Tri-County Steering Committee Minutes November 1, 2023



November 1, 2023, 10:05-11:30am

By Zoom Videoconference

Members Present:       S. Altaf (Co-chair), J. Palmer (Co-chair), V. Alvarez, L. Best, A. Contreras, L. Cyrus, A. Desir, J. Gago, J, Gobler, L. Hakim, B. Malloy, M. Piazza, A. Pizarro, L. Reid, A. Ruggiero, S. Thomas

Members Absent:        M. Acevedo, L, Bucknor, M. Diaz, A. Hardman,  K. Mandel, B. Malloy, K. Scott

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

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

Saqib A. and Julian P. opened the meeting followed by introductions and a moment of silence.  The minutes of the June 14, 2023 meeting were approved with no changes. New Committee member Juliet Gobler of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley was introduced.

David K.  announced that Doienne Saab will be the new staff liaison for this Committee, as he transitions to Governmental Co-chair of the Council and Acting Staff Director. Doienne S. expressed her enthusiasm for working with the Committee.

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

The Committee and staff thanked Graham H. for his many years of service as Council co-chair, Director of the HIV Care & Treatment Program, and a career of supporting PWH in NYC and beyond.

Wishes for a long and happy retirement were given to Graham H. and Michael P.

Linda B. announced that the Mt. Vernon Neighborhood Health Center’s name has been changed to The Westchester Community Health Center, the telephone number remains but extensions have changed. She also announced that their World’s AIDS Day Event will be held at the Grace Church at 1pm in collaboration with Linda H and the Westchester County DOH. A flyer will be sent to this Cmte. for further distribution.

Julian P. reported that the Medicaid 340b program transition is working well for providers.

Agenda Item #2: Updates

Consumer Update

Victor A. reported challenges with arranging consumer transportation to medical appointments following the disenrollment of Medicaid beneficiaries.

Michael P. suggested that Medicaid members experiencing issues should call or email his successor, Sara Servadio for assistance in resolving medical transportation and Medicaid recertification challenges. He provided the email contact for assistance and said that issues can be addressed on a case by case basis ( ; 845-808-1500 ext. 45201).

Lisa B. reported that Medicaid recertification changes are being made without members being notified. Michael P. said letters were mailed to members about the Medicaid spenddown and recertification changes.  

Lisa R. and Lisa B. suggested that members should elevate their concerns to patient navigators and support staff to assist with challenges to accessing services.

Diane A. reported that some members’ home addresses are being changed without notification by NYS Medicaid Transportation program, members who have this issue should reach out to their care managers to address the issue.

Johanna A. recommended that consumers reach out to Cornerstone Family Healthcare, a RWPA medical transportation program, which as a payor of last resort program can pay for transportation assistance that is not covered by Medicaid.

Planning Council Update

David K. reported that the new session for the NY HIV Planning Council has begun and that the Memorandum of Agreement between the Council and The Recipient was approved. The Consumers Cmte. is hosting a townhall on stigma, COVID-19 and policy updates. 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 Joint Policy Cmte. is covering a wide range of policy issues impacting HIV, the Tri-County Steering Cmte. members are encouraged to join.

Recipient Report

Johanna A. reported news from HRSA, including observation of the 33rd anniversary of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, as well as National HIV and Aging Awareness Day and Latinx AIDS Awareness Day.  Also, the biennial National Ryan White Conference will be held in August 2024 in Washington, DC with the theme of “Innovating to End the HIV Epidemic”. 

Proposals have been submitted under the RFP for Ryan White Part A (RWPA) Housing Services.  New programs will start on March 1, 2024 with a total of 16 awards anticipated in three service areas (short-term rental assistance, short-term housing, housing placement assistance). 

On October 2nd, the Recipient submitted the Grant Year (GY) 2024 Non-Competing Continuation (NCC) Progress Report to HRSA for the New York Eligible Metropolitan Area (NY EMA).  The NCC Progress Report solicits a response for the RWPA program, including funding for Base Part A formula, Base Part A supplemental, and Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI).  On October 12th, the Recipient received the notice of award from HRSA authorizing the carryover of unobligated balance in the amount of $1,865,823.00.  Amendments to contracts are currently in process based on the Carryover plan approved by Planning Council in June (enhancements to Food & Nutrition Programs, Medical Case Management, and Legal Services).

Subrecipients submitted annual quality improvement (QI) project reports in July and August 2023.  Staff within CTP’s Quality Management and Program Implementation (QMPI) Unit and Housing Services Unit provided feedback to subrecipients and assisted them in revising their projects as needed.  The NY EMA QM Program will be hosting a virtual QI Peer Learning & Sharing Session for subrecipients and consumers in November. Subrecipients will share updates on new QI projects addressing topics like coordinating consumer health care, engaging new participants into services, and improving consumer engagement.  The NY EMA QM Program continued its series “QI Tool Training for RWPA Service Providers and PWLE” with a webinar on August 16th. The training focused on process mapping and was facilitated by our partners at the NYS AIDS Institute (AI) Quality Program.  The QM Program also held two open forums in September, one for RWPA mental health services subrecipients and one for supportive counseling services subrecipients.  The groups discussed quality improvement project reports, the increase in migrants to the city and the role of RWPA services, and barriers to addressing common challenges.

Agenda Item #3: Committee Work Plan

Doienne S. presented the Tri-County Steering Committee workplan and the four major projects that will be covered from 2023 to 2024. 

Doienne S. solicited input from the Committee on potential topics of interest to include in the Cmte.’s planning year. Topics provided from members included addressing housing insecurity (e.g., no HASA in TC, creating parity with NYC-HASA for all of NYS, and the availability of HIV-specific housing), and food/nutrition insecurity and resources.

The next meeting will be on December 13th. 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.