Newsletter: Policy

Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

Hill Happenings 

Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations  

Top appropriators and party leaders are conducting preliminary negotiations on a Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) appropriations package ahead of the upcoming spending deadline. Senate leaders seek to strike an agreement on overall spending caps and key policy provisions in order to bring the spending bills to the Senate floor for consideration. Lawmakers must finalize a FY2022 spending omnibus by the February 18 federal funding deadline afforded by the current continuing resolution (CR), or risk passing another months-long to full-year CR.

Although top appropriators anticipate passing a bona fide Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) omnibus bill, Republicans may derail spending conversations as they demand an appropriations package that is clear of controversial policy riders, including proposed language that would lift the ban on the use of federal funds to purchase syringes and sterile injection equipment. Democrats rebuke those ultimatums, calling for a robust spending negotiation on the full spectrum of policy priorities, and are pushing Republicans to provide a topline spending number. NASTAD will continue to monitor the FY2022 appropriations process to advocate for the highest funding levels on behalf of HIV and hepatitis programs. 

NASTAD Calls on Appropriators to Pass a FY2022 Spending Omnibus 

On January 25, NASTAD and the Coalition for Health Funding sent a letter to top appropriators calling on Congress to pass a FY2022 appropriations omnibus by the February 18 deadline afforded by the current CR. The coalition highlights the need to allocate strong investments for health-related agencies and public health programs, which cannot occur if Congress passes another CR in lieu of a full-year spending package. The advocates emphasize that level-funding health programs in another CR would limit the ability of HHS and other health agencies to address new and rising demands caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the overdose crisis, and the syndemic of HIV, viral hepatitis, and STIs. 

Senate Budget Committee Schedules Hearing for OMB Director and Deputy Director Nominees 

The Senate Budget committee scheduled a nomination hearing on February 1 for Shalanda Young, President Biden’s nominee to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Young currently serves as the Deputy Director of OMB, a Senate confirmed role, while concurrently leading OMB in an Acting Director capacity. Young was tapped to lead the agency in 2021 after President Biden’s initial nominee for OMB Director, Neera Tanden, did not receive enough votes to achieve Senate confirmation. The Senate Budget Committee will also consider the nomination of Nani Coloretti for Deputy Director of OMB, who will assume the role if Shalanda Young is confirmed to lead OMB.

Administration Activities 

NIH Updates Strategic Plan for Trans-NIH Research to Cure Hepatitis B 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a request for information inviting the public to comment on the agency’s proposal to update the Strategic Plan for Trans-NIH Research to Cure Hepatitis B. The strategic plan, originally published in 2019, details three strategic priorities for boosting the agency’s capacity to conduct innovative research in search of a cure for hepatitis B (HBV). The updated plan will also align with the cross-divisional Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan. The RFI seeks input from stakeholders throughout the scientific research community and the general public by January 31.


AIDS United NOFO: iFORWARD: Equipping Organizations in the South through Technology to End the HIV Epidemic 

Webinar: February 4, 2022 at 3:00 PM ET 

Applications Due: February 17, 2022 

AIDS United has launched iFORWARD: Equipping Organizations in the South through Technology to End the HIV Epidemic, a special project designed to address barriers southern organizations face in accessing appropriate technology to carry out their services and achieve their mission. iFORWARD will provide cash grants up to $10,000 along with professional development and technical assistance.

CDC National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Toolkit 

The 2022 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day toolkit is now available! Observed annually on February 7th, NBHAAD is a day to spark conversations and address the impact of HIV on Black communities. The toolkit includes ready-to-use social media content for partners to share leading up to and on NBHAAD. Use this toolkit to promote HIV testing, prevention, and treatment and reduce HIV stigma in Black communities. 

O’Neill Institute Quick Take: Promoting Equitable COVID-19 Vaccine Access 

“As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial we recognize the reasons why Black people and other marginalized groups experience worse COVID-19 outcomes and are less likely to be vaccinated, as well as pursue more equitable access to current and future boosters. These are often the same factors that drive HIV-related disparities. Thus, effectively supporting Black communities’ responses to COVID-19 can potentially strengthen responses to HIV and other related conditions.” 

NASTAD Minority Leadership Program (MLP) 

NASTAD is pleased to announce the opening of the application cycle for the 2022 Minority Leadership Program (MLP). In its eighth cycle, MLP serves as a space, rooted in social justice, for health department staff of color to engage in critical conversations and has created a launchpad for dozens of public health professionals of color to visualize and own their leadership roles in ending health inequities. MLP participation empowers fellows to engage in successful salary negotiations, gain promotions, influence culturally relevant public health strategies, and create professional connections that last a lifetime. Applications for the Minority Leadership Program 2022 Cohort are due Thursday, February 10, 2022. 

AIDS United NOFO: Conexiones Positivas: Positive Connections 

AIDS United, with funding from ViiV Healthcare, is pleased to announce the opportunity for grant support through the Conexiones Positivas: Positive Connections Initiative. For this initiative, AIDS United will provide $100,000 in low barrier grant funds to organizations supporting Hispanic/Latinx gay, bisexual and transgender men who are from communities most affected by and vulnerable to HIV. Completed RFPs must be submitted in the AIDS United grantee portal by 3 p.m. EST on February 4, 2022. 

Job Postings 

Human Services Program Consultant (EP215) – Richmond, VA 

This position with the Virginia Department of Health – Office of Epidemiology, Division of Disease Prevention, analyzes and interprets complex statistical data related to HIV service and medication delivery, clinical performance indicators and health services-related epidemiological trends associated with Virginia’s Ryan White (RW) and Medication Access (VA MAP) programs. Applications close February 8.

Georgia Department of Public Health – Atlanta, GA

  • Director, HIV/AIDS
    • The Georgia Department of Public Health seeks a highly qualified candidate for the position of Director for the HIV/AIDS Unit under the Division of Medical and Clinical Services- Infectious Disease in Atlanta, Georgia. The candidate will direct a comprehensive statewide HIV/AIDS program for the state of Georgia, including planning, organizing, developing, and directing the implementation of day-to-day activities for a multifaceted statewide public health program. Applications close February 13. 
  • Perinatal HIV Coordinator
    • The Georgia Department of Public Health seeks a highly qualified candidate for the position of Perinatal HIV Coordinator located in Atlanta, GA to join the Division of Medical and Clinical Services, Infectious Disease/HIV Section. The candidate will coordinate and implement services/activities for the education and prevention of vertical transmission of HIV from mother to baby. Applications close February 6.

HDAP Coordinator (Management Analyst III) – Boston, MA 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences (BIDLS) Office of HIV/AIDS (OHA) seeks to hire a Coordinator to oversee the contract for the Massachusetts HIV Drug Assistance Program (HDAP), inclusive of the administration of over $20 million dollars of state and federal Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance resources to cover the costs of health insurance premiums and anti-retroviral treatments for income-eligible HIV+ enrollees. Apply online with Job ID (2200000V). 

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.  

Senior Public Health Investigator -- Houston, TX 

The Houston Health Department 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 March 8.

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 recruitment is open and continuous.  

   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. 
  • 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 Analyst: HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis Program - Harm Reduction (NACCHO)  

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.

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.  

News Bulletin 

The budget impasse leaves the government on autopilot and at risk 

“One of the surprising and important health accomplishments of the prior administration was its commitment to ending the domestic HIV epidemic by 2030. This was always a stretch goal, and even while Congress invested significant new funds in responding to the domestic HIV epidemic, these funding levels never matched the last administration’s own projections of need. This initiative enjoys bipartisan support, yet without a full-year budget, funding to end the HIV epidemic will be flat and will not provide for the $267 million increase that Biden is requesting. Like many other issues, HIV prevention and care has been underfunded, COVID-19 has likely set back our efforts, and these increases are needed to maintain and accelerate our progress.” 

Fentanyl Test Strips Empower People And Save Lives—So Why Aren’t They More Widespread? 

“Fentanyl test strips (FTS) are a simple, inexpensive, and evidence-based method of averting drug overdose…And yet after yearsofpress and discussions of the strips’ utility, FTS aren’t as widely available as one would expect them to be. It is time to take a more critical look at the importance of destigmatizing this tool and increasing its distribution and availability, while highlighting the grave risks in not doing so.” 

‘The CDC alone can’t fix this’: Walensky calls for overhaul of U.S. public health system 

“The U.S. needs to rethink its approach to tackling Covid-19 by rebuilding the nation’s public health system, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said in an interview with POLITICO…Now, as the pandemic enters the third year, she said the CDC needs help to fight Covid-19. If the pandemic is to turn endemic — a situation top Biden health officials say they could more easily control — the U.S. needs to overhaul the nation’s public health workforce, she said.”