The 10th Annual Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award was presented to John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) physician Dr. Dominic Chow on World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2013 at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. The Hawai’i State Department of Health (DOH) said Dr. Chow was selected for his tremendous contributions to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services in Hawai‘i.
“For over 15 years, Dr. Chow has dedicated himself to taking care of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS,” said the DOH in a news release. Dr. Chow is an HIV expert and Director of the Clint Spencer Clinic, operated by the University of Hawai`i Mānoa medical school. It is a multi-specialty clinic focusing on the care of individuals with HIV and its complications, which now include diabetes, heart disease, dementia and cancer, as HIV patients grow older. The Clinic has about 400 patients on O`ahu and the neighbor islands. Some 3,000 people in Hawai`i live with HIV/AIDS. It is believed about 25% of them don’t even know they are carrying the virus.
Dr. Chow also is a board member of The Life Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to preventing the spread of HIV and assisting those who are living with HIV and AIDS. The Center for AIDS and The Life Foundation are close collaborators with each other and the DOH is providing better care for HIV patients.
“Our HIV clinic would not exist without Dr. Chow’s hard work,” said Dr. Cecilia Shikuma, Director of the JABSOM Hawai`i Center for AIDS.
“HIV medical care is a highly specialized ever-changing field,” said Dr. Shikuma. “Because JABSOM supports our HIV program, we, as JABSOM faculty, are able to use our expertise to provide expert HIV care for HIV infected patients in Hawai`i.”
Dr. Chow said he was honored to receive this special award.
“This award would not be possible without the hard work and commitment from the staff at the Hawai`i Center for AIDS who have dedicated their lives to the treatment and care of individuals infected with HIV. The Hawai`i Center for AIDS will work tirelessly to finding a cure to this deadly epidemic,” said Dr. Chow.
Dr. Chow completed a Combined Medicine/Pediatrics Residency at Yale School of Medical School a Masters of Public Health and General Preventive Medicine Residency at Johns Hopkins. Since 2002, Dr. Chow has been the Associate Program Director, Ambulatory Care in HIV Fellowship Program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. He is funded to do research projects by the National Institutes of Health and has published more than 40 research articles. He is a renowned local, national, and international lecturer on HIV.
“Dr. Chow is an active participant in the training of medical students and medical residents and has served as mentor to other students and junior researchers,” said JABSOM Dean Jerris R. Hedges, MD. “He provides HIV expertise through the continuing education of Hawai‘i’s practicing healthcare providers and is also an outstanding leader in the UH Internal Medicine and Pediatric Residency Programs, receiving the UH Pediatric Residency Program Faculty Teaching Award in 2005”, the dean said.
About the Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award
Suzanne Richmond-Crum passed away in August 2004 after serving as director of the Hawai‘i Seropositivity and Medical Management Program (HSPAMM) of the DOH STD/AIDS Prevention Branch for more than 10 years. The award was established in honor of the competence and compassion she demonstrated in her HIV/AIDS work, and is presented annually to an individual in Hawai‘i for their outstanding contribution in providing HIV/AIDS services.
About the UH Clint Spencer Clinic
The clinic was named in memory of Clint Spencer, who died in 2001. Clint realized the importance of research in improving the care of Hawai`i’s HIV positive community; as a result, in 1992, he became the first patient to enroll in a research protocol through what is now the Hawai`i Center for AIDS. The Hawai`i State Legislature has been an important source of support for the Center for AIDS and the clinic, especially during its formative stages. HIV care at the clinic includes:
• Basic HIV care, including antiretroviral therapy and preventive care.
• Metabolic complications of antiretroviral hypercholesterolemia (high Cholesterol) and lipodystrophy (body fat abnormalities).
• Interpretation of resistance testing and salvage therapy.
• Viral hepatitis co-infection.
• Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection and disease in men and women.
• Women’s health concerns.
• Neurologic problems, including peripheral neuropathy and AIDS dementia.
The clinic accepts most forms of medical insurance and does not limit clients’ access to clinical services based on ability to pay. The Clint Spencer Clinic is in Suite 1024 of the former “Gold Bond Building” at 677 Ala Moana Blvd. Its telephone number is (808) 692-1310.