Dr. Frank has been in the forefront of the HIV/AIDS epidemic since 1988. She has extensive experience in HIV/AIDS education of health care professionals with specific expertise in HIV early intervention, mental health, substance use, prisons, treatment adherence, and quality management.
A major focus of Dr. Frank’s research relates to her leadership as the principal investigator and executive director of the MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center (MAAETC), the Telehealth AETC Access 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, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The project aims to improve capacity building for individual clinicians, clinics, programs, and systems throughout the region. 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.
Dr. Frank is also 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 Professor, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Department of Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Public Health with secondary appointments in School of Nursing, Department of Community and Health Systems, the School of Medicine, Center for Translational Science Institute & Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies at UCIS.
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 Pitt Public Health from 2008-2011. She served as chair of the University of Pittsburgh Senate Governmental Relations Committee from 2012-2016.
She is an elected Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She is a long time member of the AIDS United Public Policy Committee, Washington, DC and extensively involved in advocacy for funding of HIV care and treatment, substance use and mental health care and services. She has been honored as the Distinguished Alumnus at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing in 2004. She is also honored as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Pennsylvania State University in 2001. She received the HRSA, HIV/AIDS Bureau Outstanding Performance Award in 2000. In 2002 she received the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, HIV Educator Award followed by the AIDS Nursing Leadership Award in 2008. In 2010, she was honored with the University of Pittsburgh, Chancellor’s Public Service Award.
She is 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 has 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. This is a current member and former chair of the American Public Health Associations, Jail and Prison Health 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. She serves on advisory committees of the STD Training Center at Johns Hopkins University as well as the steering committee for the National Clinician Consultation Center at the University of California at San Francisco and the National AETC Resource Center at Rutgers University.
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 addition to being the Principal Investigator of the HRSA-funded MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Centers, She is a Co-Investigator for the Fogarty International Award for training researchers in India. She has participated as Co-investigator for HRSA grants on interprofessional practice and substance use screening.