Efrat Stein 312.747.9805 firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release
Today, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) convened the first meeting for the Chicago Area HIV Integrated Services Council (CAHISC),a newly integrated planning council that will provide guidance for $39 million in funding to deliver HIV prevention, care and housing services to Chicago along with 9 collar counties; Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.
Members of CAHISC are volunteers made up of HIV care providers, community members and government agencies that work in partnership with CDPH to make informed planning decisions for people living with HIV/AIDS, and those at-risk for acquiring HIV infection. HIV is one of the City's top health priorities outlined in Healthy Chicago, the City's public health agenda.
At the meeting, held at the University Center, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Bechara Choucair M.D. said, "This planning body is extremely important in taking a more focused approach in how we address the HIV challenges we are facing. With an integrated planning body, the full spectrum of needs to somebody who has HIV will be addressed in one conversation."
Chicago is among the first large metropolitan area to integrate planning for prevention, care and housing services for HIV. This integration is aligned with the National HIV Strategy designed by the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, and outlines basic goals to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV and reduce HIV-related health disparities.
Prior to the development of CAHISC, this work was done from two separate groups; the Chicago Area HIV Services Council and the HIV Prevention Planning Group (HPPG). The integration of these two bodies allows for more strategic planning.
The integration of the planning bodies will lead to a more comprehensive planning process and allow for the sharing of best practices across Metropolitan Chicago. In addition, the change will lead to a more effective use of resources across the HIV continuum of services.
CAHISC membership is comprised of a maximum of 47 members, including newly appointed governmental Co-Chair, H.L. Anderson M.S., CDPH Public Health Administrator. Thirty-three (33%) of the membership body must be individuals receiving Ryan White Part A Services. The remaining membership is made up of providers of HIV services, federal and local government liaisons and members of a defined HIV special population groups such as LGBT. Members will serve on staggered terms with one year, two year, and three year terms. Planning decisions are based on information and resources from CDPH's HIV prevention, care programs, housing and surveillance unit, as well as input from a network of community partners and delegate agencies.
CAHISC will continue to ensure the integrity of the planning process while meeting the legislative requirements of the "The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009."
To get more information about where to go for sexually transmitted infections including HIV testing, treatment or other resources visit the City's website at www.cityofchicago.org/health. You can also connect with CDPH at www.facebook.com/ChicagoPublicHealth or on Twitter @ChiPublicHealth.
For more information about this planning body click here.