Single Source Procurement: New York State Hepatitis C Coalition

Pursuant to New York State Finance Law § 163.10(b), The New York State Department of Health is presenting the following summary of relevant circumstances, and material and substantial reasons why a competitive procurement was not feasible.

With the recent FDA approval of a game-changing new generation of all-oral, highly effective, and easy to tolerate Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) drugs, we are finally at a moment where the epidemic can be reversed with the tools we have available. Awareness of HCV has improved in recent years, but action to prevent transmission, expand testing, and get chronically infected individuals into care and treatment is lacking in many parts of the state. The primary risk for HCV transmission is injection drug use (IDU). New infections are increasing among young IDU and HCV related deaths have surpassed HIV-related deaths. However, funding for HCV services is limited at best, and public and private insurers have placed substantial restrictions on coverage for new HCV medications.

This contract is to support the establishment of a statewide Hepatitis C Coalition to strengthen community-level response to the HCV epidemic by facilitating community input on priorities for HCV planning and policy development. Resources are needed to: 1) convene regional coalition meetings where the HCV community can develop the knowledge, skills, abilities and strategies to raise awareness of the issues associated with HCV and to be able to communicate them effectively; 2) foster communication and information sharing among state, local and community stakeholders; 3) develop a better understanding of the accessibility and availability of HCV prevention, screening, care and treatment services in New York State (NYS); 4) examine specific issues in relation to HCV needs, resources, programs and policies; and 5) explore the resources necessary to deliver comprehensive HCV prevention, screening, care and treatment services for all persons living with HCV in NYS.

NYS DOH AIDS Institute (AI) sought to find an organization which had the following attributes:

  • A grassroots not-for-profit organization with government contract experience,
  • A membership organization with expertise and experience in coalition and leadership building and community-mobilization,
  • Experience and knowledge with creating successful public health programs targeting HCV, HIV and IDU,
  • Has a statewide presence and membership in both New York City and upstate, and
  • Experience working with IDU - preferably a Syringe Exchange Program.

Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL-NY) is a statewide not-for-profit membership organization working with low-income people affected by HIV/AIDS, HCV and drug use. They accomplish this through community organization, civic engagements, strategic advocacy and leadership development in the most affected communities. VOCAL-NY is also a syringe exchange program providing services to and having an understanding of the largest risk population for HCV infection. VOCAL-NY has individual chapters in both NYC and upstate in Westchester and Albany. Among the active individual membership, HCV related work is done through a 900 membership community organization project known as NY Users Union.

Procurement / Program Name New York State Hepatitis C Coalition
Contractor Name(s) Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY)
Contract Period 8/1/2015 - 7/31/2020
Contract Number(s) C030494