Executive Committee Meeting Minutes January 21, 2021



Monday, January 21, 2021, 3:30 – 4:45PM

By Zoom Videoconference


Members Present: Graham Harriman (Governmental Co-chair),Dorella Walters (Community Co-chair), Danielle Beiling, Lisa Best, Maria Diaz, Joan Edwards, Billy Fields, Marya Gilborn, Amanda Lugg, David Martin, Guadalupe Dominguez Plummer, Claire Simon

Members Absent: Randall Bruce, Paul Carr, Jeff Natt, Donald Powell, Andrea Straus, Marcy Thompson
Staff Present: NYC DOHMH: Melanie Lawrence, Scott Spiegler, Kimbirly Mack, Karen Miller; Public Health Solutions: Bettina Carroll, Kathy Fitzpatrick, Rosemarie Santos; HRSA: Sera Morgan; Joan Corbisiero (Parliamentarian)

Agenda Item #1: Welcome/Introductions/Minutes

Mr. Harriman and Ms. Walters opened the meeting followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The minutes from the December 10, 2020 meeting were with approved no changes.

Mr. Harriman and Ms. Walters noted that, per Roberts Rules of Order, any motions must be germane to the agenda.  Any new business that is proposed will be taken up at a future meeting.

Agenda Item #2: HRSA Project Officer Update

Ms. Morgan reported that HRSA/HAB Director Dr. Cheever sent letter on how EMAs can spend on clients.  Second deputy administrator hired to help.  Partial Part A awards about to be announced, 34% of the previous year’s formula award and 22% of the MAI award.  HAB Webinar including COVID data report.  She also acknowledged how hard the Grantee staff is working given the added stress of COVID.   

Agenda Item #3: Grantee Report

Mr. Spiegler reported that the US HHS released a National Strategic Plan to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis as a Public Health Threat.  HHS is also hosting a stakeholder webinar on federal Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) implementation on January 27th.  The 2020 RW Conference workshop videos are posted on the targethiv.org website.

The DOHMH Division of Disease Control executed a new master contract that includes administration of the RWPA sub-contracts, awarded to Public Health Solutions for 9 years.  The PSS TINCNB concept paper was released to be followed by a town hall.  The RFP will be released on Feb. 3rd, followed by a pre-proposal conference on Feb. 17th

Dr. Anisha Gandhi will return to her role as BHIV Director of Racial Equity, and Dr. Sarah Braunstein is the new Acting Assistant Commissioner.  She has been with BHIV for over 10 years as Director of HIV Epidemiology.  BHIV’s COTA unit has funded three organizations under the RFP “Building Equity: Intervening Together for Health” (Be: Into Health), which will implement interventions for priority Black and/or Hispanic populations (youth, women, over 50, MSM).   

COVID vaccines are available in NYC, but supply is limited.  It will be administered in phases, including at new NYC point of dispensing sites (PODs).

Agenda Item #4: Planning Council Bylaws Amendment

Mr. Fields explained that the Rules & Membership Committee (RMC) has been reviewing the Council’s Bylaws to see where they can strengthened.  One area where the Bylaws is silent is the roles and responsibilities of sub-committee chairs.  The Bylaws discuss the appointment and terms of service of sub-committee chairs and state that all committee meetings are run according to Robert’s Rules of Order (RRO).  The Bylaws do not, however, describe the chairs’ roles and responsibilities.  RMC thinks that broad guidance should be added to the Bylaws so that chairs are clear about their roles in helping set the agenda and presiding over meetings.  Mr. Harriman read the proposed language approved by RMC.  Mr. Martin raised a concern that chairs need to assistance to be well versed in RRO.  Ms. Corbisiero offered to create a brief guide for the chairs.  Ms. Best suggested that chairs receive a yearly refresher on RRO and that materials be posted on the Council website.  Ms. Beiling added that chairs can get efficient support from their staff liaisons.  Mr. Harriman said that staff will work on operationalizing this. 

Mr. Fields made a motion on behalf of the Committee to accept the amendment as presented.  The motion was approved 13Y-0N.

Agenda Item #5: Process for EHE Plan Concurrence

Mr. Harriman discussed the process for the Council to review and vote on concurrence with the EHE plan.  The plan and a link to a feedback tool was sent to the Council.  All members are strongly encouraged to read the plan and fill out the form.  The plan will be presented to the Council next week, followed by 20 minutes of Zoom breakout rooms, after which the body will come together again.  The role of the moderator is to solicit feedback and discussion on the plan, including identifying strengths and weaknesses.  The following Executive Committee members volunteered to serve as breakout moderators: Ms. Beiling, Mr. Fields, Ms. Gilborn, Mr. Martin, Ms. Walters.

Agenda Item #6: Committee Updates

Consumers Committee

Ms. Best reported that the Consumers Committee is beginning the work of developing a service directive to address the needs of Older PWH.  The Committee received a presentation on OLWH from Jules Levin of NATAP and a presentation on the service directive development process from Mr. Harriman.  There will be a review of the data, as well as additional information from subject matter experts.  There will be a community forum in the spring to get additional community feedback. 

Needs Assessment Committee

Ms. Lugg reported that NAC is continuing its work on serious mental illness (SMI) and how the RWPA portfolio addresses it.  There will be a virtual town hall in February to energize stakeholders (including NYC and NYS agencies) and define collaborative agreements that will define how RWPA programs can address the needs of this population.

Integration of Care Committee

Ms. Beiling reported that IOC decided to review the master service directive, which applies to all service categories and was last edited in 2016.  Individual service category directives are pushed back as the pandemic pushed back the timing of re-bidding of the portfolio.  Topics to be addressed include: stigma, consumer-focused research, gender affirming, intersectionality, and anti-racism. 

Priority Setting & Resource Allocation Committee

Ms. Gilborn reported that PSRA has been working on its annual spending scenario process to develop a methodology for implementing a possible reduction to the grant award.  We do this every year so that the Grantee can implement the award as soon as it’s received from HRSA.  Ryan White is flat funded nationally for FY 2021, so we expect to see a similar reduction to formula funding as in recent years (in the range of 1.5 – 2%).  Also, the second COVID stimulus did not include any funds for Ryan White, and so we will not see a continuation of the $1M CARES Act funding that we received this year.  PSRA’s goals for its spending scenario are: 1) to keep most services funded at current funding levels, even in the event of a cut to the award; 2) to continue enhancements to programs that received additional funds this year to respond to COVID (Housing, Emergency Financial Assistance), and 3) to fund new initiatives approved by the Council (Psychosocial Support Services for TGINBNC individuals).  Last week, PSRA received comprehensive presentations from DOHMH staff on Housing and Emergency Financial Assistance.  We also heard from Julie Vara, the State ADAP Director, who confirmed that ADAP can absorb a reduction that will cover enhancements, new initiatives and a cur to the award.  Next month, we will hear from Public Health Solutions about potential savings from reductions in the carrying costs of programs.  This is in addition to a savings of $1.2M from the Council’s elimination of Non-medical Case Management (General Population), approved last summer.  We anticipate that we will have a final spending scenario for the February EC and PC meetings so that the plan is in place for the start of the new fiscal year on March 1st.

Tri-County Steering Committee

Ms. Diaz reported that the Tri-county Steering Committee met last week and received a detailed update on Housing programs in the region.  Eleonora Jimenez-Levi, Acting Director of the BHIV Housing Unit, described the category’s high spending rate in FY 2020, including with the modest CARES Act enhancement.  She also presented information gleaned from program data that demonstrates that the demand for the service remains very high.  In order to continue serving the newly enrolled clients, and in order to serve some additional households, the Committee will request that PSRA enhance the service category in FY 2021 by $160,000.  The Committee is also requesting that other service categories be held harmless in the case of a reduction in the grant award, given ADAP’s ability to absorb a cut.

Mr. Harriman commended all the Committees for their outstanding work during the pandemic.  Mr. Fields and Ms. Walters thanked the Committee for sticking with the Council through all the difficulties of the pandemic.  Members expressed their hopefulness for the new administration in Washington.

There being no further comment, the meeting was adjourned.