The Ryan White Planning Council had an action (item)-packed meeting in July. They started off the meeting by approving their allocations (budget) for the fiscal year, since the eligible metropolitan area (EMA) finally received its grant award - even though the fiscal year started on March 1. Their first order of business was to approve budgets for the rest of the year. Then they updated a couple of formal processes, starting with the resource allocation process. The RWPC used to make advance plans in case the EMA got level funding, a 5% decrease, or a 10% increase. But, given everything happening in Washington, D.C., they decided to stop planning for a 10% increase, and starting planning for a 10% decrease instead. They also changed their reallocation process, which is what they use when a service can't spend all of its budgeted money. The AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) has to follow the budget set by the RWPC, but they've always been able to move up to 5% of the money in a service in or out without clearing it first. In July, the RWPC increased this to 10%, since there are so many changes happening. Then, after all of that, the RWPC voted on the draft list of service priorities that was created by the Comprehensive Planning Committee. The RWPC approved the list, but there were still some questions about the priority setting tool. Everyone agreed to talk about the list again at a future meeting.
Most of the work at the committee level in July was spent preparing for that one busy RWPC meeting. The Comprehensive Planning Committee met to go over their priority setting list and process; the Finance Committee voted on FY2013 allocations and updated the two process documents that they presented to the RWPC. The Finance Committee also talked about the upcoming regional allocations meetings to plan for FY2014 - more information on the decisions from those meetings can be found below. The Needs Assessment Committee didn't meet, and the Positive Committee got an update on everything happening at the RWPC meetings. They also learned more about the allocations process so they could better participate in those meetings.
Allocations MeetingsEvery summer, the RWPC hosts three regional allocations meetings. The Philadelphia EMA is made up of nine counties - four suburban PA Counties (Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks), four New Jersey Counties (Gloucester, Salem, Camden, and Burlington), and Philadelphia itself. The RWPC knows that each of these three regions has different needs, so they all budget separately. These allocations meetings are held far in advance - the July 2013 meetings were for planning for the fiscal year starting on March 1, 2014. This way, when the EMA finds out how much money they're actually getting from the federal government, there's already a plan in place.
This year, each region planned for what they would do if the EMA received level funding (the same amount as last year), a 5% decrease, or a 10% decrease. They also have the option to provide instructions to the grantee (AACO). The RWPC will vote on these plans and any instructions at their August 8, 2013 meeting. The decisions from the meetings are here:
Level-funding budget: Philadelphia chose to fund services at the same level under a level-funding budget.
5% decrease budget: Philadelphia chose to spread a 5% decrease proportionally across all service categories (based on their level-funding budget).
10% decrease budget: Philadelphia chose to fund supportive services at the same level as the 5% decrease budget, spreading the decrease proportionally across all other service categories.
Instructions to the grantee: Philadelphia would like the grantee to investigate the non-Part A funding streams available to each service category.
PA Suburban Counties
Level-funding budget: Due to funding shifts within the EMA, the PA Counties would receive an increase if the EMA received level funding. The PA suburban counties chose to spread the increase proportionally across all service categories.
5% decrease budget: The PA suburban counties chose to spread a 5% decrease proportionally across all service categories (based on their level-funding budget).
10% decrease budget: The PA suburban counties chose to spread a 10% decrease proportionally across all service categories (based on their level-funding budget).
Instructions to the grantee: None.
New Jersey Counties
Level-funding budget: The New Jersey counties chose to keep all services funded at the same levels in the case of level funding, with the exception of medical case management. Due to funding shifts within the EMA, New Jersey would receive an additional $43,463 if the EMA received level funding. The New Jersey counties agreed to place the entire amount of this increase in medical case management.
5% decrease budget: The New Jersey counties chose to spread a 5% decrease proportionally across all service categories (based on their level-funding budget).
10% decrease budget: The New Jersey counties chose to spread a 10% decrease proportionally across all service categories, with the exception of legal services, which would not receive a reduction (based on their level-funding budget).
Instructions to the grantee: None.
The new HIV Prevention Planning Group (HPG) met for the first time in July. Welcome to the first twelve members! The HPG took the place of the PPG, and will focus on gathering community input on Philadelphia's plan for HIV prevention. For their first meeting, the new HPG got a presentation on Philadelphia's HIV prevention plan from AACO's Coleman Terrell. Jen Chapman also talked about the concurrence process, explaining that the HPG would have to vote to either concur with the plan, concur with reservations, or not concur at all. The HPG also voted to keep former PPG community co-chair Jen Chapman in her position on the new HPG.
Members from both the care and prevention planning bodies come together for the Points of Integration Workgroup. In July, they continued their conversation about how to improve linkage to HIV care for those newly diagnosed with HIV. They talked about programs in other areas, including Washington state and Lousiania, which were addressed in a webinar by the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance. They also talked about the Anti-Retroviral Treatment and Access to Services (ARTAS) model. One of the major points from the meeting was a need to develop clear and consistent messages so that people being tested for HIV would know that they could access free care at their choice of provider if they found out they were positive.
This is a great time to get involved in community planning for the Philadelphia area. To learn more, follow the links in this post, attend one of the meetings listed on our calendar, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get involved. If you have questions, you can also call us at 215-574-6760.