Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities
FY2022 Appropriations and Build Back Better Act
Democrats on the Hill are working to resolve year-end spending hurdles in order to advance the Build Back Better Act, President Biden’s broad-reaching social spending package. Two weeks after averting a government shutdown, Democrats are close to resolving the federal debt limit crisis. On December 7, the House of Representatives advanced a bill that unlocks an expedited voting process in the Senate, allowing Senate Democrats to avoid the Senate filibuster and raise the debt limit through a simple majority. The Senate passed the measure on December 9, empowering Democrats to raise the debt limit by a specific dollar amount on party lines. Democrats must now raise the debt limit by December 15 in order to avoid a default on the national debt.
With the debt limit crisis on a firm path to resolution, Senate Democrats are shifting their focus to advancing the House-approved Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) by the year’s end. On December 6, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a Dear Colleague Letter outlining the timeline for advancing the Democratic caucus’ legislative priorities. With a packed legislative calendar that includes Senate confirmation hearings and advancing the Build Back Better Act through the lengthy budget reconciliation process, Democrats are unlikely to begin Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) appropriations discussions in earnest until the new year. NASTAD will continue to monitor the FY2022 appropriations and budget reconciliation process to advocate for the highest funding levels on behalf of HIV and hepatitis programs.
Senate HELP Committee Schedules Hearing on FDA Nominee
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) scheduled a full committee hearing for December 14 to vet the nomination of Dr. Robert Califf to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). President Biden announced Califf’s nomination on November 12 after a months-long delay in filling the FDA Commissioner role. The Senate HELP Committee will vote on whether to advance the nomination to the full Senate floor for a confirmation hearing. If confirmed, Dr. Califf will assume the Commissioner role from the current FDA Acting Commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock.
SAMHSA Announces Availability of $30 million in Harm Reduction Funding
On December 8, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the availability of $30 million over three years in grant award funding for the Harm Reduction Grant Program. This funding, authorized by the American Rescue Plan, will allow organizations to expand their community-based overdose prevention programs in a variety of ways, including distributing overdose-reversal medications and fentanyl test strips, providing overdose education and counseling, and managing or expanding syringe services programs, which help control the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C. SAMHSA anticipates issuing 25 awards up to $400,000 per award each year. Applications close February 7, 2022.
ONDCP Releases Model Law to Help States Expand Access to SSPs
On December 8, the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released a new model law, the Model Syringe Services Program Act, to help states ensure access to safe, effective, and cost-saving syringe services programs. The Model Syringe Services Program Act provides a template of suggested legislative provisions that can be enacted in states across the country so that they can expand access to syringe services programs. Specifically, the Act contains language that would authorize the establishment of comprehensive syringe services programs.
CDC Releases Updated Clinical Practice Guidelines for PrEP
On December 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published updates to the Clinical Practice Guideline for Preexposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention and Clinical Providers Supplement. The updated guidance reflects the current scientific evidence base for PrEP, incorporates recent and potential FDA actions on PrEP medications, clarifies specific aspects of clinical care, and improves usability and increases implementation of the guideline. Click here to read a Dear Colleague letter from the Director of the CDC Division of HIV Prevention that details the changes included in the update.
HUD Awards $41 million in HOPWA Grants
On December 1, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of HIV/AIDS Housing announced that it awarded $41 million in Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) competitive grants to 20 local governments and non-profit organizations through the HOPWA: Housing as an Intervention to Fight AIDS funding opportunity. The HOPWA grants are a part of HUD’s mission to providing access to high-quality and culturally competent services, including housing and supportive services that are non-stigmatizing, non-discriminatory, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS. The awardees of the HOPWA grants will receive a one-time, non-renewable grant to fund housing assistance and supportive services for eligible beneficiaries, coordination and planning activities, and grants management and administration.
HHS Secretary Announces New Acting Director of NIH Following Dr. Collins’ Departure
On December 9, HHS Secretary Becerra announced that Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., the current principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will serve as the Acting Director of NIH effective December 20, 2021. Dr. Tabak served as the principal deputy director and the deputy ethics counselor of NIH since August 2010. He previously served as the acting principal deputy director of NIH in 2009, and prior to that as director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research from 2000-10. Dr. Tabak will assume leadership over the health research agency following the departure of current NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins after a 12-year tenure.
National Call – International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Date & Time: Friday, December 17 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm ET
Please join NASTAD and the Sex Worker Health and Harm Reduction Workgroup to recognize International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Program consultants and guests will discuss the intersections of sex work and structural and interpersonal violence, experiences of people engaged in and navigating sex work, and ways that public health and harm reduction programs can better understand and support their health and safety. Participants are welcome to share remembrances and participate in a talking circle following the panel.
In Fiscal Year 2021, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA HAB), which administers the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP), released funding to support a new initiative. The purpose of the 2iS initiative is to identify and pilot test innovative intervention strategies in four (4) focus areas: (1) improving HIV health outcomes for people with substance use disorder (SUD), (2) improving HIV health outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+) youth (13-24 years old), (3) improving HIV health outcomes for people who are justice involved, and (4) improving HIV health outcomes by using telehealth services. Proposals are due January 12, 2022.
O’Neill Institute Addiction and Public Policy Scholars Program
The Addiction and Public Policy Initiative at the O'Neill Institute, in conjunction with the Recovery Policy Collaborative, is seeking applicants for the Addiction Policy Scholars Program. The Addiction Policy Scholars program supports current and emerging leaders who have practical and lived expertise in the field of substance use disorder but have been traditionally underrepresented in the public policy space. This includes people with lived experience with addiction, formerly incarcerated persons, and members of the Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) communities. Scholars are appointed for one year beginning in September 2022. Applications close on December 31, 2021. Please join us for a virtual information session on December 6, 2021 from 1-2 pm ET to learn more.
With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with the University of Washington (UW), NACCHO is pleased to announce new funding opportunities to promote monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of syringe services programs (SSPs) and support the use of data for SSP program improvement. NACCHO will provide up to $90,000 for SSPs to implement data analysis and/or evaluation projects and up to $50,000 for SSPs to participate in a learning collaborative related to the implementation of point in time surveys. Applications for the data analysis RFA are due January 13 and applications for the point in time survey learning collaborative are due January 6. NACCHO will host an informational webinar on Monday, December 13th at 1 – 3 PM ET as well as office hours where potential applicants can ask questions. For additional information, including to access the RFAs, register for the webinar, or sign up for office hours, visit here.
Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 14
TA Webinar: Thursday, October 28 at 2 pm ET
HRSA released the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Ending the HIV Epidemic - Primary Care HIV Prevention (PCHP) Notice of Funding Opportunity (HRSA-22-104). HRSA will invest approximately $50 million in health centers located in the targeted geographic locations where a majority of new HIV infections occur, as identified by the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative. FY 2022 PCHP will support expanding HIV prevention services that decrease the risk of HIV transmission in underserved communities, focusing on supporting access to and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Health centers with service delivery sites in the targeted geographic locations that did not receive FY 2020 PCHP or FY 2021 PCHP funding will be eligible to apply. Technical assistance (TA) resources are available on the PCHP TA webpage.
Program Manager, HIV Campaigns – Advocates for Youth
The Program Manager, HIV Campaigns will oversee the implementation of Advocates’ project with CDC’s Prevention Communication Branch. The Program Manager will lead Advocates’ efforts to implement Partnering and Communicating Together, an initiative to support the dissemination of CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together (Together) campaign among Black/Latinx young people, 18-24 with a focus on: male; female; trans male; trans female; and genderqueer/gender non-conforming via the use of digital and social media platforms.
Houston Health Department, Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention – Houston, TX
- Staff Analyst, Ending the HIV Epidemic Coordinator
- This full-time position will report to the Bureau Chief and will involve the EHE planning related to funding opportunity PS20-2010: Integrated HIV Programs for Health Departments to Support Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States. Applications close December 17, 2021.
- Staff Analyst, Policy Analyst
- This full-time position will report to the Manager of the Policy and Evaluation Unit and will perform comprehensive planning and legislative policy analysis for the Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention. Applications close December 17, 2021.
- Staff Analyst, Security and Confidentiality Coordinator
- This full-time position will report to the Deputy Director of Public Health and will coordinate the security and confidentiality of data handled by the Public Health Branch in coordination with other HHD Security and Confidentiality staff. Applications close December 17, 2021.
- Epidemiologist Generalist
- HHD is seeking two (2) Epidemiologist Generalists in the Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention. This full-time position will report to the Quality Assurance and Special Projects Unit. The successful applicant will collaborate across HHD to plan, design, conduct, and coordinate epidemiological investigations, primarily related to congenital syphilis. Applications Close December 16, 2021.
- Surveillance Investigator, Epidemiology
- HHD seeks two (2) Surveillance Investigators in the Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention and the Bureau of Epidemiology. These full-time positions will report to one of the following programs: sexually transmitted infection (STI) surveillance, HIV surveillance, Hepatitis surveillance, or congenital syphilis surveillance. The successful applicant will collaborate with the Prevention, Data Services and Epidemiology programs to collect, match, analyze and visualize data and service delivery. Applications close December 20, 2021.
- Senior Public Health Investigator
- HHD seeks 12 Senior Public Health Investigators in the Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention to serve as Disease Intervention Specialists, Service Linkage Workers, and Patient Navigators. These full-time positions will report to various units including HIV Field Services, STI Field Services, Congenital Syphilis Field Services, Service Linkage Field Services, and PrEP Services. Applications close December 31, 2021.
- Nurse Practitioner
- HHD seeks one (1) Nurse Practitioner for Health and Multi-Service Center Operations to provide PrEP, nPEP, and other biomedical HIV prevention and sexual health services, including assessment and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This position will report to the HHD Division Manager and may provide services across four (4) HHD health centers as well as HHD mobile clinics that are primarily funded through a cooperative agreement with the US HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The successful candidate will assess public health patients’ physical health status, perform prescribed physical examinations, and perform preventive health treatments. Applications close December 31, 2021.
- Public Health Nurse IV
- HHD seeks one (1) Public Health Nurse IV for Health and Multi-Service Center Operations to support the provision of PrEP, nPEP, and other biomedical HIV prevention and sexual health services, including assessment and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Application closes December 31, 2021.
- Licensed Vocational Nurse
- HHD seeks one (1) Licensed Vocational Nurse in the Bureau of HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis Prevention to serve the sexual health program, including PrEP and nPEP. This full-time position will report to the PrEP Services team. Application closes December 17.
Syringe Service Program Coordinator, Washington State DOH – Tumwater, WA
Reporting to the Integration, Hepatitis C & Drug User Health Programs Manager, the Syringe Service Program (SSP) Coordinator provides leadership and is responsible and accountable for stakeholder engagement and mobilization efforts that increase access to and utilization of syringe service programs (SSPs) and related efforts to address health disparities and health inequities in communities disproportionately impacted by infectious disease and overdose. This includes strategic initiatives to integrate services into SSPs, such as infectious disease screening and linkages to care services, overdose education and naloxone distribution, and a variety of other health and social services. This position works collaboratively across the OID providing subject matter and technical expertise to all other OID Units on issues related to SSPs and service integration within SSPs. Application review begins December 17, 2021. This recruitment is open and continuous. The Hiring Manager reserves the right to make a hiring decision and/or close the recruitment at any time.
Department of State Health Services – Austin, TX
- Research Specialist V
- Under the supervision of the Group Manager, the MMP Project Coordinator/Research Specialist V performs advanced research and epidemiological work requiring specialized knowledge of health behaviors related to TB/HIV/STD transmission. Responsible for the coordination of activities involved in the implementation of the Medical Monitoring Project (MMP) in Texas. Coordinates activities related to sampling frame development, healthcare facility, provider, and patient recruitment and data collection. Prepares budget and grant documents, data collection protocols and procedures, annual, interim progress reports, and other reports required by CDC or DSHS.
- Program Specialist IV
- Under the direction and supervision of the TB/HIV/STD Surveillance Group manager and Electronic Lab Reporting (ELR) Epidemiology Team Lead, conducts activities related to data management and processing of HIV and STD laboratory reports. This position will provide technical expertise in the interpretation of laboratory data, and will be responsible for monitoring data quality of incoming laboratory reports. This position, along with the ELR Epidemiology Team Lead, will work directly with laboratories to resolve any reporting issues and improve data quality. This position will assist in the design and implementation of new and/or revised methods for receipt and dissemination of electronic data to more effectively meet HIV/STD surveillance needs.
- Manager III
- Performs advanced managerial work overseeing the daily operations of the Program Evaluation and Informatics (PIE) Group. Duties include oversight of the Group including administration, management of budget and expenditures, supervision, project management and direction of the program data management, research and program evaluation activities of the Group. The Manager provides leadership through initiating, developing, directing and implementing program data collection, data analyses, data systems technical assistance, program evaluations, applied behavioral science investigations and needs assessments.
- Public Health & Prevention Specialist II
- Public Health and Prevent Specialist II performs a variety of tasks under the direction of the STD/HCV Epidemiology and Surveillance Group Manager related to the management of HIV/STD investigational data, including database maintenance, report tracking, data entry, and quality assurance. This position will aid in development of short-term, mid-term and long-term goals and objectives, and the development of standards for achieving strategic operational goals. Exercises independent judgment and professional discretion with extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment to administrate, advise, plan, and coordinate duties.
- HIV/STD Director
- The HIV/STD Director works under the general direction of the Director of the TB/HIV/STD Section (THSS) of the DSHS. Performs advanced (senior-level) managerial work leading the day-to-day operations of the HIV/STD Prevention and Care Unit. These programs include statewide programs for HIV clinical and social services; the provision of medications for the treatment of HIV and other STDs; and HIV/STD prevention.
Program and Administrative Assistant, Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC) – Springboard HealthLab
Springboard HealthLab is a brand-new organization, founded in 2021, with a clear goal: to support big ideas that can improve health equity. Springboard is focused on supporting projects to turn promising ideas into new ventures -- and then helping them find a permanent home. Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC) is a consortium of public health organizations working in partnership with dating apps to improve sexual health outcomes for app users. We’re a small but mighty team that works on home testing and supporting anti-stigma and sexual health features on dating apps. The Program and Administrative Assistant, BHOC, supports the administrative work of BHOC’s programs and strategy. This is a 10 hours per week, part-time position. This is a 3- to- 6-month position dependent on funding availability, with the possibility of extension or expansion of hours.
The Ryan White Part B Program Director is responsible for developing and administering a budget of over $40 million, with multiple contracts, and comprehensive statewide planning involving persons living with HIV, providers, and other HRSA grantees, including service organizations and case managers. The position also oversees the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) which provides Affordable Care Act health insurance to eligible clients or medications and ambulatory HIV care to those not enrolled in the Insurance Assistance Program. Other components include the Minority AIDS Initiative, an oral health program, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA).
The position manages a team of 14 people and serves as the Ryan White Part B program spokesperson, liaison, and technical resource to grantees and other partners. The position is situated in, and works closely with, the surveillance and prevention programs for HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and viral hepatitis within the Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness Division at the Tennessee Department of Health.
Manager, Legal Research (NASTAD) – Remote/Washington, DC
The Manager, Legal Research provides legal and policy research and analysis as part of NASTAD’s technical assistance and capacity building assistance. This position works closely with the Prevention, Policy & Legislative Affairs, and Health Systems Integration teams to support programmatic activities. This role works with the Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs and Senior Manager of Health Systems Integration, to implement key activities under NASTAD’s health systems legal and policy portfolio, including conducting public health legal research, synthesizing complex policy material, and supporting development of webinars, peer learning opportunities, and deliverables to support health department efforts to navigate federal, state, and local laws and policies
The Program Analyst will support projects and activities across NACCHO’s HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis program portfolio. In particular, the Program Analyst will support the implementation of projects designed to build local capacity and partnerships for harm reduction and the prevention and elimination of viral hepatitis. The ideal candidate will possess interest and experience in harm reduction and/or the prevention and elimination of viral hepatitis, as well as health department and harm reduction programming, public health policy, the provision of technical and capacity building assistance, monitoring and evaluation, partnership building, and project management.
Senior Project Manager, HIV, Gender Affirming, and Integrated Care – New York City, New York
Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) community development financial institution (CDFI), catalyzes excellence in primary care through strategic community investment, capacity building, and policy initiatives to achieve health equity. The Senior Project Manager will be a member of the High Impact Prevention (HIP) project team and will work across the broader CQP practice.
PCDC’s CDC-funded High Impact Prevention (HIP) program provides support to communities greatly impacted by HIV. With CDC and other national partners, the HIP Program enhances the expertise of the HIV prevention workforce – including health care providers and staff in local and state health departments and community-based organizations (CBOs) – to achieve the United States’ goal of substantially reducing the number of new HIV infections. The PCDC HIP Program serves the Northeast region of the US and the territories of Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.
Wyoming Department of Health, Public Health Division, Communicable Disease Unit
- Communicable Disease Unit Surveillance Program Manager – Cheyenne, Wyoming
- The Wyoming Department of Health, Public Health Division, Communicable Disease Unit is seeking a Communicable Disease Surveillance Program Manager for Cheyenne. This position will serve as the Communicable Disease (CD) Surveillance Program Manager and senior epidemiologist for the Communicable Disease Unit. This position oversees public health surveillance of four disease areas (HIV, STD, TB, and Viral Hepatitis). This position will monitor disease trends and utilize surveillance data to coordinate public health activities.
- Communicable Disease Epidemiologist – Cheyenne, Wyoming
- This position will serve as the Communicable Disease AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Coordinator, Wyoming TB Controller, and Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) for the Communicable Disease (CD) Treatment Program. Assist in outbreak response to ensure the safety of Wyoming residents; by interviewing cases for exposure information, updating news outlets on the progress of outbreak control, analyzing exposure data utilizing epidemiological and statistical methods.
Hepatitis Surveillance Data Analyst – New Orleans, Louisiana
This position is responsible for the data analysis activities for the Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV/Hepatitis Program (SHHP), in the Hepatitis Surveillance unit. Data utilized for Hepatitis Surveillance activities include Hepatitis laboratory data, Case Report Forms, Provider Report Forms, Linkage to Cure data, investigation data, Medicaid data, and data from related sources and programs. This position will implement and coordinate data analysis activities to monitor and evaluate progress toward meeting hepatitis elimination within the state. All activities must be completed in accordance with the security and confidentiality guidelines required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SHHP.
Assistant Commissioner - Health Department – Baltimore, Maryland
The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) is seeking an Assistant Commissioner to lead the Bureau of Communicable Disease and Outbreak Control. This senior management position will lead a talented team responsible for communicable disease investigation, outbreak control and emergency preparedness programming. The incumbent will also be responsible for developing and implementing agency wide policies related to health department readiness to respond to public health emergencies. The incumbent will report directly to the Deputy Commissioner for BCHD’s Division of Population Health & Disease Prevention.
Open Positions – New York State
The New York State Department of Health, in partnership with Health Research, Inc, has various job openings, including some within the AIDS Institute. Please visit this link to learn about their current opportunities.
“But in the coming weeks, a lingering Trump administration case against a proposed Philadelphia injection site called Safehouse could force the Biden administration to decide whether it is willing to quietly condone the practice. The Department of Justice is supposed to file a brief stating its position in the case by Jan. 5 — the department refused to comment to Nightly on its plans. If the Biden administration drops its opposition to Safehouse in court, that would pave the way for more such sites to open up around the country.”
“Democrats on the House Oversight Committee rolled out the results of a three-year investigation of drugmaker business practices that details over 270 pages how manufacturers target the U.S. market for price hikes, game the patent system to maintain monopolies and beat back competition from generics. The report came ahead of a Friday press conference with House Democratic leadership aimed at ramping up pressure on the Senate to pass Democrats’ sweeping social spending bill, H.R. 5376 (117), which contains several provisions to curb drug costs. At the same time, the report lays out a roadmap of what else the party hopes to achieve on drug pricing beyond the social spending bill.”
“So Robinson has a personal reason to celebrate a few passages in the sprawling social spending plan House Democrats adopted last month. It would create a path to health coverage for her and more than 2 million fellow uninsured people in Texas and 11 other states that have not expanded Medicaid as the ACA allows. If the plan survives a political minefield in the Senate, it would rely on ACA insurance marketplaces to close the coverage gap temporarily, offering people such as Robinson a chance for the next few years to sign up for private health plans nearly for free.”
“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has undeniably narrowed racial and ethnic health disparities by reducing the uninsured rate and improving access to care for people of color. Yet, significant gaps persist in access to coverage and high-quality, affordable care. As Congress considers important new programs to help bridge the remaining gaps, the Biden administration can use its existing authority under federal civil rights laws to promote anti-racist health care and insurance.”