Realize (formerly CWGHR) engages in a multitude of endeavours related to HIV, disability and rehabilitation. We focus on the following five strategic directions: aging, access to rehabilitation, labour force participation and income support, mental health, and sustainability and growth.
HIV and Aging
Realize promotes healthy aging and improved quality of life for people aging with HIV and related conditions by:
- Connecting the aging, HIV and rehabilitation sectors to foster a coordinated response to HIV and aging.
- Responding to new and emerging issues in HIV, aging and comorbidities.
- Considering the multi‐dimensional nature of disability including the physical, cognitive, mental, emotional, and social health challenges experienced by people aging with HIV across the lifespan.
- Developing and disseminating knowledge on the health‐related challenges associated with HIV and aging, and living strategies and interventions that will address disability and enhance the health of people aging with HIV.
- Engaging in policy and health systems change that will enhance healthy aging among people living with HIV.
- Supporting the use of evidence‐informed palliative and end‐of‐life care approaches for people living with HIV and related conditions.
Access to Rehabilitation
Realize works to enhance access to rehabilitation services for people living with HIV and related conditions by:
- Increasing knowledge and awareness among the HIV community of the role of rehabilitation to prevent or address disabilities among people living with HIV.
- Educating current and future rehabilitation professionals, and other referring health and social care providers about the role of rehabilitation in the context of HIV.
- Responding to new and emerging learning needs in HIV and rehabilitation education, mentorship and professional development.
- Developing innovative rehabilitation service delivery models and evaluating their ability to effectively address disability and enhance the health of people living with HIV and related conditions.
- Fostering partnerships across chronic illness sectors to promote a coordinated clinical, programmatic, and policy response to access to rehabilitation.
- Engaging in opportunities to better integrate rehabilitation as a component of primary care by liaising with local, provincial, or national level decision‐makers.
Labour Force Participation and Income Support
Realize works to enhance the income security and participation of people living with HIV and related conditions in (and out of) the labour force by:
- Engaging with employers, insurers, rehabilitation providers, and government to promote adaptable policies and programs to enhance recruitment and retention of people living with HIV and related conditions in the work place.
- Considering the mental, emotional, social, and financial health challenges experienced by people living with HIV and other related conditions across the lifespan, e.g. people aging with HIV who may be transitioning out of the work force, as well as, youth living with HIV and other related conditions about to enter/recently joining the labour force.
- Educating employers, insurers, human resource professionals, frontline managers and supervisors about the labour force participation and income security challenges of people living with HIV and related conditions i.e. hiring, retention and return to work.
- Fostering partnerships across chronic illness community organizations to promote awareness of effective workplace interventions that facilitate labour force participation by people living with HIV and other related conditions.
- Creating a knowledge hub of expertise on labour force participation and income support of people living with HIV and other related conditions to respond to new and emerging needs of these groups in these areas.
Realize works to reduce disability and enhance the overall health of people living with HIV. Our work on mental health specifically concentrates on areas in which mental health converges with aging, access to rehabilitation and labour force participation and income support by:
- Building awareness among health and social providers of the mental health challenges facing people living with HIV and related conditions so they may better recognize and respond to the rehabilitation needs of this population.
- Fostering partnerships among the clinical, academic, community‐based service and rehabilitation sectors to address the complex health challenges experienced by people living with HIV and related conditions.
- Identifying, evaluating and building awareness of effective interventions to address disability experienced by people living with HIV and related conditions.
- Engaging in policy and health system change processes to enhance the health and social inclusion of people living with HIV and related conditions.
Sustainability and Growth
Realize will cultivate and strengthen our resources for sustainability and growth by:
- Engaging in activities and relationships that will develop, utilize, broaden, and sustain realize’s internal expertise, capacity and resources.
- Integrating knowledge management and succession planning mechanisms.
- Building and expanding realize‘s membership and base of supporters.
- Fostering ongoing and new collaborations with different sectors that share a common interest in improving the health and well-being of people living with HIV and related conditions.
- Creating new opportunities for income generation and sustainability.
- Developing and utilizing communication mechanisms and opportunities to strengthen realize’s profile.
- Integrating evaluation processes to monitor and enhance realize’s effectiveness, accountability and relevance.
- Participating in initiatives that help ensure sufficient resources for a sustainable societal response to HIV, disability and rehabilitation.