This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Rural HIV/AIDS Planning Program. ‘Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE): A Plan for America’ is a multi-year U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030. The Rural HIV/AIDS Planning program targets seven states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina) with a disproportionate number of HIV diagnoses in rural areas. The purpose of the Rural HIV/AIDS Planning program is to assist in the planning and development of an integrated rural HIV health network for HIV care and treatment, specifically with network participants who do not have a history of formal collaborative HIV efforts.
The Rural HIV/AIDS Planning program offers rural health care providers the opportunity to address community HIV needs, gaps and challenges, including issues related to the need for early diagnosis, comprehensive care that includes support services such as transportation, substance use treatment, stigma, innovative service delivery models with the goal of improving health outcomes among people with HIV and reducing the number of new HIV infections. The intent is for rural HIV health networks to expand access to HIV care, increase the use of health information technology such as CDC data to care models, use telemedicine models for training and care, partner with Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) recipients, explore innovative health care delivery models, and continue to promote quality health care across the continuum of care. The Rural HIV/AIDS Planning program provides support to rural communities for the implementation of activities needed to plan and develop formal and integrated rural HIV health care networks such as, but not limited to, business plan development, community needs assessment, network organizational assessment, SWOT analysis and a health information technology readiness assessment. The purpose of this program is to fund planning activities. Applications that propose to use award funds to pay for the direct provision of clinical health services will be deemed unresponsive and will not be considered for funding under this notice.
A rural HIV health network (also called consortium) is defined as an organizational arrangement among at least three (3) separately owned regional or local health care providers that come together to develop strategies for improving health services delivery systems in a community. Health networks can be an effective strategy to help smaller rural health care providers and health care service organizations align resources, achieve economies of scale and efficiencies, collaboratively address challenges, and create impactful, innovative solutions.
HRSA encourages applicants to consider innovative partnerships with their State Office of Rural Health (SORH) to coordinate statewide collaboration that support and expand rural community efforts that provide sustainable HIV care services. For example, a RWHAP clinic, a rural health clinic, and a public health department may collaborate to form a rural HIV health network around a shared purpose. Other examples of consortium participants include, but are not limited to: AIDS Education and Training
Centers (AETCs), HIV award recipients of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA), and the Indian Health Service (IHS) programs, community health centers, Rural Health Associations, Primary Care Associations, Area Health Education Centers, critical access hospitals, public health agencies, local or state health departments, home health providers, mental health centers, substance use disorder service providers, primary care providers, oral health providers, social service agencies, health profession schools, local school districts, emergency services providers, migrant health centers, federally qualified health centers, tribal health programs, churches, faith-based organizations, and civic organizations that provide health care.
Eligible applicant organizations for the Rural HIV/AIDS Planning program must meet geographic requirements. (Note: the award will be made to only one member of the consortium, the applicant organization, which will serve as the recipient of record.)
The applicant organization must be rural nonprofit private or rural public entity that represents a consortium/network composed of three or more health care providers. Network members may be rural or urban, nonprofit or for-profit entities. Federally recognized tribal entities are eligible to apply as long as they are located in a non-metropolitan county or in a rural census tract of a metropolitan county, and all services must be provided in a non-metropolitan county or rural census tract.
If the applicant organization’s headquarters are located in a metropolitan or urban county, that also serves or has branches in a non-metropolitan or rural county, the applicant organization is not eligible to apply solely because of the rural areas they serve. To be eligible, the applicant organization must meet all other eligibility requirements.
To ascertain rural eligibility, please refer to: https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/rural-health.