< Back | Next | Table of Contents >
Chapter 8: Conclusion: Next Steps
Community planning for HIV prevention efforts is an intensive and time-consuming process involving the cooperation and collaboration of community members, AIDS service providers, Bureau of Health staff, and the Centers for Disease Control. Experience has shown that, because of the complex nature of this process, it is difficult to plan for future components of the planning process and even more challenging to accurately predict when these components will be completed. Such difficulties aside, several important projects have emerged during the course of the past year which need to be addressed; some during coming months, and some on an on-going basis for future planning efforts. This document concludes, then, with a tentative look into the future of HIV Prevention Community Planning for the State of Maine.
Some short term CPG projects include:
Completion of Analysis for the Statewide CPG Needs Assessment:
Some Needs Assessment data continue to be analyzed by Bureau of Health and Margaret Chase Smith Center staff. These data pertain specifically to HIV service providers and the extent of services available to Maine communities. Results will supplement other data already obtained from the Assessment about the needs and perceptions of at-risk populations concerning HIV prevention efforts.
What the needs assessment reveals about services in Maine will provide a better understanding of HIV prevention and service, and which HIV prevention needs remain unmet for priority populations. This will assist CPG efforts to conduct “gap” analyses, such as the one described in Chapter 7.
Analysis of these results will be completed during late summer and early fall, and will be available to CPG members and others in the fall of 1999.
Reprioritization of Populations at Risk:
During the coming year, the CPG will initiate a process to reprioritize populations. Although HIV transmission patterns in Maine have changed little in recent years, the current configuration of Priority Populations contains broad population descriptors which make it difficult to determine and prioritize needs and interventions. For example, the population described as “Other Populations with Special Needs,” encompasses what could be considered six discrete populations: “Homeless People,” “People with Mental Illness,” “Incarcerated People,” “Deaf People,” and “People for Whom English is Not the Primary Language.” Although all of these populations have different needs, these needs are diverse and do not necessarily coincide. Reprioritization will allow the CPG the opportunity to revisit existing population configurations and may result in the use of more specific population descriptors.
This process will be science-based and will involve the use of a standard prioritization tool. It is anticipated that reprioritization will be completed in Spring, 2000 to coincide with the release of Bureau of Health Requests for Proposals for HIV prevention grants .
Long-term or on-going projects will include:
Performance-Based Evaluation for CPG Priority Populations
During 1997, the State of Maine enacted legislation mandating that social service providers employ a "client-centered, outcome-oriented process that is based on measurable performance indicators and desired outcomes and includes the regular assessment of the quality of services provided." In response to this legislation, two specific, long-term project goals for HIV prevention were developed and adopted by the Bureau of Health, HIV/STD Program for use with HIV prevention grantees:
The health of all Maine people will be improved by promoting behaviors, community building, knowledge and/or attitudes that reduce the risk of HIV infection
HIV infected persons in Maine will have reduced morbidity and mortality through increased access to early medical intervention.
In order to satisfy these long-term goals, specific, measurable short term goals and objectives are negotiated with each grant holder.
The CPG has not yet developed short term goals and measurable objectives for each priority population and for the CPG process. During the coming year, the statewide needs assessment work will be completed and the CPG will attempt to link documented population based needs with specific short term goals and measurable objectives for each population.
Recruitment of members:
One on-going concern is with the parity, inclusion and representation of CPG membership to ensure that member represent those communities most effected by the epidemic. Currently, we are seeking representation from American Indians, males who have sex with males, youth (and in particular, young males who have sex with males). We will continue to actively seek out and recruit appropriate representatives from affected Maine communities.
We are also striving to include people from the more rural, northern segment of the state. Since Maine is the least densely populated state east of the Mississippi and many members travel long distances to attend meetings, finding representation from northern Maine has proven particularly challenging. To help facilitate this, the CPG has been examining the possibility of interactive video conferencing, and will continue to research the feasibility of this option during the coming year.
< Back | Next | Top of Page | Table of Contents | Return Home >