Executive Committee Meeting Minutes March 18, 2021



Monday, March 18, 2021, 3:30 – 4:45PM

By Zoom Videoconference


Members Present: Graham Harriman (Governmental Co-chair),Dorella Walters (Community Co-chair), Paul Carr (Finance Officer), Saqib Altaf, Danielle Beiling , Randall Bruce, Maria Diaz, Billy Fields, Marya Gilborn, Amanda Lugg, David Martin, Jeff Natt, Guadalupe Dominguez Plummer, Donald Powell, Claire Simon, Marcy Thompson

Members Absent: Lisa Best, Joan Edwards
Staff Present: NYC DOHMH: David Klotz, Melanie Lawrence, Jose Colon-Berdecia, Kimbirly Mack, Karen Miller; Public Health Solutions: Andrea Feduzi, Rosemarie Santos; HRSA: Sera Morgan; Parliamentarian: Joan Corbisiero

Agenda Item #1: Welcome/Introductions/Minutes/Public Comment

Mr. Harriman and Ms. Walters opened the meeting followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The minutes from the February 18, 2021 meeting were with approved no changes.  In response to a question from Mr. Martin, Mr. Klotz reported that a Roberts Rules of Order one-page cheat sheet was distributed to all chairs, the staff is in the process of buying a RRO guide for all Council members, and Ms. Corbisiero is available to conduct a training.

Mr. Bruce reported that he attended an informative webinar about the new monthly injectable ARV therapy.

Agenda Item #2: HRSA Project Officer Update

Ms. Morgan reported that there is no word yet on exactly when the full FY 2021 awards will be issued, but HRSA/HAB is still aiming for March 31st.  HRSA has two upcoming webinars: “Addressing the Unique Needs of Black Women with HIV” (March 25, 1-2:00 pm), and “Post-COVID-19 Syndrome: Clinical and Psychological Effects” (March 30, 1:00 – 2:30 pm).

The Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan Guidance is planned for release in summer 2021 with a due date in early 2022.  Part A and B recipients state and local health departments continue to utilize the existing Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plans and other jurisdictional plans (e.g., Ending the HIV Epidemic Plans), as applicable.  CDC/HRSA encourages recipients to incorporate their EHE plans with their integrated planning activities.  HHRSA/HAB Director, Dr. Laura Cheever, sent a letter to Grantees referencing some programmatic requirements that have been lifted or may be lifted.  The proposal to waive the 5% limitation on allowable carryover/UOB has not been formally approved as of this date.  The Ryan White Services Report (RSR, a client-level data reporting requirement that monitors the characteristics of RWHAP recipients, providers and clients served) is due March 29.  She expressed her appreciation for Ms. Plummer and her staff, who have been engaged in contacting sub-recipients on their review status.  Finally, HRSA/HAB is very interested in getting as much information as we can about vaccine hesitancy among people with HIV.

Mr. Martin added that the messaging around COVID vaccines needs to improve so that people understand that being vaccinated does not mean that you can’t be infected with the coronavirus and pass it to others. 

Agenda Item #3: Grantee Report

Ms. Plummer reported that the annual RWPA enrollment reports for FY 2019 (March 2019 – February 2020) are now available. The Care and Treatment Program’s (CTP) Research and Evaluation Unit (REU) produces these reports each year to provide a breakdown of clients by enrollment status, demographics and priority populations, by enrollment status and service category.

In addition to the RSR, two other conditions of grant award are due to HRSA in the upcoming months: 1) FY2020 Part A Annual Progress Report and Expenditures Report (May 29); and 2) FY2020 Federal Financial Report (FFR, July 30).

Public Health Solutions (PHS) recently completed its takedown process which includes a year-to-date analysis of contract spending.  Contracts that were identified for a takedown (contract reduction) demonstrated, through review and analysis of their spending trend to date, that they were not likely to spend their full contract amount. The takedowns are one-time reductions for the current year.  Subcontractors whose contracts were identified for a takedown had the opportunity to submit a written appeal to PHS including providing a detailed explanation of why they believed PHS should reconsider the takedown.  The appeals were reviewed, and final decisions made by PHS and DOHMH.  With the additional $50K for the new TGINCNB Resource Directory & Training Curriculum), the total enhancement to the ADAP contract would be $1,716,908 ($1,635,337 Base and $81,571 MAI), in accordance with the Planning Council’s Reprogramming Plan.

The Quality Management and Technical Assistance unit in the Care and Treatment Program distributed quarterly programmatic technical assistance memos to all funded programs to provide guidance about assisting clients with COVID-19 vaccination.  Programs were instructed that health education about COVID-19, counseling about vaccination, and patient navigation to help clients access COVID-19 vaccinations may be reported under their contracts.  December’s Power of Quality Improvement: Redesigning Systems to Address Social Justice and COVID-19 conference materials are now available. These materials can be accessed via the following link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bhfqSHfF0gjx1ZKA21ZwU9rbDRuBc-CE  Finally, in recognition of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the DOHMH Women’s Advisory Board (WAB) invites you to join a virtually on March 24-26 for the 2021 Women’s Health and Activism Summit. 

Mr. Bruce noted that pharmacy programs are still limiting vaccine eligibility to people over 60.

Agenda Item #4: Bylaws Amendment: Consumers Committee Duties

Mr. Fields presented a proposed Bylaws amendment to clarify the duties of the Consumers Committee.  That Committee met over the winter to review the section of the Bylaws that describes their duties.  The Committee felt that the current description was out of date and did not describe the actual roles and responsibilities of the committee.  The Committee wrote a revised version, which was approved by the Rules & Membership Committee and is being brought to the EC for approval.  The revised language reiterates that the core duty of the Consumers Committee is to ensure the meaningful participation of people with HIV in all aspects of the planning process.  It also clarifies their role in recruitment, engagement, support and retention of consumers in Council activities.  Mr. Fields read the proposed new language in Article VI, Section 5, IV: Consumers Committee, Section 1. Duties:

  • Undertake efforts to ensure meaningful and substantial involvement of people with HIV in all Planning Council activities.
  • Participate in outreach, recruitment, training and mentoring of consumers to enhance participation of people with HIV in Planning Council activities.
  • Facilitate communication between the Consumers Committee and other Council committees.
  • Provide consumer input on the work and products of other Council committees.
  • Work with Council support staff to ensure that consumers have the resources they need to participate fully in the planning process.

Mr. Fields made a motion on behalf of the Rules & Membership Committee to the Bylaws amendment as presented.  The motion adopted 15Y-0N by a roll call vote.

Agenda Item #5: Planning Council Chairs Update

Mr. Harriman reviewed the agenda for the March 25th Planning Council meeting agenda, which will include presentations on the Administrative and Quality Management budgets, as well as a review of the QM program.  This is the first QM presentation in a while and the expectation is to give the Council semi-annual updates.  Also, in the future there will be periodic updates from Terrance Gardet, co-chair of the HIV (Prevention) Planning Group, so better coordinate care and prevention.

Agenda Item #6: Committee Updates

Consumers Committee

Mr. Bruce and Mr. Harriman reported that the Consumers Committee has started its work to create a service directive to address the needs of older people with HIV (OPWH).  At Tuesday’s meeting, Moisés Agosto-Rosario from NMAC presented on the health and psychosocial needs of OPWH, which was a good follow-up to an earlier presentation from Jules Levin of NATAP that focused on medical issues.  The Committee also reviewed a timeline for the directive, including multiple presentations, data review and a virtual community forum in early June.  The shape of the directive is to be determined and may include guidance to enhance services for OPWH in existing service categories, or a whole new service category.  After the meeting, the Committee paid heartfelt tribute to former Council staff member Darryl Wong, who accepted an award from the group.

Needs Assessment Committee

Ms. Thompson reported that NAC held its first virtual forum on PWH with Serious Mental Illness, which included stakeholders such as the AIDS Institute and NYS OASAS.  At the March meeting, the Committee processed the information from the forum and planned the second part of the forum, which will take place on April 8th.  There was also a presentation from VOCAL-NY on an innovative model to find people with undiagnosed hepatitis C infection and linking them to care. 

Integration of Care Committee

Ms. Beiling reported that IOC, after receiving powerful presentations from Tracie Gardner and Octavia Lewis,  began line editing the revised text of the Universal Directive (formerly “master directive”), which defines baseline service elements across all categories.  The Committee will also consider reformatting the directive into an implementation science logic model. 

Priority Setting & Resource Allocation Committee

Ms. Giborn reported that PSRA has begun a year-long process to do an in-depth examination of the service portfolio.  As we know from the recently completed spending scenario plan, the ADAP allocation will not be available indefinitely to cover reductions in the award and pay for new initiatives.  In addition to the data collected annually in the Service Category Fact Sheets (enrollment, spending, client demographics, service units), PSRA will look at data on service effectiveness and impact to assess the portfolio and allocations.  PSRA began the process by going through each service category to identify potential data points for review (for example, engagement in care, viral load suppression), and sources of data (for example, eShare, CHAIN, existing reports from the BHIV Research and Evaluation Unit).

Tri-County Steering Committee

Ms. Diaz and Mr. Altaf reported that the Tri-County Steering Committee met last week and had a presentation from Wendy Patterson of the NYS DOH AIDS Institute on the annual HIV epi and surveillance update for the Tri-County region.  While the overall trend of new diagnoses continue downward, Tri-county has the highest per capita rate of new diagnoses of any region in the state outside New York City.  There was also a discussion on vaccine hesitancy and ways to overcome it (e.g., education, outreach), and how even some program staff have expressed reservations about getting vaccinated.  The Committee also discussed the need to recruit new members, particularly consumers and people who can represent the region on the full Council, as both Ms. Best’s and Ms. Diaz’s terms end this year.

Rules & Membership Committee

Mr. Fields reported that RMC met last month to consider rules governing meeting participation for when we are able to meet in person again.  Currently, the Bylaws allow for participants in all-electronic meetings to have full voting rights, however, members who participate by phone or videoconference at an in-person meeting do not count towards a quorum and cannot vote.  Eventually, meetings will be a hybrid of in-person and electronic.  RMC is working on an amendment to the Bylaws that will allow people who participate electronically at in-person meetings to have full voting rights.

The Committee noted the passing of writer, community leader and advocate Colin Robinson, who passed away from cancer recently.  Colin was a leader in the fight for the rights and health of Black Gay men.

There being no further comment, the meeting was adjourned.