Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council: Grateful Collaboration
As we start the New Year, we're launching a series about new media planning. In upcoming weeks we'll be hearing from our community and Federal colleagues about steps they are taking to implement a new media strategy. At AIDS.gov we use new media strategies to provide access to Federal HIV information, policies (e.g. the National HIV/AIDS Strategy), programs, and resources. In order to best do this, we receive planning guidance from a cross-agency planning group called the Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council (FHAWC).
The Council includes Web, subject matter experts (content), and communications leads from over twenty programs, agencies and offices, representing HIV programs across the U.S. Government. Members plan and implement Federal new media efforts around HIV. In addition, the Council promotes coordination and collaboration to improve delivery of HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment messages and services via new media. The AIDS.gov team convenes the Council's monthly conference calls and coordinates an annual in-person meeting.
The Council has been preparing for today's 2011 annual meeting being held in Washington, DC. Here are just two examples of the Council’s work:
- The HIV Prevention and Service Provider Locator is a cornerstone tool, bringing together data from member agencies CDC, HRSA, SAMHSA, OPA and HUD. The locator (and the widget) allow users to search for nearby HIV testing services, housing providers, health centers, and other service providers.
- Dr. Dieffenbach’s blog series on future directions of NIAID's clinical research provides important research updates for our readers.
We asked several members with diverse expertise to tell us about the value of collaboration. Lisa Neel from Indian Health Service (IHS) told us: “Collaboration is the core of our HIV/AIDS Program at IHS. It is only through collaboration that we foster transparency, leverage resources, and create synergy to continually improve our performance. The relationships and communication supported by our Council membership is part of this footing.”
Patricia Long manages the VA's Clinical Public Health Programs websites, which include HIV/AIDS, providing content for both the public and for health care providers. She said: “Learning from those on the Council who have already developed the tools and technologies we want to offer our users is invaluable. For example, in trying to optimize our HIV/AIDS site for mobile devices, we set up a conference call with AIDS.gov staffers who had done a lot of work in this area; their strategies helped us to focus our own efforts."
One of our communications members, Susan Cruzan from SAMHSA told us “Collaborating with the Council provides wonderful resources to me and my colleagues, allowing us to reach further into the AIDS community and provides us with an opportunity to express our support and participate in social media events such as Facing AIDS and World AIDS Day."
In upcoming months, we will post more about the Council’s work on AIDS.gov and on the blog. We are grateful for the service of each member and appreciate their leadership and guidance in our shared work. If you have questions about the Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.