Single Source Procurement: Peer Credentialing Training (Phase 2)

Pursuant to New York State Finance Law § 163.10(b), The New York State Department of Health is presenting the following summary of relevant circumstances, and material and substantial reasons why a competitive procurement was not feasible.

The Blueprint for Ending the AIDS Epidemic in NYS contains more than 7 recommendations which require the use of peer workers (individuals who have direct experience living with HIV/HCV/substance use) to assist in the implementation of public health interventions. There is documented evidence that involvement of peer workers in the care of people with HIV, HCV, and substance use helps to improve patient health outcomes, increase rates of HIV viral suppression which in turn helps to prevent new cases of HIV infection. The effectiveness of peer-delivered services is rooted in the fact that peer workers have a "shared lived experience" with clients and are able to motivate and communicate in ways that are highly effective. In response to these facts, the AIDS Institute has developed a statewide peer credentialing program for HIV/HCV/harm reduction workers with the explicit goal of developing an HIV workforce (ETE Blueprint item # 29) to offer needed services.

The Peer Credentialing Program (1st phase) was approved by DOH01-000839-3450000 which funded Peer Certification Training and Peer Credentialing (the academic institution awarding the certificates). In order to be eligible for certification, most peer workers require special recruitment efforts, foundational training and support in order to navigate the certification process. Now Phase 2 of Peer Credentialing adds critical "feeder programs" described below to ensure there is a flow of new, eligible individuals living with HIV, HCV and substance use backgrounds to enter the certification process. The CRER also seeks to add critical training on Trauma and Trauma Informed Care to ensure peer workers and the organizations that employ them are prepared to serve the most vulnerable patients, many of whom have significant experiences of trauma.

In order to certify peer workers, eligible clients must be identified, recruited and trained from the communities most heavily impacted by HIV/ HCV/substance use. In order to build this workforce, the DOH/AIDS Institute needs to engage organizations that have: 1) ties to impacted communities and clients who may be prospective peer workers; 2) a history of offering peer education programs, 3) capacity to offer NYSDOH approved foundational training; 4) history of providing peer-delivered services, and 5) the ability to assist eligible individuals through the certification process.

The Phase 2 components of Peer Credentialing Training Program are:

  • Component A – Foundational Training for peers by established peer programs
  • Component B – Peer/organizational training on Trauma-Informed Care

Component A: Foundational Training

A comprehensive effort was made to identify all organizations with expertise in training, offering peer–delivered services and delivering peer education programs that would be capable of playing the role of "feeder programs" to assist with building the state's Peer Workforce. The list of agencies considered below includes: 1) all AIDS Institute currently funded regional training centers and training centers of expertise, 2) all reputable AIDS Institute funded peer training programs, 3) all organizations in NYS with a significant demonstrated history of offering peer-delivered services; and 4) all organizations which participated in a Peer Certification Pilot project. Based on this comprehensive effort to identify qualified organizations and review of the above-referenced criteria, the AIDS Institute seeks to fund the following the three organizations which met all criteria.

Component B: Peer/Organizational Training on Trauma-Informed Care

The Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC) is recognized as the premiere center for community-based training in trauma-informed care in New York State. Staff from ITTIC participated in an AIDS Institute consultation on Training Needs to Support Trauma-Informed Care in March 2014. The organization has a history of being involved in innovative efforts to promote trauma-informed care including developing a community-wide plan for trauma-informed care for Buffalo, NY, the first of its kind in the nation. The ITTIC will be charged with tailoring existing training to meet the needs of HIV/HCV/Harm Reduction peer workers. Since trauma-informed care involves an agency-wide approach, training peer workers alone will not be sufficient to ensure that services are trauma informed. Therefore, this initiative will include training for program administrators of 25-30 agencies that will employ peer workers. This initiative will prepare these agency leaders to implement agency-wide policies and practices that reflect the principles of trauma-informed care. This will enable peer workers to deliver trauma-informed care within the context of the agency's larger services.

The AIDS Institute conducted a review of programs with demonstrated expertise in trauma-informed care (TIC) and experience offering training on this topic. We have consulted with the SAMHSA National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint. Staff from this national center assisted the AIDS Institute in planning a consultation meeting on TIC training conducted by the AIDS Institute in 2014. Staff from the National Center referred us to the University at Buffalo Center on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care as our closest experts in the topic. There are currently few other organizations with this expertise

Procurement / Program Name Peer Credentialing Training (Phase 2)
Contractor Name(s) Multiple – Please See Attached.
Contract Period 5/1/2016 – 3/31/2020
Contract Number(s) C31250GG – C31253GG