Community Healthcare Network (Family Legacy Project)

Award Recipients - 1998

Michelle Lopez, Treatment Educator

Michelle Lopez is a spokeswoman for the rights and needs of person with HIV, especially mothers and children.  Since 1992, she has worked with HIV/AIDs clients at the Community Healthcare Network (CHN).  Her commitment is to reach and educate persons in the highest risk groups for AIDS.  She recruits directly at homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters and WIC center throughout New York City.  She also takes a mobile unit to the parks and streets to talk to people about HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Her clients are substance abusers, ex-offenders, sex workers, homeless people and immigrants, mainly women and mothers.  
As a treatment educator, Mr. Lopez plans, develops and implements community treatment education programs for HIV-positive patients.  She works directly with approximately 40 clients a months in addition to her outreach work in the field. In 1997, she initiated the concept for the Family Legacy Project to address the emotional and legal issues face by families dealing with HIV/AIDS.  The project aims to prepare mothers to disclose and discuss their health status with their children, make guardianship arrangements and ensure a smooth transition for long-term care of the children after their mother’s death.  It also provides counseling to the children.  

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