Consumer Committee Minutes October 17, 2023


Minutes of the


Chairs: Charmaine Graham, Marcelo Maia

Consumer-At-Large: David Martin

Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 2:00PM – 4:10PM


Committee Members: Charmaine Graham (Co-chair); Marcelo Maia Soares (Co-chair); Raffi Babakhanian; Lisa Best; Paul Carr; Billy Fields; Yves Gebhardt; John Goldenbridge; Graham Harriman; David Martin; Natasha Martin; John Schoepp; Rob Walker; Steven Wilcox;

Staff/Presenters/Guests: David Klotz; Daniel Bickram; Doienne Saab; Kimbirly Mack; Melanie Lawrence

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

The meeting opened with introductions and a moment of silence.  The minutes of the July 18th meeting were accepted with no changes.

Agenda Item 2: Election of Consumer-at-Large    

The role and history of the consumer-at-large was described, which is to create an additional consumer seat on the Executive Committee.  The person in the position may also take on additional roles, such as working with the Consumers Committee co-chairs to support the work of the committee.  Nominations were called for and one received, for Raffi, who accepted the nomination.  Raffi made a statement about his background and his vision for the role, broadening the inclusion of PWH beyond the committee.  With no other nominations, Raffi was elected consumer-at-large by acclamation for a one-year term, beginning immediately.  David M. was thanked for his outstanding work as previous consumer-at-large.

Agenda Item 3: Consumers Committee Workplan

Melanie gave a brief version of the Planning Council new member orientation.  The orientation provided an overview of the Ryan White program and the roles and responsibilities of the Council. 

Melanie then presented a draft Consumers Committee workplan for discussion.  Topics for possible Committee focus include: updates on the Oral Health and Ambulatory Outpatient Services for Older PWH programs, CABs, benefits navigation, HASA housing issues, and youth issues.  In the ensuing discussion, Committee members discussed the need for data on CABs (how many programs have them, are they effective, what are organizations that do not have CABs doing to get client input, etc.).  An understanding of why CABs are no longer mandated would be helpful.  HRSA requires client input into programs but does not specify the mechanisms.  Information on the requirements for client input is needed.  The Committee can develop a data request to get a better understanding of the issue.

Agenda Item 4: Making Youth Connections

Jeff presented on engaging young people for planning, policy, decision making and community partnerships, particularly with LGBTQ youth.  Through research, it was found that youth want to be engaged holistically, with interventions targeted to the whole person.  Young adults with HIV (defined as between 13-29) have the highest proportion of new diagnoses and lowest rates of being in care or being virally suppressed.  Models of effective partnership with and empowering youth were described (although those usually did not factor in LGBTQ youth). 

Agenda Item 5: Public Comment There was discussion about how the meeting agendas are developed and the importance of respecting the time frame of the meetings.  The importance was stressed of the Committee leadership developing the agendas and leading the meetings.