattan Program, Post Doctoral Fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery within the Department of General and Endoscopic Surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine, and Medical Informatics research and development as a NASA Project Manager within the Yale University NASA Commercial Space Center for Medical Informatics and Technology Applications. In addition to the above, Grasso is creating graduate level curriculum within the domain of Healthcare IT for both Stevens and Wiley Publications.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology is one of the leading technological universities in the world dedicated to learning and research. Through its broad-based curricula, nurturing of creative inventiveness, and cross disciplinary research, the Institute is at the forefront of global challenges in engineering, science, and technology management. Partnerships and collaboration between, and among, business, industry, government and other universities contribute to the enriched environment of the Institute. A new model for technology commercialization in academe, known as Technogenesis®, involves external partners in launching business enterprises to create broad opportunities and shared value.

Stevens offers baccalaureates, master's and doctoral degrees in engineering, science, computer science and management, in addition to a baccalaureate degree in the humanities and liberal arts, and in business and technology. The university has a total enrollment of 2,150 undergraduate and 3,500 graduate students, with about 250 full-time faculty. Stevens' graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America. Additional information may be obtained from its web page at www.stevens.edu.

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