Thursday, April 09, 2015

On The Money Post Part 2

You probably heard it more than once somewhere in your life, "if want to know what's going on, follow the money." Well that's a great old adage that works sometimes but not always in the case of understanding just exactly what's really going on with HIV/ AIDS grant funding in Arkansas. 

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation state health fact sheet supported by data provided by
NASTAD, the report cited that in funding year cycle 2013, the state received a total of 13 Million dollars in federal funding across several line items. ( see table below).

This funding outlay was the sole source of funding for the agencies STD/HIV/Hep C/ TB Section that deals with infectious diseases. With  additional federal funding sources directly focused for the division's STI program. It is widely known that Arkansas has no line item in the state budget for HIV/AIDS prevention but has relied on federal outlays over the course of this health dilemma, as well as the fact that Arkansas receives the least amount of HIV funding of all the southern states.

As with all things government, there is a dizzying array of tables, graphs, pie charts and calculations to determine what goes where. And therein lies the issue of understanding how all this works and or lack of understanding if its not working. Local advocates and activist have been musing on about how expenditures have been allocated or either returned to the ADH coffers. At this posting up to $117,000.00 dollars in contract dollars were retrieved by ADH to be re-allocated in prevention services targeted to the MSM community.

Of this funding level, at least 80% or up to $100,000 was re-directed to the divisions new Arkansas Connectors Initiative launched October 2014. This project was seen as an expedited effort to create a new method to scale up linkage to and retention in care, further outreach and awareness engagement activities. Contracted individuals were identified in the states health districts and awarded funding based on submitted proposals.

To date 5 contractors have been activated to work in their respective areas and submit quarterly reports on findings through focus groups, assessments and testing. The program is slated to run through October 2015 with possible renewals into 2016. According to health department officials, plans are underway to identify proposals that meet the use criteria for the funding. At this posting, no such proposal has been named or entity seeking the funds.

This is even more head scratching, even as Arkansas has a transparency spending website ( ) that every citizen can troll through with hopes of making heads or tails about exactly what you are seeing. Much of the ADH money bucket although presented on this site, it is cloaked in terms such as "Miscellaneous Services," or "Outlined Contract," with agencies such as ARCare which has a subgrant funding from the Ryan White Part B Grant  and HOPWA contracts with Northeast Arkansas Regional AIDS Network.  Attempting to following the HIV/AIDS dollars in Arkansas can be daunting as well as long and winding road of numbers and postings. This forum will continue to unpack and peel back the funding onion.


Total Federal HIV/AIDS Grant Funding

LocationCDC HIV/AIDS FundingHOPWASAMHSAOMHRyan White ProgramTotal
Arkansas             $2,182,781$817,974$0$0$10,186,735$13,187,490

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