Funded Awards and Supplements

CHARM Funded Projects

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  • CHARM Community Pilot Awards and Community Microgrants - Cohort 1

    Community Pilot Awards (CPAs)

    Breathing While Black and Trans

    PI: Jasmine McKenzie

    Organization Name: The McKenzie Project

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Calla Hummel, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science 

    The aim of this project is to conduct a community-based participatory action organizing project focused on developing a Reproductive and Gender Justice ecosystem for Black TGNCNB+ people in Miami-Dade. As we capture people's stories and educate them about how we can work to address our community's reproductive and gender justice needs, we will build a structure for the ecosystem and identify the pieces.

    Food Is Medicine - TGI study 

    PI: Ashley MayFaire

    Organization Name: TransSocial

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Steven Safren, CHARM Director, Professor, Department of Psychology

    To utilize food vouchers (grocery gift cards and food pantry services) for low-income Trans, Gender Expansive & Intersex (TGI) community members in South Florida as both an intervention to the current crisis of food insecurity and an incentive to engage in other services we offer including linkage to HIV testing, prevention and treatment, mental healthcare, and transition care.

    Real Magnolias Women Support Group

    PI: Micaelle Titus

    Organization Name: The Community Health & Empowerment Network

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Renessa Williams, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies

    This project aims to host small group sessions for women, with a special focus on both cisgender and transgender women, to provide a safe space to be transparent about life's challenges and to evaluate how this will improve their well-being. Our goal is to help increase access to networks that provide safe spaces for honest conversation, self-care promotion, and peer support. 

    Community Microgrants (CMs)

    The CHANGE And Beyond

    PI: Lamar McMullen

    Organization Name: Unity Coalition

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Deborah Jones Weiss, Clinical Psychologist and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Co-Director of CHARM

    To provide the ability to have conversations around STIGMA, people's first language, HIV Criminalization, and public health issues as it relates to the Haitian, Spanish, ASL, and English communities, as well as LGBTQIA folks as a whole. This project is important not only to me but to the community because we have a lack of knowledge when it comes to HIV criminalization. 

    Breaking the Stigma: PrEP and Reentry

    PI: Cheryl Smart

    Organization Name: Empowerment Zone Reentry Initiative

    Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Kathryn Nowotny, Associate Professor, Medical Sociology

    To address health disparities experienced by previously incarcerated persons using a comprehensive and multifaceted approach. This project aims to address HIV risk and mental health by developing psychoeducational materials addressing HIV, PrEP and PEP that can be used with current and future clients as well as those currently incarcerated in jail and prison settings.

  • Equitable Implementation Science Microgrant - YR01

    Haitian Empowerment Alliance Project (HEAP): Creating Opportunities on the Path to Health  

     PI:  Elisa Diaz, Psy.D.


     Rosie E. Curiel, Psy.D., Natacha Janac, Psy.D., and Yves Dehaut, ARNP 

    The program aims to lay the groundwork for future equitable implementation research in HIV and mental health that focuses on the cognitive needs voiced by clients, particularly those who are Haitian Creole-speaking. This will be done by investigating the acceptability of cognitive screening by persons living with HIV and exploring whether they believe such screening can lead to improved performance in everyday living skills. 

  • CHARM Developmental Awards – Cohort 04

    Pilot Awardees

    Low Barrier Bundled HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening, Treatment, and Prevention for Women Who Inject Drugs at a Syringe Services Program

     PI:  Teresa Chueng, MD, MPH, Department of Medicine

    The objective of this study is to evaluate a women-centric approach to HIV prevention by bundling HIV, sexual health, mental health, and substance use disorder services at our Miami syringe services program. This research will lead to the improvement of an equity-focused approach to syringe services programming and advance the wellbeing for women who inject drugs

    Evaluation of Mental Health, Brain Health, and Clinical Outcomes in HIV+ Individuals Starting Injectable Long-Acting Antiretroviral Therapy

     PI:  Teddy Salan, PhD, Department of Radiology

    This study, focusing on the Treat pillar of Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S., investigates the effect of switching from daily oral treatment to injectable long-acting ART on mental health, brain health, and clinical outcomes. The end goal is to provide novel insight on the effectiveness, acceptability, and mental health benefits of injectable long-acting ART for enhancing its uptake and scaling-up treatment to a community of people who are burdened by taking daily oral treatment.

    Scholar Awardees

    ENABLING EQUITY-CENTRIC HIV DATA: A Participatory Multi-Stakeholder Study for a Comprehensive Approach to HIV Data Representation in Miami-Dade.

     PI:  Felicia Casanova, Post Doctoral Scholar, Department of Public Health Sciences

    By leveraging the SCAN360 website, originally designed for cancer burden visualization but expanded to include HIV data, the project seeks to engage community stakeholders through focus groups to optimize SCAN360's effectiveness in highlighting community-specific impacts of HIV and related health conditions. Through iterative feedback and beta testing, the project aims to incorporate community strengths and resilience factors into SCAN360, ensuring culturally congruent representation and maximizing its utility for local health centers, activists, researchers, and policy-makers. The enhanced SCAN360 will serve as a powerful tool to inform initiatives aimed at ending the HIV epidemic in Florida, with implications for equitable health data visualization and intervention strategies nationwide.

    Longitudinal Latent Classes of Health Behaviors and their association with Mental Health and HIV Clinical Outcomes Among Women Living with HIV

     PI: Emily M. Cherenack, MA, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences

    This multi-site longitudinal latent class analysis will provide a better understanding of complex health behavior subtypes among women living with HIV. Examining the association of health behavior subtypes with mental health, HIV-related behaviors, and HIV clinical indices will inform the future development of precision behavioral medicine interventions that capitalize on individualized profiles of behavioral health resiliencies. The overall goal of this research is to enhance holistic health outcomes among women living with HIV. 

    Seventy-eight Would Be Great: An Exploration of the Use of Patient Portals as a Supporting Intervention to Improve HIV Care Engagement among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men Living With HIV

     PI: Renae Patterson, MBA, Ph.D. Doctoral Candidate, School of Nursing and Health Studies

    The proposed study will explore the utilization of a mobile health technology (i.e., patient portals) and the determinants to adopting this technology as a supporting intervention to address HIV care disparities among Black men who have sex with men, a group that is disproportionately affected by HIV. This award will support research to identify implementation strategies and outline a plan to enhance HIV care engagement among this population to promote the use of HIV treatments.

  • CHARM Pilot Awards – Cohort 03‪

    Social and Geographic Displacement in Miami-Dade: Impact on Mental Health and Health Disparities in HIV Positive Patients

     PI:  Zinzi Bailey, ScD, MSPH, Department of Medicine

    While ardent efforts have been made to reduce the burden of HIV/AIDS, deep racial and ethnic inequities in HIV/AIDS outcomes persist across Miami-Dade County. Gentrification and may limit local efforts to diagnose, treat, prevent and respond to every person living with HIV, by disrupting HIV service delivery, continuity of care, and adherence to antiretroviral therapy, as well as impacting individuals’ mental well-being associated with loss of social support and familiar/healthy coping strategies, high-stress, trauma, depression, stigma and behavioral changes. In partnership with community partners, this mixed-methods study utilizes “big dataelectronic health record analyses and key informant interviews to investigate the relationship between displacement from gentrifying neighborhoods and patterns in healthcare utilization & disease progression among PLWH across the HCN network in MDC.

    Long-acting Injectable PrEP for People who Inject Drugs at IDEA Syringe Services Program: a Qualitative Acceptability and Feasibility Study

     PI: Edward Suarez, Jr., PsyD, Department of Psychology

    This study, under the Treat and Protect pillars of Ending the HIV Epidemic, will conduct a qualitative assessment of the acceptability and feasibility of offering HIV prevention services, including long acting injectable pre-exposure prophylaxis (LAI-PrEP) delivery at the IDEA Syringe Services Program (SSP). The end goal is enhancing availability and uptake of this evidence-based and underutilized services to a community of people who inject drugs (PWID).

    Mixed-methods research on coping with intersectional minority stress and HIV-clinical outcomes among Latino SexualMinority Men Living with HIV(aka The Siempre Contigo Study) (Co-Funded by CLaRO)

     PI: Emily M. Cherenack, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences

    The current study aims to (1) examine preliminary associations between intersectional minority stress, coping processes (acceptance/prosocial coping), positive affect, and clinically relevant biomarkers of HIV disease processes and accelerated cellular aging and (2) obtain qualitative data from LSMM with HIV to inform the development of a culturally informed coping intervention. Aims will be accomplished through a mixed-methods study. Eighty LSMM with HIV will complete a psychosocial survey focused on minority stress, coping, and positive affect. A blood sample will be processed into plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to quantify biomarkers of HIV disease processes and accelerated aging. A medical record review will be used to obtain additional health history. A subset of 20 participants will be purposively sampled to complete an in-depth interview to describe their experiences coping with intersectional minority stress and obtain feedback on strategies to increase acceptance coping, prosocial coping, and positive affect.

    Psychoneuroimmunological Outcomes Associated with a Culturally Adapted Written Emotional Disclosure Intervention in Traumatized Hispanic/Latina Women Living with HIV (Co-Funded by CLaRO)

     PI: Roger McIntosh, PhD, Department of Psychology

    Individuals with PTSD often recall traumatic experiences with distress (e.g., flashbacks, nightmares); however, reactivation of these traumatic memories is also an opportunity, i.e., a method for intervention. Trauma exposure and risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is especially high for Hispanic women living with Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV). For Spanish-English bilinguals, matching the language at the time of traumatic memory retrieval with the language of the initial trauma may allow unique access to these events and facilitate the healing process; however, the mechanism is unclear. This study seeks to determine the impact of conducting augmented written emotional disclosure (WED) intervention, culturally adapted in the same language as when the trauma was encoded, on the psycho-neuro-immunological response to trauma recall in 36 bilingual Hispanic/Latina women living with HIV. 

  • CHARM Pilot Awards – Cohort 02

    Characterizing the Mental Health and Biobehavioral State of South African Women Living with Comorbid HIV and Breast Cancer and Considering a Contextually Appropriate Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management Intervention

     PI: Daniel O'Neil, MD, MPH, Department of Medicine

    The long-term objective of this proposal is to understand the extent of mental health disparities between WLWH and breast cancer (BC) and women with BC only, to understand the contribution and mechanisms of mental health disorders on survival differences, and to develop novel approaches to reducing those disparities. This pilot funding application specifically aims to 1) compare self-reported distress, depression, and anxiety symptoms between South African WLWH and BC, WLWH only, and women with BC only; 2) compare traditional and novel circulating inflammatory markers between the same groups; and 3) explore the feasibility and acceptability of a cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention for use among South African WLWH and BC.

    A Mixed Methods Examination of Intersectional Stigma, Bio-Behavioral Pathways, and HIV-related Health Among Black Men Who Have Sex With Men

     PI:  Renessa Williams, PhD, Department of Surgery

    This project employs a mixed methods approach that integrates self-report measures, inflammatory biomarkers, viral load, and semi-structured interviews to understand pathways driving HIV-related health outcomes among Black MSM. The specific aims of this mixed methods study are: (1) Identify the pathways linking intersectional stigma with viral suppression and inflammation; and (2) Describe intersectional stigma among Black MSM living with HIV; Results will inform the development of bio-behavioral interventions that improve health outcomes in Black MSM living with HIV. 

    The Impact of Media Literacy and Resilience on Low Income Latinx Living with HIV: A Community-Engaged Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (Co-Funded by CTSI)

     PI: Victoria Orrego Dunleavy, PhD, Department of Communication Studies

    The proposed project directly addresses the sources of health disparity in Miami Dade County: mental health and misinformation by developing a culturally tailored resilience and media literacy intervention. 

  • CHARM Pilot Awards – Cohort 01

    Stigma, Resilience and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among Women Living with HIV

     PI: Claudia Martinez, MD, Department of Medicine

    This study aims to empirically test the relationships between intersectional stigma, resiliency and cardiovascular disease among women living with HIV and qualitatively explore the cardiovascular disease disparity in the context of intersectional stigma and resilience and optimal community-centered prevention/intervention efforts.

    The Syndemic of Criminal Justice Involvement, Mental Illness, Substance Use, and Interpersonal Violence among Marginalized Adults Living with HIV

     PI:  Kathryn Nowotny, PhD, Department of Sociology

    The goal of this study is to understand the clustering of HIV, justice involvement, mental illness, substance use, and exposure to violence, how the social and structural context contributes to this  clustering, and how this clustering influences the trajectory of HIV care for justice-involved people living with HIV.

    Engaging Hispanic Immigrants in Mental Health Promotion and HIV Prevention: A Father-Son Initiative (Co-Funded by CLaRO) 

     PI: Tatiana Perrino, PsyD, Department of Public Health Sciences

    This project examines the feasibility of father-son interventions as a strategy to engage men across generations in the HIV prevention and care continuum.

    Bon Sante: Opportunities for HIV Prevention Among Haitian Americans

     PI: Candice Sternberg, MD, Department of Medicine

    This study aims to reduce the incidence of HIV and decrease disparities in the utilization of evidence-based biomedical prevention with PrEP in the Haitian community.

CHARM Supplements (funded by NIH)

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  • Ending the HIV Epidemic Administrative Supplements – NIH FY 2023

    Nou La (We’re Here): Biomedical Prevention for People of Haitian Descent 

    PI: Candice Sternberg, MD, Department of Medicine

    In Miami, Florida people of Haitian descent have been disproportionately affected by HIV. Haitian-born people had an incidence of 5.5% of HIV and 9% of AIDS diagnoses. This planning project will develop an implementation strategy “L’Union Fait La Force or (Unity Makes Strength): Increasing PrEP Reach” in which we will partner with local organizations already trusted and utilized by the Haitian community to collaborate and create new opportunities for PrEP access.

    CERCA DE TI: Leveraging an Established Academic and CVS Health® Partnership to Advance Biomedical HIV Prevention with a New Pharmacy-Based PrEP Program 

     PI: Mariano Kanamori, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences

    CERCA DE TI (“Close to You” in Spanish) is a new pharmacy chain-based PrEP program that will leverage CVS Health services and infrastructure to help Latinx learn about PrEP, decide if PrEP is relevant for their lives, access PrEP, and sustain PrEP use. The goals of this EHE pilot study are to explore and plan the groundwork needed for the future implementation of CERCA DE TI, and to determine if the necessary resources are available for effective future implementation. This application is supported by 5+ years of ongoing collaborations between Dr. Kanamori and CVS Health during which we implemented a pharmacy chain-based recruitment program to support a PrEP program implemented by our partner Latinos Salud. To date, this program has provided PrEP to a total of 1,581 clients and currently has 581 PrEP clients. Building on this success recruiting PrEP clients through CVS Health venues, we are now proposing to develop a one-stop-shop PrEP program promoted and offered by CVS Health.

    Improving HIV care continuum outcomes among formerly incarcerated individuals through critical time legal interventions 

     PI: Omar Martinez, JD, MPH, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida

     PI: Guillermo "Willy" Prado, PhD, School of Nursing and Health Studies

    Formerly incarcerated individuals are impacted by health-harming legal needs and risks, including lack of access to HIV care, unsafe housing safety, unstable employment, and other issues that often disrupt HIV care. Providing access to legal services can address barriers to HIV care and improve HIV care continuum outcomes for formerly incarcerated individuals. The proposed study, led by the University of Central Florida (Hispanic Serving Institution), together with the University of Miami, and Hope and Help Inc., aims to pilot test a comprehensive critical-time intervention medical legal partnership (CTI-MLP) approach to optimize timely HIV linkage, retention and viral suppression among formerly incarcerated individuals. MLPs have been used by social justice-oriented medical, health, social, and legal service practices to identify and address health-harming legal needs and risks that create barriers to treatment, care, and recovery for several health conditions. MLPs offer an integrated structural intervention that could improve HIV care continuum and psychosocial outcomes among formerly incarcerated individuals. 

  • Ending the HIV Epidemic Administrative Supplements – NIH FY 2022

    SOMOS Alianza: Developing a Strategic Alliance across Three HIV Epicenters to Achieve Ending the HIV Epidemic Goals among Latino MSM

     PI: Audrey Harkness, PhD, School of Nursing and Health Studies

    Evidence-based interventions for Ending the HIV Epidemic are insufficiently scaled up to Latino MSM, resulting in HIV disparities. Three key EHE jurisdictions in which Latino MSM in general, and Puerto-Rican MSM in particular (via migration patterns) are sub-optimally reached by evidence-based HIV-prevention and treatment interventions are Miami-Dade County, Orange County, and San Juan Municipio, suggesting the utility of a shared effort to achieve EHE goals across jurisdictions. This proposal seeks to form a strategic alliance across these jurisdictions to enhance implementation efforts, lay the foundation for a multi-site R01 implementation-effectiveness hybrid trial, and reduce HIV disparities among Latino MSM.

    PrEP Uptake among Justice Involved Peripregnancy Women Who Use Drugs

     PI: Kathryn Nowotny, PhD, Department of Sociology

    We propose a mixed-methods investigation in Miami-Dade Countyone of the sites for the EHE initiativeto (1) identify the barriers and facilitators to implementing PrEP; (2) understand the multilevel barriers to HIV risk reduction and reentry from the perspective of the patient; and (3) select and adapt an evidence-based or evidence-informed intervention strategy. The objective of this study is to empower CJ-involved women by producing formative research for implementation of a PrEP intervention strategy for peripregnancy CJ-involved women who use drugs (WWUD).

  • Ending the HIV Epidemic Administrative Supplements – NIH FY 2021

    Juntos Referral Network: Planning an Implementation Strategy to Enhance the Reach of HIV Prevention and Treatment Services to Latino MSM and Address Intersectional Insecurities 

     PI: Audrey Harkness, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences

    This project aims to develop an implementation strategy (the Juntos referral network) to improve the reach of PrEP, nPEP, and rapid ART to LMSM. The implementation strategy will improve reach by (a) strengthening relationships and cross referrals between HIV organizations and (b) increasing consumer demand via LMSM’s access to information about HIV and ancillary services addressing intersectional insecurities and peer support for services.

    Tools to Visualize and Summarize HIV Resources, Disease Burden and EHE Interventions in Miami-Dade County 

     PI: Raymond Balise, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences

    This project will build the infrastructure needed to understand the HIV disease burden and response to EHE interventions, in one of the locations hardest hit by the HIV Epidemic, Miami-Dade County, Florida. This team-initiated implementation research project brings to bear state-of-the-art, data science tools to integrate neighborhood-level resources and disease burden information, along with information about EHE interventions for Miami-Dade County to provide data-driven feedback to guide local intervention efforts and service provision. The end result will be a set of public-facing and researcher-facing, web-based tools that will provide HIV information needed by community members and HIV researchers. 

  • Ending the HIV Epidemic Administrative Supplements – NIH FY 2020

    Five Point Initiative – Reaching Miami’s Black Communities to End the HIV Epidemic

     PI: Sannisha Dale, PhD, Department of Psychology

    This project will implement HIV testing, PrEP information/linkage, and condom distribution in 12 high impact zip codes in Miami, FL using a locally developed Five Point Initiative approach that harnesses partnerships with local businesses, health organizations and community consultants/experts.

    FINISHING HIV: A Social Network-Based Outreach Program to Encourage Utilization of HIV Protection, Diagnosis and Treatment Services, Customized for Latinos

     PI: Mariano Kanamori, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences

    This project is a tailored diagnosis, treatment and prevention program based on four network-based strategies (social, parks, pharmacy, and radio) designed to reach large numbers of Latino MSM self-identified as gay or bisexual/straight.

  • Other Administrative Supplements – NIH FY 2020

    DiversiPrEP: A Multi-Level Variables Influencing Implementation Success of a Client-Centered PrEP Service Model with Telehealth

     PI: Mariano Kanamori, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences

    Identify Consolidated Framework for Implementation Science Research (CFIR) modifiable factors that explain and enhance the implementation of DiversiPrEP. Staff Component: Qualitative and quantitative  evaluations to identify CFIR modifiable factors that explain and enhance the implementation of DiversiPrEP in the 4 areas where Latinos Salud sites are located. Client Component: Identify modifiable factors utilizing photovoice that influence success or failure in DiversiPrEP implementation by clientele group (Latino MSM, non-Latino MSM, cisgender female and transgender people). Refine DiversiPrEP’s ERIC implementation strategies through an Evidence Based Quality Improvement (EBQI) process.

  • Ending the HIV Epidemic Administrative Supplements – NIH FY 2019

    Five Point Initiative

     PI: Sannisha Dale, PhD, Department of Psychology

    This project focuses on Black communities and is being executed in close collaboration with community consultants and community organizations. Individuals who come to five different venues as points of contact – corner stores, mechanics, hair/beauty salons, barbershops, and laundromats – will be given a voucher for services at that venue after completing a survey about facilitators and barriers to HIV prevention and treatment.

    FINISHING HIV: An HIV Protection, Diagnosis and Treatment Network for Latinos

     PI: Mariano Kanamori, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences

    This project uses a pharmacy network and a parks network to increase awareness and utilization of HIV protection, diagnosis, and treatment services by Latino MSM in Miami-Dade County.

    Implementation of Telemedicine Test and Treat for on-site initiation of ART at Miami’s IDEA Exchange Syringe Service Program

     PI: Hansel Tookes, MD, MPH, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine

    This study is laying the groundwork for evaluation and implementation of a telemedicine Test and Treat approach within Florida’s first and only legal syringe service program.