State Healthcare Access Research Project
Access to good quality, comprehensive healthcare is critical for people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic medical conditions, but many people continue to face obstacles to accessing care. The State Healthcare Access Research Project (SHARP) is a national project, conducted in collaboration with in‐state community partners, that examines states’ capacity to meet the healthcare needs of people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.
SHARP has three main goals: (1) to improve access to care and treatment, (2) to build advocacy capacity in SHARP partner states and communities, and (3) to share information and effective strategies among SHARP partners.
The SHARP process brings together diverse community stakeholders, including people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses, support services providers, government officials, healthcare providers, academics, faith community leaders, and private industry representatives. Through group meetings and one-on-one interviews, participants identify successes, challenges, and recommendations to improve access to care. This information is combined with independent research by the SHARP team, and developed into a comprehensive state report.
Throughout the report research process, SHARP supports the creation and/or ongoing development of a statewide coalition committed to removing barriers to healthcare access for poor and low‐income individuals, including people living with HIV/AIDS.
The SHARP report becomes the framework for ongoing advocacy efforts to implement the recommendations, led by the state community partners with ongoing facilitation and technical support from the SHARP team.
State-based partners also have access to a variety of advocacy trainings and opportunities to share strategies and experiences with SHARP participants in other states.
Collaboration with community partners is integral to the success of SHARP, and the SHARP staff works closely with our community partners throughout the process. We need the opinions and insights of people who live and work in the state or community who know first‐hand the successes and challenges faced by individuals living with HIV/AIDS and others as they seek care. Community partner perspectives on the political, cultural, and fiscal factors that are unique to your state and community are an important part of the project.
Who is doing this project?
The State Healthcare Access Research Project is being conducted by the Health Law and Policy Clinic of Harvard Law School and the Treatment Access Expansion Project, with support from Bristol‐Myers Squibb. The Health Law and Policy Clinic has provided legal services to low and moderate income people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses for over 20 years, and is an active participant in healthcare access advocacy efforts. TAEP is a national organization focused exclusively on healthcare access advocacy. The mission of both organizations is to help bring good quality, comprehensive healthcare to more people living with HIV and AIDS and other chronic illnesses.