Tri-County Steering Committee Minutes December 13, 2023



November 1, 2023, 10:05-12:00am

By Zoom Videoconference

Members Present:          S. Altaf (Co-chair), J. Palmer (Co-chair), V. Alvarez, L. Best, L, Bucknor, A. Contreras, L. Cyrus, M. Diaz, J. Gobler, L. Hakim, B. Malloy, K. Mandel, L. Reid, K. Scott

Members Absent:           M. Acevedo, A. Desir, J. Gago, A. Hardman, B. Malloy, A. Pizarro, A. Ruggiero, S. Thomas

Guest Present:                  D. Norman

Other PC Members

Present:                               B. Fields

Staff Present:                    NYC DOHMH: D. Klotz, D. Saab, G. Dominguez Plummer, J. Acosta, Ph.D., S. Kramer

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

Saqib A. and Doienne S. opened the meeting followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The minutes of the November 1, 2023 meeting were approved with no changes.

Agenda Item #2: Updates

Consumer Update

Maria D. reported that arranging consumer transportation to medical appointments is still an ongoing issue following the disenrollment of Medicaid beneficiaries.

Lisa Best suggested that the Medicaid transportation program’s online portal should be used to schedule consumer rides, given that request by phone have been a challenge. She also reported that to meet the gap in Medicaid transportation services, RWPA is currently providing most of consumer transportation.

Brooke M. suggested that the gap in transportation services is due to a limitation in who can be served outside of the Medicaid transportation programs catchment area. She mentioned that the programs prefer PWH to access transportation providers that are LGBTQ friendly and affirming.  

Saqib A. asked if the Recipient could invite a representative from the Medicaid transportation program to an upcoming meeting to discuss the process for requesting rides to. Johanna A. will coordinate this conversation with Doienne S. and David K for the Cmte.

Planning Council Update

David K. reported that the NY HIV Planning Council received presentations on the latest NYC HIV surveillance for the year ending December 31, 2022 and an update on HIV law and policy. The 2nd quarter expenditure report for GY March 1 to August 21 2023 from the Recipient was reviewed to give the Council a spending picture for the year. The Integration of Care Cmte. is working on a service category for those experiencing incarceration or recently released. The Priority Setting and Resource Allocation Cmte. is preparing for their GY2024 spending scenario plan. The Needs Assessment Cmte. is following up on the emerging issues identified in the 22-23 Needs Assessment. The Consumers Cmte. received a presentation on Data to Suppression and will provide feedback on the Salesforce database as a tool for managing an online, searchable directory of RWPA providers. The Joint Policy Cmte. is covering a wide range of policy issues impacting HIV, the Tri-County Steering Cmte.

Lisa Best mentioned that the Committee should discuss the TC housing landscape for the region in an upcoming meeting.

Guadalupe P. announced that the Recipient will be re-bidding the TC service portfolio for programs beginning in 2027.

Doienne S. announced that the CHAIN team is looking for volunteer reviewers to provide feedback on an upcoming TC Women’s Report. Three reviewers have volunteered to review the report.

Recipient Report

Johanna A. reported news from HRSA and other federal agencies, including a new report on EHE strategies to address health disparities, grants for behavioral health services for HIV prevention, and a CDC recommendation for routine Mpox vaccines for people at risk. The Recipient announced the awards under the Ryan White Part A (RWPA) NYC Housing RFP for programs beginning March 1, 2024. Two programs were funded for Short-term Rental Assistance, for Short-term Housing, and for Housing Placement Assistance. The agencies and amounts were provided in the written report. On November 1, the Recipient released a revised Referral Directory for RWPA programs in the NY EMA. The Directory aims to serve as a resource to help agencies and PWH in the EMA identify and connect with the various RWHAP Part A services that are available in the EMA. DOHMH also released a HOPWA RFP to fund 5 programs to provide permanent supportive housing in New York City to very low-income PWH and their families for a period of nine years (July 1, 2024, to  June 30, 2033).

On November 20th, the Quality Management and Program Implementation (QMPI) Unit, along with partners from NYS Department of Health’s AIDS Institute, hosted a peer learning session entitled “Quality Improvement Sharing Session for RWHAP Part A Providers and People with Lived Experience.” HIV Planning Council Meeting Minutes – November 30, 2023 Minutes prepared by David K. Both RWPA subrecipients and consumers were invited to join in the discussion, where programs presented QI projects and received feedback on implementation. The NY EMA Quality Management Committee met on October 24th, 2023, to discuss progress on quality improvement trainings as well other initiatives for determining and defining quality for the CQM program. Information was provided on the DOHMH World AIDS Day event, the Medicare open enrollment period, and an expanded hospital based DOHMH overdose prevention program.

Johanna A. also provided the 2nd quarter expenditure report for Mar 1 – Aug. 31 2023. She reported on the contracted amount for the grant spent by each program and showed that there was a $117,982 in savings for the GY. The report demonstrated which programs have either under or over performed in the GY.    

LaShonda C. provided an update that the medical transportation program is presently at 58% of the expended approved spending plan.

Agenda Item #3: Tri-County Spending Scenario Planning

David K. and Guadalupe P. presented the GY 2024 Tri-County Spending Scenario Planning. The Cmte. reviewed the GY 2023 uncommitted funds in the TC portfolio to decide which programs should receive a possible reallocation to help programs with meeting challenges in providing services due to this year’s reduction. Guadalupe D.P. reported that for the GY 2023, one legal service program rescinded their contract. The Cmte. discussed two possible reallocation options as a permanent enhancement for absorbing the additional funding of $117,982. One option was to reallocate all of the funds to Medical Case Management (MCM) services to help programs meet challenges providing service due to this year’s $117, 982 reduction. The second option was reallocating the funds among three programs that could absorb additional funding: MCM, Food & Nutrition, and Medical Transportation. Some Cmte. members mentioned that the first reallocation option would help with staffing, the influx of undocumented populations, consumer adherence and appointment concerns. The second option to reallocate across the three service categories was favored by those agencies who are experiencing an increase in clients served, food inflation prices, food pantry shortages, and the needs of the increasing undocumented population.

A motion was made, seconded and approved 6Y-0N to reallocate $117,982 in uncommitted funds to the Medical Case Management service category for GY 2024.

The Committee and staff thanked Lisa Reid for her many years of service on the Committee and his commitment to improving the lives of people with HIV (PWH) in Putnam County.

The Committee decided to take a winter recess with no meeting in January.

The next meeting will be the first week of February. Exact meeting date to follow.   

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.