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Michelle Steele Amida Care Member and Health Advocate

M

ichelle Steele is a Brooklyn native and Amida Care member who says her HIV diagnosis helped her take back her life in order to give back to others. Michelle was diagnosed with HIV soon after giving birth to her son in 1985. After her diagnosis and learning that her son was born HIV-negative, Michelle adopted a life motto of “I can do this,” and took the initiative to learn as much as she could about HIV.

BE YOURSELF The health plan for individuals

AMIDA CARE is not for everyone. It is for those special few who take pride in who they really are. When you are in our community, you can expect: Comprehensive health coverage

Personal champion who works with you privately to customize your health care

Expertise in chronic and serious medical conditions, such as HIV, behavioral health issues, and Hepatitis C Help accessing housing, job training and other support programs.

Medicaid Live Life Plus Health Plan Call us for confidential answers: 1-855-GO-AMIDA (1-855-462-6432), TTY 711 www.AmidaCareNY.org

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The Positive Community

March 2017

Through joining Amida Care, New York’s largest Special Needs Health Plan (SNP) for people living with chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS and behavioral health disorders, Michelle was empowered to take control of her health. Each member at Amida Care is assigned to an Integrated Care Team (ICT) of health professionals who design and oversee individualized care plans that support members’ unique health needs and goals. The ICT also works closely with members to help them address non-medical needs that may impact their health, such as housing, legal concerns, job training, and transportation. People with complex health conditions need access to providers with specialized knowledge, and Michelle was able to utilize Amida Care’s wide network of top health care providers. Michelle learned to advocate for herself during her regular doctor visits and adhere to her HIV treatment so she could achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load and stay well. Michelle overcame drug addiction and has been living with HIV for over 31 years without being hospitalized once. Michelle participates in Amida Care’s member Town Hall meetings and has served on Amida Care’s Member Advisory Council (MAC), a group that voices the concerns and needs of plan members. The MAC regularly provides feedback to Amida Care to ensure members’ needs are being met and helps leadership improve programs and services. Michelle is dedicated to helping others understand they are not alone after being diagnosed with HIV and that they can ultimately lead a happy and healthy life. She successfully completed Amida Care’s Workforce Initiative Network (WIN) program, which trains members for jobs in health navigation and outreach. During the six-week workforce development program, Michelle learned to use her life experience to help people living with HIV become virally suppressed and to help those most at risk of HIV infection remain HIV negative. “I look forward to showing people I come in contact with some motherly love,” she says. www.thepositivecommunity.com

March 2017  

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