This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding for the Quality Improvement Solutions for Sustained Epidemic Control Project (QISSEC). The purpose of this project is to facilitate improvements in quality across the HIV care continuum at the site level (defined as the location where persons diagnosed with HIV receive care and treatment) and within the community. The project attempts to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, patient-centeredness, safety, accessibility, and equity of the HIV services in low to middle-income countries (LMIC) as identified by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. FY21 PEPFAR priorities recognize quality health services as essential in order to ensure that optimal health outcomes are met on a daily and routine basis. Therefore, all PEPFAR country programs must incorporate explicit quality management (QM) practices, including both quality assurance (QA) and quality improvement (QI) activities into service delivery and partner management. Focused on building the capacity of countries to sustain and spread QI methodologies, improve documentation of efforts, and continuously enhance staff knowledge, QISSEC strives to impact the delivery of quality HIV services, improve health outcomes, and support HIV/AIDS epidemic control. This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) will fund two cooperative agreements in support of the PEPFAR focus on the management of evidence-informed interventions for scale-up and spread. The successful applicants will facilitate solutions for long-term change management approaches and sustainability of QA and QI activity. The QISSEC shall focus on developing innovative strategies to improve the delivery of HIV quality care and treatment for use by facilities that serve the most vulnerable individuals in PEPFAR-supported LMICs. Using quality improvement methodologies, tools, and techniques, the project will identify gaps in service delivery, and develop culturally and medically appropriate, sustainable interventions targeted to PEPFAR- identified vulnerable and key populations. Over 18 years PEPFAR https://www.state.gov/pepfar/ has evolved to a complex and high impact program, with mature stakeholders and partners showing that epidemic control is indeed possible. It is in this context that HRSA is renewing its commitment to PEPFAR and specifically seeking to fill gaps as well as to bring targeted and innovative solutions to the remaining barriers to epidemic control around the globe. The PEPFAR 2021 Country Operational Plan Guidance for all PEPFAR Countries (https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/PEPFAR-COP21-Guidance-Final.pdf) suggests all PEPFAR country programs must incorporate explicit quality management practices, including both QA and QI activities, into service delivery and partner management.
Eligible applicants include domestic or foreign public or non-profit private entities, including schools of medicine, nursing, public health, management and public administration, and academic health centers, community-based organizations, faith- based organizations, and consortia consisting of such eligible organizations.
Tracey Gantt, MSN, RN, PHNA-BC