Washington (May 26, 2015) — Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D., vice president for health affairs at GW and dean of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was sworn in as a new member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) on May 21, 2015.
In this role, Akman will join a prestigious and diverse group of leaders from local and national communities, as well as leaders from science, medicine, public health, business, and philanthropic organizations who provide advice, information, and recommendations on HIV-related issues and policies to the HHS Secretary and the White House. PACHA regularly provides recommendations, on an ongoing basis, on how to effectively implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, as well as monitor the Strategy’s implementation.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this important group. As a psychiatric physician, I understand the importance of sound national and federal HIV/AIDS policy and its implications to the delivery of care and overall wellbeing for many patients with HIV/AIDS and those at high-risk for the disease. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this Council as we help guide our nation’s top leaders in making informed decisions related to HIV/AIDS,” said Akman.
Akman has been treating patients living with HIV since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He has also been advising physicians, research institutes, and medical organizations on the need for mental health and substance use care to be included when treating HIV patients, for many years. In his role as an advisor, he served as the principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health grant to train and educate health care professionals in the medical and mental health aspects of HIV/AIDS.
He has provided leadership and advisement for many prestigious HIV/AIDS related initiatives, including the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) first Commission on AIDS, which advised the organization’s Board of Trustees and general membership of the APA on how psychiatrists could best respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He also served on the District of Columbia Mayor’s Commission for HIV/AIDS and chaired the commission’s Treatment on Demand Committee, as well. In these roles, Akman advised the Mayor on best practices for linkage to care, treatment, adherence, and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
In his current role, as vice president for health affairs at GW and dean of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., Akman has led efforts to bolster research into the disease and engage the University’s clinical partners and affiliates in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Akman’s efforts are aimed at making positive change on a national level, but also working to address the high prevalence of the disease in the Washington, D.C. community.
Akman attended his first meeting of the PACHA on May 21 and 22, in Atlanta, Georgia.
About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities. smhs.gwu.edu