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

November 2022

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:

  • Alive! Maryland's Second Annual Maryland Workforce Needs Assessment
  • 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!


The 2022 Alive! Maryland Workforce Needs Assessment is LIVE!

What are your thoughts about healthcare delivery in Maryland?

Answer this brief, anonymous survey and help inform the development of competency-based educational opportunities to strengthen Maryland’s healthcare workforce!

Alive! Maryland is conducting its second annual Maryland Workforce Needs Assessment, a brief online survey (15 minutes) with individuals who work in the healthcare field. This includes anyone who works in the infectious disease and primary care fields, such as healthcare providers, behavioral health providers, community health workers, executive staff, medical support staff, medical assistants, administrators, etc. Please visit AliveMaryland.org/Needs-Assessment for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!

With gratitude,

The Alive! Maryland Team

You can also view last year's Maryland Workforce Needs Assessment data by accessing the Alive! Maryland Needs Assessment Dashboard. This dashboard was created to report the Alive! Maryland needs assessment findings to engaged stakeholders. The survey was administered between July 20 and November 4, 2021. 319 people from Maryland's primary care and infectious disease workforce participated in the survey.


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.

Anika Alvanzo (she/her), Eastern Region Medical Director for Pyramid Healthcare

Providing support and care for society’s most vulnerable and stigmatized is one of the most valuable things a provider can do. 

In the case of Anika Alvanzo, MD, MS, who serves as the Eastern Region Medical Director for Pyramid Healthcare, she intends to make a difference in the lives of those with substance use disorder. 

An internal medicine-trained addiction medicine physician, Alvanzo aims to improve the quality of treatment for individuals with substance use disorder and decrease the stigma associated with the condition. Working to improve the overall health and quality of life for these individuals, Alvanzo’s work is an invaluable contribution towards efforts to build a healthier Maryland.

Read the Q&A below to see how her work brings the state of Maryland alive!


Action Points: Upcoming Events

World AIDS Day - December 1, 2022

This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV.” It encourages people to unite globally to eliminate the disparities and inequities that create barriers to HIV testing, prevention, and access to HIV care. First observed in 1988, World AIDS Day is a day to unite to help end HIV and remember those lost to AIDS-related illnesses.

Click below for more information about World AIDS Day and to download shareable resources for social media.

In honor of World AIDS Day and the effort of Maryland's healthcare workforce in Ending the Epidemic, here is some of the most recent data on how HIV affects marginalized populations in Maryland. 

HIV and Injection Drug Use (IDU) in Maryland

  • In 2021, of the 773 reported HIV diagnoses in Maryland, 7.9 percent were attributed to IDU, and 1.5 percent were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use.
  • IDU exposure among persons living with diagnosed HIV was highest among Non-Hispanic Black people (80.5%).
  • Of the 32,149 people living with diagnosed HIV in Maryland at the end of 2021, 15.5 percent were attributed to IDU exposure.

HIV and African-born Marylanders

  • In 2021, of the 773 total reported HIV diagnoses in Maryland, 11.9 percent were born in a foreign country.
  • Persons born in Africa accounted for 6.3 percent of the 773 total newly reported diagnoses in 2021.
  • Of the new diagnoses among people born in Africa, over three-fourths (75.5%) were female.
  • Of the 32,149 people living with diagnosed HIV in Maryland at the end of 2021, 8.1 percent were born in Africa.

SYNChronicity 2022:
The 9th Annual National Conference for HIV, HCV, STIs, Harm Reduction, and LGBTQ Health

Join HealthHIV, HealthHCV, and the National Coalition for LGBTQ Health for SYNC 2022, the 9th Annual National Conference for HIV, HCV, STIs, Harm Reduction, and LGBTQ Health, being held virtually from Tuesday, December 6 through Thursday, December 8, 2022. This one-of-a-kind national conference connects dynamic healthcare and public health audiences to effectively address HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), LGBTQ+ health, harm reduction, and health equity. 

SYNC 2022 will feature:

  • Six live plenary sessions
  • Numerous on-demand trainings and courses
  • Expansive poster hall
  • Online networking opportunities
  • CME/CE Credits (CME, CNE, CE, ASWB, ACPE, etc.) 

To learn more and register, click the button below or visit SYNC2022.org.


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.


New On-Demand Training Available!

Bright, Brilliant, & Burnt-Out: Recognize. Reset. Reconnect.

This session will provide a foundation for providers to learn about the causes and consequences of burn-out through exploration of workplace culture and the impacts on staff. The roles and responsibilities of organizations in preventing burnout will be defined at the different positions held within the organization to ensure that mental health and wellbeing is made a priority.


New NIH Research Findings

Telehealth Improves Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

People with opioid use disorder who received telehealth services were more likely to stay on their medications and had a lower risk of overdose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Assessing How SARS-CoV-2 Mutations Might Affect Rapid Tests

Scientists developed a method that can assess thousands of potential mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and identify those that could affect performance of rapid antigen tests.


Maryland Department of Health Monkeypox Website

For people without a healthcare provider or insurance:  Local Health Department info - https://health.maryland.gov/phpa/OIDPCS/CSTIP/Pages/LHDs.aspx

Outreach Toolkit​s


MPX Vaccine: Eligibility

NEW!!! As of September 19, 2022, MDH expanded eligibility for the monkeypox (MPX) vaccine. Vaccine was previously recommended only for people with a known or potential exposure in the prior two weeks. JYNNEOS vaccine is now also available for MPX pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for anyone at increased chance of acquiring MPX, such as those with multiple or unknown sexual partners. Anyone who has already pre-registered for vaccine meeting the expanded eligibility criteria will be contacted by their local health department to schedule an appointment.

NACCHO Publishes Addressing the Intersection of Suicide, Overdose, and Adverse Childhood Experiences: What is Local Health Department Capacity? 
NACCHO announces the publication of Addressing the Intersection of Suicide, Overdose, and Adverse Childhood Experiences: What Is the Capacity of Local Health Departments? This national fielding report was developed with funding from the CDC. The Suicide, Overdose, and Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention Capacity Assessment Tool (SPACECAT) developed through a collaboration between NACCHO and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to survey local, state, and territorial health departments about their capacities to address the intersection of suicide, overdose, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) prevention. The report provides NACCHO’s analysis of the SPACECAT data from LHDs, describing their capacities in the three areas of prevention, and provides recommendations for LHDs to address suicide, overdose, and ACEs with sustainable, evidence-based prevention approaches. 
If you have any questions about the report, please contact the NACCHO Overdose, Injury & Violence Prevention Team at ivp@naccho.org.

Job Openings

Coordinator, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City

Description: The main purpose of this full-time contractual position is to work collaboratively with program staff members within the Center for Harm Reduction Services, along with other units within the Bureau of Infectious Disease and with Public Health Services' fiscal, grants, and procurement offices. This position will be responsible for processing forms and for coordinating different procurement processes for new grant programs. This position will also be responsible for managing budgeting across the Center’s funding sources, in addition to managing sub-recipient grants. Furthermore, this position will be responsible for ensuring access to naloxone and fentanyl test strips through a centralized purchasing model. The work completed by this position will contribute to the smooth implementation of all activities within the CHRS.

Deadline: November 15, 2022


Epidemiologist, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City

Description: This position will provide epidemiologic and programmatic support for surveillance and special studies of various communicable diseases of interest to program activities related to the Maryland Emerging Infections Program (EIP), primarily those related to the Healthcare-Associated Infections Community Interface (HAIC) component of EIP. This position will also be responsible for conducting surveillance for specified illnesses and pathogens, as well as for refining and analyzing surveillance data; assisting with case and outbreak investigations, as needed; and, developing special studies based on the surveillance activities. Additionally, this position will be responsible for writing scientific and other reports, along with communicating program information to federal, State, and local stakeholders. 

Deadline: November 17, 2022


Program Administrator, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City

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). 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: November 28, 2022


Coordinator, MDH Infectious Disease & Environmental Health Services

Location: Baltimore City

Description: This position will be based in the Data Operations Division within the Center for HIV Surveillance, Epidemiology and Evaluation. This position will be responsible for collecting, organizing, reviewing, and performing required entry of HIV/AIDS surveillance data into the state’s HIV registry (eHARS). This position will also be responsible for processing and responding to various quality control reports and data correction activities, as it pertains to the data stored within eHARS. Additionally, this position will be responsible for maintaining, scanning and filing all documents into eHARS, in accordance with all applicable standards and procedures.

Deadline: December 5, 2022


Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunity for the Reducing Overdose Through Community Approaches (ROCA) Mentorship Program, all Maryland counties

Description: NACCHO, with support from the CDC, is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for the Reducing Overdose through Community Approaches (ROCA) Mentorship Program. This funding opportunity pairs mentor LHDs with experience in overdose prevention with mentee LHDs aiming to strengthen their jurisdiction’s capacity. This program now offers two tracks from which applicants can select key strategy areas: 1) Overdose Prevention and Response and 2) The Intersection of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Substance Use.

Deadline: December 5, 2022


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 has engaged with HealthHIV, a national capacity building organization, to launch Alive! Maryland, the first-ever comprehensive capacity building initiative for the infectious disease and primary care workforce in the State of 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’s HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs, and harm reduction workforce. This initiative will provide Maryland providers with a web-based, self-paced Virtual Training Institute, many CEU opportunities, direct training and technical assistance, resource development, and more.



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