Welcome to Project HEAL

HIV & HCV, Education, Awareness, & Linkage to Care.


We aim to leverage electronic medical technologies and streamline clinical workflow to identify HIV and Hepatitis C infections and other diseases in Chicago communities served by UI Health Hospital System and ensure all patients and those at-risk are linked to timely and appropriate care through rigorous care coordination and outreach efforts. Engage in public health research to build upon current programs and establish best practices.  

What We Do

Project HEAL (HIV & HCV Screening, Education, Awareness, Linkage to Care) is the routine HIV & HCV screening initiative at UI Hospital and Health Sciences System (UI Health). The high volume of patients seen at UI Health – a large, urban medical center and safety-net provider in Chicago – lends itself as an ideal point of contact for patients to be widely screened for HIV and HCV. This project is a collaborative effort between the disciplines of Infectious Disease, Pathology, Emergency Medicine, Public Health, Hepatology, and Internal Medicine.

Approximately 250,000 people in the United States have HIV and
do not know it. Many people don’t get tested because they don’t think
they are at risk, but anyone can get HIV through unprotected sex or
sharing needles for injection, piercing, or tattooing.

UI Hospital may provide HIV testing to any patient between 18 and
64 years of age who gets blood drawn during their inpatient stay.

The HIV test is:
• Routine — offered as part of normal healthcare screenings at no cost
• Accurate
• Confidential as part of your medical record
• Voluntary — you can refuse to have the test by informing the provider

If the test result is negative: It does not necessarily mean that you
don’t have HIV. The test used at UI Health may not be able to detect
the HIV in your blood for up to 1 month after you were exposed. If you
recently had unprotected sex, shared needles, or engaged in any other
high risk behavior you need to be retested in 4-6 weeks. Talk to your
healthcare provider about when you should be retested.

If the test result is positive: You will be notified by a member of the UI
Hospital Care Team who will link you to medical care and treatment. You
can take important steps to prevent spreading HIV to others and keep
yourself healthy for years to come.

If you do not get your test results by the time you are discharged
from the hospital, you can call the secure and confidential voice mailbox
(312.413.1510) and leave your contact information. UI Health staff will
call you back within 2 business days to inform you of your test results.

You can call 800-AID-AIDS (800-243-2437)
for anonymous testing locations and additional
HIV/AIDS information.

Treatment is available to all,
regardless of insurance status. If
your test results come back positive,
UI Health will help you get the right
resources, support and care you
need to live a long, healthy life.

HIV and STD online resources:
• www.hivtest.org
• www.aidsvu.org
• projectheal.uic.edu

Information about PrEP:
• Call the pharmacist at the
UI Health Family Center
for Infectious Disease at
• www.prep4love.com
• www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep

UIC provides care for people living
with HIV at the UIC Community
Clinic Network (UCCN). Call
312.996.8067 or visit UCCN.

HIV Resources

HCV Resources

Research and Publications

Meet the Project HEAL Team

Janet Lin
Janet LinPrincipal Investigator and Project Director
Janet Lin, MD, MPH, MBA
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, UI Health
Director, International Emergency Medicine and Health Fellowship Program, UI Health
Celina Garza
Celina GarzaAssociate Director of Research and Administration
Celina Garza, MPH
Visiting Research Specialist, Department of Emergency Medicine, UI Health

Mary Kate MannionAssociate Director of Programs and Quality
Mary Kate Mannion, MPH
Visiting Research Specialist, Department of Emergency Medicine, UI Health

Anjana MaheswaranData Manager
Anjana Maheswaran, MPH,
Visiting Research Specialist Project Heal, Department of Emergency Medicine , UI Health

Renyce Powell HIV Outreach Worker
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Renee Petzel Gimbar
Renee Petzel GimbarEmergency Services Project Leader
Renee Petzel Gimbar, Pharm.D.
Clinical Pharmacist, Dept of Emergency Services & Dept of Pharmacy Practice, UI Health

Michelle Martin
Michelle MartinHCV Treatment Liaison
Michelle Martin,Pharm.D., BCPS, BCACP
Clinical Pharmacist, Bobbie and Marvin Fink Family Liver Clinic, UI Health