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

May 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:

  • 2022 Maryland Workforce Needs Assessment Report
  • 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!


Engage with Newly Released Findings from the Second Annual Maryland Workforce Needs Assessment

Led by HealthHIV, Alive! Maryland conducted the second annual comprehensive needs assessment of Maryland’s primary care and infectious disease workforce to identify significant training and technical assistance needs. A full report on the findings from the 2022 needs assessment is now available at AliveMaryland.org/Needs-Assessment.

Key findings from the second annual needs assessment include:

  • Workforce burnout persists - Providers are leaving their jobs at unprecedented rates.
  • Mental health and substance use concerns grow - More behavioral health providers needed at all levels of care.
  • Rural providers are being left behind - Workforce shortages affect rural providers in particular.
  • Special Focus: Community Health Workers (CHWs) - CHWs call for increased integration into health systems and standardization of the certification process.

We've put together a suite of several comprehensive tools and resources to help Maryland providers explore, interpret, and share the data associated with these findings. These include an interactive dashboard, a downloadable at-a-glance factsheet, and a ready-made presentation slide deck. See below for more information about each tool available to you.

Needs Assessment Dashboard

The Needs Assessment Dashboard is an interactive online tool that visualizes the findings of the assessment in a set of presentation-ready screens that users can toggle between. The dashboard includes unique visualizations not found in the report, including panels on workforce burnout and transgender health, and is publicly accessible via the Alive! Maryland website. 

This tool is best used by those who want to display the key findings of the assessment graphically, without heavy text or contextualization. It is user-friendly and can be broadly disseminated, but will especially appeal to audiences with experience interpreting data charts and graphs. The dashboard is also an excellent instrument for anyone who wants to explore the assessment data on their own time to better understand the challenges facing Maryland's healthcare workforce.

Needs Assessment Factsheet

The Needs Assessment Factsheet is a one page PDF highlighting the key implications of the assessment. This document focuses on high-level findings and reported workforce training needs.

The factsheet is best used to promote the assessment or to quickly disseminate its central findings to broad audiences. It can be sent as an email attachment or distributed as a supplemental material following meetings or presentations. 

Needs Assessment Slide Deck

The Needs Assessment Slide Deck is a 24-slide Powerpoint presentation that reviews the components of the assessment and its findings. This presentation includes project background, survey methodology, participant demographics, training needs, and implications sections, as well as special focus slides on community health workers, mental health, and workforce burnout. 

The slide deck can be used in meetings, conferences, and other presentations to provide a detailed overview of the assessment. Users can tailor the slide deck to meet their needs (e.g. cutting a portion of the slides to create a shorter presentation or copying specific slides into existing presentations).


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.

Walter Saba (he/him), Senior Program Manager at Maryland Latinos Unidos

The Latino population in the state of Maryland has doubled in the last decade, which calls for new developments in Maryland’s healthcare system to meet the population’s diverse needs. 

Organizations such as Maryland Latinos Unidos (MLU) work hard to meet these needs. Aiming to convene alliances with other organizations, MLU’s main goal is to reduce health inequities in the Latino community in Maryland. 

Walter Saba, MLU’s Senior Program Manager, started working with MLU two years ago. However, he has worked in public health for over 30 years. Having begun his career in communications, he gained an interest in public health after working as a consultant with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health for a mass media campaign on HIV prevention in Peru, his native country. 

Read the interview below to learn about what he does to serve the Latino population in the state of Maryland, along with his passion for health equity!


Action Points: Upcoming Events

Hepatitis Awareness Month - May 2023

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness that viral hepatitis continues to be a major public health threat in the United States. While we bring attention to viral hepatitis this month, we also recognize that the epidemic of viral hepatitis does not occur in a vacuum, but interacts with other diseases like HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and substance use disorders, also known as a syndemic.

The Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan 2021-2025 and National HIV/AIDS Strategy 2022-2025 both recommend a syndemic approach, that is, a no-wrong-door-approach to healthcare services for viral hepatitis and HIV. When people get tested for HIV, they should also be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and STIs. When people are treated for substance use, they should be screened for HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs and connected to appropriate services.


HIV Vaccine Awareness Day - Thursday, May 18, 2023

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is observed annually on May 18th and is a day to recognize those who are working to find a safe and effective vaccine to prevent HIV.


National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - Friday, May 19, 2023

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed annually on May 19 and aims to educate the public about the impact of HIV stigma among Asian and Pacific Islander people.

  • At the end of 2021, there were 261 Asian and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders living with diagnosed HIV in Maryland.
  • During 2021, 68.5 percent of Asian people living with diagnosed HIV had a suppressed viral load.
  • Among Asian people living with HIV in Maryland, it is estimated that 85.9 percent have been diagnosed and an estimated 42 Asian people with HIV remain undiagnosed.

Click below to learn more about Asian and Pacific Islanders living with HIV in Maryland.


Integrating Community Health Workers into Healthcare Teams - Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Join Alive! Maryland on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 from 1:00 to 2:00pm ET for a webinar that will cover the role of community health workers (CHWs) in improving health outcomes, strategies for integrating CHWs into clinical teams, effective communication and collaboration with CHWs, and best practices for supervision and training. The faculty will discuss potential benefits and challenges of integrating CHWs into the clinical workforce. This presentation will also review the necessary tools for healthcare professionals to collaborate effectively with CHWs in the interest of improving healthcare access and outcomes for their patients.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe the role of community health workers in improving healthcare access, health outcomes, and health equity.
  • Identify the essential skills, knowledge, and qualities of effective community health workers.
  • Identify the challenges and benefits of integrating community health workers into healthcare teams.
  • Describe how to collaborate and communicate effectively with community health workers to achieve shared goals.
  • Identify strategies for integrating community health workers into healthcare teams.
  • Explain the importance of cultural humility and sensitivity in working with diverse populations.
  • Identify strategies for building cultural responsiveness among healthcare teams.

Continuing education credits are 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. 


LGBTQ+ Youth and the Child Welfare System - Thursday, May 11, 2023

This 90-minute webinar will map current research on the needs, issues, and structures facing LGBTQ+ youth in the child welfare system, as well as the possibilities and challenges for future research, improved care, and evidence-based advocacy to ensure LGBTQ+ youth have the material and emotional care to survive and thrive in natal or new family settings. This work necessarily engages anti-racist and intersectional perspectives, as well as historical contextualization, across race, gender, sexuality, and poverty in understanding the child welfare system, its role and functioning, and its impacts, including the historical and present undue surveillance, control, and separation of children and families – particularly Black families. Panelists will discuss inequities affecting LGBTQ+ youth within child welfare systems, key advocacy issues, barriers, and interventions for improving outcomes. This session is hosted by the Innovations Institute’s Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity.


Safe & Effective LGBTQ+ Data Collection Learning Community: Safeguarding SOGI Data in Anti-LGBTQ+ Climates - Wednesday, May 17, 2023

This Learning Community from the National SOGIE Center provides learners the opportunity to hear from experts in the field on serving LGBTQ+ populations and on collecting sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data in safe and effective ways. Join us for our next webinar, Safeguarding SOGI Data in Anti-LGBTQ+ Climates. There are many providers who are supporting LGBTQ+ clients in environments that are anti-LGBTQ+. This may be a home, a town, or even a state that does not have comprehensive protections for LGBTQ+ people. This session will cover how to balance asking about SOGI while maintaining the client’s privacy and safety.


Announcing Pride Month Webinar Series:
Walking with Tribal Youth on Their Sacred Journey

In recognition of Pride Month, the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity will be hosting a four-part webinar series on Supporting Native LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit youth! Join us every week in the month of June for the following sessions:

  • Embarking on a Journey: Where Have We Been? - Monday, June 5, 1-3pm ET
  • Understanding How to Support Tribal Youth - Monday, June 12, 1-3pm ET
  • What Do We Need to Embark on This Journey? - Tuesday, June 20, 1-3pm ET
  • Panel Focusing on Lived Experience
    - Monday, June 26, 1-3pm ET

Each session will begin and end with a breathing exercise and acknowledgment of attendees tending to their own spirit. Attendees are encouraged to attend all four sessions to embark upon this journey of learning together.


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.


Utilizing Biomedical Interventions to Advance Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S.

This webinar provides an overview of EHE, as well as the context and current state of the HIV epidemic. This webinar also addresses different forms of PrEP and PrEP formulations, how PrEP is utilized, side effects of PrEP use, and barriers to HIV treatment. The presentation includes case studies to illustrate these topics and the faculty connect each topic’s role in Ending the HIV Epidemic.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Outline HIV and PrEP disparities in the United States.
  • Explain the importance of utilizing a status neutral approach to Ending the HIV Epidemic in the US.
  • Summarize current HIV prevention and treatment formulations and guidelines.
  • Review common side effects of PrEP and HIV treatment.
  • Identify barriers and opportunities to increase PrEP uptake and retain persons living with HIV in care.

New HHS Report Offers Updated, Evidence-Based Roadmap for Supporting & Affirming LGBTQ+ Youth

A new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific research and consensus that LGBTQ+ youth are resilient and can thrive when they are supported and affirmed, but that pervasive discrimination, rejection, and bullying has led to a nationwide mental health crisis among LGBTQ+ youth.


CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Data Summary & Trends Report: 2011-2021

This report highlights concerning trends about the mental health of U.S. high school students. 

  • In 2021, more than 4 in 10 (42%) students felt persistently sad or hopeless and nearly one-third (29%) experienced poor mental health.
  • In 2021, more than 1 in 5 (22%) students seriously considered attempting suicide and 1 in 10 (10%) attempted suicide.

Job Openings

Infection Prevention Consultant, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City

Description: The main purpose of this full-time contractual position is to represent the Maryland Department of Health (MDH)'s Prevention and Health Promotion Administration (PHPA)'s Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Outbreak Response Bureau (IDEORB) as a subject matter expert. This position will work with Infection Preventionists, healthcare facilities, and Local Health Departments (LHDs) to identify gaps which would increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases. This position will also provide recommendations and support, in order to address identified gaps.

Deadline: May 16, 2023


Partner Services Program Officer, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City (travel throughout the State required)

Description: The main purpose of this full-time contractual position is to serve as the Partner Services Program Officer in the Center for Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention (CSTIP). The mission of CSTIP is to prevent and reduce the number of STIs in Maryland. This position will develop, evaluate and assess program activities which support field and partner services in Maryland. Such development, evaluation and assessment will be conducted through quality assurance, technical assistance, and contract monitoring. This position will require travel throughout the State of Maryland, in order to successfully perform job duties.

Deadline: May 22, 2023


Outbreak Capacity Disease Intervention Specialist, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City (travel throughout the State required)

Description: The main purpose of this full-time contractual position is to serve as the Outbreak Capacity Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) in the Center for Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention (CSTIP). This position will identify, notify, interview, and link people who are diagnosed with Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV, to testing, treatment and care. This position will also conduct partner elicitation and notification. This position is 100% remote. This position will require travel throughout the State of Maryland, in order to successfully perform job duties.

Deadline: May 22, 2023


Quality Assurance Specialist, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City (travel throughout the State required)

Description: The main purpose of this full-time contractual position is to be responsible for quality-related projects and programs, in order to ensure Maryland AIDS Drug Assistance Program (MADAP) compliance with State and federal regulations, as well as with internal policy and procedures. Specifically, this position will conduct case reviews and provide appropriate follow-up. In collaboration with the Quality Assurance Supervisor and Deputy Chief of Quality, this position will maintain a working knowledge of standard operating procedures and State and federal regulations, with the purpose of improving the qualities of the MADAP Program and administrative processes.

Deadline: June 5, 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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