The CCC is a university-community partnership whose mission is to provide capacity building services to direct care service agencies. Ultimately, we hope to help agencies improve their services for individuals at risk or impacted by HIV/AIDS with multiple diagnoses related to substance use, mental illness, and other infectious diseases. Using a Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment (SBIRT) framework we help identify programs’ Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) needs and provide relevant trainings to enhance their quality of care in these areas.
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The CCC has been partnering with the Infectious Disease Bureau (IDB) of the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration (PHPA) at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) since 2006. In 2012, the IDB and the CCC, along with a number of collaborating agencies within the Baltimore area began working to expand efforts toward integrated screening, referral network development, and capacity building for mental health, substance use, sexual health, and infectious disease prevention and treatment; this was referred to as the “No Wrong Door” (NWD) project. The “no wrong door” concept continues today as these efforts have helped to increase opportunities for individuals who are at risk or suffering from a mental illness, substance use disorder and/or HIV/AIDS to access and receive integrated treatment and care regardless of where they enter the public health system of care. The NWD project concluded in 2015, but the work of the IDB and CCC, along with the many collaborating partners continued with an expansion of this work.
Click here to learn more about the “No Wrong Door” approach.
Taking these same concepts from NWD, the IDB and CCC continued with a project known as the “Sexual Health Integration Initiative” (SHII). Efforts carried forward targeted local health departments (LHD) in Maryland jurisdictions most impacted by HIV (Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Washington, and Wicomico counties). SHII aimed to operationalize a sexual health framework within behavioral health treatment settings, with HIV testing and linkages as the capstone intervention. Core elements of SHII include screening and referral, training and capacity development for behavioral health staff, the Sexual Health in Recovery (SHIR) intervention to help clients avoid relapsing due to patterns of sex/drug-linked behaviors, and HIV testing and linkages. This capacity building project assisted behavioral health treatment staff to implement the sexual health curricula and to conduct screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) using the No Wrong Door Integrative Screener.
Currently, the CCC is working with the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) to equip Peer Navigators working in multiple agencies throughout the City to address the disproportionate number of young, African American, same gender loving men affected by HIV. By targeting goals for increased engagement and adherence to PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) we aim to lower the rates of HIV transmission within the community of young, black, same gender loving men. To enhance brief intervention and readiness skills when using the Integrative Screener the CCC will provide training in motivational communication (rooted in the principles of Motivational Interviewing) and offer specific training in using the screener. The goal of these trainings is to support staff implementation of the Integrative Screener within their settings to reach young African American same gender loving men in order to connect them to the needed behavioral health, housing, and employment resources that will enhance adherence to PrEP.