Consumer Committee Minutes March 19, 2024


Minutes of the


Chairs: Charmaine Graham, Marcelo Maia

Consumer-At-Large: David Martin

Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 1:00PM – 3:00PM


Committee Members Present:

Charmaine Graham (Co-chair), Marcelo Maia Soares (Co-chair), Raffi Babakhanian (Consumer-at-Large), Paul Carr, Billy Fields, Lawrence Francis, Yves Gebhardt, John Goldenbridge, Ralph Henderson, David Klotz, John Schoepp, Rob Walker

Staff and Guests Present:

Doienne Saab, Kimbirly Mack

Agenda Item 1: Welcome & Introductions/Moment of Silence/Minutes

Charmaine and Marcelo opened the meeting, followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The minutes of the February 26th meeting were approved with no changes.

David announced that the Council’s Community Outreach Coordinator Jose Colon-Berdecia has announced his retirement.  Jose will be invited to attend an upcoming meeting so that the membership can acknowledge his work.  David will send the job posting to the Committee. 

Agenda Item 2: CABs: Consumers Committee Vision    

Marcelo provided context for the work on client advisory boards (CABs). and develop a workshop to promote CABs at the annual providers meeting in July.  He emphasized that the reason for CABs is to improve the quality of services for PWH, which also benefits the agencies.  The Consumers Committee and Council put a lot of energy into devising CAB best practices guidelines and promoting them, but the Recipient ended the mandate that RWPA agencies have CABs without consultation.  While costs of maintaining a CAB and staff time are a consideration, the Committee will continue to advocate that the Recipient make CABs a contract requirement.  In the meantime, the Committee will work to revise the Best Practice Guidelines for presentation at the providers meeting in July.

Agenda Item 3: Revising CAB Best Practice Guidelines

The Committee reviewed the CAB Best Practices Guidelines originally devised in 2015 and made the following changes:

  • Introductory slides that provide context should include: why CABs are the ideal method for obtaining client input, that agencies should not be afraid of CABs, that CABs need technical assistance to succeed, and there should be avenues for communication between CABs
  • CABs should collaborate with agencies on recommendations
  • There should be accountability and a check list of tasks
  • A buddy system should be primarily for mentoring new CAB members
  • CABs should have a fact sheet with terms, definitions, etc. at orientation
  • Publicize CAB meetings among clients, including with fliers at clinic/service sites and through email/text, and MyChart for clients who receive virtual services. Utilize CAB members to do outreach/education.
  • Recognize member contributions
  • CAB leadership should be from among CAB members and have defined roles (e.g., facilitate meetings)
  • CABs should have bylaws governing policies and procedures
  • The staff role should be primarily communicating the CAB’s concerns to the agency and helping with administrative tasks (e.g., setting up meetings)
  • CABs should have a written process for resolving conflicts between a CAB and staff
  • Attendance requirement rules should be determined by the CAB and stated in the bylaws.  Members who cannot commit to attending or following procedures may be barred from future participation on the CAB.
  • CABs should develop their own bylaws/policies/procedures

David will revise the slides to reflect the above changes and the Committee will review the remaining slides at the April meeting.

Agenda Item 4: Expanding Consumer Outreach

Raffi discussed the need for expanding outreach to get more people involved in the Committee and Council, particularly young people, and to do outreach in new venues and among underrepresented groups.  The Committee reviewed the PowerPoint that Jose used for this outreach sessions.  There was a consensus that it should be revised to include information about the impact of the Council/Committee (e.g., Aging directive) and upcoming issues.  There was discussion on the role of the new outreach coordinator, who can work collaboratively with Committee members to perform outreach.  The importance of having Committee members present was stressed as a way to convey concerns directly.  The Committee also reviewed the consumer outreach brochure, noting that images should be more reflective of the target population.

Agenda Item 4: New Business/Public Comment

To avoid conflict with the next Quality Management Committee meeting, the next Consumers Committee meeting will be on Monday, April 15th, 2-4pm.

other members.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.