Archives August 2020

Small Town in WV

Community Education Group to Convene Statewide Stakeholder Meeting

#CEGInWV will be convening a statewide stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, September 1st, 2020, @ 12:00 PM for West Virginia advocates, organizations, providers, and state officials.

This meeting will be used to discuss CEG’s work in West Virginia, including the following:

  • Working with the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services, and Office of Laboratory Services to revise our state’s HIV testing statute (§64-64) to make it easier for organizations to conduct rapid HIV testing throughout the state;
  • Working with the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse and Treatment to repeal West Virginia’s 2007 legislative moratorium on Opioid Treatment Programs (§16-5Y-12) so that we can open more treatment facilities across the state to address our state’s opioid crisis;
  • Working with WV’s state Medicaid office to remove Prior Authorization requirements that serve as barriers to treatment for Hepatitis C;
  • CEG & TruEvolution’s creation of the Rural Health Service Providers Network;
  • CEG’s forthcoming COVID-19 Relief Package distribution campaign.

In addition to CEG’s activities, we will be requesting input from stakeholders about the issues they’re facing providing services in the state of West Virginia – what are their priorities; what issues need to be addressed; what resources are needed?

We want to hear from you.

To register for this webinar, please fill out the embedded form, below, or click on the registration button to go directly to the registration page.

(Please note, the embedded form scrolls within the page.)

Logo for the Rural Health Service Providers Network

Take the Rural Health Service Providers Network Survey

Please fill out the survey using the embedded form, below. If your device does not display the form, please click on the button to be redirected to a website version.

National Rural Health Service Providers COVID-19 Resources Survey

National Rural Health Service Providers COVID-19 Resources Survey

Help us understand the resource needs of RHSPs

Cardea, Community Education Group, and TruEvolution are partnering to learn how COVID-19 is impacting Rural Health Services Providers (RHSPs) so they can better facilitate conversations with policymakers and advocate to expand access to resources to support client care.

RHSPs are a vital component of American public health infrastructure that often serve as entry points into care for populations that may not otherwise engage in health or social services. RHSPs provide healthcare-related services in rural counties, as designated by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), or rural census tracts in urban counties. RHSP is a broadly defined term, and they can be:
  • Public or private
  • Non-profit or for-profit organizations and corporations
  • Faith-based or community-based
  • Located in rural, suburban, or urban areas
Despite the critical services they provide, they do not meet any existing federal designations designations set forth by the HRSA, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and/or any other federal entity.

Do you operate an RHSP? Please consider participating in this 10-minute, voluntary, and confidential survey to share your experiences. Findings from this survey will be summarized in a brief report and will inform planning and policy conversations. This survey will close on September 7, 2020.

This survey will ask whether your organization has received several different types of resources to support COVID-19 response. The CARES Act created a couple of different pools of funds that health care providers might be able to access. For example, the CARES act Provider Relief Fund enables CMS to distribute federal funds to health providers in response to COVID-19. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has received wide media coverage, was also established by the CARES Act and provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. PPP funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Several state and local governments as well as community foundations have also provided funding to service providers to respond to COVID-19.

If you would like to participate in this survey, please click the ‘Next’ button below.

People Worth Knowing – Dr. Alan Greenberg

This week’s #PeopleWorthKnowing interview features Dr. Alan E. Greenberg, Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at George Washington University, and Director at the District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR).

Alan E. Greenberg is Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Professor Greenberg, a graduate of GW’s School of Medicine, returned to the University after a 23-year hiatus to become Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in August 2005. Deeply committed to cross-cutting partnerships that advance public health, he has developed numerous interdisciplinary initiatives among academic, community and government partners in Washington DC. Currently, Dr. Greenberg is:

  • Director of the NIH-supported District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR)
  • Principal Investigator of Public Health Partnerships between GW and the District of Columbia Department of Health and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
  • Senior Co-Investigator of the NIH-supported DC Cohort and the GW HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) Clinical Research Site (CRS)
  • Secretariat for the NIH-DC DOH Partnership for AIDS Progress (PFAP)

Prior to joining the GWSPH, Dr. Greenberg served as a USPHS Commissioned Corps Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1985-2005, where he provided scientific leadership for domestic and international HIV epidemiologic research. He served as the director of CDC’s HIV research station in Cote d’Ivoire from 1993-1997, and Chief of the HIV Epidemiology Branch from 1998-2005. He was the recipient of the American Public Health Hero Award from Research America! in 2008, the Alvan R. Feinstein Award for Clinical Epidemiology from the American College of Physicians in 2015, and the Sizanani Award from Global Camps Africa in 2018.

You can visit DC CFAR’s website by clicking on the logo, below, and links to their various social media pages will be listed below.

Color Matters: Incarceration – Beyond These Walls

The second Color Matters webinar – Incarceration – Beyond These Walls – will premiere on August 19th, 2020, at 6:00 PM Eastern.

This conversation will be moderated by Nikole Parker (Director of Special Projects, Equality Florida).

She will be joined by Navon Stephens (Trans Community Voice), Angela Hunt (Educator, Heart and Hands), and Omega Chuckii (Founder, Tranz of Anarchii, Inc.).

About the Guests

Project Director
TransAction Florida
Equality Florida

Nikole Parker is the TransAction Florida Project Coordinator, assisting with Equality Florida’s statewide Transgender Inclusion Initiative. She also currently works for the onePULSE Foundation as the Stakeholder & Community Relations Manager.

Nikole has sat on various non-profit boards within the community, including the LGBT+ Center Board of Directors, the Orlando United Assistance Center Advisory Board, TransAction Advisory Council, Spektrum Health Board of Directors and Peer Support Space Board of Directors.

In addition to her work with the onePULSE Foundation, Nikole co-leads the work of the Orlando Trans Collective, a collaborative group of transgender and gender non-conforming leaders of color who focus on community building and advocacy efforts for the Central Florida transgender community.

In 2018, Nikole was honored with the Humanitarian of the Year award by the Miss Glamorous Pageant. Nikole was also was recognized as one of Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2018 for her work with the onePULSE Foundation and her ongoing advocacy and empowerment of the transgender community.

In 2019, Nikole was recognized by Congressman Darren Soto for LGBT+ Pride Month and her biography was read into the Congressional Record. She hopes to encourage open dialogue on transgender issues and educate individuals from the community on healthy and safe ways to undergo a transition, finding self-care practices and providing resources so black market hormones and unsafe lifestyles can be avoided.

My name is Tai’Rance S Kelly Sr. B.K.A Omega Chuckii a native of “Chilanta” which is a cross of Chicago & Atlanta. I’m an educator, father, trainer, facilitator, empowerer activist, advocate & creator of my own organization, Tranz of Anarchii, Inc.

The goal is to detoxify the overall spectrum of MASCULINITY within both the trans and cis-gendered communities by healing, empowering, and bringing awareness to related issues; such as behavioral, mental, physical, parental, sexual, spiritual, and financial health. Tranz of Anarchii Inc. is also here to educate the African American community about rehabilitation and to protect our society by providing community residential services to residents prior to and after their discharge from incarceration. The primary goals are to develop self-discipline and promote skills required for continued rehabilitation, transitional initiatives, and positive re-entry into the community.

Angela Hunt is a public speaker and educator on wellness and health for the trans community. She brings experience in managing customer service teams, volunteer recruitment, and event coordination.

Angela volunteers as a peer mentor to transgender women in Orlando, FL, connecting them to services and providing social and emotional support as well as inspiration.

She served on the executive host committee for the 2018 U.S. Conference on AIDS and co-organized and co-chaired the Trans Lounge for the conference.

As a survivor of the foster care system, Angela went through a transformative journey to discover and reconnect with her own identity. She is known for being an excellent listener and is passionate about self love and wellness for transgender people, especially those living with HIV.

As a Black transgender woman diagnosed with HIV herself in 2011, Angela wants others to know that anything is possible once you accept and love yourself completely for who you are.

Image of the state outline of West Virginia superimposed over floating virus cells with the words "Coronavirus in West Virginia"

Community Education Group to Distribute COVID-19 Relief Packages

Image of the state outline of West Virginia superimposed over floating virus cells with the words "Coronavirus in West Virginia"

#CEGInWV is in the process of preparing #COVID19 Relief Packages for distribution to West Virginia residents across the state.

These packages will be backpacks containing face masks, hand sanitizer, personal hygiene supplies, educational materials on COVID-19, #HIV, and #ViralHepatitis testing, a localized resource guide (relative to the distribution points), and a gift card for purchasing food.

In just two weeks, we have secured an unprecedented 18 distribution partners for our COVID-19 Relief Packages.

We had initially planned on distributing only 500 packages, but ultimately received requests for 1,535.

As such, we have ordered a second round of supplies to put together a second round of distribution.

Round One will begin sometime in mid- to late-September, depending upon how quickly supplies arrive to put together the packages.

You can find a list of our distribution partners, below, as well as links to their respective websites.

Photo of an outline of the state of West Virginia made out of white powder, presumably heroin or cocaine, and a rolled up straw for snorting it

Community Education Group Launches West Virginia Opioid Treatment Survey

Photo of an outline of the state of West Virginia made out of white powder, presumably heroin or cocaine, and a rolled up straw for snorting it

CEG has launched a statewide survey for providers and People Who Use/Inject Drugs (PWUD/PWID, respectively) focusing on West Virginia’s 2007 legislative moratorium on opening any new Opioid Treatment Programs in the state.

In 2007, the West Virginia state legislature enacted a legislative moratorium (§16-5Y-12) on the opening of new Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP), halting in place the number of programs that prescribe and dispense Methadone for use in Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

This moratorium limited the number of OTPs in the state to only 9 sites, statewide, who can legally provide MAT services using Methadone. It also prevents these facilities from opening secondary satellite locations, essentially locking in place where people can seek inpatient or outpatient MAT services using Methadone.

Since the passage of (§16-5Y-12), West Virginia’s opioid addiction crisis has raged out of control, leaving with the highest rate of Drug Overdose Deaths, the highest rate of new Hepatitis A infections, the highest rate of new Hepatitis B infections, and the second-highest rate of new Hepatitis C infections in the United States in 2018. In addition, Injection Drug Use (IDU) of both opioids, and stimulants accounted for 91 (62.3%) of the 146 new HIV infections in West Virginia in 2019.

The survey will gauge awareness of West Virginia’s 2007 Moratorium on the expansion of existing or opening of new Opioid Treatment Programs, as well as attitudes related to West Virginia’s Opioid Addiction Crisis. There are also sections related to Substance Use Disorder (SUD), SUD/OUD Treatment Provision, and the provision of other services that are inextricably linked to West Virginia’s opioid addiction crisis.

This survey takes between 5-30 minutes to complete, depending on how many questions pertain to the person taking this survey. Not every person surveyed will be required to answer every question.

To participate in our survey, either fill out the form, embedded below, or click on the button. Please note: the form scrolls within the page.

People Worth Knowing – Diana Feliz Oliva

This week’s #PeopleWorthKnowing interview features Diana Feliz Oliva, Senior Manager in Public Affairs at Gilead Sciences.

Diana Feliz Oliva has worked in the field of social services and public health for almost 25 years.

Her work began in 1994 with the County of Fresno – Department of Social Services to her new position as HIV Community Liaison at Gilead Sciences, Inc. in 2017.

In addition, Ms. Oliva has more than 15 years of experience in working with the HIV-positive communities which include, women, MSM, transgender individuals, sex workers, mentally ill, substance users, homeless individuals, incarcerated adults, youth, elderly, people of color and undocumented individuals.

A graduate of Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2005, her particular interest has been advancing the development of public policy that addresses community-level health and social problems. Turning her daunting personal challenges and barriers into the very basis of her activism, Ms. Oliva has become an effective social advocate and role model. Her work is shown giving voice and visibility to not only the HIV + positive communities, but also to the multiple, overlapping communities her life has touched.