The Newark EMA HIV Health Services Planning Council is always interested in meeting individuals who want to work to improve the quality of lives of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Newark Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA). Members of the Planning Council are volunteers from the five counties that make up the Newark EMA: Essex, Union, Warren, Morris, Sussex, and Union. Members of these counties are strongly encouraged to get involved or to apply for membership to the Planning Council and/or any of its Committees.

There are two options to submit membership applications.
1. Fill out an online membership application for the Planning Council or Committee; OR
2. Download and fill out the appropriate application below:Submit a completed application to the Planning Council Office of Support:
  • Email: Roberto Benoit at OR Carla- Ann Alexander at
  • Fax: (908) 353-6310 ATTN: Newark EMA Planning Council Support Staff
  • Mail to: UWGUC: Newark EMA Planning Council Support Staff
    • 33 West Grand Street
    •  Elizabeth, NJ 07202

For further information on the application or the membership selection process please contact the Council Support Staff at Roberto Benoit at or Carla-Ann Alexander at

If you would like to get involved in setting priorities, planning services and allocating federal funding, consider:

  • Attending any of the public Planning Council and/or committee meetings
  • Providing Public Testimony about your experience with Ryan White Part A services
  • Nominating consumers who may be interested in getting involved
  • Applying for membership of the Planning Council and/or its committees

Public Testimony
Any member of the public wishing to participate in the Planning Council meeting may observe or make a request to provide input during the “Public Testimony” part of the agenda. Public Testimony will take place near the beginning of the meeting or at the discretion of the Chair. Anyone wishing to give public testimony must submit a request to give public testimony to Planning Council Office of support in advance. Public testimony will be limited to three (3) minutes per person or five (5) minutes per individual when representing a group or organization. Planning Council members wishing to give public testimony cannot do so as a representative of the Planning Council.

Submit a request to offer Public Testimony before any Planning Council meeting with the subject line Public testimony. See below also a few tips to prepare you for your speech. 

Transportation Assistance for Planning Council Meetings
If you are in need of transportation assistance to participate in Planning Council meetings, please contact Council Support Staff to find out more about how we can help.

Why join the council?

By serving as a member of the Planning Council member, you will get the opportunity to:

  • Experience and knowledge working with Ryan White legislation and other HIV-related services
  • Experience decision-making, voting, prioritizing and leadership skills
  • Network with other stakeholders in the EMA area
  • Get updates on current HIV issues and experiences shaping the HIV service system
  • Make a difference for people living with HIV in your community

Membership Expectations 

All candidates are encouraged to participate in  monthly meetings on a regular basis before applying for membership. After at least three meetings, candidates can submit an application to Planning Council Support Staff for consideration. The time commitment is usually ten meetings per year. All Planning Council members are required to participate in at least one committee. We understand that it is occasionally necessary to miss a meeting. We expect that the member will let Planning Council support staff know that they will be unable to attend and to contact the council office or another council member to stay abreast of new decisions or information.

Appointment process

For Planning Council membership, The Office of Support reviews applications and refers potential candidates to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee votes on the applicants and the names are forwarded to the Recipient's Office. The Recipient interviews potential applicants on an on-going basis. The Recipient then makes recommendations to the City of Newark's Office of the Mayor for appointment. Each Planning Council member is appointed for a term of one, two, or three years from their Official Swearing-In Ceremony. In the event that a member does not complete his/her term, another person will be nominated to complete the balance of that term.

For Committee membership, Appointments to a committee will be made by a vote initiated by a Committee Chair during a regularly scheduled committee meeting.