Tri-County Steering Committee Minutes April 14, 2021



April 14, 2021, 10:05-10:35am

By Zoom Videoconference


Members Present:        S. Altaf (Co-chair), J. Gago, L. Hakim, G. Harriman, C. Oldi, J. Palmer, A. Pizarro, G. Plummer, L. Reid, S. Richmond, A. Ruggiero, K. Scott, A. Simmons, S. Thomas  

Members Absent:         M. Acevedo, D. Ahmed, V. Alvarez, L. Best, L. Bucknor, A. Contreras, M. Diaz, D. Dominguez, M. G. Ferone, A. Hardman, P. Laqueur, K. Mandel, M. Piazza, D. Scholar, T. Seabrook, D. Smith  

Staff Present:                 NYC DOHMH: D. Klotz, J. Acosta, J. Colón-Berdecía, D. Ferdinand; Public Health Solutions: S. Gillis, D. Ortiz

Agenda Item 1: Opening/Moment of Silence/Minutes/Announcements/Public Comment

Mr. Altaf opened the meeting followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The minutes of the March 10, 2021 meeting were approved with no changes.  

Mr. Altaf reported that Adrian Guzman had a conflict and is unable to present, but a copy of his presentation will be forwarded to the Committee.  Also, remote access to all NYC government agencies has been down since the weekend, and Jacinthe Thomas from the DOHMH BHIV was unable to complete her slides on the Tri-County Ryan White Part A Enrollment Report, which will be presented at the May meeting.

Mr. Palmer reported that the 340B program, which allocates savings from drug discounts to community-based service providers, has been extended for 2 year.  Also, TOUCH is looking for a new manager for its pantry, which served over 1 million meals last year.

Ms. Acosta reported that DOHMH is hosting a forum on Provider Burnout on April 21st.  A flyer will be sent to the Committee. 

Agenda Item #2: Planning Council Update

Mr. Harriman reported that the final FY 2021 (March 1, 2021-February 28, 2022) award was announced, with the NY EMA receiving a 2.2% cut.  As per the spending scenario plan, the Tri-County Steering Committee’s allocation was preserved at its current levels, including the enhancement for Housing programs. 

The Consumers Committee is continuing its work on HIV and Aging.  At the April 20th meeting, there will be presentations on older women with HIV and models of care for older people with HIV (PWH).  A service directive will be drafted by the end of May for review at a community forum on June 4th.  

The Consumers Committee is also co-sponsoring a virtual community forum on COVID vaccines for PWH on May 4th (flyer to follow).

The Needs Assessment Committee held the second part of a virtual community forum on PWH with serious mental illness.  There was participation by NY State agencies (OASAS, Office of Mental Health, AIDS Institute), who agreed to work towards better coordination to more effectively serve this population.

The Integration of Care Committee is working to revise the Universal Directive, which outlines minimum requirements for all service categories (e.g., cultural sensitivity, trauma-informed care, etc.).  A focus in the new directive will be incorporating anti-racist and anti-stigma elements into all programs.

At the April 22nd full Council meeting, there will be presentations on youth and HIV, with a focus on getting more youth involvement in the planning process, and making RWPA services more youth friendly.  

Mr. Klotz reported that recruitment for membership on the Council and Steering Committee is beginning in earnest this month for terms beginning September 1st.  Consumers and providers from the Tri-County region are encouraged to apply (the Council is required to be a minimum 33% non-aligned consumers).  Mr. Colón-Berdecía has been working with TC community members to spread the word.  Barriers to membership will be eased as the Council is in the process of amending its Bylaws to allow for full participation (including voting) by phone or videoconference at all meetings, including in-person meetings, which the Council expects to resume in the fall.

In response to a question from Ms. Scott, Mr. Harriman explained that a recently released concept paper from PHS is related to a CDC grant to implement status-neutral interventions.  Only Tri-County is not part of the grant area for this funding.

The next Committee meeting will be held by Zoom on Wed., May 12th, 10am.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.