About Me

Dr. Gail Barouh functioned as CEO of the Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. (LIAAC) since its beginning in 1986 up until June 2017 when she retired. Under her advisement, LIAAC has come a very long way. Nowadays, LIAAC works with over 1,100 people, those affected with HIV/AIDS and those closest to them.

Over the years, Dr. Barouh has been recognized for her community service efforts by the Nassau County chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Suffolk County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. She has also been featured in many publications. Dr. Barouh has served on many councils and boards across Long Island and New York including Health and Welfare Council of Nassau County, Nassau and Suffolk HIV Commissions and more.

Dr. Barouh started Long Island, New York’s first support groups for people close to someone infected with HIV/AIDS to offer them the support they need. In addition to the start-up she also helped with these groups for over 7 years. She has shared her expertise in this field with health care professionals across the country in seminars and in her nationally distributed book.

In 1997 Dr. Barouh assisted with the launch of BiasHELP, Inc., an association committed to reducing the repercussions of bias crimes. She has developed a diversity training which has been used across schools and large corporations. Dr. Barouh additionally acted as Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Network of Community Services, Inc. (LINCS), the corporate headquarters for both the Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. (LIAAC) and BiasHELP, Inc.

Since her retirement, Dr. Barouh has come to be a consultant to several for profit and non-profit organizations. Gail Barouh is a continued activist in the LGBTQ community, supporting for anti-discrimination, marriage and equality.

LIAAC Recognizes Hepatitis Awareness Month and National Hepatitis Testing Day

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19, 2018 is National Hepatitis Testing Day, an opportunity to shed light on this hidden epidemic by raising awareness of viral hepatitis and encouraging priority populations to get tested. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those at highest risk for viral hepatitis are: baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965); men who have sex with men; Asian and Pacific Islanders; those with HIV/AIDS; and injection drug users.

There are more than three types of Hepatitis. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are each caused by a different virus and is spread in different ways. Hepatitis A can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become life-long chronic infections. However, there are vaccines that prevent against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

In the U.S, an estimated 2.7 to 3.9 million people are living with chronic HCV infection. Statewide, an estimated 200,000 people are living with HCV infection. It is estimated that up to 75% of persons living with HCV do not know their status. According to the 2016 Communicable Disease Annual Reports from the New York State Department of Health, there were 562 Hepatitis C infections reported in Nassau County and 891 Hepatitis C infections in Suffolk County.

The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. Names its New Chief Executive Officer

Since its founding in 1986, LIAAC has been a staple in the Long Island community. On June 30th, after over 30 years of service to the community of Long Island, Dr. Gail Barouh, PhD retired as the CEO of the Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc. After Dr. Barouh’s retirement, the LIAAC Board of Directors asked, the Board Chair, John Haigney, to take on the position of interim CEO, to help the agency as it transitioned to new leadership over the coming months. In January 2018, impressed with his leadership over this time, the Board elected John Haigney to the position of Chief Executive Officer.

John Haigney has been involved with LIAAC for over 30 years. The Board is very confident in John’s leadership and are excited to see what the future holds for the agency with his tenure.

With a new year and a new CEO also comes a new organizational structure at LIAAC. We are happy to continue to provide HIV prevention programs such as SAMHSA CSAP Educated Choices Healthy Options (ECHO), SAMHSA CSAT Project Safety Net, CDC’s program Young Men who have Sex with Men of Color. In addition we continue our vital Health Homes Care Coordination. We are exploring plans to expand upon the services we currently provide. LIAAC has been known for its innovative practices and for being on the forefront of current public health trends. We look forward to a bright and promising future.

Countdown to World AIDS Day 2017

Since 1988, World AIDS Day has been globally observed on December 1st to unite the world in the fight against HIV. It was created to show support for people living with HIV and commemorate those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. This year’s theme is “Increasing Impact Through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.” Working together with other organizations and the public, we can put an end to HIV/AIDS. Please join us in spreading this message of hope and determination on social media by using the hashtag #WAD2017.

There are an estimated 36.7 million people living with HIV in the world, including an estimated million people in the United States. Closer to home, New York State reported 111,933 HIV and AIDS cases in their HIV/AIDS Annual Surveillance Report For Cases Diagnosed Through December 2015. According to the same report, there were 5,685 individuals living HIV/AIDS in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Just looking at the numbers, it is easy to see why World AIDS Day is important. HIV/AIDS is not a burden of past generations; the virus continues to affect a significant part of our communities and not just the infected, but their friends and family as well.

LIAAC recognizes that to end the epidemic globally and locally, we must all unite together and compound our efforts in this fight. This is why throughout the month of November, leading up to World AIDS Day, we are launching a social media campaign that will spotlight different organizations that contribute to the battle against HIV/AIDS and the stigma that surrounds it. During the week before World AIDS Day, we will also be honoring our employees on social media, by posting their thoughts about working in the HIV/AIDS field and how they are working hard to end the epidemic.                                               

LIAAC will also be hosting and participating in several World AIDS Day events throughout Long Island during the last week in November to World AIDS Day on December 1st. During those events, we will be providing free HIV education and testing services for those in attendance. For dates and times, visit our events tab on Facebook.

For more information please call our hotline at 1-877-865-4222.

A Message from the Board

On June 30th, Gail Barouh retired as CEO of LIAAC. The Board of Directors of LIAAC thanks Gail for over 30 years of service to the community of Long Island and wishes her a fulfilling and happy retirement. But we also have to express our sadness because part of the essential heart of LIAAC leaves with her. It’s hard to imagine LIAAC without Gail’s presence. For over 30 years she has been the animating spirit of the agency. LIAAC will continue to thrive and evolve in exciting new directions (thanks largely to the structures she has built), but it will deeply miss Gail’s creative and insightful leadership.

I first worked with Gail during the searing early days of the AIDS epidemic and personally witnessed her clarity and courage under fire. There was a lot of confusion, fear and shame at the time. She brought clear vision and a plan for an agency that could help thousands of desperate Long Islanders. She also brought confidence – one of the most important elements of leadership. In meetings with community leaders, with staff, with people living with HIV/AIDS, with their families, she radiated a quiet, determined confidence. In the midst of a great deal of despair, she offered practical ways to lessen the suffering. She didn’t minimize the problems we faced, but constantly expressed the belief that if we worked together we could begin to make things better.

It has often been said that it’s relatively easy to start an enterprise but very hard to keep it going (fiscally and programmatically) year after year. Well, it wasn’t easy to start LIAAC, but it really wasn’t easy to build it into a viable and effective agency. But that’s precisely what Gail did for over 30 years. She assembled focused teams and step-by-step built an agency that has become a leader in both community-based care for people living with HIV and community-based prevention. There were a great many obstacles – prejudice and fear were two of the worst – but LIAAC, under Gail’s leadership, consistently and creatively met the challenges of an evolving epidemic. When a volunteer force and a buddy system met the needs of the time, that’s what LIAAC became good at. When targeted case management was needed, LIAAC provided it. When a mobile-outreach testing program was needed for prevention, LIAAC became a leader in mobile-outreach. Potential problems were often on LIAAC’s radar well before many acknowledged them. The Hepatitis C crisis is an example.

If you were to ask Gail what she loved most about the work, my bet would be on the time she spent leading family support and bereavement groups. For years she helped hundreds of families who were struggling with sick and dying loved ones. She accompanied them over the long haul and then helped them grieve their loses. She was a genuine hero to these families. I know. I also worked with many of them. Gail was always ‘Hands On’ – and not just with support groups – she was the very opposite of a distant administrator.

It’s impossible to sum up 30 years of accomplishments in a few paragraphs. But it is possible to witness the end result of these accomplishments by looking at LIAAC today. LIAAC is as vital as it was in the first days of the epidemic. It has changed and evolved with the times, but remains, as always, the flexible servant of new challenges. LIAAC is a vital contributor to the well being of Long Island. The community is a better place because of this fine agency. The community is a better place because of the leadership and hard work of Gail Barouh. LIAAC’s ongoing work of service is her legacy. Thank you Gail.

John Haigney, Board Chair
For the Board of LIAAC