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December 3, 2012
The following message from RHAC Executive Director, Brian Lester, appeared in The London Free Press on Saturday, December 1, 2012 - World AIDS Day.
HIV/AIDS –Which Story to Tell?
December 1st is World AIDS Day and I have been debating which HIV/AIDS story to tell. Shall I share the good news UNAIDS report of a 50 percent reduction in infections across 25 countries? Should I note the promising phase one results of the first and only preventative HIV vaccine developed by Dr. Chil-Yong Kang and his team at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry? Should I mark this moment with the fact that with early access to treatment people living with HIV can anticipate a life span similar to their HIV negative brothers and sisters?
Such developments in the fight against HIV/AIDS indicate strong signs that we are on a promising trajectory toward a cure. Each of these good news developments will help move the world toward the UNAIDS goal of zero new infections and zero deaths. But what about their goal of zero stigma! In the context of “getting to zero stigma” the other HIV/AIDS story must be told. It’s a story that reveals stigma’s profound negative impact on those living with this virus. HIV stigma could be the single most powerful deterrent to reaching the 2015 UNAIDS goals.
A 2102 report funded by CIHR Social Research Centre in HIV Prevention entitled “HIV and AIDS in Canada: A National Survey Summary Report” indicated the following facts;
• 16% of Canadians “feel afraid” of people living with HIV
• 18% would be somewhat or very uncomfortable working in an office with someone living with the illness
• 23% expressed discomfort shopping at a small neighborhood grocery store owned by someone living with HIV/AIDS
• 35% would be somewhat or very uncomfortable if their child was attending a school where one of the students was known to be living with HIV
• 54% would be somewhat or very uncomfortable with a close friend or family member dating someone with HIV
Such statistics are a clear indicator that after 30 plus years many people in Canada continue to hold irrational fears on the subject. These fears drive stigma and challenge HIV/AIDS work on many levels. Stigma is defined as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person”. There should be no disgrace in living with HIV yet in 2012 stigma continues to deter people from accessing care, treatment, testing and support. Because of this fact the consequences of HIV stigma can be deadly.
This leads me to reflect on the recent passing of an individual who found his way to our services this past year. “James” was a 39 year-old man, who over the past 10 years, could not seem to find his way through HIV stigma to seek out life saving treatment. He couldn’t make the call for help. He couldn’t acknowledge his status to others for fear of losing his family, friends and employment. He couldn’t disclose because of the paralyzing fear caused by HIV stigma! When he became sick he finally contacted us - but it was too late. His HIV/AIDS related illnesses had advanced to a stage where treatment was not viable. He passed away in a few short months.
The passing of James and others like him offers a stark reminder that even with such hope on the horizon, HIV/AIDS continues to be a serious illness with life altering and even life ending impacts. If only there was medication or a vaccine to treat or cure HIV/AIDS stigma? On World AIDS Day and every day Regional HIV/AIDS Connection continues to stand in solidarity with those living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV/AIDS. The hopeful story of a cure is on the horizon but until then the story of HIV stigma needs to change.
November 29, 2012
RHAC has secured its own tree to be lit completely red throughout the month of December in Victoria Park, London. The tree will be accompanied by a sign that identifies it as the Remember, Honour, Celebrate tree sponsored by Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.
Please join us for its lighting this Friday evening, November 30. The official program for the evening run by the city starts at 6:15 p.m. with the lights coming on at 6:50 p.m. We will have a contingent of staff and volunteers there to watch the lights come on!
The tree is in the northwest "corner" of the park, closer to Williams Coffee House.
November 19, 2012
The Ontario AIDS Network Honour Roll Awards were created in 1996. They are conferred annually at a gala award ceremony. Over the past 12 years they have become Ontario's most respected awards for HIV/AIDS work within the province.
The evening of Saturday, November 17, a contingent of RHAC staff travelled to Toronto to support Rob Newman as he received the Persons with HIV/AIDS Leadership award.
Congratulations, Rob! We are proud of you.
November 12, 2012
AIDS Awareness Week runs from Monday, November 26-Saturday, December 1.
We have many events scheduled throughout the week. Visit our AIDS Awareness Week page on this site.
October 24, 2012
RHAC has a rich history of developing strong long term partnerships as we strive to effectively address HIV/AIDS/HCV in the communities we serve. From a social determinants of health perspective the challenges associated with HIV/AIDS/HCV intersect in many ways often contributing to a decreased quality of life and diminished health outcomes for those we serve. We at RHAC recognize that we can’t address these issues in isolation and that strategic partnership development is key to achieving success in our work. The notion of collaboration and partnership is embedded in our guiding principles;
We believe “In actively pursuing partnerships and collaborative initiatives that enhance both access to resources and the quality of services and supports available to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS/HCV.”
Over the years we have developed partnerships which are built on a foundation of common purpose, shared values and desire to affect change in the lives of the individuals we serve. Maintaining effective partnerships is not always easy, yet I would offer that at the core of any successful partnership is the element of trust. Trust between organizational leadership and trust among the staff working at the front line will solidify partnerships and inspire goodwill to work through issues. Trust is earned over time through clarity in communication, actions of consistency and demonstrated integrity while maintaining a lens that ensures the shared people we serve are at the centre of our collaborative intent. In 2012 we have a number of long term and new successful partnerships which serve to enhance RHACs capacity to provide meaningful programs to some of our community’s most marginalized. Our many awesome partners are proudly listed on this website at http://www.hivaidsconnection.ca/partners-and-collaborators.
To the many partners of Regional HIV/AIDS Connection I offer a sincere thank you. It is your interest in, and willingness to work with us that enhances our capacity to meet our mission. Know that we appreciate your contributions and we are committed to doing all that we can to create triple a win outcome for the people we serve, RHAC and each of our highly valued partners.
Thanks for your continued support!
September 18, 2012
Our 3rd annual Are You Doin' It? campaign is almost upon us!
Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) in partnership with London Intercommunity Health Centre’s Options Clinic and the Middlesex-London Health Unit is holding Testing Awareness Week, September 24–28, 2012. The campaign is also in conjunction with Health Units from Perth, Huron, Elgin, Lambton and Oxford counties.
This public awareness campaign encourages people to learn about HIV and STI transmission, risk and testing.
Visit www.testingweek.ca to find out where to get tested, important facts about getting tested, videos and much more!
Download the AYDI? poster to print and use at your convenience.
September 12, 2012
Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life London happened the evening of Saturday, September 15 at Wonderland/Springbank Gardens.
The weather was gorgeous and we had a wonderful time walking in the evening as the sun started to go down. See the photo above of walkers holding red paper lanterns - a very nice touch!
To date we have raised approximately $35,000!
Until the end of October you can still make a pledge online and help us reach our overall goal of $40,000 to support free programs and services offered by Camp Wendake, John Gordon Home and Regional HIV/AIDS Connection. To make a pledge visit https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/LoginRegister.aspx?EventID=92388&LangPref=en-CA&Referrer=http%3a%2f%2fwww.aidswalkforlife.ca%2fLondon.htm
September 10, 2012
RHAC Board of Directors for 2012-13
Thursday, September 6 was RHAC's Annual General Meeting at which a new Board of Directors was acclaimed.
Meet the 2012-13 RHAC Board:
- Tamara Landry, President
- Mana Khami, Vice President
- Stephen Barr
- Eugene Dufour
- Lynn Humfress-Trute
- Nancy Griffiths
- Adam Guzman
- Tendayi Gwaradzimba
- Laurie Patterson
- Matthew Reid
- Bryna Warshawsky
Welcome to you all!
August 27, 2012
Request for Proposal
Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) is currently seeking an independent consultant to act as the Program Administrator for the Ontario Organizational Development Program (OODP).
SECTION 1: ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Initiated in 1995 as a government response to increasing requests from community-based HIV/AIDS organizations and programs, the Ontario Organizational Development Program (OODP) was created to provide long-term organizational development (OD) resources and a provincial program to achieve the following:
• To strengthen the capacity of HIV/AIDS organizations and programs in Ontario to determine their direction with awareness.
• To foster a culture within HIV/AIDS organizations and programs in Ontario to take responsibility for their own organizational development.
• To facilitate a structure and provide resources which strengthen the capacity of local community-based HIV/AIDS organizations/programs to manage issues of organizational development.
• To provide practical opportunities for key leaders of the HIV/AIDS community and/or the not-for-profit sector to share and enhance their skills and experience for the ongoing development and stability of the community-based HIV/AIDS organizations and programs in Ontario.
The OODP is a sponsored Program of the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) in London, Ontario. The OODP funding is administered by RHAC and governed through funding agreements between RHAC and funders. As such, OODP and the PA is bound by these agreements.
• Analysis and needs assessment related to organizational issues and development
• On-site consultation to address the unique organizational development needs of the organization
• Resource provision
o Program Administrator*
o OODP Consultants
o Assessment of the agency identified organizational development challenges
o Pre-consultation and agenda design
o On-site consultation and follow-up
o Ongoing resource connections and support
• Providing referrals to other provincial programs and resources (e.g., Ontario Provincial Resource for ASO’s in Human Resources (OPRAH), Ontario AIDS Network Skills Building and PHA Leadership Programs (OAN), AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario (ABRPO), etc.)
*The role of the Program Administrator is to assign OODP Consultants for the on-site consultations, not to provide on-site consultations.
Examples of Planning Consultations:
• Designing a process that results in the development of annual work plans for the Board
• Providing information regarding the preparation/monitoring of the agency budget to the Executive Director (ED) and Board members
• Designing a process that examines service delivery planning reflective of the changing face of the epidemic
Examples of Governance Consultations:
• Developing a process that will leave the Board members and the ED competent in their respective roles and responsibilities
• Providing ED and Board Chair coaching
• Facilitating discussions that will lead to a Board development and recruitment plan
Examples of Group Process Consultations:
• Facilitating discussions relating to transitional and change management
• Facilitating discussions relating to boundaries
• Facilitating complex and difficult discussions (e.g., staff conflict, communication lines with the Board and ED, etc.)
SECTION 2: DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR
The role of the OODP Program Administrator (PA) is to manage the day-to-day operations of the OODP Program and to prioritize the use of program resources to achieve the OODP Mission, strategic directions and program goals. To accomplish this, the PA must ensure the effective operations of the program and that sufficient resources are available and have been aligned with strategic directions as needed. The role of the PA essentially oversees the entire work of the
The successful consultant will be responsible to:
• Manage the program in accordance with the OODP Implementation Plan 2011-2016
• Receive and assess the requirements of each consult request and match the appropriate consultant based on available experience, skills and budget ensuring equitable access to the OODP
• Program administration and reporting including record keeping, financial management, filing, tracking and monitoring of all consult requests
• General website maintenance and oversight regarding website content and tools
• Prepare and submit funding proposals and required reports ensuring contractual agreements with federal and provincial funders are met (includes financial and activity reporting)Work closely with the RHAC Director of Finance and Administration (who prepares all financial statements) to plan and develop the annual program budget and review all required financial reports (including monthly financial statements)
• Receive, review and process all consultant invoices, travel and other program-related expenses
• Monitor, track and report PA hours of work and submit on a monthly basis to the Director of Finance and Operations at RHAC
• Stay attuned to the trends in HIV/AIDS and to patterns of OD among AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) and in the HIV/AIDS community by noticing OD trends, commonalities, challenges and gaps
• Respond to all requests for service within two (2) business days and make semi-annual calls to ASOs to check in on OD needs and trends
Partnership Engagement and Program Promotion
• Maintain communications with consultants, funders and external partners
• Promote external partnerships by attending meetings such as COHR (Coordinated Ontario HIV Resources), annual Ontario Community HIV/AIDS Reporting Tool (OCHART) KTE Day, and other meetings as invited or deemed relevant
• Ensure effective communication with funders, consultants, ASOs and partners in community-based HIV work and beyond
• Maintain current and open connections with AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario (ABRPO), OAN Skills/PHA Leadership and Ontario Provincial Resource for ASOs in Human Resources (OPRAH ) and other relevant OD resources
• Compile and send a twice yearly e-letter update on OODP to ASOs and partners
Program Evaluation and Monitoring
• Monitor and report on the indicators in the OODP Strategic Plan
• Manage the program evaluation process consistent with the OODP’s guidelines, including evaluating the delivery of all on-site consults and workshops
• Conduct a post consult survey using appropriate methods and tools and compile results
• Recruit and manage the consultant base and ensure sufficient program resources
• Ensure effective and responsive recruitment policies, practices and procedures are in place to maintain a consultant pool that continues to be relevant to community needs
• Develop and maintain consultant service agreements and review and update annually
• Work with Consultants to complete annual reviews consistent with OODP guidelines, and conduct regular check-ins with consultants
• Document and address any performance issues related to OODP Consultants and determine suitability for further work assignments through the Program
• Plan and support up to 4 meetings per year with consultants and funders to exchange information and identify issues
The successful consultant will be required to identify a person to act as the Back-Up Program Administrator from amongst the OODP Consultant pool during any period of absence, including vacation.
SECTION 3: QUALIFICATIONS
1. Post-secondary education with a focus on OD and/or non-profit Administration or equivalent experience in a relevant field.
2. Minimum 2 years’ experience as an Executive Director or Senior Manager in an ASO or HIV/AIDS focused organization or equivalent experience in a related field.
3. Demonstrated ability to foster and maintain open communication and respectful relationships with HIV/AIDS sector organization staff, boards and communities.
4. Experienced in financial management, accountability and budget preparation and HR administration.
5. Experienced in managing projects and contracts with consultants or other external experts/professionals.
6. Demonstrated commitment to inclusive policies, principles and practices including Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression and Greater Involvement of People with AIDS (GIPA) and the Meaningful Involvement of People with AIDS (MIPA).
7. Thorough knowledge and understanding of the HIV/AIDS sector, government programs and current legislation that may affect organizations.
8. Demonstrated ability to work under pressure, to anticipate potential problems/conflicts, and take appropriate actions to resolve issues/situations and meet deadlines.
9. Excellent interpersonal, presentation, communication and negotiation skills.
10. Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with consultants on contract and with community partners and funders.
11. Proficiency in use of computers and various computer software applications.
12. Experience in partnership development, report writing, project planning and evaluation and administration of program budgets.
13. Proficiency in French is considered an asset.
SECTION 4: ACCOUNTABILITY
The PA will report directly to the RHAC Executive Director. Reporting requirements will be outlined in the contract and established between the successful PA and the ED. The PA is responsible to ensure that all program operations are successfully carried out and that all funding requirements are met. Regular teleconference sessions will be held with the funders to discuss current issues and monitor progress.
The PA is also accountable to funders and the related funding agreements for OODP.
SECTION 5: WORK SCHEDULE
The PA Position is structured as part-time with flexibility to schedule the work based on the following requirements:
1. The PA must work a minimum of fourteen (14) hours per week
2. The PA must work eighty-four (84) hours per month, except where carry-over of hours is permitted in writing by the RHAC Executive Director
3. Scheduled hours should fall within standard business operating hours (8:00am-6:00pm, Monday thru Friday)
4. The schedule must be discussed between the RHAC Executive Director and the PA and must be approved in advance
5. Regular and consistent service is maintained for the Program
6. Regular office hours or availability is provided so ASO’s know when they can contact the OODP for service and to ensure the PA is accessible
7. The PA (or Back-Up PA) is available as required to the RHAC Executive Director (or designate) and/or to the Funder(s)
8. The PA (or Back-Up PA) will respond to inquiries within two (2) business days
SECTION 6: CONFIDENTIALITY
The consultant will be required to sign and comply with a confidentiality agreement that will form a part of their contract.
It is expressly understood that the information relating to the Client’s organization, operation and activities must remain in strict confidence both during the term of the agreement with the Consultant and after the contract has concluded.
SECTION 7: OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THE CONSULTANT
The Consultant will provide the following at his/her own expense:
1. Business telephone number with voicemail
2. Long distance charges and/or long distance package
3. Business internet and dedicated e-mail address
4. General office and administration, including rent and utilities
SECTION 8: BUDGET
The total cost of the proposal must not exceed $65,000.00 per annum (exclusive of applicable taxes).
SECTION 9: TIMELINES FOR THE RFP
RFP Posted/Advertised August 22, 2012
RFP Closing Date September 7, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. (EST)
Screening Completed September 14, 2012
Invitations for Interviews September 19-21, 2012
Interviews (in Toronto) September 21, 2012
October 9, 2012
References and Final Decision Week of October 15, 2012
Contract Awarded Week of October 15, 2012
Contract Start Date November 5, 2012
SECTION 10: PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS
All proposals must include the following:
1. Cover letter specifically outlining the consultant’s name, address, contact information and related experience, education and training qualifying you to support the OODP.
2. Current resume or curriculum vitae.
3. A narrative submission of how you will approach the project and your ability to support the services and programs provided by the OODP as outlined above.
4. Fee schedule and rates which must include itemized fees under the contract.
5. Proposed schedule for service.
6. Proposed “home base” location (must be in Ontario).
7. 3 references.
To express interest in this exciting opportunity, please submit your proposal by no later than 4:00p.m. (EST) on September 7, 2012 to:
Mr. Brian Lester, RHAC Executive Director
c/o OODP Program Administrator RFP
186 King Street, Suite #30
London, ON N6A 1C7
As part of our commitment to the Greater Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) and the Meaningful Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS (MIPA), submissions from HIV-positive Consultants are welcomed and encouraged.
We thank all interested parties for their submissions with respect to this RFP. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
The Regional HIV/AIDS Connection and the OODP reserve the right to amend this RFP at any time and reserves its right to withdraw the RFP at any time, with notification to those who have provided submission by the deadline.
July 30, 2012
Position: Outreach Worker (Relief) - London CAReS Initiative
Reports to: London CAReS Team Leader
A team of seven people, comprised of one team leader and six outreach workers, which includes a mobile unit, who will work year round going along the river paths, parks and streets in and around the core downtown areas of London to actively engage people through outreach to apply the principles of London CAReS and its housing stability program. The outreach team’s role is to establish a presence and a rapport with individuals who are at urgent risk of becoming homeless and those who are chronically or persistently homeless, becoming known and trusted amongst this community. Over time, after building a relationship, the team assesses the needs of a client through a standardized assessment tool, assist them to acquire housing, identify intervention recommendations through an individual service plan and support their transition to an intensive case management housing approach as part of the London CAReS 2.0 model.
The Outreach Team provides outreach:
- in isolated and rough areas at times;
- in pairs of two workers to minimize risks to safety in isolated locations;
- with flexible hours ofwork; and,
- with a designated mobile outreach vehicle
- outside in all seasons of weather;
Details of Contract/Hours of Work
- Immediate start – December 31, 2013
- Relief, Contract Position
- Includes evenings, weekends and public holidays
- Schedule may vary according to program needs
- Respond to on-call needs from supervisors
- Participate in the on-call system
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Requirements
- Post-secondary education in social services or related field
- Experience working with individuals experiencing homelessness
- Have experience in working with identified London CAReS priority
populations(youth, Aboriginal People, older adults and women)
- Thorough understanding of harm reduction theory and demonstrated ability to implement harm reduction strategies
- Minimum 2 years clinical work or practicum experience in addictions and mental health
- Access to a reliable vehicle
- Valid driver’s license
- Satisfactory Police Records Check and Vulnerable Position Screening
- Detect and prioritize individuals and families who are new to street culture including those at urgent risk of
becoming homeless as a result of harmful substance use and other underlying issues including trauma and mental health; and individuals who are chronically and or persistently homeless
- Locate individuals and map their locations throughout the core downtown areas of London
- Engage with individuals and families to build a quality working rapport, providing information, improving access to mainstream services and facilitating the process of securing housing for individuals who want housing
- Engage with local residents and businesses to support outcome focussed discussions
- Help establish and participate in the on-call system to support clients after hours once they are housed
- Administer provincially mandated standardized screening tools
- Provide mental health screening, referrals for psychiatric consultation, mental health supports and referrals to community resources
- Provide and facilitate referrals to addiction resources as appropriate
- Provide referrals to all appropriate social and health related services based on participant wishes
- Provide support and active linkages (accompanied) to men and women recently released from incarceration or awaiting admission to programs
- Offer harm reduction strategies as well as abstinence strategies based on participants intentions and stated needs
- Share information about health and community/social services and link participants to same
- Link participants to harm reduction initiatives available in the community
- Provide information about London CAReS
- Provide information and services to assist with stabilization
- Provide opportunities to clinical consultation about addiction issues
- Work in collaboration and consultation with London CAReS personnel
- Monitor and record the needs of the community for London CAReS
- Track demographics of clients as per evaluation requirements
- Attend all London CAReS outreach meetings
- Maintain awareness of, and adherence to policies and protocols as outlined in the Policy and Procedure Manual
- Generate reports as required
- Meets service targets as identified at outset of contract
- Assist with evaluation of London CAReS through submission of required data and interpretation in reports
- Other duties as directed by London CAReS Coordinator, Team Leader, Executive Director of ADSTV and/or Manager of Homelessness, City of London
- Accompany participants to appointments
- work within an integrated case management plan including completing shift and case notes
- Alert the Team Leader of information that could affect the safety and well-being of street involved individuals including bad drugs, dangerous offenders or predators
- Respond through a harm reduction approach
- Collaborate with community stakeholders such as the London Police Service, emergency medical services, hospital emergency department social workers, Ontario Works and staff from safe havens, drop-ins emergency shelters for homeless individuals
- Works outside in all seasons of weather
- In isolated and rough areas at times
- In pairs of two workers to minimize risks to safety in isolated locations
- With flexible hours of work
- With a designated mobile outreach vehicle
- May be exposed to infectious waste, diseases, conditions, etc., including exposure to HIV, AIDS and hepatitis viruses
- Manual dexterity required to use desktop computer and peripherals
- Moderate physical activity including standing, sitting, lifting
- Extensive walking
PLEASE SUBMIT RESUME AND COVER LETTER IN CONFIDENCE TO:
ATTN: Grant Martin
186 King Street London, ON N6A 1C7
Or e-mail at: email@example.com
We thank all applicants for their interest but regret only those selected for an interview will be acknowledged. No phone calls please.