HIV Health Services Planning Council
Needs Assessment Working Group Draft MINUTES
Monday, January 31, 2005
25 Van Ness Ave, Room 330B
4:00-6:00 p.m.

Committee Members Present: Randy Allgaier, Anita Booker, Billie-Jean Kanios, Ken Pearce
Committee Members Absent: Sparkie Spaeth, Laura Thomas, Catherine Geanuracos
Council Members in Attendance: Dorothy Kleffner, Bill Blum
Others in Attendance: Michelle Long Dixon,
Council Staff: Jack Newby, Leah Crask, Skot Jonz

1. Introductions

2. Review/Approve Agenda
CM Allgaier moved to approve the agenda. The agenda was approved.

3. Announcements
There were no announcements.

4. Public Comment
There were no public comments.

5. Elect Working Group Co-chairs-VOTE
CM Allgaier recommended one co-chair from the Evaluation Committee and one from the Planning Committee. CM Booker moved to elect CM Kanios as co-chair. CM Kanios expressed concern about duties and responsibilities. Other Committee Members indicated they would provide support to CM Kanios as needed.
CM Allgaier recommended putting off nominations for the Evaluation co-chair slot until the next meeting.
CM Allgaier moved to vote by voice on selecting CM Kanios as co-chair.
All present voted in favor of appointing CM Kanios as co-chair.

6. Request for Proposal (RFP) Status Update
Jack Newby presented the status of the RFP and reported that it was sent out today. He reviewed recommendations and the time line for selection. Jack indicated that he spoke with potential providers who indicated they could complete the RFP in three weeks, although ideally four weeks would be better. This was cited as the reason for immediate action. Discussion with the AIDS Office regarding funding will be underway.
CM Allgaier asked about potential bidders from DPH. Jack Newby said he would be in discussion with others to identify any other potential contractors. Jack Newby identified the contractors from the list who he thought would be the most efficient, and recommended getting three to four Committee members to meet and evaluate the proposals when they come in on February 18th to have them completed by the following week.
CM Allgaier discussed why there is a crunch time line on this matter. In order to have the data by July, the contractors all indicated they needed to get started ASAP. The 28th of Feb. is when the new funding cycle ends which will allow for funds to pay for this item. The new funding cycle will not have funds available to do so until later in the year. Committee discussed details about the timeline to review the proposals.
CM Allgaier volunteered to review proposals.
CM Booker and CM Kanios said they would also offer to help.
CM Pearce asked for Newby to clarify the cost.
Jack Newby said the budget allowed for $125,000, which includes a $10,000 retainer. Newby said he would discuss with the contractor whether they would be on board with a retainer while they obtained the remainder of the fee.
Dorothy Kleffner asked about the instrument used to obtain Needs Assessment data.
CM Allgaier indicated it would be based on prior needs assessments and adjusted accordingly.

7. Membership of Needs Assessment Working Group
CM Allgaier advocated input from the Community Outreach and Advocacy Committee (COA) as well as Evaluation and Planning committees, as COA could have forms with useful data. It was suggested that the upcoming COA meeting be asked for volunteers for the Needs Assessment Working Group. Newby indicated that the Prevention Planning Group should also be included.
Michelle Long Dixon indicated that someone from the AIDS Office would be present.
CM Allgaier asked for Committee discussion about membership and ways to identify outreach methods and affected communities.
Michelle Long Dixon emphasized the challenge with having experienced people who can contact hard to reach and underserved communities, and the importance of multi-county familiarity.
CM Kanios stated that different organizations work with specific populations, so many organizations need to be involved.
CM Allgaier indicated that someone (other than CM Booker) from San Mateo Co. should be present.
CM Pearce asked if funding for the Needs Assessment for three counties is being paid for by San Francisco.
The Committee discussed that Marin and San Mateo counties have no funding for these purposes, and that the Needs Assessment benefits the Council which is working for the benefit of the entire EMA.
Committee discussed that San Mateo and Marin may have already done a Needs Assessment and can provide their input and information. CM Allgaier reiterated the need for representation from other counties, outreach people, and Committee Members from the Community Outreach and Advocacy Committee.
Jack Newby asked if the Committee would like Council Support to invite people to attend the meetings.
CM Pearce indicated that key people in San Mateo and Marin counties would be contacted to advise that this Needs Assessment was being worked on.
Committee agreed to have Council Support to contact people for membership on the Committee as needed.

8. Meeting Date & Time-VOTE
Jack Newby indicated that this could not be decided until the full Committee was present. Committee discussed the frequency of meetings and possible days. CM Allgaier suggested not choosing a standing date at this time. Leah Crask and Jack Newby indicated that everyone would be contacted to determine the most appropriate day for the next meeting.

9. Inclusion of San Mateo & Marin Counties in the Project
CM Allgaier stated that the Planning Council is more involved in how San Mateo and Marin counties do their work and indicated that the scope needs to be widened, and the Needs Assessment needs to be EMA-wide.
CM Pearce asked why this was on the agenda if the decision was already made to include San Mateo and Marin counties.
Committee discussed that this agenda item is more a “how-to” include these counties rather than an “if”.
CM Allgaier suggested that this might be more appropriately discussed when more Committee Members are present, and possibly the consultant. Jack Newby indicated this item will remain on the agenda to keep it fresh in the minds of Council and Committee Members to think EMA-wide. Dorothy Kleffner indicated that things are tense in Marin County and she hopes that some of her Needs Assessment data from Marin County makes it onto the upcoming EMA Needs Assessment. She emphasized confidentiality and that some people are afraid of commenting negatively because they might lose benefits. CM Booker asked if the consultant will need to go through providers to access client data. Jack Newby commented that people who are not in care or afraid of reprisal need to be identified so that their voice is heard.
CM Pearce asked whether Kleffner advocates three different Needs Assessments because of differences present throughout the counties. CM Pearce suggested a template with individual adjustments for each county. Committee discussed that the instrument should be universal and then looked at differently by each county and the overall EMA, and adjusted as needed.
Michelle Long-Dixon emphasized the need to make clear that this is not a survey about satisfaction of provider services, but what a person with AIDS needs as an individual.
CM Pearce asked for a copy of the previous Needs Assessment given to all committee members.
Council Support indicated how to obtain the requested documents.
Committee discussed unique problems present with Marin County to get people to respond to the Needs Assessment survey. CM Kleffner indicated that needs had been identified in the past, but no changes were ever made. CM Booker indicated that if people don’t respond, necessary changes won’t be made.
CM Allgaier indicated that interviewers will be individually meeting with people, and this approach could reduce fear of reprisal when notified that it will not be going through Marin County agencies, but rather through the Council or a separate contractor. Michelle indicated that clients may not make a distinction between Marin County agencies and the Planning Council and indicated the helpfulness in having groundwork done ahead of time to get people comfortable with the process and feel safe enough to respond prior to sending out the survey.
CM Blum asked if Michelle had any comments regarding the success of prior needs assessments.
Michelle discussed various forms of sampling used, and reiterated the need to make clients feel safe and stated that the previous Needs Assessment has been very labor intensive.
CM Pearce identified attempts to hire local people to administer the survey and lack of consistent training could have been as much a barrier to accuracy as language barriers or other concerns.
CM Blum expressed concern and doubts about speaking for San Mateo as a representative. He also expressed a concern that the results of the Needs Assessment could have an adverse effect on San Mateo services based on the issues with Marin County. He reiterated the importance of Council’s response to Marin issues not result in EMA-wide changes.

Committee discussed difference between confidential and anonymous, and the use of unique identifier codes that is not name based.
CM Allagaier stated the intention of the Committee is to have some sort of accountability in place.
CM Blum indicated that changes in San Francisco may not have a huge effect but could really disrupt a smaller county. Committee agreed on having a process that is consistent.

10. Development of Needs Assessment Timeline
Jack Newby discussed the overall process for information on the Needs Assessment be available to Council for the prioritization and allocation processes. He recommended that the Needs Assessment Working Group develop a timeline and work together to decide when to get the contract done, meeting with contractor, and coordinating work between Council and Council Support. Jack suggested beginning a timeline identifying approaching projects and assigning responsibility for who handles what task. Jack expects the consultant will work with co-chairs, and from a management standpoint issues will come up and there needs to be a way to address them. Jack informed Committee Members that the timeline is aggressive and needs to be coordinated with the AIDS Office.

CM Allgaier reiterated that CM Booker and CM Blum are neither representatives nor consumers of San Mateo, but will be present as Council Members.
Jack Newby asked for CM Blum to identify who in San Mateo should be apprised of the process.
CM Pearce suggested a consumer from San Mateo should be included.
CM Blum offered to identify potential participants.
CM Allgaier restated that a consultant would be on board by the end of February.
Jack Newby identified September 26th as the date for completion of the Needs Assessment and informed Committee Members that he would prepare a draft timeline.
CM Pearce reported that the previous Needs Assessment process became too involved with developing the instrument and left insufficient time for the actual gathering of data and meeting with respondents. CM Pearce emphasized the importance of making sure enough time was allowed for reaching consumers.
CM Allgaier reminded Committee that the prior Needs Assessment was done from scratch and this time there is something to start with.
CM Blum indicated some way to identify “severe need” clients.
Jack Newby discussed the importance of maintaining credibility in the process so that consumer input is equal to provider input.
CM Booker stated that the previous Needs Assessment be adjusted to specify how “severe needs” clients will be identified.
CM Pearce stated that the Committee is unqualified to identify the “severe needs” groups and likewise turning it over to a consultant might be risky, suggesting that a more efficient method needs to be developed.
Michelle stated that coordinating with Centers of Excellence will help.
CM Blum indicated that clean data may not come through the first time, but the work needs to begin.
Jack Newby reiterated that after this Needs Assessment additional targeted assessments directed to specific populations can be conducted annually thereafter.

11. Next Meeting Date & Agenda Items
CM Allgaier indicated that Council Support would come up with dates/times for the next meeting and notify committee members.
CM Pearce asked if Committee Members could get copies of results of prior Needs Assessments, specifically the instrument itself, including examples of Needs Assessment instruments used in other EMAs. Council Support indicated that it was available and had already been distributed, and would be provided to anyone who needed it.
Jack Newby stated that an agenda item should include the process and how to avoid pitfalls and that the next meeting will be held within three weeks, probably in the last week of February.
CM Pearce asked if Committee will be meeting after the review of RFPs and how to get more participation in the review process. He offered to be involved.
Jack Newby emphasized the importance of consumers feeling as if they are involved on the ground floor part of this process so that their comments are valued. For Marin and San Mateo counties the critical issue is that people feel their voice is heard and valued, and the job of this Committee is to make sure that happens from the beginning. Committee discussed various ways to bring consumers in to review RFPs, and whether the consumers choose to get involved or not, they should be given the opportunity. Discussion ensued regarding the need to effectively contact monolingual consumers; marketing and promoting to get people aware of the process, specifically tailored to the needs of the community. Committee agreed that at least trying to identify people for participation is important.
CM Blum asked about stipends for unaffiliated consumers. Committee indicated that child care, transportation, and food vouchers can be provided, but cash cannot. CM Blum reinforced that identifying unaffiliated consumers to participate in the process would be difficult as they would likely be losing wages.
Committee agreed that strategies for providing incentives should be added as an agenda item.
Committee discussed the importance of contacting absent Committee Members regarding the decision on the proposals to be made prior to the Next Committee meeting.


Audio recording for this meeting is saved as DS330193

Meeting minutes are considered to be in DRAFT form until reviewed and approved by Council attendees.

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