Consumer Advisory Board

By Clients for Clients: Make Your Voice Heard!

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Find out how!

What: The Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) is intended to provide a confidential, active voice as well as a direct line of communication between the clients (“consumers”), the staff, and the Board of Directors of HCI. This collaborative effort gives clients of HCI an opportunity to contribute their knowledge and experience relating to living with HIV/AIDS. The CAB is encouraged to suggest services and programs that HCI can offer its clients to better those services and programs by sharing their talents with the staff and other clients of HCI.

Who:  HIV+ clients along with a staff liaison.  The CAB seeks to have as diverse a membership as possible so that the perspectives of individuals of all ages, races, ethnic groups, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, geography, and risk behaviors are represented.

When & Where:  The CAB meets on the first Thursday of each month from 4pm to 6pm at Heartland CARES, Inc. in Paducah.  Meetings are held in the community room. Only CAB members may vote, however attendance is open to any client of HCI who wishes to participate and contribute.

Mission Statement:  The mission of the CAB is to provide advice to the staff, management, and Board of Directors and to work collaboratively on a range of strategies, policies, and programmatic issues impacting the lives of people affected by HIV and people living with HIV/AIDS.  We come together as diverse individuals to work for the common good of all clients.

Purpose:  CAB exists “To empower HCI consumers through the following:

  1. Serve as a liaison between HCI consumers and the HCI Board of Directors
  2. Determine and report to the HCI Board if services are meeting the needs of consumers
  3. Promote consumer involvement: Volunteering, advocacy, and HIV awareness.”

Vision and Values:  HCI established the CAB system in the belief that the opinions, experiences, and expertise of individuals directly affected by HIV are essential for developing effective strategies to address issues raised by the HIV epidemic.  HCI values a collaborative approach between consumers, staff, and the Board of Directors in considering the challenges that the HIV epidemic raises and in improving the effectiveness of all HIV/AIDS related activities.  In order to be the most effective, the CAB is committed to having its membership reflect the diversity of experience and skill of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA.)  Accordingly, the mission, goals, roles, and procedures of the CAB are designed to provide clarity regarding the roles and functions of the CAB and to support the collaboration of all partners.

Goals:  While the specific objectives of the CAB may change from time to time, below are the primary goals, which support its mission:

  • To publicize among consumers CAB’s existence, purpose, meetings, etc..
  • To increase representation of African-Americans, females, Hispanics, and Southern Illinois consumers
  • To prioritize CAB issues at each meeting and report to the Executive Team/Board of Directors
  • Find funding to support CAB: transportation, instrumental support, training, etc..
  • To develop policies and procedures regarding membership, attendance, selection of officers, etc..
  • To update, distribute, collect, interpret, and report the data from the Consumer Satisfaction Survey
  • To seek additional funding for long-term sustainability of CAB
  • Act as a liaison between consumers, staff, and the Board of Directors in the identification and resolution of concerns

Membership:  If you think you might be interested in being a member of CAB, would like to bring an issue before CAB, or just have an interest in knowing what your CAB is discussing, you are always welcome to attend a meeting at your convenience.  Download the CAB Membership Application and return it to HCI.



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Heartland CARES provides medical care and a number of supportive services for individuals living with HIV and AIDS and their families.