Welcome to Exclamation Point!,
the Alive! Maryland 
Monthly Newsletter

February 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! MarylandEach 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:

  • Points of View: Provider Perspectives
  • Action Points: Upcoming Events
  • Key Points: Featured Resources
  • Job Openings

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!


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.

Earl "Jack" Matthews (he/him), Certified Peer Recovery Specialist

Lived experience often forms the basis through which one develops the knowledge and capacity to help those going through similar situations.

Earl “Jack” Matthews, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Peer Supervisor at the Howard County Health Department, uses his experiences to reduce harm, support his clients, and advocate on their behalf.

Read the interview below for insight into how Matthews keeps the state of Maryland alive!


Action Points: Upcoming Events

National HIV is Not a Crime Awareness Day - Tuesday, February 28, 2023

National HIV is Not a Crime Awareness Day is observed on February 28 and is an opportunity to amplify the voices of those who have been criminalized based on their HIV status. 

  • Living with HIV is not a crime, but in 35 states, people are being imprisoned due to their HIV status.
  • In Maryland, while rarely prosecuted, it is against state law for an individual with HIV to knowingly transfer or attempt to transfer the virus to another individual.

Click here to learn more about HIV criminalization laws in the U.S.


My Brother's Keeper, Inc. Clinical Community-Based Summit 2023
Thursday, March 9 - Friday, March 10, 2023


The Clinical Community-Based Summit is designed to strengthen the capacity of the HIV workforce to provide state-of-the-art HIV care and treatment services. This three-day convening will arm government and non-profit professionals across the nation with best practices, high-impact HIV treatment and prevention strategies, innovative leadership approaches, and evidence-based solutions. The summit will also create opportunities for participants to network and collaborate on real-time solutions for challenges that impede on successful HIV programming.

Subject Matters Include:

  • Grants Management and Internal Control
  • HR and Payroll Management
  • Designing Your EHR Systems for Success
  • Status Neutral Model of Care/Integration of Services
  • Billing and Coding
  • Social Marketing
  • Clinical Healthcare Models
  • 340B Overview
  • HIV Prevention and Care; Infectious Disease Updates
  • Motivational interviewing
  • C-Suite/Structural Oversite
  • The Impact of Racism in Healthcare Service
  • Social Determinants of Health

Place and Date

Embassy Suites by Hilton
315 Julia St. New Orleans, LA 70130
Thursday - Friday, March 9 - 10, 2023

Target Audiences

Leadership (Officers/Supervisors), case managers, social workers, primary care providers, general practitioners (MD/DO, NP, PA), and HIV care providers, as well as other HIV workforce professionals (nurses, pharmacists, social workers, case managers) 


Save the Date for a Live CME Webinar

New Frontiers, New Challenges in STI Prevention and Treatment
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 12:00pm EDT

This webinar is being hosted by the Maryland Department of Health’s Center for STI Prevention and the STD/HIV Prevention Training Center at Johns Hopkins in honor of STI Awareness Week (April 9 - 15). Registration link and details will be provided in next month's edition of the Exclamation Point.

Topics discussed will include: 

  • Doxycycline post-exposure prophylaxis (DoxyPEP) as an important STI prevention option
  • The recently detected novel strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae with reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxone, cefixime, and azithromycin, and resistance to ciprofloxacin, penicillin, and tetracycline

Join the Maryland PRIDE in Sexual Health Steering Committee!

WHAT: A community-driven committee working to expand low-barrier housing and model LGBTQ+ substance use treatment and recovery programs to LGBTQ+ Marylanders throughout the state

WHO: Seeking LGBTQ+ people and allies with lived experience with substance use and/or being unhoused or unstably housed 

WHY: Community knows what the barriers are to providing affirming, effective services to LGBTQ+ people, and they know how to reduce those barriers

As a member of the PRIDE in Health Steering Committee, you will help guide the planning, development, and evaluation of LGBTQ+ affirming, evidence-based substance use treatment and recovery services, and low-barrier housing services to LGBTQ+ people throughout Maryland.

Steering Committee members are paid an honorarium for their active participation.

You are eligible to apply to become a member if:

  • You live in Maryland
  • Have lived experience with substance use or being unhoused or unstably housed
  • Identify as LGBTQ+ or an ally of LGBTQ+ communities
  • Can attend virtual and in-person meetings


Scan the QR code on the attached flier or go to http://bit.ly/3YaT1Wo to fill out an online application. Please apply by Friday, February 17, 2023.

QUESTIONS? Contact Ngaire Philip, Baltimore Safe Haven, at ngaire@baltimoresafehaven.org or Jean-Michel Brevelle, MDH Center for HIV/STI Integration & Capacity, at jean-michel.brevelle@maryland.gov.


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.


nPEP Toolkit to Prevent HIV Infection

The nPEP Toolkit to Prevent HIV Infection is a new Alive! Maryland resource that highlights key elements of Non-Occupational Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (nPEP) management. PEP is effective in preventing HIV infection when administered rapidly—ideally within 2 hours and no later than 72 hours—after an exposure. 

The toolkit contains: 

  • Risk assessments 
  • nPEP at-a-glance checklist
  • Steps for evaluation of need
  • Treatment and follow-up
  • Billing codes
  • Payment assistance information
  • Maryland nPEP resources 

Alive! Maryland is pleased to announce the launch of a new Healthy Sexuality educational series for Maryland providers. This self-paced, four-module series encourages communication between providers and patients to promote healthy sexual practices and ensure affirming and competent care for all. A downloadable glossary with sexual health terminology accompanies this series to reinforce the use of inclusive and affirming language when engaging with patients.

The four modules are: 

  • Healthy Sexuality for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals
  • Towards Healthier Futures for Gay, Bisexual, and Same-Gender-Loving Men of Color
  • LGBTQ Youth and Sexual Health
  • Aging: Sexual Health, Healthy Aging

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


Implicit biases involve associations outside conscious awareness that can lead to negative, inaccurate, or unfair evaluations of a person on the basis of identity or social status. Evidence indicates that healthcare professionals exhibit the same levels of implicit bias as the wider population based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, and socioeconomic status. Provider bias can lead to poorer health outcomes in already-marginalized patients. It also influences a provider’s approach to diagnosis, treatment, and levels of care.

This e-learning module discusses the difference between explicit and implicit biases, the types of bias present in healthcare, and how to identify and change these biases in yourself and others. 

Continuing education credits are available for this activity.


This self-paced module describes the step-by-step process required to change an individual's legal name and gender information in the state of Maryland. Rhonda Carr, a patient advocate and community outreach for the Jacques Initiative program at the University of Maryland, discusses the process of obtaining updated personal identification documents, including the forms clients must complete and how clients can access assistance services. The module also provides resources for providers in assisting their clients with this process.

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


Job Openings

Harm Reduction Epidemiologist, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City

Description: The main purpose of this full-time contractual position is to manage all stages in the monitoring and evaluation of harm reduction programs, in collaboration with other Evaluation Division members. This position will analyze Statewide data and service provision to describe trends and evaluate changes in injection drug use-related morbidity and mortality, including infectious disease and overdose. Based on analyses of evaluation data, this position will recommend programmatic changes, in order to enhance the effectiveness of harm reduction programs across the State of Maryland. 

Deadline: February 17, 2023


Program Administrator, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City

Description: This position will direct programs which carry out the Center for Harm Reduction Services (CHRS) mission that is unique within MDH. This position will also oversee the daily operations of the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration (PHPA)'s Division of Policy and Program Management, including directing the Overdose Response Program (ORP) and the Center’s own programs, including the Syringe Services Program (SSP), ACCESS Grants Program, and Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Program (OENDP). Additionally, this position will oversee special projects, such as the Rapid Analysis of Drugs (RAD) and ACCESS Telehealth.

Deadline: February 21, 2023


HIV Oral Health Program Manager, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City

Description: This position will lead the Maryland Department of Health (MDH)'s Prevention and Health Promotion Administration (PHPA)'s Office of Oral Health (OOH)'s HIV Oral Health Care Referral Program. This is a pilot program that is aimed toward increasing access to oral health care for People Living with HIV (PLWH). This position will coordinate the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive program, including a pilot project and social marketing campaign that will increase the awareness of the importance of regular oral health care among PLWH, as well as increase the rate of referral of PLWH to oral health care services by PCPs and medical professionals at HIV treatment centers.

Deadline: February 21, 2023


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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