Consumers Committee Meeting Minutes October 22, 2019


Tuesday, October22, 2019, 1:00 – 3:05PM
LGBT Center, 208 West 13th Street, NY, NY

Planning Council Members Present: Randall Bruce (Co-Chair), Lisa Best (Co-Chair), Atif Abdul-Haaq, Paul Carr, Maria Diaz, Billy Fields, Charmaine Graham, Ron Joyner, Malaya Mañacop, Jan Carl Park, Leo Ruiz, John Schoepp, Rob Walker  

Committee Members Absent: Asia Betancourt, Justin LiGreci, Monique Mackey, Jesus Maldonado, David Martin

NYCDOHMH:  David Klotz, Jose Colon-Berdecia

Others: Winston W., Michael M


Lisa and Randall, Consumers Committee Co-Chairs, opened the meeting, followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The September 17, 2019 minutes were approved with no changes.


David reported that the 2019 Council appointments were finalized.  Congratulations to Leo and Rob on their appointments.  A new member orientation was held on October 18th.  Aretreat for the committee chairs will be held on October 25th to set the agenda for the upcoming planning cycle.  The first meeting of the full Council is set for Thursday, October 31st, where the disabilities recommendations will be brought for a final vote.  The meeting will also feature a dialogue with Dr. Demetre Daskalakis (Deputy Commissioner, Disease Control) and Dr. Oni Blackstock (Assistant Commissioner, HIV Bureau) on the future of HIV.  Jan noted that this is an attempt to make the meetings less PowerPoint-driven.


Paul presented on the outline developed by the QI Conference Sub-committee for the Consumers Session to be held at the November 25th conference, “Meeting Client Needs for Oral Health Services”.   The session will begin with a panel of three presenters.  Angela Aidala (CHAIN) will present data from the CHAIN cohort on the high prevalence of oral health issues among CHAIN participants and the low utilization of dental services.

Dr. Judy Moy (Mount Sinai Medical Center) will present an overview of the importance of oral health care for PLWH.  She will discuss the link between poor oral health and negative health outcomes, poor nutrition, social isolation and stigma, and lower rates of maintenance in medical care, adherence to ARVs and viral load suppression.

Gregg Bruckno will discuss the barriers to oral health care from the consumer perspective.  Drawing on his own experience, he will discuss how dental problems negatively affected his health and quality of life, the barriers he experienced in accessing oral health care, and how he overcame those barriers.  The panel will end with a Q&A Session.

The panel will be followed by a workshop where the attendees will break out into small groups of 4-5 people.  A Consumers Committee member will be present in each small group to facilitate and record.

Half the small groups will brainstorm what intake questions are missing related to oral health.  Each small group will be asked to make recommendations on how DOHMH can develop validated measures questions that will: 1) assess a client’s needs for oral health services, and 2) help service providers understand the client’s barriers to obtaining oral health services.  These small groups will also develop at least three strategies for helping clients overcome the barriers to obtaining oral health services.

The other small groups will brainstorm what service elements should be included in the Oral Health Service directive that the Planning Council’s Integration of Care Committee will develop in 2020.  Broad issues will be elicited (e.g., what oral health issues have you/your clients experienced that can be addressed in a RWPA program; what characteristics would you like to see in a RWPA dental service provider?).

All small groups will report back to the full session.  Recommendations for intake questions will be referred to DOHMH BHIV Care and Treatment Program.  Recommendations for the Oral Health Service Directive will be referred to the IOC Committee. 

Fact sheets with oral health resources will be distributed to all attendees in the conference folder and sample oral health care kits will be distributed at the workshop (toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, instructions).

Suggestion from the committee included:

  • Limit the panelists to 10 minutes each so that there could be more time for Q&A
  • Ensure that related issues, such as oral health and smoking and Medicaid reimbursement are addressed
  • Create an evaluation form for people to fill out at the end of the session
  • Confirm that the resource list from the AIDS Institute is up to date

Paul and the sub-committee members were commended for developing what will be an exciting session at the conference.


An election for a term as Consumer-at-Large (ending August 31, 2020) was held.  The role of the Consumer-at-Large is to give consumers an additional seat on the Executive Committee and is open to any consumer who is an appointed Council member and does not hold another position on the EC.  While the Council’s Bylaws specify that the election should take place at the end of the previous session for terms starting Sept. 1st so that there is no gap in representation, there was a consensus that the Rules & Membership Committee should amend the Bylaws to allow for the election to take place after the new appointments are finalized.  This would allow newly appointed members to run, although in years when the appointments come late into the planning cycle there would be a gap when the seat is empty.  It was also suggested that the RMC consider making the appointment for two years (although if a consumer-at-large’s Council term ended after one year, an election would be necessary). Paul, Leo and John were nominated.  Leo formally withdrew his nomination and endorsed Paul.  Paul and John read statements about why they wanted to serve as Consumer-at-Large.  A vote was taken by secret ballot and Paul was elected.  Paul thanked the Committee for their confidence in him.

Agenda Item #5: New Business

There was a discussion about whether or not to continue providing a call-in number and speaker phone for those who are unable to attend the meeting in person.  It was noted that, while the meetings are public and all other committees and the full Council have a dial-in availability, this Committee is unique in that it is comprised almost exclusively of PLWH.  Jan noted that people who call into meetings are usually not full present and engaged.  It was also noted that all meetings are recorded and that this should be announced at the beginning of the meeting.  It should also be noted at the beginning of each meeting that the meetings are public, so that attendees can decide whether or not to disclose their HIV status. 

A motion was made and seconded to discontinue the use of a dial-in service.  The motion passed 12Y-1N.

Paul moved that the Committee formally request that the Needs Assessment Committee (NAC) begin the process of considering the need for a new service category in NYC of Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA).  The motion was seconded. 

EFA is currently funded in the Tri-County region, but open to all EMA residents.  It was noted that the NAC will need to assess how the Tri-County program is working and also consider the fact that there are other sources of financial support in NYC (Tri-County does not have HASA). 

The motion was adopted unanimously.

There being no new business, the meeting was adjourned.