Since 2004, we have been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide capacity building assistance (CBA) to improve HIV prevention services for high-risk and racial/ethnic minority populations. In 2009, we established the CBA@JSI team to provide CBA services to community-based organizations (CBO) across the country. As we come to the end of the 2009-2014 funding cycle and reflect upon nearly 10 years of helping organizations respond to HIV in their communities, we are proud of our team and our accomplishments.
Over the last decade, we have helped organizations navigate major shifts in the national HIV and health care environments. In particular, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy was published in 2010, establishing ambitious goals for HIV prevention and care in the US. In 2012, CDC introduced and implemented High-Impact HIV Prevention approaches to strengthen our collective efforts to reduce new infections and help achieve these national goals. And as we are all aware, the Affordable Care Act is producing major changes to the health care landscape, with profound implications for the future of organizations that provide HIV prevention and care services. JSI’s depth of experience across the health care continuum has been an asset to us in helping organizations respond to these changes.
These broad national developments have also required us to find creative ways to maximize resources and reach a wider audience. We have rapidly transformed our approach to delivering CBA services, using innovative methods to make our training and capacity building efforts more accessible and cost effective. We have come to rely on technology to deliver a large part of our CBA services. For example, we have moved from traditional multi-day, in-person training events to an online platform, including webinars and multi-week online institutes that deliver the same high-quality training in a way that is more accessible and affordable for participants. In addition, we have developed self-directed, on-demand online courses that provide introductory-level instruction whenever and wherever it is needed.
However, technology cannot do it all. We have found that organizations still need one-on-one, customized, in-depth technical assistance (TA). When we work with an organization, we spend months developing and providing focused TA and training, identifying concrete steps to improve programs and enhance their ability to serve their clients. We are also able to leverage broad JSI project and staff expertise to meet these focused needs and enrich the services we provide through the CBA@JSI project.
Since JSI works in many strata – at the community level, as well as the health department level and above –and because we work across content areas, including health care reform and HIV care and treatment, we are able to bring a holistic perspective to our work supporting HIV prevention programs. JSI was funded by CDC through a separate project to create a series of online trainings to improve medication adherence among people living with HIV. Our work on these trainings will enable us to support the CBOs and health care providers that adopt them in the future. JSI was also recently funded by the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau to help organizations enroll clients living with HIV in newly available or expanded health insurance options. In addition, we are providing TA to health departments to use surveillance data to improve linkage to and retention in HIV primary care. The ability to leverage JSI’s wide public health and health care experience enables us to ensure our services are cutting-edge, high quality, and responsive to the challenges organizations are facing in today’s HIV prevention landscape.
With a changing health care environment, we remain optimistic for what the future holds and look to our CBA@JSI team to continue to strengthen the capacity of organizations to meet the needs of their communities. We applaud reports that have shown progress toward achieving national HIV prevention and care goals; however we recognize that data also indicate there is still much work to be done. In that vein, we look forward to continuing our efforts to support organizations to improve the health of individuals and communities, and reduce the impact of HIV on the populations they serve.