Dr. Oliver Bacon leads a PrEP training in Fulton County, GA.

Building Community Engagement for Syringe Service Programs


This webinar will address the barriers, successes and lessons learned by local health department in their commitment to develop and maintain partnerships with non-traditional partners.

Syringe access and disposal remains the cornerstone of HIV prevention efforts for people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in San Francisco, supported by local funding. Early introduction of this service is credited for preventing a heterosexual epidemic in San Francisco. However, implementing a syringe service program can pose its challenges. That is why community engagement from the onset is crucial, and the range of partners with whom to engage equally important. Join us for a webinar in which we talk about San Francisco’s and North Carolina Orange County Health Department’s experience with community engagement for syringe service programs.

Eileen Loughran, Community Engagement Liaison, and Jose Luis Guzman, HIV/HCV Prevention & Substance Use Program Liaison from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Community Health Equity and Promotion Branch in partnership with Terry Morris, Syringe Access Services manager from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, will talk about their experience in building community involvement for syringe service programming.  Additionally, Robin Gasparini, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, Public Health Nursing Supervisor from the Orange County, North Carolina Health Department will speak to their experience embarking on implementing a syringe service program for the county.

They’ll address the multiple layers of partnerships the health department is involved in—from engaging people who inject drugs, to CBOs, communities and neighborhoods of syringe access sites, as well as government entities, such as the police department. They will also talk about the strong collaboration of community syringe providers and health department and how the collective impact model has informed San Francisco’s work and made a multitude of partnerships possible.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Develop collaborative relationships with unlikely prevention partners
  • Negotiate priorities based on community input, and input from community leaders
  • Address community issues of in a way that is timely, appropriate and collaborative
  • Identify systems to normalize communication and collaboration with non-traditional partners.

Please be sure to complete this HPAT. We will end with a Question & Answer session along with an overview of how your health department can get free assistance on building capacity in high impact HIV prevention. We encourage everyone to follow along and ask questions on Twitter using the hashtag #SyringeServices.

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