The Long Island region has been designated as an Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA). EMAs are metropolitan areas with at least 2,000 new cases of AIDS reported in the past five years and have a population of at least 5,000. With more than 5,600 residents living with HIV/AIDS, Long Island has the highest number of AIDS cases of any suburban area in the nation and more cases than 26 states.
Realizing that each community has different service needs and gaps in care, Congress structured Part A of the Ryan White Program so that local communities can help determine how funds should be used to meet the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in their areas. In order for an EMA to receive federal dollars through the Ryan White Part A program, a Planning Council must be formed.
The Nassau-Suffolk HIV Health Services Planning Council was formed in 1992 and is an all volunteer member body appointed by the county in which each member resides. It consists of a wide array of community members; from those who work within the field to those who bring a personal perspective to the table as a consumer of services. At least 33% of the membership consists of “non-conflicted” individuals who are HIV positive or who are a parent of or caregiver for a minor child who is HIV positive.
Some responsibilities of the Planning Council include: setting funding priorities for the allocation of federal HIV/AIDS service dollars under the Ryan White Part A program; conducting consumer needs assessments and identifying the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in the region; developing a comprehensive service plan for delivering HIV services; and evaluating how efficiently the providers of HIV services are selected and reimbursed through the administrative mechanism.
The majority of the work that is done by the Planning Council is accomplished through its standing and ad-hoc committees. All Planning Council meetings are open to the public and occur on the second Wednesday of every other month starting in January (with six meetings per calendar year).
Chair: Felix Ruiz
Vice-Chair: Traci Shelton
Nassau County Health Commissioner: Lawrence Eisenstein, M.D.
Suffolk County Health Commissioner: Gregson H. Pigott, M.D.
Ilvan Arroyo Angie Partap
Lisa Benz Scott, PhD Colin Pearsall
Arthur Brown Scott Petersen
Tania Chiu Joseph Pirone
Nashon Clark Jacqueline Ponce-Rivera
James Colson Denise Ragsdale
Clara Crawford Erik Rios
William Doepper Rafael Rivera
Juli Grey-Owens Anthony Santella, DrPH
Kevin McHugh Claire Simon
Teresa Maestre June Tappan
Catherine Martens Katelin Thomas
Johnny Mora John Van
Victoria Osk, Esq.
Interested in becoming a member? Contact us.
If you are interested in lending your voice and becoming a member of the Planning Council, please fill out a membership application.
The membership process includes completing an application with a resume or bio, with one letter of character reference.
The Membership Sub-Committee reviews all applications and interviews potential applicants on an on-going basis. Following interviews, the names of the applicants are balloted by the Planning Council for a final vote on membership. If approved by the Planning Council, the membership information is sent to the Health Commissioner of the county in which the applicant reside.
Meet Planning Council member Nancy Duncan.
Learn about The Planning Council's five committees: Executive Committee, Strategic Assessment & Planning Committee; Quality Assurance & Membership Committee; Finance Subcommittee; and Consumer Involvement Subcommittee.