For More Information About URSAURSA Institute 390 4th Street San Francisco, Ca 94107 (415) 777-1922 email@example.com
URSA Institute staff have a broad range of expertise in the field of health.We have trained physicians, public health educators and nurse practitioners in program development, planning and management; conducted surveys on family planning, breast and cervical cancer research and public health awareness; and provided support planning and development to national, regional and local health agencies in issues as varied as smoking and cholesterol abatement, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, health promotion in the elderly, family planning and child abuse and neglect.
In the critical fields of AIDS education, prevention, care and treatment the staff of URSA Institute have provided an array of services, including designing and conducting statewide and local needs assessments of the needs of people living with HIV and the programs which serve them, the design and provision of HIV/AIDS awareness training at the national, state and local levels; the design and development of multicultural training; in the conduct of knowledge, attitude and behavior surveys and analyses, and the design and implementation of both a statewide multicultural awareness training and technical assistance center and an innovative and successful statewide AIDS media campaign.
URSA’s involvement in the epidemic began in 1981 with the initiation
of an internal examination of the gay male subcultures in San
Francisco, based on our earlier (1978-80) nationwide HHS-funded
study of juvenile male prostitution.
For the past twenty-two years, we have retained an interest in
and commitment to fighting the epidemic by designing, promoting,
supporting and evaluating education and prevention and treatment
services through a variety of contracts, grants and endowments
which have included:
[Click on link for a full description of the project.]
Operation of the Multicultural AIDS Resource Center of California (1993-present) involving a statewide CBO technical assistance needs assessment, the provision of workshops and trainings on cultural, sexual and gender diversity, multicultural awareness and cultural capacity building, and the conduct of special population focus groups to learn of special hard-to-reach subpopulations of persons at risk for HIV infection.
The last three years of this effort, a Polaris contract, have involved the provision of a multitude of trainings throughout California, the support of the Interfaith Advisory Council in its efforts to bring interfaith commitments to HIV-AIDS prevention efforts, the design and maintenance of a website, www.marconline.org , that includes a special multicultural magazine with unique, relevant articles addressing issues of specific minority cultural concerns as they pertain to HIV/AIDS prevention and provides links to a variety of sites dealing with culture and diversity, and the participation in a unique international effort involving the official HIV/AIDS prevention community of Mexico.
Design of social marketing campaigns to reach the minority gay male population of San Francisco and the African American and Latino populations of East Palo Alto California. (1999-2002)
Cross-cultural Training to Providers of Services to Persons with HIV/AIDS in the City of San Francisco (1990-95) and Alameda County (1991-93 )
Design and Production of Counseling and Testing Videos for use at HIV/AIDS test sites (1996),
Participation as the Community Education Coordinator of the California AIDS Media Campaign (1995-present) and the California AIDS Education Campaign (1988-90)
Provision of Logistical, Technical, Research and Evaluation Support to the HIV/AIDS Prevention Planning Council of San Francisco (1995-2001)
Conduct of Two Knowledge, Attitude and Behavior Surveys of the Black Population of San Francisco (1986-88)
California AIDS Community Education Effectiveness Evaluation (1988-90)
Statewide Needs Assessment of Supportive Services for People with AIDS or AIDS-Related Conditions (1987)
Provision of AIDS Prevention & Education Training to Agency Representatives for the City of Washington, D.C. (1990-95),
Evaluation of AIDS prevention and testing services of the City of Washington, D.C. (1990-92),
Design, methodological and report writing support to the HIV/AIDS KABB survey of southern gay men for NTFAP (1992-93)
National AIDS Education, Prevention, and Treatment Training for Drug Abuse Programs--NIDA (1985-87),
Provision of Logistical Support to the San Francisco the Mayor’s HIV Planning Council administering Title I Care Funds (1996-2001 to present), provision of evaluation technical assistance to HPPC (same).
Development and Expansion of an Ethnography of the HIV infected population of the Alameda and Contra Costa EMA with emphasis upon people of color (1993-95) and analysis of their relative success in accessing and receiving Ryan White funded services (1993-94)
Technical Assistance to the Ryan White CARE Consortium of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties (1992-94)
Staff Development Support to Ryan White Act Grantees of Alameda County in Multicultural Awareness (1992-93),
REACHING THE CBO SERVICE PROVIDERS
URSA Institute staff assigned to the project have operated the Multicultural AIDS Resource Center of California, a unique training and technical assistance resource geared to support the over 150 agencies and organizations which are funded by the State Office of AIDS to provide the AIDS education and prevention services to the people of California.
The focus of MARCC is upon multiculturalism. The staff of the program is responsible for capacity building--providing specialized training and technical assistance in multicultural awareness, issues of color and HIV/AIDS, and general organizational development. We also have been responsible for providing multicultural awareness training to all staff of the State Office of AIDS, and for conducting research into the nature and extent of some of the more complex at-risk populations--transgenders, the incarcerated, “closeted” gay men, minority youth, etc.
For the past ten years, the MARCC has been a vehicle for the provision of cultural and sexual diversity training and support to agencies and organizations throughout California. Four members of the MARCC staff made presentations at the National AIDS Update Conference in February 1995 and the Center has been an able participant in the CDC-mandated community planning process for the State of California. Dr. Martin L. Forst, URSA Institute Senior Scientist, has ably evaluated the work of the MARCC.
MEETING THE CHALLENGE FOR COMMUNITIES OF COLOR
URSA associates, under the Polaris banner, have conducted a series of social marketing efforts at the local levels, targeting diverse minority populations—including gay men of color in San Francisco, African Americans, Latinos and Filipinos within the East Palo Alto. The San Francisco effort targeted gay men of color to encourage them to participate in a special test of the efficacy of Post Exposure Profilaxis, the administration of HIV/AIDS immediately following an un-safe sex act to assist in the treatment and potentially stopping actual HIV/AIDS infection. Gay men of color were targeted and responded.
In East Palo Alto, we worked with local CBOs of color serving the community, convened a number of focus groups of African Americans, Latinos and Filipinos to craft the campaigns with their interests in mind.The campaign was among the most successful with regard to recognition by the community as evidenced by a community wide survey conducted subsequent to the implementation of the campaign.
TRAINING THE FRONT-LINE WORKERS IN THE EPIDEMIC
For five years (1989-96) URSA Institute staff working for Polaris were under contract to the San Francisco Department of Public Health to provide training to AIDS service providers to assist them to relate to their multicultural client populations. Training is provided to providers to assist them to relate appropriately to the cultural backgrounds of the clients that they serve. Over the past number of years, the number of agencies providing AIDS related services has grown. These agencies often do not know how to relate to the many nationalities they come in contract with especially with regard to the sensitive socio-sexual issues that are at the core of effective AIDS education. URSA Institute provided support to such agencies throughout the City of San Francisco.
FOR HIV/AIDS TEST SITE
REACHING THE CONCERNED WITH SENSITIVITY
URSA Institute staff under a Polaris contract produced two videos for the California Department of Health Services for use in HIV test sites.These are sensitive training tools to assist those individuals getting tested at state test sites in getting through the testing process. The first video is designed for use in test site waiting rooms. It is viewed by everyone who comes in for an HIV test to explain the testing process to them. Its purpose it to prepare people for the test and the risk assessment counseling which accompanies it.
The second video is designed for use only with low-risk individuals who test negative.It is shown to them after they receive their test results. It is also designed to accompany risk assessment counseling.
CALIFORNIA AIDS EDUCATION CAMPAIGN (1988-90)
STATEWIDE OUTREACH AND MEDIA MOBILIZATION EFFORT
In two separate efforts URSA Institute staff working for Pacificon (an early partnership) and Polaris provided social marketing support to the state of California Office of AIDS. Each effort has targeted at risk populations to be reached by creative community based and mass media.
California AIDS Media Campaign, an interesting effort marrying mass media delivered by URSA Institutetogether with the mainstream advertising agency Asher-Gould and the public relations firm Rogers & Associates. Polaris’s role is to develop media for use by local AIDS agencies and to support their use through a series of workshops, trainings and technical assistance visits. The focus of the was to reach communities of color otherwise underserved by Mass media messages.One unique focus of the campaign has been the targeting of rural area programs who are otherwise unsupported by general education and prevention efforts.. The URSA Institute evaluated the effort under a special contract.
California AIDS Education Campaign, at the timethe largest state supported media campaign on AIDS in the nation, was funded by the State Department of Health. The key element of the campaign was an unique media mobilization and outreach effort in support of the over 150 locally funded AIDS Education and Prevention contractors in the state. Local programs were and are still being provided unique print and ancillary materials to support their AIDS education and prevention efforts.Examples of unique items include cocktail napkins and matches printed with key AIDS prevention messages in English, Spanish, and Asian languages. The campaign was unique in that it focused on supporting the efforts of local programs, it is geared and targeted to key at-risk populations, and it provided multimedia messages to educate those populations.
SUPPORTING THE NEW PREVENTION PLANNING EFFORT
URSA Institute and Polaris developed a consortium of local AIDS consultants to support the efforts of the San Francisco HPPC. Through a coordinated effort of logistical support, technical support and evaluation and research, the effort is unique in California counties. Tied to the effort is a major needs assessment and technical assistance provision role which involves general and evaluation technical assistance. One critical role of URSA Institute is to develop standardized variables for risk assessment and a plan for evaluating the efficacy of prevention grantees over time.
BEHAVIORS AND ATTITUDES IN SAN FRANCISCO'S BLACK COMMUNITY
RANDOM TELEPHONE AND HOUSE TO HOUSE KABB SURVEYS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS
URSA Institute conducted two annual surveys of the African American population of San Francisco to determine its knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding AIDS. The first of these surveys revealed that the African American population appeared to be at higher risk of AIDS to do the behaviors which were reported, while have similar knowledge and attitudes regarding AIDS that had been reported for other populations. The survey was conducted by face-to-face interviews, while the sample was drawn from a telephone screening and scheduling process. The second survey was also face to face with the sample drawn from house to house selection. The interviews were conducted by trained staff drawn from the communities selected. The results of the Black AIDS surveys have been reported at the International AIDS Conference in Montreal and in scholarly journals and publications.
URSA Institute conducted the first statewide evaluation of AIDS information education programs through the URSA Institute. Many education strategies have evolved over the past five years designed to alter at-risk behaviors, from one-time informational sessions to on-going health promotion support groups. URSA Institute staff has undertaken to measure the effectiveness of these diverse modalities among 28 projects funded by the State of California.
This project was designed to assess education models and to develop the first baseline information of so-called at-risk populations. It will analyze changes in risk behavior as a function of the type and extent of contact with the AIDS educational activity, determine whether prevention programs reach the targeted groups, describe the extent to which knowledge is received and accepted by the targeted audience, and implement a service cost analysis.
THE INITIAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT IN CALIFORNIA
URSA Institute staff conducted a needs assessment for the State of California through the URSA Institute as part of a systems development process for responding to the AIDS epidemic. The project was a systematic data collection and analysis effort designed to be used in resource allocation decisions, with a view toward discovering and identifying needed supportive services. The purpose was to identify and measure the need for services among people diagnosed with AIDS, AIDS-related complex (ARC), or identified as sero-positive.
We were concerned with gaps in service networks and our approach was to allow service providers and persons with AIDS or ARC to define their needs and to identify a system of community services responsive to those needs.Other key information in and out of the service delivery field was utilized as well. The study will generate several products, including service models and promising approaches for use in state and local program planning, service development or coordination strategies, and tools for future assessment.
CITYWIDE TRAINING OF STAFF AND TRAINING OF TRAINERS
The city of Washington, DC has had a policy that all staff shall be trained and educated regarding AIDS. For five years (1990-95) URSA Institutehad an ongoing contract with the city to train trainers from each city department to enable them to provide training in AIDS to their fellow city employees. Trainers were trained from the Police Department, the Alcohol and Drug Administration, the Health Department, the Social Services Department, and affirmative action staff, among others. The training received high marks from the trainees and resulted in the development of a number of manuals for use within the District.
EVALUATING A VITAL SERVICE
Washington, D.C. Office of AIDS Services received a grant from HHS to operate a unique testing and counseling service for IDUs and other risk populations within the inner city. URSA Instituteconducted a two year evaluation of the effort which included participation in planning and feedback to the program for the improvement of the service. The program was found to have some problems in informing individuals of their HIV test results and the improvements recommended went a long way to improve the service and expand the support for services throughout the community.
NATIONWIDE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR LEADERS AND STAFFS OF
FUNDED DRUG ABUSE PROGRAMS
URSA Institute (1985-87) developed a comprehensive curriculum and delivered training nationwide to drug abuse intervention programs on the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The National Institute on Drug Abuse contracted this technology transfer effort to inform program administrators and counselors about AIDS and the emerging approaches for prevention and treatment among intravenous drug users.
RESEARCH DESIGN, DATA ENTRY, AND DATA ANALYSISURSA Institute was a subcontractor to the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention of Black and White Men Together (1993-95) on its CDC-funded survey of Southern Gay Men. URSA Instituteassumed the key research design, analysis and report writing tasks on the grant.Its discrete responsibilities included the design of the instrument, development of the sampling plan, development of training design and manual for interviewers, analyzing the data and preparing the report of the survey.
do the services reach the population most in need
In two separate grants, one from HRSA and one from the Kaiser Family Foundation, URSA Institute was involved in thedevelopment of an ethnography of HIV-infected people of color of the Alameda and Contra Costa County EMA.The focus of the effort has been to document the differences and similarities between HIV-infected individuals of color and their families in identifying, accessing and being served by the range of services provided by the counties through the CARE Act and other resources.
Part of the research has involved the isolation and analysis of critical elements which distinguish people and their groups. One of these--the social networks (family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, community agencies, churches, etc.) within which the infected people and their families operate--is proving most interesting for continued research.
ASSISTING THE TREATMENT PROVIDERS
For two years, URSA Institute provided technical assistance to the Ryan White II Consortium of Alameda-Contra Costa Counties to assist it in assessing the effectiveness of the agencies that it funded in serving the needs of the HIV-infected population of the EMA. Part of the effort involved the design and implementation of a Management Information System (MIS) to provide grantees with a means of recording key service activities and service populations.
EDUCATING THE TREATMENT PROVIDERS
URSA Institute (1993-94) provided staff development training to the Title I Ryan White Act grantees of Alameda County.The training was patterned after the multicultural awareness training provided to the AIDS service providers of San Francisco, but it also involved the development of train the trainer materials and packages to enable the county to replicatethe training after the conclusion of the URSA Institute effort.It was well received and highly praised by the participants.
The curriculum development base of this project entailed the gathering and synthesis of published documents, specially commissioned papers by drug abuse program experts, and in-depth interviews with line staff and clients.This material was translated into a two-day multi-media training curriculum with different presentations geared toward the specific concerns of different groups. Specialized modules for methadone maintenance programs, residential therapeutic communities, and issues for women intravenous drug users was developed.
Following curriculum development, URSA Institute staff delivered the training in 30 workshops in sites across the nation where the combined incidence of AIDS and intravenous drug use is highest. The project resulted in a self-sufficient package of trainer guide, trainee manual, and supportive audiovisual material for training replication by state and local agencies.