Friday, September 6, 2013

Big Picture - August 2013

This post is part of a monthly series. It provides an overview of themes and topics from the general meetings and committee meetings of the Ryan White Planning Council and HIV Prevention Planning Group. To view meeting materials and presentations, please visit

Ryan White Planning Council (RWPC)

As you might remember, the Ryan White Planning Council hosted its annual regional allocations meetings in July.  Each of the three regions in the eligible metropolitan area (EMA) did some contingency planning for the 2014 - 21015 fiscal year.  (See each region's plans in last month's Big Picture.)  In August, the Finance Committee and then the RWPC took a look at those plans and voted to approve them.  Once we receive the actual grant award from the federal government, the RWPC will use those plans to decide how to allocate the money.  You also might remember the service priority list that the RWPC approved in July, and how the RWPC agreed to go back and look at the list again.  After reviewing the new Part A manual, the Comprehensive Planning Committee updated the factors used for the priority setting list and ran the numbers again.  The RWPC ultimately approved the new service priority list for the 2014 fiscal year.  Last, but not least, the RWPC decided to eliminate term limits for RWPC members in order to ensure continuity through changes related to the Affordable Care Act.  RWPC members were previously limited to serving three consecutive two-year terms.  Current members are still required to reapply for membership every two years.

Some of the committee-level work has already been discussed.  The Comprehensive Planning Committee also talked about the potential need for technical assistance (in other words, training and support) for HIV providers, specifically about health reform.  In addition, they discussed family planning, and permanently moved their meeting date to the third Thursday of the month at 2 p.m.  Meanwhile, the Needs Assessment Committee continued its work on a provider survey on linkage to and retention in care for newly-diagnosed clients.  They've also had vacancies for both committee co-chair positions; in August, Tre Alexander and Gerry Keys were nominated, and elections will be held in September.  The Positive Committee talked about World AIDS Day projects, and will continue working on those throughout the fall.  (Note: The Positive Committee moved its September meeting to Monday the 16th at noon.)  Finally, the Nominations Committee talked about membership vacancies, committee attendance, and updates to the RWPC application.

HIV Prevention Planning Group (HPG)

The newly-formed HIV Prevention Planning Group held its second meeting in August.  Concurrence was major item on their agenda for the month.  "Concurrence" refers to a process required by a CDC, as a part of Philadelphia's prevention grant.  Basically, the HPG was asked to vote on whether Philadelphia's HIV prevention plan reflected the current HIV prevention system, and whether prevention resources were being spent in the geographic areas and on the populations of greatest need.  The HPG voted to concur with the plan.  They also talked about potential dates for a special training from the National Minority AIDS Council.

Points of Integration Workgroup

The Points of Integration Workgroup's discussion on linkage to HIV care for those newly diagnosed with HIV continued in August. They talked about the group's purpose and work plan for the coming months, and reviewed a draft treatment readiness tool that could be used by HIV testers and then provided to linkage coordinators.  They also learned that the previously-discussed Anti-Retroviral Treatment and Access to Services (ARTAS) model had been included in the new Philadelphia prevention system Request for Proposals (RFP).

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 to find out how to get involved. If you have questions, you can also call us at 215-574-6760.

Briana Morgan is a health planner and website coordinator at the Office of HIV Planning. You can also find her on Google+.

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