About » CAEAR Coalition
History and Mission
The Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition is the oldest national organization with a primary focus on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Program. CAEAR is a membership organization which advocates for federal policy, legislation, regulations, and appropriations to serve the Part A, Part C and ADAP community mandates to meet the care, treatment, supportive, and prevention service needs of people living with HIV/AIDS and the organizations that serve them. CAEAR focuses on health care evolution that the U.S. is going through and the evolving role of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Program in that environment. CAEAR Coalition's proactive national leadership focuses on the nation's response to HIV/AIDS and how the components of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program can best address the service needs and improve the health status of people living with HIV as we strive to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and prevent new HIV infections. CAEAR Coalition's members include Ryan White Program Part A, Part B, and Part C consumers, grantees, and providers, as well as the Part F AIDS Education and Training Centers.
The CAEAR Coalition was formed in 1991 as a response to the passage of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency (CARE) Act. The original members were the 16 cities designated as Eligible Metropolitan Areas (EMAs)—areas most disproportionately impacted by HIV and funded by Title I of the CARE Act. The original members included: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, and Washington, DC. In 1997, the CAEAR Coalition and the National Title III Coalition and the National LGBT Health Centers joined forces to provide coordinated national advocacy for Title I and Title III resources and, in 2003, CAEAR Coalition began its advocacy for Title II/ADAP. The CAEAR Coalition incorporated in 1999 and is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Service code.
The CAEAR Coalition is focused on securing the resources needed to provide quality services to people living with HIV and to ensure the systems of care are responsive to their medical and supportive service needs. It mobilizes its members and takes advantage of its strong working relationships with members of Congress, their staffs, and Administration officials to advocate for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Program. CAEAR coordinates Hill visits and arranges meetings with key members of Congress, writes congressional testimony, works directly with HRSA to address regulatory issues and concerns, organizes grassroots initiatives, and keeps the community informed via monthly policy calls and e-mail blasts.
The CAEAR Coalition retains the Government Relations Practice of the nationally respected law firm Arent Fox to serve as its policy advisor, providing direct access to the federal decision-makers and the insightful policy analysis that permits CAEAR to develop policy recommendations that drive the community dialogue and establish the bipartisan and regional consensus needed to move legislation through the Congress.
2021 CAEAR Coalition Priorities
- Support federal policy, legislation, regulations, and appropriations to meet the care, treatment, support, and prevention needs of people living with HIV/AIDS and the organizations that serve them, including:
- advocate for increasing Ryan White Program funding levels by organizing grassroots efforts and educating members of Congress about the program’s proven success in providing high-quality, cost-effective HIV service delivery models with successful health outcomes.
- promote the implementation of the End the HIV Epidemic Initiative, including the rapid expansion of funding of the initiative to include all Ryan White jurisdictions and to ensure that services are targeted to eliminate health outcome disparities in difference populations.
- tap the expertise of the Arent Fox Government Affairs Team – Jon Bouker, Partner, and Oliver Spurgeon, Senior Government Relations Director – to provide on-going education to the CAEAR Coalition membership on current HIV-related policies to develop and implement effective real-time advocacy strategies and policy recommendations.
- host quarterly policy calls with Arent Fox to keep CAEAR Coalition members informed.
- Develop a strategic partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to work together on critical issues, including:
- identify and address COVID-19’s impact on the delivery of Ryan White Program services and the implementation of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative.
- share best practices and identify technical assistance needs for both the Ryan White Program and the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative.
- facilitate communication and collaboration among Ryan White Program staff and county and city health departments.
- host and staff the newly formed Ryan White Part A Community of Practice.
- Track 340B Program developments and advocate accordingly.
- Meet quarterly with HRSA-HAB leadership to ensure clear communication and to highlight issues and community concerns. Use these calls to identify emerging issues, responses, and solutions.
- Convene quarterly calls for members of Ryan White Planning Councils and HRSA-HAB leadership to provide a venue to share and address concerns.
During Congressional reauthorization of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Program, the CAEAR Coalition works with Ryan White communities to identify and articulate the community concerns to Congress to ensure that the program continues to meet the needs of individuals and communities impacted by HIV/AIDS. Since the 1990s, the CAEAR Coalition has led the successful efforts to reauthorize the act four times, often taking the lead in defining terms for the reauthorizations, drafting legislative language, and building community consensus to speak to Congress with one voice.
During each federal funding cycle, the CAEAR Coalition advocates on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS for adequate federal funding for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Program. Over the last 25 years, CAEAR Coalition has been instrumental in securing appropriation increases. It has advocated for and achieved increases to Part A appropriations from $88 million to over $655 million and Part C appropriations from $76 million to over $205 million.
Through re-granting of Ryan White funds from Part A grantees and direct funding for Part C agencies, the Ryan White HIV/Treatment Program provides monetary awards to over 5,000 AIDS Services Organizations (ASOs) in all 50 states. CAEAR Coalition has also successfully lobbied to add service categories to ensure comprehensive care for people living with HIV/AIDS, making the Ryan White Program unique among federal disease-specific funding programs.
Despite these successes, advocating for adequate funding for HIV/AIDS services remains challenging. Competing budgetary pressures and federal budget deficits make the work of the CAEAR Coalition even more important. The CAEAR Coalition communicates to legislators and other policy makers that critical HIV/AIDS programs like the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program must not be forgotten in these times.