Exclamation Point!,
the Alive! Maryland 
Monthly Newsletter

August 2023

Exclamation Point! is your straight-to-the-point monthly newsletter for Maryland's primary care and infectious disease workforce, brought to your inbox by Alive! Maryland, led by HealthHIV. Each month we will feature key trainings and webinars, upcoming events, job opportunities, and other resources to help you in your work. We'll also highlight some of the impactful work and diverse perspectives of your colleagues across the State. 

In this issue:

  • Alive! Maryland Offerings
  • Special Spotlight: Heart to Hand, Inc.'s HIV/STI Testing Social Marketing Campaign
  • Points of View: Provider Perspectives
  • Action Points: Upcoming Events
  • Key Points: Featured Resources
  • Job Openings
  • Funding Opportunities

Want to spread the word about a job opening or funding opportunity from your organization? Know a special healthcare provider in Maryland who deserves the spotlight? Let us know by contacting info@AliveMaryland.org. Alive! Maryland is here to help you help Marylanders!

Click "[Message clipped] View entire message" at bottom of your page to read the newsletter in its entirety.


Alive! Maryland Offerings

PrEP Initiatives for the Latino/a/x Community - Thursday, September 14, 2023

This webinar will provide an overview of different PrEP initiatives that have been proven effective in the Latino/a/x community. The faculty will also discuss practical strategies that increase the knowledge, comfort, and skills of providers to engage this community in PrEP services.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the current state of HIV transmission and PrEP utilization among the Latino/a/x community.
  • Identify different PrEP initiatives focused on the Latino/a/x community, including culturally sensitive education and outreach, community-based testing programs, and PrEP access programs.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of PrEP initiatives for the Latino/a/x community, including their impact on HIV transmission rates, PrEP uptake, medication adherence, and health outcomes.
  • Develop strategies to improve and expand PrEP initiatives for the Latino/a/x community, such as increasing funding for PrEP programs, increasing access to PrEP medication, and addressing cultural barriers.

Please note that continuing education credits are not available for this webinar.

If you are unable to attend the live event, you still need to register so that, after the live event has ended, you receive an email with access to the recording as well as links to download materials. 


Upcoming Capacity Building Opportunities


  • Self-Paced Webinar - Addressing Mental Health Challenges in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults Living with HIV
  • Self-Paced 5-Module HIV Prevention Series
     - Module 1: HIV Self-Testing
     - Module 2: Sexual History Taking
  • Live Webinar - nPEP: A Provider Resource Toolkit

Special Spotlight

Heart to Hand, Inc.'s HIV/STI Testing Social Marketing Campaign

Heart to Hand, Inc., a capacity building organization based in Largo, MD, conducts a variety of HIV/STI testing promotional activities on social media under a marketing campaign funded by the state of Maryland. The campaign highlights Heart to Hand's free and accessible HIV/STI testing and treatment services among Prince George's County residents. The organization disseminates prevention and treatment service offerings to African American residents ages 18-49 through social media, digital advertisements on apps, as well as through audio and digital advertisements via streaming media services.

Heart to Hand found that many customers do not know what sexual wellness resources are available outside of the local health department or their primary care provider.  As a result of this campaign, the organization saw the biggest impact in testing numbers for the month of June, at an increase of 93%. Heart to Hand appreciates the State of Maryland for acknowledging the services provided and bringing awareness to the importance of HIV testing and prevention within Prince George's County, one of the regions named as part of the Federal government's Ending the Epidemic (EHE) initiative. 

You can view some examples of campaign materials below. For more information, contact Dominique Smith at dsmith@hearttohandinc.org.


Points of View: Provider Perspectives

Each month we will highlight a Maryland provider in this section whose work is helping bring the State alive. If you have a colleague you think deserves some appreciation, let us know! Please email info@AliveMaryland.org and include the provider's name, role and affiliation, and contact details. We'll then reach out to your colleague with some brief interview questions.

Rhonda Carr (she/her), Peer Navigator at The JACQUES Initiative

Stigma, the shame that comes as a result of stigma, and fear often discourage people from revealing the extent of their health conditions and seeking help. For those living with HIV, the combination of these sentiments can be fatal.

When a situation like this happened to a close friend of Rhonda Carr, it inspired her to educate herself on HIV and use her knowledge to help others.

Now working as a Peer Navigator at The JACQUES Initiative in Baltimore, she hopes to destigmatize HIV and to support those living with it. She is also one of the faces of the #PeopleWhoLookLikeMe campaign, a Baltimore City Health Department initiative that encourages city residents to see the role they play in ending the HIV epidemic, and has worked as an advocate for transgender and non-binary people.

Read the interview below to learn about Carr’s passion for this work, and what she hopes to see in the future of Maryland health!


Action Points: Upcoming Events

Southern HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - August 20, 2023

Southern HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (SHAAD) is August 20. Founded by the Southern AIDS Coalition, SHAAD is a day that individuals, communities, and organizations can unite to call attention to the disproportionate number of people living with HIV in the South. SHAAD is an opportunity to provide people in the South with HIV testing and linkage to HIV medical care if necessary, education on HIV prevention, including ways to stop HIV stigma, and other HIV-related care resources.


National Faith HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - August 29, 2023

National Faith HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a day to engage faith communities to work together for HIV/AIDS education, prevention, treatment, care, and support, and to reduce and eliminate stigma and discrimination.

Reaching All HIV+ Muslims in America (RAHMA) and its partners have led the events of this awareness day across the nation, reaching thousands of people of various faiths  across the United States to take a stand against stigma in their congregations to help raise awareness about HIV. RAHMA and its partners lead the planning for National Faith HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. RAHMA held the first NFHAAD observance in 2017.


MADAP Quality Management Committee, Q3 2023 - Wednesday, August 9, 2023

The Maryland AIDS Drug Assistance Program (MADAP) will hold a MADAP Quality Management Committee meeting on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 from 2:00 to 4:00pm. All are welcome to listen along as the committee discusses performance measures and quality improvement projects.

To register for the committee meeting, click the button below.

Please contact Misty Carney at misty.carney@maryland.gov if you have any questions.


Implementing Injectable PrEP at Your Agency: A Four-Part Webinar Series

The PS19-1904 Track B Capacity Building Assistance providers of Washington University in St. Louis, Latino Commission on AIDS, University of Rochester, and San Francisco Department of Public Health will host a four-part virtual series that will address injectable PrEP. Cabotegravir was approved for HIV PrEP in December 2021, but implementation and uptake have been low. The purpose of this series is to build the capacity of the HIV workforce for injectable PrEP implementation through peer-to-peer learning. This series is for agencies at any stage of implementation.

The sessions will address four topics respectively.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - Injectable PrEP: What the Science and Users Have to Say About It
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - Implementing Injectable PrEP: Lessons from the Field
Tuesday, October 17, 2023 - Financing Injectable PrEP: Strategies and Lessons Learned
Tuesday, November 28, 2023 - Putting It All Together

Join us for these four interactive sessions featuring panels, case studies, and more to enhance staff and provider knowledge on injectable PrEP!


National Community Health Workers (CHW) Awareness Week - August 28 - September 1, 2023

National CHW Awareness Week (NCHWAW) is the first ever national campaign with CHWs at the center! The National Association of Community Health Workers has developed this event to increase awareness of CHW identity, roles, impact on communities, and leadership – and to promote policies that respect, protect and authentically partner with the CHW profession.

To learn more about the week and download a promotional toolkit for NCHWAW, click the button below.

Learn more about the CHW workforce in Maryland, as well as resources available to Maryland CHWs, by clicking below.


American Public Health Association 2023 Annual Meeting - November 12-15, 2023

APHA’s 2023 Annual Meeting and Expo, taking place November 12 to 15, 2023, will offer innovative and exciting opportunities to help you reach your personal and professional goals. Learn from leading experts, build leadership skills and knowledge, and connect with peers from around the globe, all with the choice and flexibility to select the best format for you.

Whether you join us in person or online, you’ll engage, collaborate and grow by attending your pick of over 1,000 scientific presentations, participating in fun social activities, and meeting sponsors and exhibitors in the Public Health Expo.


Key Points: Featured Resources


Capacity Building Assistance from Alive! Maryland

Our Point-to-Point Team is here to make capacity building assistance (CBA) work for you. Point-to-Point is your CBA resource for the State of Maryland’s HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs, and harm reduction workforce and your organizations as you continue the fight against the epidemics in Maryland.

We offer capacity building assistance in the following areas:

  • Organizational Infrastructure
  • Fiscal Administration
  • Data Collection Management and Reporting
  • Service Provision
  • And more!

To request capacity building assistance from Alive! Maryland, click the button to the left or visit AliveMaryland.org/cba.


Addressing Mental Health Challenges in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults Living with HIV

Young people living with HIV (PLWHIV) are at an increased risk for developing mental health disorders than people not living with HIV. PLWHIV commonly internalize negative attitudes and beliefs resulting from widespread HIV stigma, which leads to poor mental health outcomes and difficulty medically managing HIV. Challenges in mental health can negatively affect engagement in medical care and adherence to medical treatment.

This self-paced e-learning module aims to increase the audience’s understanding of mental health challenges of children, adolescents, and young adults living with HIV and to provide ways to address their particular needs and promote overall physical and mental health.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe at least three common mental health challenges that children, adolescents, and young adults face when living with HIV.
  • List how mental health challenges can impact their medical care and treatment.
  • Identify at least three ways to address the particular mental health challenges that children, adolescents, and young adults living with HIV face to improve their self-perceived health and reception of medical treatment.

1.0 continuing education credits (AAPA, ACPE, AMA, CNE, ASWB, APA, IPCE) are available for this module.


"Let's Talk About Mpox" Video Series

KFF’s Greater Than Mpox and CDC have launched a series of direct and plain language mpox FAQ videos featuring White House National Mpox Response Deputy Coordinator Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH. In these short videos, Dr. Daskalakis provides the latest on mpox (formerly known as monkeypox), including the importance of getting vaccinated, common symptoms, testing and treatment options, and more.

The partners invite organizations to help get out the word about mpox by sharing these “Let’s Talk About Mpox” videos on their social media and websites. The full series is available on the YouTube.com/WeAreGreaterThan channel.

Also visit HIV.gov’s Mpox and People with HIV page for information and resources you can use and share.


CMS Physician Payment Rule Advances Health Equity

Proposed policies will expand behavioral health services, support the President’s Cancer Moonshot, promote innovation, and grow value-based care.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the calendar year (CY) 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed rule to announce rate updates, advance health equity, and expand access to critical medical services — including behavioral health care and certain oral health services. Notably, the proposed rule supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Cancer Moonshot mission to accelerate the fight against cancer.


"Positive Voices" Podcast Guest Recruitment

Through the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative (EHE), the Health Departments of DC, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County seek to decrease the number of new HIV infections in our area by 90% by 2030.

We’re looking for guests for Season 2 of the Positive Voices podcast. This innovative approach to EHE will give members of our HIV communities an opportunity to share their life experiences, discuss important issues regarding HIV and sexual health, and encourage people living with HIV to engage in care and treatment.

We are open to guests from non-traditional backgrounds living with HIV who are creative storytellers and open to talking about tough issues impacting the community. Financial compensation will be provided.

To learn more, click the button below.


Job Openings

Clinical Nurse, Baltimore City Health Department Sexual Health Clinics PrEP Program

Location: Baltimore City

Description: We are seeking a Clinical Nurse who will provide HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) care under standing orders within the Baltimore City Health Department Sexual Health Clinics, including PrEP education, HIV acquisition risk reduction counseling, instructions on medication administration, medication adherence, sexually transmitted infection screening and treatment, laboratory monitoring, and requisite clinical follow up. The candidate works closely in a team with clinicians (nurse practitioners/physician assistants) and a patient navigator and reports directly to the Clinical Nurse Manager for HIV/PrEP/HepC services.


Infectious Disease Prevention Nurse, MDH Local Health

Location: Anne Arundel County

Description: The main purpose of this position is to provide nursing case management, directly observed therapy, follow-up, and education to tuberculosis patients, suspects, and TB prophylaxis to patients, inmates and refugees in the Anne Arundel County Department of Health’s two health centers, TB clinic and patient homes. This position will assist with surveillance activities to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

Deadline: August 11, 2023


Administrator, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City

Description: The main purpose of this full-time contractual position will be to oversee the training and deployment of 20 CHWs (responsible for providing outreach) via the Local Health Department and selected Community Based Organization(s) for the Community Project. This position will also oversee the HBCUs evaluation and assessment (re: COVID-19) for the Assessment Process.

Deadline: Open / Continuous


Funding Opportunities

Interested in working at the intersection of healthcare and policy, learning from the most influential leaders and government executives in the country?

Applications are now open for the 2024-2025 RWJF Health Policy Fellows cohort. The program offers eight awards of up to $175,000 each, along with a 12-month residential placement in Washington, D.C.

Through pairings with congressional and executive offices, the program allows fellows to gain unmatched health policy leadership experience in our nation's capital. Fellows will get the opportunity to work with influential leaders and get direct experience at the nexus of health, science, and policy.

Click below to learn more and apply for this funding opportunity.


Point of Contact

Please reach out to Melissa Kelley, Alive! Maryland Program Director, at info@AliveMaryland.org with
any questions, feedback, or submissions. For all CDC specific related training and technical assistance CTS Tracking Requests, you may contact Tawanna DavisTawanna.Davis@maryland.gov

Click the button below to request capacity building assistance for your organization.


About Alive! Maryland

The Maryland Department of Health engaged with HealthHIV to launch Alive! Maryland. ALIVE! stands for Assess, Learn, Integrate, Visualize, Engage — representing each phase of the program.

Alive! Maryland is a motivational call to action to build capacity to improve health in Maryland. This initiative will provide Maryland providers with a web-based, self-paced virtual training institute, many CEU opportunities, direct training and technical assistance, and resource development. All resources, trainings, and tools are free and housed on a user-friendly and accessible website: AliveMaryland.org. 



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