Deborah Wade, WINGS program director, said it was Huangs decision not to do trials. She said U of L had dismissed a clinical trial nurse, leaving Huang the physically impossible task of handling several trials herself despite a heavy patient load.
SUPPORT FOR HUANG
Wade joined many colleagues and patients in praising Huang. She is one of the most knowledgeable HIV clinicians in the country, Wade said. We have been extremely fortunate to work alongside her. Were devastated.
Health workers elsewhere described Huang as Louisvilles voice for HIV care. Besides having a statewide reputation, she is recognized as one of the premier experts in this part of the country, said Frank Romanelli, UK associate professor of pharmacy.
Dr. Alice Thornton, project director of UKs Bluegrass Care Clinic, said Huang advised her when she sought Ryan White funding and helped her plan a state HIV conference.
She is a leader in her community at the local and state level, Thornton said.
Huangs patient Wenger credited her with keeping him alive by convincing him to take his antiretroviral medications two years ago. I love her, he said. I think its preposterous whats happening.
Wenger said he plans to stay with WINGS because he doesnt think he has a choice he wants a Louisville doctor, but is uninsured and believes it would be tough to find care elsewhere. If I dont like my (new WINGS) physician, Ill just have to suck it up, he said.
Bobby Edelen, 53, said Huang helped him manage his disease by starting him on a once-a-day drug regimen, shepherding him through illnesses and giving him the confidence to become an HIV activist.
Dr. Matthew Zahn, medical director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness and a U of L assistant professor, agreed Huang has provided a tremendous contribution to the city.
But he added: We understand the university remains committed to supporting the WINGS Clinic and serving its clients.
Reporter Laura Ungar can be reached at (502) 582-7190.