Consumers Committee Minutes, October 20, 2020



Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 1:00PM – 2:40PM

By Zoom Videoconference

Committee Members Present: Lisa Best (Co-Chair), Randall Bruce (Co-Chair), Atif Abdul-Haqq, Asia Betancourt, Paul Carr, Maria Diaz, Billy Fields, , Lawrence Francis, Charmaine Graham, Ron Joyner, Jesus Maldonado, David Martin (Consumer-at-Large), Michael Rifkin, Leo Ruiz, John Schoepp. Rob Walker, David Klotz (Acting Governmental Chair)

DOHMH: Melanie Lawrence,Jose Colon-Berdecia, Johanna Acosta

Agenda Item #1: Welcome/Introductions/Review of the Meeting Packet

Lisa Best and Randall Bruce, Consumers Committee Co-Chairs, opened the meeting, followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The minutes of the August 6th meeting were approved with no change.

Agenda Item #2: Updates

David K. congratulated David M. and Billy on their appointment to the Council.  Another consumer, Reginald Brown was also appointed, as well as 6 other new members.  Paul was elected the Council’s Finance Officer, and Billy has accepted the position of chair of the Rules & Membership Committee, bringing the total number of consumers on the Executive Committee to six. 

Melanie reported that the incentive cards have finally been loaded with funds and will be distributed electronically this evening to all consumers who have attended Council and committee meetings since March.   

Agenda Item #3: Election of Consumer-at-Large

David K. explained that the Bylaws specifies only that the consumer-at-large be a Council member elected by the Consumers Committee to have a seat on the Executive Committee.  The consumer-at-large has also taken part in leadership work of the Council and Consumers Committee.  There were two nominations for the position: David M. and Leo.  No other nominations were made.  Both candidates gave brief statements, followed by an online vote.  David M. was elected, with his term effective immediately. 

Agenda Item #4: Quality Improvement Conference

David K. presented an overview of the workshop that the QI conference sub-committee is developing.  The title is “Consumer Perspectives on Aging, Equity and Addressing Systemic Barriers to Virtual Services and Telehealth” and will focus on the challenges that PWH face, especially older people, accessing online services.  The conference will be on December 8th and the workshop will be 90 minutes.  There will be a presentation of background and data, a panel of consumers (including Leo and Ron) and a provider, and an interactive component to developing a set of best practices for providers to help clients overcome barriers to accessing telehealth and other virtual services.  There was some discussion about the conference with concerns raised about the length of the day, the ability of consumers to access the conference (e.g., data plan limits), the need to have the conference organizers put the Consumers workshop in the morning session.  The next sub-committee meeting is on October 27 and one of the conference organizers, Kristina Rodriguez, will be present to hear those concerns.

Agenda Item #5: Planning Council Bylaws

The Committee reviewed draft changes to the Council bylaws to formalize that the election of the consumer-at-large take place at the beginning of the new planning session at the first meeting after new members are seated, with terms ending at the next election.  Any vacancy that occurs during the year would be filled by a new election.

The Committee voted to make the recommendation to the Rules & Membership Committee.  The change will be brought to the Council for a vote in November. 

The Committee reviewed the current description of the role of the Consumers Committee in the Bylaws.  There were concerns that the role of the co-chairs and consumer-at-large were not described.  [The bylaws do not describe the roles of any committee chair.]   The RMC will address that issue.

The Committee approved a motion to table discussion of the Committee’s description in the Bylaws until the next meeting so that members have more time to review and discuss it.

Agenda Item #6: Public Comment

David M. encouraged members to register for the virtual US Conference on HIV/AIDS.

David K. encouraged members to participate in the first meeting of the full Council on October 29th.