The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) has received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to implement a Special Project of National Significance (SPNS), entitled "A Regional Approach to Linking Early HIV Care to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services for Alaska Natives". The goals of the project are to enhance access to timely HIV counseling, testing, and treatment referral for Alaska Natives and to enhance delivery of HIV primary medical care and service referrals for Alaska Natives and residents of rural Alaska.
To accomplish the first goal, ANTHC is working with Regional Native Health Organizations and the Alaska Department of Corrections (ADoC) to provide routine HIV-counseling, testing, treatment, and referrals for Alaska Natives being released from correctional facilities in Alaska. The first implementation site for this project will be in Nome. To accomplish the second goal, ANTHC will conduct an ongoing evaluation of its Ryan White Title III Early Intervention Services (EIS) program; this is a national program funded by HRSA to enhance access to primary medical care for HIV among the medically underserved. Currently, ANTHC is the only Native Health Organization in the U.S. to be awarded Title III EIS funding.
ANTHC has contracted with the Alaska Comprehensive and Specialized Evaluation Services (ACSES) branch of Behavioral Health Research and Services to provide technical assistance and evaluation for the SPNS project. ACSES will work with ANTHC and the ADoC to collect and analyze formative data, develop intervention protocols and materials, create evaluation instruments and methods, and carry out a comprehensive evaluation for Goal #1. For Goal #2, ACSES will carry out a continuing evaluation of service delivery, service referrals, and patient outcomes for individuals enrolled in the ANTHC EIS program, with an emphasis on identifying potential disparities in service delivery and outcomes based on gender, geographic locale, and beneficiary status (Alaska Native vs. Non-Native beneficiaries).