Sunset Park

Lutheran Family Health Centers appoints new HIV director

December 24, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Dr. Manel Silva has years of experience developing programs for HIV-AIDS patients. Photo courtesy Lutheran Family Health Centers

Lutheran Family Health Centers, a group of medical facilities in Brooklyn, has appointed a new director of its HIV program. Dr. Manel Silva has been tapped to head the HIV Network Services program.

In her new role, Silva will be responsible for growing the HIV programs for Lutheran Family Health Centers as well as providing leadership in the care of members of the LGBT community.

She joins Lutheran Family Health Centers from her previous post at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in Manhattan, where she served as clinical director of the Health Outreach to Teens program, specializing in HIV and transgender care for adults and adolescents.

Silva is a well-known speaker and advocate in a number of civil, health and human rights issues including: youth development, social medicine cultural competence, public health access, HIV, domestic violence, gender issues and sex education, according to officials at Lutheran Family Health Centers.

In 2006, Silva founded TruthAIDS, a nonprofit agency in New York that seeks to address the causes of HIV transmission. She also served as an advocate in HIV care among young women of color in the Bronx. In 2009, Silva founded and was appointed director of the National Physicians Alliance for New York, an organization that creates research and education programs to foster active engagement of physicians with their communities. The group’s goal is to achieve high quality, affordable health care for all.

Silva is board certified in internal and adolescent medicine. She earned her medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia, where she also founded the college’s first chapter of American Medical Women’s Organization. She completed her internal medicine residency at Montefiore’s Social Medicine Program and an adolescent fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital. Silva has a master’s degree in public health, with a focus on international health and an emphasis in community health education, from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. She has a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology, and a bachelor’s degree in development studies, from the University of California at Berkeley.

Silva has served with the Westchester County Department of Corrections providing primary care and emergency services to incarcerated patients, the Children’s Aid Society of New York where she provided primary care services to adolescent patients in the Bronx and Harlem, and the Connect to Protect project in the Bronx, helping to reduce HIV/AIDS rates among young women of color.

Based in Sunset Park, Lutheran Family Health Centers is a federally qualified community-based ambulatory health care system affiliated with Lutheran HealthCare, the umbrella organization that runs the hospital Lutheran Medical Center at 150 55th St. Lutheran Family Health Centers is  made up of nine full-time community health centers, 29 school-based health centers and community programs, including three WIC programs, adult and family literacy programs, three child care centers and a family wellness center.

The network is the primary medical care provider for more than 100,000 people in Brooklyn.