CPIU wins Blass Award

By Kristen Holland Shear / August 2010

State health officials recently honored UT Southwestern’s Community Prevention and Intervention Unit (CPIU) for its work promoting and implementing programs that aim to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The unit, part of the School of Health Professions, received the Casey Blass Award for Excellence and Achievement in HIV/STD Prevention and Care at the 17th biennial Texas HIV/STD conference in Austin. UT Southwestern is the first institution to receive the award, named after the former manager of the Disease Prevention and Intervention Section of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Mr. Blass, who retired in March, received the initial award at the 2008 conference.

Anne Freeman, assistant professor of health care sciences and CPIU director, called receiving the award “a real morale booster for the staff.”

“They do their work pretty quietly, so it was a real honor for the Community Prevention and Intervention Unit staff to be recognized for their excellence in HIV prevention by people not only at the state health department but by their peers,” Ms. Freeman said. “It’s a testament to their hard work and the impact that their efforts have had on HIV prevention in Dallas as well as across the state.”

The award — given by the DSHS and the Texas Public Health Association — recognizes effective approaches to improving the health and well-being of those living with HIV/AIDS, preventing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, and developing successful programs for specific at-risk populations.