Update on PHAC Communicable Disease Funding Model

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Dear Executive Director of PAN Member Organizations:

I am writing to share with you the latest information that PAN has available regarding PHAC’s transition to a Communicable Disease Funding model, and the changes that are currently being discussed that will impact all funding envelopes within the Federal Initiative on HIV/AIDS – including the AIDS Community Action Program (ACAP) – as well as PHAC’s Hepatitis C Prevention, Support and Research Program.

On February 26th, Jacqueline Arthur, Manager, Community Programs, Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control, attended PAN’s Executive Director Summit and did an in-person presentation on the proposed changes. Additionally, since that time, some discussion papers have been circulated by PHAC regarding their transition planning and some of the proposed changes.

Based on my understanding, here are the highlights of what is presently UNDER DISCUSSION:

  • Across all of Canada, there is $26.2 million being spent annually on community programs for HIV and HCV through Grants and Contribution Agreements (G’s and Cs) – $22.7 million on the Federal Initiative- and $3.5 million under the Hepatitis C Prevention, Support and Research Program
  • The proposed new HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund is a fully integrated and streamlined funding program made up of the former HIV and HCV funding streams
  • The total funding envelope for HIV/AIDS and HCV programming will remain at $26.2 million and the amounts being allocated for front line programming in each of the regions will remain the same
  • The Minister of Health has asked PHAC to “align its role in the response to HIV and HCV within a broader communicable diseases perspective and to explore innovative partnerships and links to chronic diseases, mental health, aging, and other determinants of health”
  • “Our surveillance data reinforces the importance of addressing HIV, HCV, sexually transmitted infections and blood borne infections (STBBIs), TB co-infection issues among specific populations in an integrated manner”…”HIV, hep C and related communicable diseases such as STBBIs and tuberculosis co-infection share common transmission routes, behaviours, affected populations and determinants of health”…”Related health factors such as mental health, aging, addictions, and chronic diseases have an impact on the prevention and management of these diseases”…
  • The regional PHAC offices will still be involved with helping to facilitate capacity building, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange, and emergency preparedness and response. However, all Grants and Contribution agreements will be administered by Ottawa
  • There are presently 184 HIV and HCV projects being funded by the federal government across Canada – goal will be to (ultimately) significantly reduce the # of projects
  • Once fullyimplemented, the Agency is proposing to support 1-3 organizations at the national level, and 6-15 organizations at the regional level. “These organizations (1) Will be responsible for administering funding to other organizations to deliver activities to meet the goal and objectives of the new fund and (2) May also deliver activities to meet the goal and objectives of the new fund”
  • It will not be incumbent on the holders of the new agreements with PHAC to demonstrate that they have established partnerships with groups not previously included i.e. Planned Parenthood, Options for sexual health, hepatitis B groups, TB groups, etc. However, PHAC will be looking to see how overall, each of the various communicable diseases and conditions are being addressed
  • PHAC will not be looking for public/private sector partnerships – no desire or expectation that PHAC funds will be supporting activities by the private sector (such as pharmaceuticals, etc.)
  • There will be no new funding at the community level to address hepatitis B, TB, STBBI’s and to adopt the integrated approach/broader scope
  • PHAC funds could be used to fund HIV (only) specific work, HCV (only) specific work – with the expectation that all the conditions are being addressed overall in each region (and nationally)
  • PHAC wants to hear from each region, how this should roll out and is prepared to work with each region – ideally each region will come up with the “way forward”
  • Timeline: A phased approach is being contemplated for implementation, with full implementation to be completed by April 1, 2017.
  • First step: the Agency will support planning activities that will assist national and regional organizations to prepare for implementation (2013-2014)
  • Second step: the Agency will support a series of pilot strategic partnerships to be undertaken alongside the planning activities. The mechanisms/processes needed for the funding administration role will be assessed (2014-2015)
  • Third step: a multi-step, phased solicitation process will be launched to select organizations who will deliver funding. Proposals will need to identify key activities/interventions aligned with the new fund (2015-2016)
  • April 2017: New Community Funding in place (Proposed Administration through Strategic Partnerships)
  • Current funding agreements with national and regional organizations under the Federal Initiative and Hepatitis C programs will be extended to allow time for the new model to be implemented (2013-2016)
  • Summer-Fall 2013: Existing HIV and HCV Contribution Agreements extended; Transitional activities start
  • Fall 2014: Some regional Strategic Partnership pilots in place
  • Spring 2015:   Strategic Partnership pilots roll out new solicitation calls for community projects in their regions
  • Fall – Winter 2015: Assess pilots and implement lessons learned; more Regional Strategic Partnership pilots in place; National Strategic pilot partnership(s) in place
  • Spring 2015-Fall 2016: More Strategic Partnership pilots roll out new solicitation calls for national and regional community projects
  • Winter 2017 and beyond: Strategic Partnerships in place to continue funding of national and regional community projects

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Call for Transition/Community Planning Funding: PHAC has also indicated that there will be between $50,000 to $100,000 available in each region to support “transition planning” and related activities. PHAC is presently developing the call for proposals for community planning funding and is hoping to share timelines for this funding call in May/June 2013.

With the endorsement of the PAN Executive Directors who were present at the ED Summit, PAN has submitted an expression of interest to PHAC to apply for the transition funding to support community consultation, engagement and planning activities in BC. PAN will apply to the community planning funding call, once it is released by PHAC this Spring/Summer.

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PAN’s Strategic Planning Process: On a related note PAN’s own Strategic Planning process (for 2013-2016) is still underway. At the PAN staff/board strategic planning session on January 14th, the board unanimously approved a resolution to move forward within the current strategic planning process, to amend our vision, mission and values statement to explicitly incorporate communicable diseases and other related illnesses/conditions. We are in the process of completing key stakeholder interviews and we will be circulating a survey to all of our PAN member organizations in the first or second week of May. Our goal is to present the new Strategic Plan to the membership at our Fall meeting.

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Save The Date!: PAN has fixed the date of our 2013 Fall meeting: October 29th and 30th in Richmond, BC.

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PAN looks forward to continuing to share with you, developments and information regarding these changes, as they come available to us. Warm regards,

Evin

Jennifer Evin Jones, BaH, LLB
Executive Director, Pacific AIDS Network Society
P: 604.688.6233 e: [email protected]bc.ca