FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Select a category below for more information on the Planning Council and the Ryan White Program!

Planning Council

What is the Bergen-Passaic HIV Health Services Planning Council?


The Bergen-Passaic HIV Planning Council is a community planning group that oversees the prioritization and allocation of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act (RWTMA) Part A funds. It is also called the Planning Council or Ryan White Council.




What does the Planning Council do?


The Council has several major duties, including:

  1. Determine the size and demographics of the population of individuals with HIV/AIDS.
  2. Determining the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, especially those not in care, affected subpopulations and historically under served communities.
  3. Setting priorities for the allocation of funds.
  4. Developing a comprehensive plan for the organization and delivery of health services.
  5. Assessing the efficiency of the grant administration and the effectiveness of services.
  6. Establishing data driven methods (focus groups, Ad Hoc panels, public meetings, etc.) which focus on community needs and priorities.
  7. Defining Standards of Care for services provided to people living with HIV/AIDS.
  8. Coordinate with Federal, State and local grantees that provide HIV-related services within the TGA.
  9. Be available to facilitate and collaborate with all funded AIDS programs within the TGA, including but not limited to: the CARE Act Part A, B, C, D and F, housing opportunities for people living with AIDS (HOPWA) funds and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funds.
  10. Participate in the development of the Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need (SCSN) initiated by the State Public Health agency responsible for administering grants under Part B (Title II)
The Council has a mandate to focus on people who are not in care (i.e. not receiving medical care) by assessing their needs and developing programs to bring them into care. The Planning Council and its Committees use parliamentary procedure or Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct meetings. If you want to learn more about this procedure, access the link on the website called Decision Process.




When and where does the Planning Council meet?


During the COVID-19 pandemic, all meetings will be held virtually via ZOOM Meetings. Each committee usually meets once a month. The Council can create ad hoc work groups to address short-term projects. For a more comprehensive schedule of meetings, please see the Meeting Calendar link.




How can I find out about the PC meeting times and agendas?


The Planning Council has a website, www.bergenpassaictga.org which includes upcoming Council meeting times and agendas, locations, and minutes from full Council and committee meetings. It links to documents such as the Comprehensive Plan and other useful Council information.




How do you contact PC members or staff?


The Professional Staff for the Planning Council can be reached by phone at 973-321-1336.




Who is on the Council?


There are a maximum number of 45 seats on the Council. The federal legislation prescribes a number of areas of representation such as people living with HIV, community-based organizations, housing providers, and medical providers. It also specifies that organizations funded under other parts of the RWTMA, such as Parts B and C, and other federal programs be represented. The membership must reflect the demographics of the epidemic in the Transitional Grant Area (TGA). The members of the Council represent the broad range of people involved in the fight against HIV in Bergen-Passaic counties.




Who makes up the Planning Council?


The Planning Council is comprised of various share holders in the community who directly or indirectly interact with the HIV/AIDS community and who have a vested interest to ensure that the best possible services are provided to ensure a positive and healthy outcome for those served.
One of the most important components of the Planning Council membership and the reason why this program has been so successful over the years is the mandated requirement that one-third (33%) of Planning Council membership be consumers of services provided by the TGA. The involvement of the community is vital in ensuring that the funds are indeed being expended to their maximum benefit.




If I'm interested in joining the Council, how do I do that?


Membership application forms are available from Council staff and on the Council web site at the Planning Council Membership page. The Membership/Finance Committee reviews applications of potential applicants on an ongoing basis. The Membership/Finance Committee selects nominees and forwards names to the full Council. The Council votes on the applicants, and the names are forwarded to the Mayor for appointment. The Membership Committee strongly recommends that persons thinking about applying to the Council attend several Council or committee meetings first




Who appoints the members?


All members are appointed by the Chief Elected Official (CEO) of the largest jurisdiction in the TGA, in accordance with the legislation. The CEO for the Bergen-Passaic Counties TGA is the Mayor of Paterson, NJ.




What is the term of office?


Council members are appointed for a three-year term. Members can re-apply for additional three-year terms, as long as they are members in good standing with the Council. Council members must meet the meeting attendance requirements to stay in good standing.




Can I participate without becoming a member?


All Council meetings and committee meetings are open to the public. Public comment is taken at the beginning of each full Council meeting and during the meeting on each agenda item. Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the discussions at committee and work group meetings.





Ryan White Program

What is the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act?


The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act was recently reauthorized in December of 2006. It redefined funded areas into two subsets:

  • EMAs or Eligible Metropolitan Areas
  • TGAs or Transitional Grant Areas.
Prior to 2007, the legislation had been known as the Ryan White CARE Act. This federal legislation was originally passed in 1990 and reauthorized in 1995, 2000 and 2006. It authorized spending federal dollars for HIV health services through five different titles or parts. It was envisioned as a disaster relief bill to help cities and states overwhelmed by the costs of caring for people with HIV/AIDS. It helps support a comprehensive continuum of HIV health services for low-income people living with HIV.




What is Ryan White Part A?


Part A (previously Title I) funds go directly to the urban areas hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. Provides assistance to Eligible Metropolitan Areas (EMAs) and Transitional Grant Areas (TGAs)—locales that are most severely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
When the first Part A grants were awarded in FY 1991, there were 16 EMAs. Today, 24 EMAs and 32 TGAs receive funding.
In FY 2010, approximately $679.1 million was appropriated for Part A spending.




What is Ryan White Part B?


Part B (previously Title II) provides grants to States and U.S. Territories.
Part B grants include a base grant, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) award, ADAP supplemental grants, grants to States for Emerging Communities, and an award for Minority AIDS Initiative activities.
For FY 2010, $1.25 billion was appropriated for Part B programs, and $835 million was earmarked for ADAP. For FY 2010 $8.4 million was awarded for MAI activities in 33 States, the District of Columbia , Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands




What is Ryan White Part C?


Part C (previously Title III) provides grants for community-based organizations, clinics, hospitals, and other health facilities that provide early intervention services to people infected with HIV/AIDS through intravenous drug use. The FY 2010 appropriation for Part C EIS was $206.8 million. Since FY 1991, approximately $1.85 billion has been appropriated for Part C programs. In FY 2009, 253 organizations received grants totaling approximately $187.1 million.




What is Ryan White Part D?


Part D funds family-centered primary for women, infants, children, and youth with HIV/AIDS and specialty medical care and support services. Since 1994, the Part D Program has provided more than $681.6 million in funding to States and communities. The Part D Program has played a significant part in reducing mother-to-child HIV transmission.




What is Ryan White Part F?


Part F covers: the AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) training for health care providers. It's responsible for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursement Program (DRP) for agencies to reimburse the uncompensated costs incurred by agencies in providing oral health treatment to PLWHA as well as funds the Community Based Dental Partnership Program (CBDPP) which provides oral health care in the community and also trains dental professionals. Finally, Part F is home to the Special Programs of National Significance (SPNS) models of care.




Who administers the Program?


The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) administers the programs on the federal level. They are a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Bexar County (also known as the Grantee or Recipient) provides day-to-day administration on the local level.




What is it used for?


Ryan White funds pay for primary medical care, dental care, substance abuse treatment, mental health care, case management, and dental health services. In addition, 25% of total funds can be used for support services that help people get into medical care or stay in care such as housing assistance. It also pays for Planning Council staff and activities such as needs assessment, evaluation, comprehensive planning and grant administration. The funds are distributed to community-based organizations, public health programs, community health clinics, and hospitals.




Are there things that the funds can't be used for?


Yes. The Federal government has a number of restrictions on funding:

  • The money cannot be spent on capital improvements or construction.
  • It cannot pay for permanent housing services.
  • It must be used as the payer of last resort, meaning that if a service can be paid for somewhere else, such as billed to Medicaid, it cannot be paid for by Ryan White Part A.
  • Money also cannot be given directly to consumers.
The ability to use funds for counseling and testing or prevention services is limited.




Who can get services?


Ryan White Part A services are for people living with HIV/AIDS who are low income and uninsured or underinsured. Programs or agencies may have additional eligibility criteria, such as disability. Services are prioritized for those with the most severe needs, such as those who are homeless or who have multiple diagnoses.




What are Ryan White Part A services and where are they available?


Core and Support Services are available to HIV infected persons who meet eligibility requirements regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. For a listing of locations please go to the Services page on this website. For a brief description and listing of services standards offered, please go to the Service Standards page Core medical services may include:

  • outpatient and ambulatory health services
  • pharmaceutical assistance
  • oral health care
  • early intervention services
  • health insurance premium and cost-sharing assistance
  • home health care
  • medical nutrition therapy
  • hospice services
  • home and community-based health services
  • mental health services,
  • outpatient substance abuse care, and
  • medical case management, including treatment-adherence services.
Support services may include:
  • outreach
  • medical transportation
  • linguistic services
  • respite care for caregivers of people with HIV
  • referrals for health care and other support services
  • non-medical case management, and
  • residential substance abuse treatment services.
For a listing of locations please go to the Services page on this website. For a brief description and listing of services standards offered, please go to the Service Standards page




Who does Ryan White Part A serve?


Over 5,000 people received services in the TGA in 2007. Compared to the demographics of all people living with HIV/AIDS, Ryan White Part A clients are disproportionately poor, people of color, and women. Of those for whom we have demographic information:

  • The majority of clients are people of color (65%), including 36% African American, 29% Latino, 1% Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 34% White. Most are men (65%), with 35% women.
  • Nearly 70% of clients are within 0 to 150% of the 2006 Federal Poverty Level. Further, 66.5% of those meeting the Federal Poverty Level Criteria have a Disabling AIDS or Disabling HIV+ status.
  • One third are homeless or in unstable housing such as a shelter, a treatment program, or staying with friends.
  • 27% have no health insurance and half are on public insurance.
  • Nearly 42% report injection drug use (IDU) as their HIV exposure risk, 20% report MSM, 23% identified other sexual contact as their exposure risk and 15% did not report their exposure risk or are unknown.