Policy Updates: Hill Happenings and Administration Activities

By Meredith McCarthy June 29, 2020

Hill Happenings

FY2021 Appropriations Updates 

The Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) intended to meet this week to begin marking up their 12 FY2021 bills, in hopes of completing SAC consideration before the July 4th Senate recess. However, partisan fights over what should be included, specifically but not limited to coronavirus and criminal justice funding matters, have caused the SAC to pause consideration of the FY2021 bills. At this point, the Senate appropriations process may be stalled until September (after the August recess), and further, it is unclear if all 12 of the FY2021 Senate bills will be considered in subcommittee or skip ahead in the process. 

Meanwhile, House Appropriations Committee (HAC) Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) recently advised Members that subcommittee and full committee markups of the 12 federal appropriations bills will take place the weeks of July 6th and July 13th. House consideration of the FY2021 appropriations bills are then expected the weeks of July 20th and July 27th. 

While progress on FY2021 appropriations is encouraging, crises, elections, and politics will make enactment of these spending bills unlikely before September 30th—the end of the federal fiscal year. Moving forward, expect talk of government shutdown and, likely, a temporary funding measure to continue government operations until after the November elections. Republicans and Democrats will recalibrate after November, and, especially if the political landscape shifts due to a change in Presidential and/or Senate leadership, one or more of the FY2021 appropriations bills may have to wait until next year for enactment. 

Coronavirus Relief Package   

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) circulated a Dear Colleague letter in the Senate requesting supplemental funding for HIV programs in the next COVID-19 relief package. The final letter was signed by 20 senators.  

Administrative Activites

CDC Reorganization 

The Coalition for Health Funding has issued a statement in response to reports that the Trump Administration is attempting to blame the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for failure to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and restructure the agency. The CDC would undergo a performance review, multiple officials told Politico. The audit would likely highlight several failures, such as the inability to deploy working tests in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. White House staffers have discussed narrowing the CDC’s mission or adding political appointees, Politico said. 

HIV Testing Day 

June 27th was National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), an observance to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV. CDC released a Dear Colleague in observation of NHTD. 

Ending the Epidemic

On July 16, 2020, the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) will host a stakeholder webinar on efforts to implement the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative. The EHE Stakeholder webinar will be held from 2:00-3:00 PM ET. Click here to register


MMWR: HIV Testing Trends at Visits to Physician Offices, Community Health Centers, and Emergency Departments — United States, 2009–2017 

MMWR: Assessing Solid Organ Donors and Monitoring Transplant Recipients for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Infection — U.S. Public Health Service Guideline, 2020 

Up-To-Date Analysis of U.S. Laws That Criminalize Disease 

The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP) released a newly revised publication, U.S. HIV Laws and Prosecutorial Tools, summarizing the federal and state laws used to prosecute people living with HIV (PLHIV), viral hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted diseases. The chart provides a current, detailed review of the variety of laws and range of penalties used to criminalize stigmatized diseases and identities in the military and in all U.S. states and territories. 

Upcoming Conferences 

2020 340B Coalition Virtual Summer Conference  

The 340B Coalition Summer Conference will be held virtually July 20-29, 2020. The 2020 340B Coalition Virtual Summer Conference will have a jam-packed, well-balanced agenda to help you continue your growth as a 340B professional during this critical time in our nation’s history. 

2020 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment 

The 2020 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care and Treatment (NRWC) is officially going virtual. The conference dates will remain August 11-14, 2020, but the times will be adjusted to accommodate different time zones. Registered participants are still encouraged to attend the full length of the conference; however, the virtual platform would allow for more flexibility. The NRWC theme this year is “30 Years of Innovating Care, Optimizing Public Health, Ending the HIV Epidemic,” which is timely as HRSA celebrates 30 years since the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act was first enacted. This year’s theme also aligns with the Administration’s Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, the 10-year initiative with the important goal of reducing new HIV infections to less than 3,000 per year by 2030. 

Job Postings

Senior Manager—Washington, DC 

NASTAD is seeking a Senior Manager for the Prevention team. The Senior Manager provides leadership and implementation of technical assistance (TA) activities for NASTAD’s Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) project. The position leads community engagement TA for 24 county health departments and six state health departments in the Southern United States and is specifically related to Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) plans. The position will work across NASTAD’s Prevention team to align CBA and EHE-related deliverables, and will lead the development of community engagement strategies for diverse communities, including racial minorities, women, people living with HIV, people who use drugs, people who identify as transgender, people who identify of lesbian, gay or bisexual, and people who are unstably housed. The Senior Manager supervises a team of project consultants and maintains a strong working relationship with external project partner organizations. 

Senior Associate — Washington, DC  

NASTAD is seeking a Senior Associate for the Health Systems Integration team. The Senior Associate, Health Systems Integration provides administrative and substantive support for NASTAD’s technical assistance and capacity building assistance for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs (RWHAP), with a focus on Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative activities. This position works closely with entire Health Systems Integration and Health Care Access teams to support programmatic activities.  

Manager — Washington, DC  

NASTAD is seeking a Manager for the Health Care Access team. The Manager, Health Care Access plays a vital role in expanding the organization’s capacity and priority of addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs within health departments. Under direction from the Associate Director, Health Care Access, the Manager will play a key role the Health Care Access programs technical assistance efforts, having a strong voice in the development of NASTAD’s cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) and Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative activities. The Manager will provide quantitative analytics and qualitative analyses regarding the impact of health system changes on health department programs and people living with HIV (PLWH).     

Deputy Director—Maryland  

This position serves as the Deputy Director of Infectious Disease Prevention and Health Services Bureau within Prevention and Health Promotion Administration. The Deputy Director collaborates with the Director in planning, implementing and evaluating the internal operations of the Bureau in support of efforts to develop healthcare delivery systems responding to the needs to all Marylanders. Key functions include administrative oversight, regulatory and programmatic compliance, operational planning and evaluation, and staff development. The Deputy Director provides administrative supervision to the Bureau leadership team, which includes the Chiefs of the Centers of HIV Prevention and Health Services, the Maryland AIDS Drug Assistance Program (MADAP), HIV/STI Integration and Capacity, Harm Reduction Services, Viral Hepatitis, HIV Surveillance, Epidemiology and Evaluation, and STI Prevention. The position may act for the Director at his/her direction.  

Manager —Texas 

The Texas Department of State Health Services’ TB/HIV/STD Section is seeking a Manger for their TB/HIV/STD Health Communication and Community Engagement Group. The Manager performs complex managerial work overseeing the daily operations and activities of the Health Communications & Community Engagement Group in the Integrated Operations & Policy Unit, TB/HIV/STD Section. Duties include evaluation, direction, and coordination of complex programmatic and administrative activities; participation in the development and evaluation of goals and objectives; preparation of information in response to legislative requests; development and evaluation of budgets, grants and contracts; manages development and interpretation of policies and procedures; development, implementation and oversight of security and confidentiality guidelines and procedures; liaison with information technology (IT) staff and participation and oversight of specific IT projects, including coordination of communication and training around projects; manages the work of the Senior Public Health Adviser; manages HIV prevention training contract; approval for purchasing, timesheets, travel, and other personnel related documents; completion of routine and special assignments or projects; leadership of Health Communications & Community Engagement Group including the development, coordination, and evaluation of effective health communication efforts, program collaboration, and services integration. 

Assistant Commissioner — 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.  

Chief of Global Communications – Flexible    

Prevention Action Campaign (PAC) is seeking applicants for the Chief of Global Communications (CGC). The CGC is a critical senior global leadership position responsible for building a new communications function and team to oversee PAC's communications work with domestic and international partners. Working closely with the PAC senior leadership team and ambassadors, and in collaboration with U=U partners, the CGC will develop and implement PAC's new communications strategy. The communications team will create, curate, and share outstanding U=U resources to support and expand U=U's growing network and build upon the movement's success disseminating the U=U science worldwide.  

Community Health Worker/Contact Tracer—Maryland 

The Baltimore Health Corps is looking for a Community Health Worker/Contact Tracer to assist in addressing the economic and public health crises caused by COVID-19. The Community Health Worker (CHW) will be a part of the COVID-19 response team at the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD). Under general supervision by a direct supervisor, the Community Health Worker will be working as a public health representative. The person will be working on activities such as contact tracing (approximately 70%), public health messaging (approximately 20%), and any other public health activities as directed (10%). As the needs to the response will change over time, the role of the CHW will also adapt to public health needs. 

Viral Hepatitis Policy Fellow—Washington, D.C./Remote 

The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable seeks a Viral Hepatitis Policy Fellow to coordinate its policy work. The Viral Hepatitis Fellowship is a year-long remote position, with the possibility of renewal. Due to the need for meetings with federal lawmakers, the employee shall be based in commuting distance to Washington, D.C. The Fellowship will be awarded to a medical, public health, or policy professional interested in health equity; specifically, in strengthening the collaboration between key stakeholders and government, highlighting key gaps in policy and service delivery, and working with partners to address the disparate impact of viral hepatitis among underserved populations. 

Public Health and Prevention Specialist III—Texas  

The Texas Department of State Health Services is seeking a Public Health and Prevention Specialist to perform highly complex and advanced technical activities related to HIV, STD, and Tuberculosis data management and processing, under the direction of the Program Informatics and Evaluations Group Manager. Oversee, monitor and maintain high volume workflows and conduct activities related to data management and processing in the TB, HIV, STD Integrated System (THISIS). Create written procedures for the monitoring and maintenance of high volume workflows and best practices in maintaining workflows. Collaborate with program subject-matter experts to enhance work processes and best practices. Develop and provide training on deduplication and facility management. Act as the subject-matter expert for facility management and deduplication 

News Bulletin

COVID-19 Could Cause a Shortage of HIV Meds This Summer 

“COVID-19 lockdowns and border closings issued to stop the spread of the virus are posing a new health challenge: They’re disrupting the production and distribution of generic HIV meds in low- and middle-income countries. In fact, widespread delays are expected this summer if immediate actions aren’t taken, warns the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), based on information gathered from eight drugmakers in India that produce over 80% of the generic HIV meds in the world.” 

The Health Not Prisons Collective Is Launched to Reform HIV Crime Laws 

“Five organizations that work to update HIV crime laws launched the Health Not Prisons Collective, an intersectional national initiative focused on tackling HIV criminalization in the United States. The five groups are the Counter Narrative Project, which bolsters empowering stories of Black gay men, Positive Women’s Network–USA, the Sero Project, the Transgender Law Center (TLC) and the U.S. Caucus of People Living with HIV, according to a press release from PWN-USA.”