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HIV service organizations spend a fair amount of time securing funding necessary to maintain or expand programming. Funding often comes in the form of grants. Research for grant applications can be a daunting task and most funders require a detailed description of the population served. Knowing where to find this information makes providing a community profile possible. Having access to an affordable and easy to use tool greatly reduces the complexity of doing so. This article highlights just such a tool.

Creating the Community Profile: A common requirement for grant applications is the community profile. A community profile can be used to describe the population of an organization’s service area, or to identify areas with high concentrations of vulnerable residents such as those living in poverty. A free and easy to use online resource for this purpose is Community Commons.

Community Commons is a collaboration of non-profit organizations that developed an online tool in response to IRS requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act. This tool is a data warehouse (and much more) that allows users to easily create very detailed community profiles for areas as small as the census tract level. To create your community profile, visit Community Commons’ Maps & Data page. From this page, you can browse available maps and reports or create one of your own. Two of my favorite options are located under the section titled ‘Build a Report’.

A Quick Example: For a quick example of what you can do with Community Commons, follow these instructions:

  1. Visit communitycommons.org/maps-data/
  2. Select Community Health Needs Assessment
  3. Select Run an Indicator Report (Note: Creating an account is necessary but free)
  4. Select Indiana, then Marion County, from the drop-down menus
  5. Select View Report

After viewing the basic report, scroll down to the lower-right corner of the page where you can download the report as-is or you can choose to customize the report with indicators grouped under the categories:

  • Demographics
  • Social & economic factors
  • Physical environment
  • Health behaviors
  • Clinical care
  • Health outcomes

I chose to examine economic factors and selected the ‘Children Eligible for Free Lunch’ option. I was provided with much data on the topic, including this graph of eligibility during the 2009-10 through 2013-14 academic years that contrasts Marion County with Indiana and the U.S.

FreeLunchByYearExample

Be sure to check out the ‘Identify Vulnerable Populations’ tool as well. The tool opens with poverty and education indicators; however, you can add other indicators from a large menu of options. Move the sliders to adjust the indicator thresholds in use. You can also overlay community health clinics, hospitals, geographical boundaries, and more with the check of a box.

The Marion County Public Health Department’s Ryan White HIV Services Program oversees Ryan White Part A, C, and Minority AIDS Initiative grants in the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). These programs serve the needs of persons newly infected or living with HIV and out of care and/or uninsured or medically underserved.

View the full article in Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center Indiana Newsletter, February 2016(79).

Tammie L. Nelson, MPH, CPH

The Marion County Public Health Department’s Ryan White HIV Services Program oversees Ryan White Part A, C, and Minority AIDS Initiative grants in the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). These programs serve the needs of persons newly infected or living with HIV and out of care and/or uninsured or medically underserved.

HCV: Approximately 2.7 million U.S. residents were living with chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection at year-end 2014. Many were unaware of their status because HCV is predominantly (70%-80%) asymptomatic until the late stages of disease. HCV is a leading cause of chronic liver disease and increases risk for hepatocellular carcinoma 20-fold. HCV disproportionately affects people living with HIV. While overall prevalence is 1.3%-1.62%, one in four people living with HIV also have HCV.

HIV Co-Infection: Research indicates that HCV viral loads are higher and that HCV progresses faster in those with comorbid HIV. In fact, HIV co-infection more than triples risk for severe HCV-related liver disease, the leading cause of non-AIDS related death among people living with HIV. Treatment in those co-infected is complex, lengthy and less successful than in mono-infected individuals…..

View the full article in Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center Indiana Newsletter, January 2016(78).

Tammie L. Nelson, MPH, CPH

The Marion County Public Health Department’s Ryan White HIV Services Program – Indianapolis TGA oversees Ryan White Part A, C, and Minority AIDS Initiative grants in the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). These programs serve the needs of persons newly infected or living with HIV and out of care and/or uninsured or medically underserved.

Prevalence of Undiagnosed HIV: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent HIV surveillance report provides evidence of a decrease in the prevalence of U.S. residents living with undiagnosed HIV, from 14% to 12.8%. However, prevalence varies widely by demographic and transmission category. CDC estimates were applied to the MSA and are presented in the full article in Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center Indiana Newsletter, December 2015(77).

 

Many thanks to my co-author, Sara Hallyburton!

MATEC Indiana

Marion County Public Health Department, Epidemiology Request DR2370
Prepared by: Sara J. Hallyburton and Tammie L. Nelson, MPH, CPH

The Marion County Public Health Department’sRyan White Services Program oversees Ryan White Part A, C, and Minority AIDS Initiative grants in the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). These programs serve the needs of persons newly infected or living with HIV and out of care and/or uninsured or medically underserved.

About Mental Health: Mental health refers to an individual’s psychological, emotional, and social well-being.1 A person’s mental health affects how he or she relates to others, handles stress, and makes decisions. It affects behavior, thoughts, and feelings and is an important aspect of every person’s life.1 This year, the World Health Organization is celebrating World Mental Health Day on October 10. The theme is “Dignity in mental health”.2

Just as those who live with HIV/AIDS often face…

View original post 636 more words

MATEC Indiana

Marion County Public Health Department, Epidemiology Request DR2370
Prepared by: Tammie L. Nelson, MPH, CPH

The Marion County Public Health Department’sRyan White Services Program oversees Ryan White Part A, C, and Minority AIDS Initiative grants in the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). These programs serve the needs of persons newly infected or living with HIV and out of care and/or uninsured or medically underserved.

HIV Continuum of Care: Engagement in the continuum of care is important in the prevention of secondary transmission and for improving health outcomes and quality of life among people living with HIV (PLWH).1,2,3 While engagement in care in the MSA is similar to the U.S. overall (see the April 2015 Quality Matters article), disparities are experienced by racial minorities (Figure 1).4

Figure 1: HIV Continuum of Care by Race/Ethnicity, Indianapolis-Carmel MSA: 2014

Aug_MATEC_TLN_draft

HIV Diagnosis: Overall, about 14% of HIV-positive…

View original post 415 more words

July 13, 2015 – Providing Care to the LGBT Community: HIV Care Updates for the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan Statistical Area.

June 8, 2015 – Early Initiation of HIV Antiretroviral Treatment: HIV Care Updates for the Indianapolis-Carmel Metropolitan Statistical Area.