ACT UP Williamsport is direct advocacy organization for people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies.
Our second meeting will be
Thursday, July 28
at 7:00 pm
at New Covenant United Church of Christ, 202 E. Third Street, Williamsport. For more information, please check out ACT UP Williamsport's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ACTUPWILLIAMSPORT/
CRISIS AT AIDS RESOURCE
Urgent Call to Action!
AIDS Resource is under attack!
AIDS Resource, and our neighboring AIDS Service Organization Caring Communities for AIDS, are facing an unprecedented attack. In a stunning and unexpected move, funds to provide HIV care services are being moved from AIDS Resource and Caring Communities to Clarion State University (150-200 miles away from our respective agencies).
Pennsylvania's HIV/AIDS funding structure clearly needed updated but we (along with most other funders) believed the PA Department of Health when they announced they were going issue a public bid (RFA) and allow fiscal agents across the state to propose taking over other fiscal agents in an attempt to consolidate administrative costs (which is a great thing). Two fiscal agents publicly stated their intent to propose proving service to our region. Both of those agencies, it should be pointed out, intended to consolidate regional administrative costs without dismantling the agencies who actually provide care.
In a stunning and inexplicable move, the PA Department of Health is allowing our fiscal agent (North Central District AIDS Coalition) to make an end run around the public RFA process and simply give their contract to another fiscal agent.
This move was done without public bid or comment and was decided without speaking to the AIDS Resource or Caring Community staff members, board members, volunteers, community members or, most importantly, clients. Further the Department of Health has informed us that this is "not a decision that may be appealed."
We are appealing to legislators and asking them to stop this transfer until the contract has been made available for bid and stakeholders are given the opportunity to weigh in.
How can you help?
Sign the petition here.
Share the petition on your social media and forward it to anyone you know who is interested in health & human services, HIV/AIDS, LGBT issues or social justice.
Write to your legislators (you can find them here). Contact us for a sample letter you can send or you can copy and paste the information from the petition referenced above.
Now is the time we must work together to ensure these life-saving services stay in our community.
If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
For more information about the current climate and financial stability of Clarion University, click here.
Below you can review two documents: the first is a document from HRSA detailing their 2012/2013 site visit to the Department of Health and their recommendations and the second is DoH's response. Of particular concern are the following passages:
From the HRSA report: See Full Report Click Here
Page 13: "The long-term goal for the Part B program is to move toward the creation of a competitive bid process..."
Page 15: "Ensure that any changes in the Part B Program structure ensure increased local community input, especially by consumers."
Page 16: "The new model may include a request for proposal process..."
Page 17: is a diagram of sample models of what the new structure may look like. Although it does say, "This is not an exhaustive list," it is interesting to note that the combination of the NorthCentral region and the NorthWest region is not one of HRSA's top 4 choices.
From the DoH response: See Full Report Click Here
Page 14: "Grantee will take into consideration ... when developing the RFA..."
Page 16: "Before the Grantee makes any final decisions on sweeping HIV service structure changes, community and consumer input will be sought."
Page 18: "A Request for Applications (RFA) will be finalized..."
Both of these documents clearly indicate HRSA's desire that a competitive bid process take place before restructuring and that clients' are included in the decision making. The fact that DoH is allowing the transition without either of those (despite their written assurance to HRSA that they would) is gravely concerning to us (and our clients and community).