Alumna provides some of Hawaii’s only holistic HIV care

Alumna provides some of Hawaii’s only holistic HIV care

DNP-HIV graduate Christina Wang used her Duke education to ensure HIV patients in Honolulu had access to dynamic, nurse-led care following a colleague’s retirement.

DNP-HIV Alumna Christina Wang
DNP-HIV alumna Christina Wang

Christina Wang's journey into the world of nursing began at Georgetown University Hospital's Limb Salvage wound care clinic, where she was inspired by the nurse practitioners' dedication to patient care. Her experience there, witnessing the NPs develop significant rapport with patients and work tirelessly to heal complex wounds, sparked her interest in becoming a nurse practitioner herself.

Choosing to attend Duke University School of Nursing was a pivotal decision for Christina. She had moved to Honolulu in 2009 and was working at the Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center (where she has been Medical Director since 2017). After establishing a street medicine clinic in downtown Honolulu focusing on wound care, she realized the need to address complex infectious diseases such as HIV. This realization led her to enroll in DUSON's HIV specialty certificate program, aiming to provide comprehensive care for individuals living with HIV.

During her time at DUSON, Christina's favorite memory was the summer intensive program coordinated by Dr. Kara McGee. This program provided an invaluable in-person experience that consolidated her learning and allowed her to connect with other specialties, deepening her understanding of HIV care.

Christina credits DUSON for preparing her to advocate for health equity beyond individual patient care. She learned to understand the population level of care and how to advocate for patients' rights and needs at the state and federal levels. Currently, as the Medical Director at Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center, she is actively involved in healthcare advocacy, access, and equity.

For students considering the HIV certificate at DUSON, Christina advises that the program will not only reinforce clinical practice and evidence-based guidelines but also connect them with a network of colleagues across the United States.

Christina's recent professional achievements include receiving the Young Alumni Award from the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Nursing on April 9, 2024. This accolade recognizes her contributions and dedication to the nursing profession. Additionally, she is working on an in-reach program into prisons and jails through Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center, aiming to provide quality care for people with complex medical and social needs, including those living with HIV, HCV, substance use, and homelessness.

Christina Wang's profile reflects a passionate and dedicated healthcare professional who has made significant strides in advocating for health equity and providing care for the most vulnerable populations. Her journey from the wound care clinic to the forefront of healthcare advocacy exemplifies the impact that DUSON's education and training have on shaping leaders in the nursing field.

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