Needs Assessment Committee Meeting November 10th, 2022

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Members Present: Emma Kaywin (Co-chair), Marcy Thompson (Co-chair), Fay Barrett, Reginald Brown, Billy Fields, Erin Harned, Graham Harriman, Beth Hribar, Jennifer Irwin, David Martin, Karen McKinnon, John Schoepp, Marcy Sedlacek, Claire Simon

Other Council Member Present: Marcelo Maia

DOHMH, PHS, NYS, CHAIN and Other Staff Present: Daniel Bickram, Adrianna Eppinger-Meiering, Scott Spiegler, Nadine Alexander, Connor Reynolds, Maiko Yamagida

Agenda Item #1: Welcome/Roll Call/Moment of Silence/Minutes:

Ms. Thompson and Mx. Kaywin opened the meeting, welcoming the new and returning members, stressing the importance of this committee in learning about data and how to use that for planning.  They noted the many needs assessment activities in recent years that led to the development of new services, such as oral health.  Other attendees made introductions, followed by a moment of silence.  The minutes of the June 9th meeting were approved with no changes.

Agenda Item #2: Needs Assessment Review

Mr. Harriman reviewed the work to date on the Comprehensive Needs Assessment.  He outlined the role of the Committee: manage all required needs assessment activities, which includes all aspects of data gathering and analysis, including review of epidemiological data; estimate and assess unmet need and service gaps; ensure that the other committees receive objective information, in user-friendly formats, required to fulfill their duties.  HRSA requires that the EMA periodically submit a Comprehensive Needs Assessment, which this Committee leads in collaboration with other committees.

HRSA defines a Comprehensive Needs Assessment as a process of collecting information about the needs of people with HIV (PWH), both those receiving care and those not in care.  It involves gathering data from multiple sources and the information is then analyzed to identify what services are needed and by which PWH groups.  It can tell you what PWH need to enter, return to, or stay in HIV medical care and reach viral suppression; and whether the system of care is meeting those needs.  The last Needs Assessment was submitted to HRSA in 2014 and was a collaboration between NAC and DOHMH.  It provided key takeaways, information gaps, and recommendations organized around 4 chapters: describing the HIV population, policy and funding landscape, service needs and utilization, and accessibility and quality of care.  A number of recommendations from that Needs Assessment were achieved, such as development of a service addressing the needs of aging PWH, inclusion of peer navigation in multiple service categories, and multiple CHAIN reports.

The required components of a Needs Assessment are: 1) Epidemiological Profile, 2) Resource Inventory; 3) Profile of Provider Capacity, 4) Assessment of Service Needs and Gaps.  The epi profile provides data on the number and characteristics of people in a specific geographic area who have been diagnosed with HIV and estimates of those who are diagnosed but not in care and those who are unaware of their status.  The Resource Inventory is a listing and description of the providers of HIV-related services, types of services they provide, where, and to whom (RW and non-RW providers).  The Profile of Provider Capacity is information on the capacity of service providers to meet the needs of PWH, including availability, accessibility, and appropriateness of services.  The Assessment of Service Needs and Gaps is Information about the service needs of PWH and barriers to obtaining these services. 

In 2022, the Committee formed four workgroups to focus on each of the components.  The workgroups’ findings were compiled for a consultant to draft the full Needs Assessment.  Data sources for the workgroups included: NYC Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Plan, Situational Analysis, NYC HIV Epi and Surveillance Data, eSHARE (data on enrolled RWPA clients), surveys (CHAIN, other), and one-time studies (e.g., focus groups on youth and older PWH). 

A consultant had been identified and was prepared to attend this meeting and begin the process of drafting the Needs Assessment, but just today we were informed by a DOHMH procurement office that we may not be able to hire that consultant.  Formerly, Council procurement went through Public Health Solutions (PHS), but since the master contract with PHS was renewed last year, the Council has to go through the DOHMH internal procurement process, which involves many roadblocks and delays.  Mr. Harriman stated that he is going to try to get the original contract in place.  The Needs Assessment is due to HRSA in April and one way or another a Needs Assessment will be developed.  Committee members offered to assist in any way possible. 

Mr. Harriman sent links to the 2014 Needs Assessment, CHAIN reports, etc.  Also, he will send the summaries of three of the four workgroups (the fourth – Resource Inventory – was waiting for an inventory from the AETC survey).   

Agenda Item #3: Public Comment

Mr. Maia reported that there was a recent webinar on overdose prevention centers, which have already prevented over 600 overdoses in NY state. 

Mr. Schoepp announced that Dr. Cristina Rodriguez-Hart is hosting a mental health webinar.

Mx. Kaywin reported that the Trans Survey is still open and encouraged people to promote participation in it, as it will generate a lot of important data.

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned.