UPMC Celebrates Opening of Center for Care of Infectious Disease

By: Colleen Zewe and Tim Betler

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the grand opening of the UPMC Center for Care of Infectious Disease (CCID), a new center at the Falk Medical Building. The newly-renovated center brings together many existing services, making treatment and research for infectious diseases more accessible and convenient for both patients and doctors alike.

In this center “we have a lot of power in both science and discovery and amazing contributions on the clinical side,” said Dr. Mark Gladwin, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Care of infectious diseases was previously housed in the Pittsburgh AIDS Center for Treatment (PACT) clinic, but many infectious diseases are unrelated to HIV/AIDS. The new center encompasses many other infectious disease specialties, such as Travel Health, Fecal Microbiota Transplant and Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy, among others. The Travel Health specialty is especially helpful to those planning trips outside the country. Those travelling to countries with health concerns such as Zika and malaria can learn about prevention and receive vaccinations at the center.

HIV/AIDS will still be treated in the center. Dr. Deborah McMahon, clinical director of UPMC’s HIV/AIDS Program, says “patients come here and realize that they really can receive top-class care.”

The center has a goal of minimizing HIV by 75 percent and eliminating AIDS by 2020. John Innocenti, president of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, believes that with this new center, those goals are very reachable.

The $3 million center is an outpatient clinic, but doctors also do consultations with patients at UPMC hospitals, making their services accessible to inpatients as well. Many of the center’s physicians also do research and run laboratories throughout the Pitt School of Medicine, so they are highly knowledgeable in the care of infectious diseases and up-to-date with all the latest findings.

Overall, the new CCID is one of the best of its kind. “Patients will really appreciate this space,” said Dr. John Mellors, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Pitt. “Our mission is to care and prevent.” Thanks to the renovated CCID, UPMC patients now have a clinic to get the best care possible, and researchers are learning more on how to cure infectious diseases.