Friday, November 6, 2015

Big Picture - October 2015

The Big Picture is back! This post is part of a monthly series that summarizes what's been going on in the Ryan White Planning Council, HIV Prevention Planning Group, and their subcommittees. To view meeting materials and presentations, please visit or check out our SlideShare account.

Finance Committee: The Finance Committee voted to allocate MAI (Minority AIDS Initiative) funds to Case Management and Ambulatory/Outpatient Health programs that serve minorities in Philadelphia.

Visitors from the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO) presented their quarterly spending report. After 6 months, this year’s Ryan White Grant is underspent by about 9%. In other words, the EMA has spent 9% less than the Planning Council’s total allocations for the year. Underspending is expected to decrease over the next 6 months.

David Gana was elected as Finance Committee Co-Chair.

New Member Orientation: 5 new members were invited to attend a RWPC orientation session on October 8th. At orientation, they learned about the roles and responsibilities of Planning Council members. They also got a rundown of what Ryan White is and how the Planning Council plays a role in the HIV planning process.

Planning Council: The Planning Council approved the MAI allocations presented by the Finance Committee. They also heard AACO’s underspending report, as presented at the Finance Committee meeting. The Planning Council approved the Retention Navigation Model developed by the Comprehensive Planning Committee, which is designed to keep people in medical care (see last month’s big picture post for more).

Tre Alexander was re-elected for a 2 year term as Planning Council Co-Chair.

Briana Morgan gave a brief overview of the OHP Epidemiologic Profile. You can find the Epi Profile, and an Executive Summary, on our website.

Comp Planning: The Comprehensive Planning Committee reviewed the guidance (instructions) for the next Integrated Care and Prevention Plan. The plan will describe the HIV epidemic in Philadelphia, what we’re doing about it, and our goals for the future. The Planning Council and HPG will be working together on the Integrated Plan throughout the next year.

Positive CommitteeThe Positive Committee elected Nancy Santiago as their new Co-Chair. Nancy leads a group called Huracán, which has brought Spanish-speakers to the last several Positive Committee meetings. Nancy hopes to represent the Latino community in Philadelphia.

The group brainstormed topics for future meetings. Some participants suggested HIV and aging, transportation, homelessness, and stress reduction, among other topics.

Nicole distributed a survey about transportation. The Planning Council is currently looking into issues that people are having with transportation so that these issues can be remedied in the future.

Needs AssessmentThe Needs Assessment Committee reviewed a transportation survey they’ve been developing for providers. The survey will be distributed in the coming months. Together, the surveys of providers and consumers will allow the Planning Council to address common issues with transportation.

HPGThe HPG continued talking about PrEP and its future in Philadelphia. Co-Chair Jen Chapman spoke about a recent journal article published in Current Opinion on HIV and AIDS (abstract here). The article covers the role of healthcare providers in introducing PrEP into the community. It describes the way specialists (Infectious Disease/HIV doctors) and primary care physicians can help get PrEP to more people. Promoting PrEP to doctors and educating them is key to getting PrEP rolled out in places like Philadelphia.

Two young men who take PrEP visited the HPG to talk about their experiences. They described the process they went through to get on PrEP. They also brought up problems they’ve had with getting their medication. The young men said they’d gotten both positive and negative responses from friends, and they’d come across others who don’t know what PrEP is. The group wrapped up by discussing how the Health Department will market PrEP to people in Philadelphia. 

Want to get involved? To learn more, follow the links in this post, attend one of the meetings listed on our calendar, or email If you have questions, you can also call us at 215-574-6760.