Consumers Committee Minutes, June 29, 2021



Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 1 – 2:30PM

By Zoom Video Conference


Committee Members Present: Lisa Best (Co-chair), Randall Bruce (Co-chair), Asia Betancourt, Paul Carr, Maria Diaz, Billy Fields, Lawrence Francis, Yves Gebhardt, Charmaine Graham, Jesus Maldonado, David Martin (Consumer-at-Large), Michael Rifkin, Leo Ruiz, John Schoepp, Rob Walker

DOHMH: David Klotz,Melanie Lawrence,José Colón-Berdecía, Kimbirly Mack, Scott Spiegler

Other Attendees: Mayra Leto

Agenda Item #1: Welcome/Introductions

Lisa and Randall opened the meeting, followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The draft minutes of the June 15, 2021 meeting were approved with no changes.    

Agenda Item #2: Public Comment

Michael announced that the NYS AIDS Institute is holding weekly Statewide Peer Check-in Meetings on Mondays.  This is a great way to connect with PWH across the State and NYC is underrepresented.

Leo added that Gilead has very good trainings that are open to consumers.

Lisa reported that she attended a virtual NYS Primary Care and Prevention Conference, where there was an emphasis on LGBTQ+ youth.

Agenda Item #3: Service Directive for Aging People with HIV

David K. presented the draft revisions to the Directive based on the feedback at the previous meeting.  The following is a summary of the revisions and discussion:

  • The footnote defining “aging PWH” should be moved into the main body of the text.  Both the body of the text and footnotes of a Council directive are binding on the Grantee when developing the RFP.
  • In the beginning where studies on aging PWH are cited, there should be a reference to a study on perinatally infected long-term survivors.
  • The sentence on community involvement should read that it was “developed” rather than “designed” by the Consumers Committee.
  • The statement that services should be provided equitably was discussed as applying to a broad variety of characteristics (income, immigration status, gender identity and sexual orientation, etc.).  There is already language on equity in the Framing Directive that applies to all service categories.  Currently there is no way to track equity, but the Equity Team at the DOHMH HIV Bureau is working on creating both measures and tools for that.
  • In addition to employment of peers, they should be supported as integral members of the team.
  • There is a systemic issue, particularly in Tri-County of insurance inequity, where people fall through the cracks, even though Ryan White is meant to pay for services not covered by any insurance.
  • The directive will be reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee on July 22nd and the full Council on July 29th.  Any potential revisions can be brought to those meetings.  Also, when the Grantee and Public Health Solutions turns the directive into an RFP (which Council staff review for alignment with the directive), they issue a concept paper, which allows for comments.  Committee members will have a chance to review the concept paper and make comments. 
  • Providers will not have to he existing Ryan White contractors, but will have to be eligible to provide the services, which will fall under either Outpatient Medical Care or Referrals to Healthcare and Social Services.     

A motion was made, seconded and adopted 15Y-0N to approve the Aging & HIV Service Directive as amended.

The Committee was congratulated on their groundbreaking work.  This directive will be a national model and will be presented at conferences for years to come, starting with the International Conference on HIV and Aging in September. 

Agenda Item #4: Planning Council and Committee Member Appreciation Event

The following Committee members volunteered to help out at the August 6th picnic (2-6pm in Riverside Park): Randall, Asia, Lawrence.

The Committee brainstormed ideas for games at the event, including: card games, frisbee, trivia/quiz games, grab bag with gag gifts, and a fun fact guessing game.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.