Results-Driven Solutions Statewide
Realize Resources has provided capacity building services to over 100 agencies across the Commonwealth from the Berkshires to Boston to Cape Cod and the Islands. In each engagement, we deliver individualized services and expertise to achieve measurable, impactful results. Examples of our work include:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) — Curricula Development and Training
In 2010 Realize Resources redesigned the entire series of core trainings of the MDPH-Office of HIV/AIDS so that entering and seasoned HIV service providers would have the requisite information, skills and practice to provide accurate, up-to-date information using a client-centered harm reduction framework. The curricula includes six core trainings: Fundamentals of HIV, Hepatitis, and STIs; Behavioral Risk Assessment and Risk Reduction; Positive Prevention in Practice; HIV Counseling and Testing; HIV Case Management; and a new training for 2010, Field Work. In 2009, we delivered 63 MDPH Core Trainings (198 days of training). Some 130 service providers successfully completed the requisite six days of training required to provide HIV counseling and antibody testing services in Massachusetts. 83 service providers successfully completed the requisite 6 days of training needed to be an HIV Case Manager in Massachusetts.
MDPH Organization Development Services
In 2009, we provided three internal MDPH departments as well as five provider agencies with a range of services including: coaching, team building, strategic thinking/planning, structural re-alignment, goal setting, leadership/management development, work processes restructuring and staff skill building. We worked in collaboration with each client to determine not only the best approach to addressing organizational issues, but the current best practices in the methodology and strategy suited for that particular organization, given their strengths and challenges. We respect the confidentiality of our clients and therefore, names of organizations and MDPH departments are not shared.
The HIV/AIDS Service Coordination Collaborative (SCC)
From 2005 to 2010, Realize Resources staff founded and managed this vibrant network of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH), over 40 social service agencies, clinical providers, and state and local government agencies working together to improve services and access to care for PLWH in the Greater Boston/Metrowest area of Massachusetts. Examples of useful community resources created as part of this collaborative include:
The SHARE Network
The Sharing HIV/AIDS Resources and Education (SHARE) Network is a network of Massachusetts based health care and social service providers, people living with HIV/AIDS, and other interested community members. With over 350 members sharing information online about HIV-related programs, services, jobs, trainings, conferences, and advocacy efforts, the SHARE Network developed out of the Greater Boston Metrowest HIV/AIDS Service Coordination Collaborative (SCC). Please email email@example.com to sign up.
Clinical Supervision and Counseling
In 2009 two of our clinical social worker staff provided a total of 25 hours each month of clinical supervision to staff of various HIV/AIDS service organizations, including a congregate housing program, a drop in community center, an outpatient primary care clinic, and an HIV counseling and testing outreach program held in shelters and detoxes. Staff also provided clinical supervision to non-HIV specific organizations, including a program for homeless individuals and another for people who are incarcerated or who have recently been released from prison or jail. Staff provided counseling in Spanish and English to adolescents and young adults at the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center. Our clinical supervisors are themselves supervised by a senior clinician on staff.
Cape Cod and the Islands Community Service Agency
Realize Resources staff, in collaboration with JRI’s Family Networks, is leading a strategic planning effort involving provider, consumer and other stakeholder input to determine key priority goals for the Cape and Islands region, specifically in the area of supporting comprehensive and coordinated services to children, youth and their families using a ‘Wraparound’ approach. This effort was initiated by the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI). The Cape and Islands System of Care Committee is leading this project and the Justice Resource Institute (JRI) is one of 29 sites chosen to coordinate this strategic thinking process.
Massachusetts Coalition to End HIV (CTEH)
Realize Resources staff contributed their time to support the Massachusetts Coalition to End HIV by providing Spanish and Portuguese translation services, leadership support and facilitation of meetings. CTEH is a coalition of organizations and individuals, including direct-service community based organizations; people living with HIV; providers of medical, family planning, reproductive health, substance abuse, and housing assistance services; and clinical and prevention researchers. The Coalition was convened to address the urgent need to stop new HIV infections in the Commonwealth and aims to ensure that HIV remains politically relevant and a priority in the Commonwealth’s funding, legislation and policies.
Training in Academic Settings
Realize Resources staff developed and delivered numerous trainings for academic institutions which included trainings for some of JRI’s own residential schools on STD, HIV and Pregnancy Prevention, Healthy Relationships and HIV Basics. We also provided HIV Counseling and Testing training for first and second year medical students at Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine, and for nursing students at Northeastern University.
Kenny School Power Lunch
In the fall of 2008, Realize Resources answered the call of a JRI Board Member and an elementary school principal requesting help for an under-resourced Boston public school. The Kenny School in Dorchester was neither a failing nor a thriving school, and, as such, was not entitled to any special public monies or support. Collaborating with Boston Partners in Education and Kenny School principal Suzanne Federspiel, Realize Resources invited all of JRI to adopt a Kenny School reading buddy. Fourteen JRI volunteers (and two friends) from across JRI programs were teamed up one-on-one with a first grader. The idea is to provide a non-judgmental, consistent, biweekly mentor that will follow the child from 1st grade to 5th grade and get them excited about reading.
Writing Circles Project
Our innovative Writing Circles program, funded by the MDPH, used hands-on coaching to help ten bilingual community health workers and other direct service staff improve their ability to write client notes that communicate effectively and meet the requirements of staff and local funders. Other related efforts teach people how to gather data and interpret bureaucratic language so that good programmatic work done in the field is captured using required reporting mechanisms from funders.
Sustainable Peer Programs
Realize Resources staff along with the JRI Peer Support program, assessed 14 HIV Peer Support programs across Massachusetts to ascertain their organizational needs in the integration of peer support programming. Realize Resources staff also convened the Peer Support Workgroup, a group of Boston area HIV+ peer leaders and other staff of HIV peer support programs who collaborate together and with funders to share best practices and improve peer support services.