Minority AIDS Initiative Holds Learning Session in Philadelphia
The Jewish Healthcare Foundation's HIV/AIDS Team hosted its Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) Learning Session in Philadelphia on April 24-25, bringing together 25 frontline staff from 11 agencies across the state. Every year, JHF convenes this group twice for sharing best practices and for networking. Attendees described their strategies around providing outreach services to re-engage individuals who are lost-to-care, bringing them back into HIV care and treatment.
JHF staff facilitated discussions and led interactive activities focused on sharing successes and challenges in their daily outreach work, analyzing and understanding their agency's linkage to care data to see how their daily work informs a larger picture. They learned about quality improvement and work design strategies, and created action plans to use what they learned to transform their work.
At the end of the two-day training, attendees had established connections with one another and made plans to follow up and learn from each other's agency.
Attendees reported that MAI provides them the opportunity to be present in places they would not normally visit, giving them the ability to interact with people they normally would not be able to reach. MAI supports the work of case managers, social workers, and nurses to go into the community and help vulnerable populations. Odessa Summers, senior case manager from Action Wellness, said, "It's brave for a soul to admit they need help, and then even braver for them to get there [to recovery]."