AIDS Care Group (ACG) treats the whole person, bringing together medical and psychological services in a team-based approach to effectively care for individuals with chronic conditions. We have a few main services within our agency:
- A Ryan White provider, dedicated to medical, dental, psychological, case management services to patients living with HIV and providing Pre-Exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to partners and family members.
- The Center for Integrative Medicine - A designated Center of Excellence by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, dedicated to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for patients recovering from opioid use disorder, including medical and psychological services.
- A state-designated STD testing site (testing and treatment, free and confidential for the community).
- Hepatitis C Community outreach (including rehabilitation centers, halfway houses, prison) and medical/psychological treatment.
- Mosaic Medical - medical and psychological services for LGBTQ individuals, works in collaboration with Prysm Youth Center to provide space for meetings.
- Eddystone Speciality Pharmacy
ACG trains doctoral interns in clinical psychology. Interns are trained first and foremost as clinical psychologists with the skills to provide psychotherapy to a wide array of underserved and vulnerable populations. We have a few target populations that we serve, notably individuals recovering from opioid use disorder within our Medication-Assisted Treatment Program, individuals living with HIV, and those who identify as LGBTQ. We additionally provide short-term therapy for individuals being treated for Hepatitis C. Individual psychotherapy is the primary treatment modality with the internship program, with training in group psychotherapy as well. Interns work in an outpatient setting, utilizing a long-term model of psychotherapy.
ACG's internship program focuses its training on an integrative medical model of practice, meeting the unique needs of individuals dealing with chronic and co-occurring conditions. In addition to treating a variety of psychological diagnoses, interns gain practic working on an interdisciplinary team, working within a medical setting, and completing intake evaluations to determine the level of care and motivation for treatment for new patients. The therapeutic techniques utilized will focus on recovery-oriented psychotherapy, including motivational interviewing and relapse-prevention, but students will be encouraged to use integrative approaches when warranted, utilizing other evidence-based treatments depending on client needs, presenting problems, diversity issues, and other client-related factors.
Other opportunities for training at the clinic include weekly care coordination meetings with medical providers, weekly group supervision of group psychotherapy, weekly didactic sessions led by psychologists and visiting speakers, an opportunity to present a didactic session, weekly peer supervision led by postdoctoral residents, and two hours per week of individual supervision with a licensed psychologist. Interns will be involved in training and consultation with other professionals. In addition, opportunities to engage in psychological assessment are available.
This internship provides the opportunity for the trainee to expand on and build skills in health psychology and psychotherapy for a challenging population while expanding knowledge into new areas and while developing skills required for independent practice.
The internship slot may require evening hours (until 7 or 8 pm) no more than two nights per week, depending on the area of clinical interest and best fit within our programs.
Administrative, Clerical, and Technical Support
The ACG offices are located in a variety of buildings in both Chester, PA, and Sharon Hill, PA, outside of Philadelphia. The buildings of relevance for interns are:
- 907 Chester Pike, Sharon Hill, PA. Medical/Dental offices. Includes reception area, waiting room, and two meeting spaces, one of which has a kitchenette and daily lunch served for patients. Wheelchair accessible.
- 921 Chester Pike, Sharon Hill, PA. Four psychology offices, the Director of Integrative Medicine's office, psychology library, and location of administrative staff and waiting room.
- 126 Kenney ave, Saron Hill, PA. Two psychology offices, one of which is utilized by an art therapist for individuals and groups. Small kitchenette.
- 904 Chester Pike, Sharon Hill, PA. Four psychology offices, one of which is used for groups as well. Sunroom, which is used for meetings and groups. A large waiting room and kitchen. Lunch is served daily.
- 940 Chester Pike, Sharon Hill, PA. Medical provider office, which is used for care coordination meetings, tow exam rooms, a phlebotomy lab, a medication administration room, a reception office with locked file cabinets, and site of the administrative hub for one program. A waiting room and wheelchair accessible.
- 2201 Providence Ave, Chester, Pa. A waiting area, two psychology offices, a reception office with locked file cabinets, exam rooms, phlebotomy stations, administrative offices. Wheelchair accessible.
Depending on location, the buildings have both street and designated parking lots available for staff and are located along public transit bus routes. Some of our buildings, but not all, are wheelchair accessible. All buildings have at least one bathroom, most have multiple. Coffee and water are available in every building. Every building is locked, requiring a proximity card (which we provide) to enter; patients must be granted access by administrative staff.
Each building has a reception area staffed by full-time administrative employees, with the exception of the offices at Kenney Ave, which have a waiting room space but no additional support staff. Licensed psychologists are positioned throughout each site to provide ample support and crisis response if needed. All staff is trained in crisis response, notable CPR and the use of naloxone in the case of an overdose. Staff is additionally trained in de-escalation skills. We have a staff person designated to provide security on campus.
Our sites are equipped with internet, phones, fax, printers, copy machines, as well as locked file cabinets for patient records. We primarily utilize an electronic medical record for the majority of documentation and patient paperwork. We have designated staff to provide technical support and coordinate agency assets.
Staff employed by this agency include: physicians, physicians' assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants, dentist, dental assistants, psychologist, art therapist, postdoctoral residents, interns from various programs, reception and administrative staff, case managers, a human resource director, pharmacist, pharmacy directors, pharmacy techs, drivers, outreach staff to prisons and community, and additional supportive and administrative staff.
All interns and staff share office space, with an assigned office or meeting space provided at all times. All interns are provided an agency-owned laptop and cellular phone for work-related duties. We have video cameras and secure USB drives available for training purposes as needed by the doctoral program. We do not have psychological assessment materials available but can provide supervisor support and office space for assessments.
Due to the current health crisis, the psychology department at AIDS Care Group is operating via telehealth only. No in-person therapy sessions are permitted. AIDS Care Group is closely following federal and local guidelines in order to make an informed decision on when to resume in-person operation. Once a decision has been made to resume in-person operation, ACG will follow CDC guidelines and those of our state health department to ensure the safety of our employees and interns. At that time, ACG will provide necessary PPE to its employees and interns.
Criminal Convictions and Peaceful Protests
AIDS Care Group has a robust human resources onboarding process. Background checks include SSN trace, national criminal database, sex offender search, domestic watch list, statewide criminal record search, and 7-year county criminal record search. Interns are also required to complete a child abuse search. A 10-panel drug test is also conducted.