Local Ryan White HIV Planning Councils as interfaces between local public health department and HIV agencies
Background: Local HIV Planning Councils that plan and decide the use of Ryan White Part A funds comprise members from various HIV agencies and HIV-positive community representatives. The councils and its sub-committees meet monthly. Meetings are attended by key local Ryan White bureau staff. We investigated if these local councils played a role in inter-agency collaboration and communication with the local health department units.
Methods: Data was collected in Baltimore, Maryland over late 2010-early 2012. The purposive sample comprised twenty-one HIV/AIDS service agencies of which seventeen received Ryan White funds. Data for this particular question was provided by ten agencies; the rest were either unable to respond or were not asked the question. Key themes were identified and analyzed.
Results: Two respondents perceived that the Council did not affect inter-agency collaboration and another three did not respond categorically. Among the remaining, one expressed that collaboration could be affected negatively by more vocal members who could hijack priority-setting meetings. Another expressed that the Council had mixed effects on collaboration; the Council’s directive to not duplicate services could adversely affect collaboration among agencies that provide similar services. Another expressed that Council meetings enabled agencies to agree to lower standards which may be self-serving to agencies but did not match public health guidelines. One respondent expressed that Council meetings could potentially foster inter-agency collaboration since meetings bring agency representatives face-to-face and see that they were on the same “side”. The meetings also gave them opportunity to get valuable informal counsel from the local health department staff which helped in resolving day-to-day operational problems.
Conclusions: Agencies can use the informal setting and the regular meetings of the local Planning Councils to build collaborations. These meetings can also provide an interface for communicating with the local health department without the bureaucratic procedures.
Learning Areas:Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Identify the role local HIV Planning Councils can play in fostering inter-agency collaboration Describe the opportunities and limitations of using these avenues for fostering inter-agency collaboration and communication between health department and HIV agencies
Keyword(s): Public Health Policy, Local Public Health Agencies
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have studied and published about factors that affect collaboration among HIV agencies and local public health department units in the US. I have also been engaged in grant writing, program implementation and monitoring of collaborative community based projects and alliances on health and poverty alleviation for over 5 years in India and Bangladesh.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.