Dr. Frank has been in the forefront of the HIV/AIDS epidemic since 1988. She has extensive experience in HIVAIDS education of health care professionals; HIV early intervention; mental health issues and HIV; HIV in prisons; HIV treatment adherence; quality management.
A major focus of Dr. Frank’s research relates to her leadership as the principal investigator and executive director of the Pennsylvania/MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center (PA/MidAtlantic AETC) and the more recently funded, Telehealth AETC Appalachian Project (TAAP) aimed at reaching rural community health centers and underserved areas. The program provides HIV/AIDS-related training and technical assistance to healthcare providers in Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The purpose of this project is to increase the providers ' capacity to provide high-quality HIV/AIDS care within the region's health care system.
The Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, is the central headquarters for the project and funded since 1988 by DHHS, Bureau of HIV/AIDS, and the Ryan White Care Act is aimed at building clinical capacity for HIV treatment and reducing barriers to care by improving the knowledge and skills of clinical providers through education, consultation and technical assistance. She is the Director of the MPH-MIC program in IDM, member of the IDM admissions committee and serves on the advisory committee for the Peace Corps Master’s International MPH Program.
She is currently Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Department of Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Public Health with secondary appointments in School of Nursing, Community and Health Systems, the School of Medicine, Center for Translational Science Institute & Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies.
From 2011-2014 she served as the Secretary of the University of Pittsburgh Senate and Senate liaison to the Board of Trustees, Health Sciences Committee. She has served as a pro-tem member of the Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee 2008-2014 and Senate faculty representative from GSPH from 2008-2011. She is currently the chair of the University of Pittsburgh Senate Governmental Relations Committee.
She is a Fellow, American Academy of Nursing; AIDS United Public Policy Committee, Washington, DC; Distinguished Alumnus, University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing (2004); Pennsylvania State University, School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni (2001); HRSA, HIV/AIDS Bureau Outstanding Performance Award (2000); Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, HIV Educator Award (2002); AIDS Nursing Leadership Award (2008) and in 2010, the University of Pittsburgh, Chancellor’s Public Service Award. She has been recognized by national organizations, universities, and federal agencies for her leadership, expertise, and continued commitment to serving and improving the care for persons with HIV disease and the underserved. She has served on regional and national boards, and engages legislators, government officials, and other leaders to improve access to care, reduce disparities, and improve health of individuals and communities.
She serves on the steering committee of the HRSA-funded National HIV Quality Center. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Ryan White HIV Planning Council, and nationally as a Board member of AIDS Action Council in Washington, DC, and former chair of APHA’s Jail/Prison Committee, She developed and teaches a graduate course on HIV/AIDS and a course on Global Infectious Diseases. She has been recognized by national organizations, universities, and federal agencies for her leadership, ability, and continued and unyielding commitment to serving and improving the care for persons with HIV disease. She is currently a member of the AIDS United Public Policy Committee, Washington, DC.
In 2000, she received the DHHS, HRSA, HIV/AIDS Bureau’s leadership award for her work in health professions HIV education; in 2001 she was named the Distinguished Alumnus from the Pennsylvania State University School of Nursing and in 2004 she was named the Distinguished Alumnus from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing. She was recognized by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care in 2004 with the HIV/AIDS Nurses Educator Award and again in 2008 with the Achievement Award in HIVAIDS Nursing Leadership.
Dr. Frank has developed and intervened to increase knowledge and awareness about HIV disease and the associated stigma and discrimination in an effort to improve access to prevention and care, reduce disparities for minority and underserved persons, and build capacity to address the growing pandemic. She has contributed her own time to countless committees, organizations, and initiatives. She has served on regional and national boards, and engages legislators, government officials, and other leaders to assure that HIV prevention and care is a priority and that additional funding is secured to treat persons with HIV/AIDS. She has been involved in the development of legislative language for HIV/AIDS care. She has presented at national forums in developing new directions, policies, and initiatives in addressing this epidemic. She has provided expert testimony on the need for HIV education for prison health professionals to the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS due to her extensive experience in developing HIV education programs for staff and prisoners within Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections. Dr. Frank has been invited to assist nationally and internationally in the development and improvement of prevention and care services. She has assisted the HRSA, HIV/AIDS Bureau in assessing and providing technical assistance to HIV service systems throughout the United States. She worked in Bosnia to assist in the development of a Global Fund application to provide care and treatment. She has worked in central Russia and the Russian Far East in providing education and technical assistance to physicians and nurses at the Medical Academies to improve care for persons with HIV and tuberculosis. In 2005, she was one of the organizers and conveners of a conference entitled, "HIV/AIDS East of the Urals" in collaboration with the Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where Dr. Frank serves as a faculty member. The conference included a delegation of
clinicians and policy makers from the Ural Region and Siberia with the goal of research and training collaboration. . In 2006, she was invited to be among the clinicians at the I-TECH (International Training and Education Center for HIV) meeting that was held in Cape Town, South Africa attended by clinician educators from throughout Africa to develop and discuss clinical training approaches in resource-limited settings. Most recently she has been invited to serve as an advisor for a CDC PEPFAR health professions education initiative in Kenya.