DOH CONTACT: Ivan Torres, 202/641-3065, [email protected]
WASHINGTON, DC – The District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) today announced the merger of the Metropolitan Washington Regional Ryan White Planning Council and the HIV Prevention Planning Group into the new Washington, D.C. Regional Planning Commission on Health and HIV. The Commission offers a new, exciting opportunity for community and government to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV and prevent people from contracting HIV.
The Commission will serve as the new regional planning body for HIV prevention and care services in the Washington, D.C. Eligible Metropolitan Area. The area covers the District of Columbia, five counties in suburban Maryland, 11 counties and six independent cities in Northern Virginia, and two counties in West Virginia.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides funding to the District and the metropolitan area under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Care Program and for HIV prevention activities. The Commission will have multiple responsibilities to assess the needs of people living with HIV and people who are HIV negative, develop guidelines for services across the region, provide regular forums for area residents and providers to share their concerns and interests, and prioritize a range of medical and support services totaling about $25 million in federal and other funds.
The two existing planning groups, the DC HIV Prevention Planning Group and the Metropolitan Washington Regional Ryan White Planning Council agreed to merge, paving the way for the new integrated prevention and care service planning body. Its leaders recognized that integrated planning will achieve a more coordinated, effective, regional response to the HIV continuum of services. While five other jurisdictions in the nation have also merged, the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Commission will cover more states and cities.
The Commission will have more than 40 members to be appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The Commission is recruiting a broad and diverse group of providers, community members, and stakeholders. One third of the program members will be people living with HIV who receive services from the Ryan White Program.
The District of Columbia Department of Health promotes health, wellness and equity, across the District, and protects the safety of residents, visitors and those doing business in our nation’s Capital.