The mission of the Grand Rapids Red Project is to improve health, reduce risk and prevent HIV in the greater Grand Rapids metropolitan service area. More specifically we seek to provide access to the knowledge, tools, information and support that people need to stay healthy, and begin making any positive change in their own lives and in their communities. We accomplish our mission through providing direct client service delivery and advocacy through the Clean Works Comprehensive Harm Reduction Program, Bar and Community Outreach, the Positive Choices support group and Sisters with Status, Overdose Prevention and Response Training, and HIV and hepatitis C counseling, testing and referral.
Significant strides have been made in the past two decades in the medical treatment and case management of HIV. People living with HIV are living longer healthier lives, and mortality has decreased. However, the number of people living with HIV in Kent County continues to increase, and prevention strategies like Pre Exposure Prophylaxis and U=U and early intervention remains a priority for The Grand Rapids Red Project. In addition, although treatment and case management is available in Kent County, a significant portion of the individuals living with HIV in Kent County who are aware of their status are not currently engaged in treatment. This project will focus on identifying people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who are aware of their status yet not successfully engaged in treatment, through outreach, and walking them through the process of successfully engaging in treatment, until they are secure in treatment. There will also be a focus on targeted outreach strategies for communities who are statistically most at risk. Our Early Intervention Specialist will focus on identifying out of care individuals and working with them until they are retained in care as well as identifying people at high risk for contracting HIV through outreach and connecting them to prevention services.
- Work with newly diagnosed individuals by scheduling doctor appointments, attending appts, and through following-up for 6 months (or extended as needed)
- Maintain weekly contact with client until medication adherence is achieved
- Actively maintain a presence in the community and build strong relationships with community partners to continually assess needs in our service areas
- Identify and communicate with community providers to assist in locating clients who are out of care
- Work with local Health Departments and Epidemiological staff to identify target demographics, as well as the targeted geographical service area
- Conduct outreach/social marketing in the community
- Assist in HIV Testing, Linkage, and Counseling (TLC) services and outreach events as needed
- Provide Health Literacy training to potential clients
- Work to identify individuals who are out of care and link them to care
- Actively maintain a presence in the community including clinics and other healthcare facilities, outreach centers, organizations that serve target populations, community gathering spots, schools, faith based entities and other public health locations
- Conduct outreach/social marketing in the community as well as identify and reach out to community providers to assist in locating clients who are out of care or need prevention services
- Identify peer support, liason or gatekeeping community members who can assist with bridging the gap
- Analyze EIS and community data to identify gaps in services aimed at connecting out-of-care individuals back into care
- Work with HIV Program managers on developing and implementing outreach strategies within targeted populations, ie. African American men who have sex with men (MSM), African American women, white MSM, hispanic population etc. As well as track current affected populations trends.
- Organize targeted outreach events to promote Red Project HIV Care and Prevention services and elicit referrals
- Organize media campaigns to promote Red Project HIV Care and Prevention services
- Serve as primary liaison to community for EIS program: arrange community presentations and meetings, develop new partnerships with agencies serving as potential entry points to EIS
- Work with Client Service Coordinator to maintain up to date resource guide
- Research and recommend programmatic improvements to reach hard to reach populations
- Develop and implement policy and procedure for online social networking strategy to identify out of treatment PLWHA
- Maintain accurate and up to date client files in the CareWare system and physical client files for EIS clients
- Assist in facilitation and coordination of monthly Positive Choices support groups, Educational dinner, client advisory board
- Create and maintain up to date policies and procedures, and job-aides for the EIS and Get PrEPPED programs
- Assist in regular preparation of necessary programmatic data reports
- Participate in professional development and continuing education as needed
- Assist in other duties as assigned
Skills and Experience
- Well connected within community of people living with HIV
- MDHHS certified as an HIV tester/counselor, and first module of Case Management. (Red Project can facilitate the certification process)
- Ability to collaborate and communicate professionally with other healthcare entities within Greater Grand Rapids
- Red Project certification as Overdose Response Trainer, and Syringe Access Superstar
- Valid driver’s license and own transportation
- Minimum of 1-year experience within a related field and/or identifies as a member of an affected population
- Knowledge of HIV/HCV/STD infection, transmission, PrEP, U = U and other prevention
- Knowledge and connection to local community resources and referrals related to HIV, health care, substance use, and basic needs, as well as local MSM and LGBTQ+ community networks and their intersections
- Ability to engage clients in a client centered manner and create effective referrals
- Bilingual (English/Spanish) preferred
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills with diverse groups and individuals, including strong interpersonal and organizational skills
- Demonstrate ability to work effectively with people of diverse races, ethnicities, ages, sexual orientations, and drug use patterns, in a multicultural environment
- Must be available to work nights and weekends as needed
- Confidentiality- capable of maintaining the highest degree of confidentiality with regard to client and organizational information.
- Client Centered- capable of working with individuals to identify needs and priorities, and facilitate any positive change as a client defines that for themselves.
- Community Focused- capable of being speaking to and within multiple communities, aware of annual events and important happenings in relation to the chart of work. Happy to engage with members of the community from all walks of life.
- Motivated- capable of taking the initiative and following a project through to completion.
- Organized- capable of prioritizing needs, goals and objectives. Capable of maintaining all required information/data for ease of access for staff and clients.
- Problem Solver- capable of thinking on the spot to resolve problem situations as they arise. Able to assess relevant information, identify a range of options, and make recommendations for resolution of problem situations.
To Apply, submit RESUME AND COVER LETTER to Tempest Warfield at firstname.lastname@example.org OR at 401 Hall St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507, by 5pm Friday, October 12th.