The biographies as organized in alphabetical order by last name.
Tez Anderson is an award-winning HIV long-term survivor activist, writer, and speaker who focuses on Survivors’ and HIV and Aging issues. He’s lived with HIV since 1983. The founder of Let’s Kick ASS-AIDS Survivor Syndrome, the first and largest group in the world focused on improving the lives of HIV long-term survivors and older adults aging with HIV. He was named one “Our 75 Most Amazing HIV-Positive People of 2016” by HIV Plus magazine and to POZ Magazine’s POZ 100 2015, as a long-term survivor making a difference in the fight against HIV. He’s been profiled in A and U Magazine, Positively Aware, POZ, Al Jazeera America, and People. Anderson coined AIDS Survivor Syndrome (ASS) to describe the spectrum of sustained trauma survivorship. It is a psychological state resulting from living through HIV/AIDS pandemic, especially vulnerable are those who became HIV-positive in the 1980s and 1990s when having HIV was considered a terminal diagnosis. He created HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day in 2014 to shine a spotlight on those living longest with HIV, who had felt forgotten and invisible as they age with HIV. http://hltsad.org. Let’s Kick ASS is based in San Francisco with chapters in Oregon, Palm Springs, CA, and Austin, TX. Anderson serves on ACRIA’s Research on Older Adults with HIV 2.0 (ROAH 2.0) Advisory Committee, and the HIV and Aging Working Group recently convened by the Long-Term Care Coordinating Council Group to provide policy guidance to the Mayor’s Office of San Francisco. As well as the CDC Medical Monitoring Project (MMP). He lives in San Francisco with Mark Ruiz, his husband, and their Labradoodle Riley.
Ndidiamaka N. Amutah-Onukagha, MPH, PhD, received her PhD in Public Health with a focus on Maternal and Child Health at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health in 2010. She received her Master’s in Public Health from The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Maternal and Child Health in 2005. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha also received a BS in Public Health and BA in Africana Studies from Rutgers, The State University of NJ. Ndidiamaka has a longstanding commitment to public health that spans over 15 years of experience. Her current research interests include health disparities, reproductive health, infant mortality and HIV/AIDS in ethnic minority populations. Ndidiamaka is a member of the American Public Health Association and is currently the co-chair of the Perinatal and Women’s Health committee in the Maternal and Child Health section. Additionally, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha completed the Kellogg Health Scholars Postdoctoral fellowship in Baltimore, MD.
Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is a former President of The Society of African American Public Health Issues (SAAPHI) and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Women’s Health Network. Additionally, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. More information on Dr. Amutah-Onukagha can be found at www.ndidiamutahphd.com
Dr. Jonathan Appelbaum, Florida State University College of Medicine
Julia M. Applegate directs the Equitas Health Institute at Equitas Health where she leads LGBTQ+ health education and research efforts to improve the health and wellness of LGBTQ+ communities across Ohio and beyond. Prior to joining Equitas Health, Julia directed the LGBTQ Health Initiative at Columbus Public Health. Julia is experienced in curriculum design, education and public health programming/policy development. She has worked in public health programs focused on women’s health, HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQ+ Health. With over 20 years of academic teaching experience, Ms. Applegate is a skilled trainer and experienced presenter who has designed curricula, conducted Train the Trainer programs and presented at local, state, national and international conferences on public health, HIV/AIDS, gender and sexual orientation topics. Her trainings have focused on questions of health equity, diversity and inclusion-focusing primarily on marginalized and underserved communities. Ms. Applegate has worked on numerous federal grants and is experienced in grant writing and implementation. She has done policy and program development at the local, state and international level as a government employee and as a member of a Board of Directors. Ms. Applegate has several years of management experience as a public health professional and recently earned a Master of Public Health degree from The Ohio State University.
Naomi Ardjomand-Kermani, B.A., M.P.H., is a graduate of New College of Florida, where they studied bioinformatics and received a degree in Biology. They went on to the University of Florida to receive their Masters of Public Health, in Social and Behavioral Sciences, with a focus on Queer & Transgender health promotion. Currently, Naomi is the West Central Florida Ryan White Care Council Planning Manager for Suncoast Health Council, overseeing priority setting and resource allocation for people living with HIV in the Tampa Bay area. They are also the founder of the capacity building assistance and inclusive and comprehensive safer sex education consulting agency, A Different Kind of Different. Serving as a member of the Pinellas Adolescent Sexual Health Collaborative (Empowering Pinellas Youth Collaborative) they have advocated for the improvement of inclusive and comprehensive sexual health curriculum in the Pinellas County public school system; they also serve as a trainer and advisory board member for Equality Florida’s TransAction Initiative.
Dr. Bonnie Arzuaga is a physician who is double board certified in general pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine. She is an Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and is the co-founder of the national healthcare professional advocacy group, Doctors for Camp Closure (D4CC). D4CC advocates for the health and well-being of all refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants entering and living in the United States. The organization opposes the inhumane practices of immigrant detention, family separation, and dangerous deportations.
Melissa Baker, Nat’l Black Leadership Commission on Health
Katrina Balovlenkov, LCSW is the Administrative Director of Montefiore Medical Center’s AIDS Center and an advocate for the rights of people living With HIV/AIDS, sex workers, and people who use drugs. She has a wealth of expertise implementing best practices for the prevention, care and treatment for People Living with HIV/AIDS and implementing public health policies through a risk reduction/harm reduction lens to address various high risk behaviors.
Katrina’s expertise in healthcare and harm reduction derives from her experience as the Program Director for Whitney M. Young Junior Health Center’s HIV and HCV Program, Interim Executive Director at New York Harm Reduction Educators, Director of The Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center, and currently as the administrator of New York’s largest single site HIV provider (Montefiore). Prior to this, Katrina’s biography includes eight years of direct clinical experience as a therapist and case manager.
Tucker Barker grew up doing community organizing work in New Orleans. Starting in education reform as a youth after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they eventually came to public health after witnessing the effects of gentrification and transphobic, racist policies on the Southern communities they love. Tucker has extensive skills in patient advocacy, cultural humility and trans-affirming care and community organizing for collective liberation. They strive to uplift the work of the brilliant trans, gender non-conforming, and gender playful people who paved the way for them to exist and thrive in the South.
Fay Barrett, MPH, is the Senior Director of Special Services at Ryan Health. Ms Barrett has been employed by the Ryan Network for 27 years and has always worked in the area of HIV and Prevention Services. Under the many years of Ms. Barrett leadership, the Network has been funded to provide a succession of highly effective and well-regarded HIV Case Management, Prevention and PrEP/PEP programs. These programs serve the hardest to reach populations in communities of color who experience health disparities and disproportionate levels of STI and HIV infection. As a long-standing member of the New York City HIV Planning Council, and Chair of the Rules and Membership Committee, Ms. Barrett has participated in planning assessment and evaluation of programs and more recently her services have been in demand by agencies in need of technical assistance on the areas of grant management and program development.
Nicole Barron, MS. received her Master of Science with a concentration in Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2016. Ms. Barron joined the Virginia Department of Health in 2018 as the Viral Hepatitis Testing Coordinator.
Ramin Bastani is the CEO of Healthvana. For the past few years, Ramin has been helping end HIV through the use of technology, as Healthvana is the largest technology company working towards that goal – helping deliver 15 million labs to hundreds of thousands of patients. Ramin has spoken at the White House, the National Library of Medicine, Stanford and has been quoted in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other publications. He graduated from the University of Southern California and was funded to start his first technology company right out of college.
Derek Baugh, a native of Atlanta & recent graduate of Georgia State university, Derek is a staunch advocate for many disenfranchised communities, most notably the transgender community as well as those affected by HIV. He has founded a nonprofit organization by the name of Ubuntu Incorporated, whose mission it is to continually examine the ever-changing barriers of the trans community and strategize to create unique programs and practices to remove the many obstacles that severely impact trans people’s ability to unlock their full potential. In his spare time Derek works with another nonprofit as the community support specialist, He Is Valuable, A status inclusive organization that works to celebrate, reinforce, and uplift the value of black queer men & their communities. Over the last 2 years Derek has and continues to volunteer his time with many organizations. Derek works to increase knowledge and visibility for the trans community by conducting trainings, giving presentations, and having necessary conversations.
Sean Bennett, Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services
Jasmine Black is a self-directed and innovative thinker with a knack for developing creative solutions to complex problems. Black’s passion lies in pinpointing community health needs and collaborating with community partners to help address those needs. Black holds a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences from Indiana University in Indianapolis, and also completed undergraduate education at Indiana University in Indianapolis majoring in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health.
Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard is an activist organizing for drug user power and journalist. She founded Do It Safe, Heaux!, a harm reduction collective of sex-working drug-using trans women that was recently disbanded due to safety concerns. (More to come on what’s next!) During the day, she is the staff writer at Filter, an online magazine dedicated to covering drug policy, harm reduction, and criminal justice. She also reports on trans culture and politics for VICE, The Appeal, and Pitchfork, among others.
As a sex-working, kink-including, HIV-positive person, Roman Blck isn’t a stranger to controversy. He loves having candid conversations about “behind-closed-door” topics. Roman is bringing awareness to mental health, substance abuse, and SEX one occupied space at a time. Roman has been advocating for about 4 years and living with HIV for almost the same amount of time. As a male identifying person of color living with mental health issues he understands first hand the power of sharing experiences. RomanBlck takes his lived experiences and turns it into powerful, thought provoking, activity based workshops that cover a multitude of issues. His latest workshops cover internalized stigma, and non-penetrative sexual practices as a form of prevention. A friend to all, enemy to none, and lover to few, Roman is always willing to have those conversations that you wouldn’t dare repeat to your mother.
Douglas Brooks, Gilead Sciences, Inc .
Angie Brown, MBA, received her MBA in Leadership and Financial Management and Budgeting from Grand Canyon University and her undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Louisiana State University. She currently serves as the Director of Community Health Sciences Programs and the Ryan White Program Director for LSU Health Baton Rouge, Our Lady of the Lake. She is also the Project Director of the Collaborative Care Program and has published papers and abstracts on an array of chronic disease/population management topics including HIV/AIDS and Collaborative Care. She has over 13 years of Public Health service and is the current Vice Chair of the Louisiana Commission on HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis C Education and an active member and leader of the Baton Rouge Ending the HIV Epidemic Commission and the Louisiana Statewide Ending the HIV Epidemic Commission.
Devon Brown, LMSW, MPH, has over seven years of public health experience at both programmatic and direct-service levels. As a consultant at JSI, she has supported multiple federal projects through assisting with the development of both targeted and broad-based trainings and resources with focus areas including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, capacity building assistance for community based organizations, maternal child health, and health literacy. In her direct service role, Devon worked in the Behavioral Health department of a local ASO. She provided theory-oriented, therapeutic services to clients seeking mental health services and co-facilitated a weekly mindfulness-based virtual training for Black cis and transgender women experiencing depression and vulnerable to suicide. Devon has served on several qualitative research teams, delivering virtual trainings, conducting in-person interviews, and preparing data for final analysis. Devon holds dual MSW and MPH degrees from the University of Georgia with a focus on Clinical Social Work and Health Promotion and Behavior and is an LMSW in the state of Georgia.
April Browne, MPA holds a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Health Care Management from Long Island University, as well as Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Boston College. She prides herself on being a conscientious, results-oriented health care leader, with a commitment to continuous quality improvement and well rounded, patient-centered care. In her current role as the Director of Quality and Program Evaluation at Iris House, Inc; a Community Based Organization dedicated to addressing the health disparities faced by people of color living with HIV/AIDS, April partners with her fellow members of the agency’s Executive team to ensure that services continually meet the needs of this vulnerable population across their NY and NJ locations. Through securing additional funding, partnering with entities like the CDC, and continually evaluating program outcomes to refine services, April has demonstrated her dogged commitment to providing quality, efficient, effective, and equitable services.
Dr. Yaphet Bryant is a licensed psychologist in DC, MD, and VA and serves as the Director of Mental Health Service HIV services (Ryan White Program) at Children’s National Hospital. She is an Assistant Professor at The George Washington University, School of Medicine and Health Sciences in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Bryant has almost 20 years of professional experience in clinical service, research, and management. She has worked in the field of HIV for almost 10 years. Dr. Bryant served as a clinical associate psychologist at Children’s National in the HIV Services Program from 2009-2014 and returned to the program in early 2018. She has a special clinical interest in adolescents, young adulthood, and HIV.
Kacey Byczek is the Capacity Building Services Manager – East at Harm Reduction Coalition. Prior to her employment at the organization, Kacey spent several years at Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center (LESHRC), where she coordinated syringe access and community outreach services, as well as the volunteer program. While at LESHRC, Kacey expanded programming for Young People Who Inject Drugs (YPWID), with specific support for street homeless and transient LGBTQ+ young people and young People of Color; broadened the reach of the program’s peer-delivered syringe exchange (PDSE) services; and helped to keep curriculum for the Positive Action Peer Education Program current to changing trends in substance use and street economies with every three-month cycle. Kacey also has experience in contract management at the HIV Law Project, a program of Housing Works. For the past decade, she has been an active advocate for sex workers’ rights, intersectional feminist causes, and anti-racist organizing. Kacey is currently pursuing her Master’s of Social Work with a focus method in Community Organizing, Planning & Development at CUNY Hunter Silberman School of Social Work.
Dr. Ebony Caldwell is a third-year resident at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, where she serves as a chief resident. She graduated from the University of Georgia (UGA) with a dual BSHP/MPH in Health Promotion and Behavior and completed her medical training at the Medical College of Georgia-UGA Medical Partnership in Athens, Georgia. Dr. Caldwell has special interests in reproductive and addiction psychiatry, as well as working with gender and sexual minorities of color, individuals involved in sex work, and those experiencing homelessness. She hopes to combine a career in medical education and policy work.
Sylvia Caldwell is a Research Coordinator at the University of Virginia in the Department of Infectious Disease and International Health. Sylvia has a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Mary Baldwin University and a Master’s in Public Health from Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Lauren Canary is the Director of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable based in Washington, DC. Ms. Canary is trained as an epidemiologist and recently moved to NVHR after spending 5 years in the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ms. Canary has served on the board of directors for the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition and is currently a fellow with the National Rural Health Association.
Sonia Canzater, JD, MPH, oversees the Institute’s Hepatitis Policy Project, which focuses on national Hepatitis C (HCV) law and policy issues, particularly barriers to access to effective treatments for HCV. She also is a part of the Institute’s Addiction and Public Policy Initiative, where she works on projects that address the intersection of incidence and prevalence of infectious diseases such as HCV and HIV and the nation’s injection drug use epidemic.
Dianne Carden Glenn became an advocate for harm reduction, overdose prevention and treatment for those at risk for Hepatitis C following the overdose death of her son Michael who was, early on, a pioneer in the harm reduction movement. Diannee is the past Board President of North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, serves on the Advisory Council for Mental Health America Eastern Carolina, is a member of the Florida Viral Hepatitis Planning Group, and serves as the Harm Reduction Consultant for Hepatitis C Mentor and Support Group New York. She founded ekiM for Change, a harm reduction syringe exchange program, and is a supervisor on the nationwide GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) web site and facilitates a local GRASP chapter. She is an invited speaker and freelance writer on Hepatitis C, addiction and coping with the death of a loved one from overdose. She has served on various boards, focus groups and committees focusing on public health issues such as domestic violence, sex work, overdose prevention, HIV and Hepatitis C, substance use and misuse, and the homeless.
Carlos Carrero-Rodriguez, Centro Ararat Inc.
Neal Carnes is a Senior Health Scientist in the CDC-Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention’s Capacity Building Branch. Neal holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Sociology and an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education. Neal started working in HIV in 1995 as Whitman-Walker Clinic’s Education and Communication Specialist. Over subsequent decades, Neal has conducted HIV counseling and testing with street-based sex workers in Washington, DC; coordinated recruitment, screening ,and retention for prevention trials at UCSF’s Center for AIDS Prevention Studies in San Francisco; ran Indiana’s Ryan White Part B and ADAP programs; oversaw HIV incidence surveillance in Indiana; and, assisted the State of Georgia in developing a comprehensive plan to address the prevention, care, and treatment needs of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Neal’s published works include a 2019 Routledge text looking at the evolution of a distinct queer community (Queer Community: Identities, Intimacies, and Ideology) as well as Understanding the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States: The Role of Syndemics in the Production of Health Disparities, which was published as part of Springer’s Social Disparities in Health and Health Care series.
Rudy Castañeda serves as the PrEP Navigator and Special Projects Coordinator. Rudy has a Bachelor Science in Biology from the University of Texas at El Paso. He has been directly involved in the development and implementation of various programs targeting underserved populations. Some of these programs include one of the biggest Hepatitis C treatment clinics in west Texas, first community PrEP Clinic in El Paso and the first Transitions Clinic in the state of Texas, which serves patients recently released from incarcerated settings. Rudy has worked in the STI and HIV Prevention field for the past three years, and as a member of the LGBTQ community.
Tania Chatterjee received her Master of Health Science in Reproductive and Cancer Biology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a full-time HIV Health Educator at the Inova Juniper Program, funded by Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education Training Center (MAAETC) and the Virginia HIV/AIDS Resources and Consultation Center (VHARCC); in this role, she provides trainings on HIV, sexual health, LGBTQ+ competency and related topics to ASOs, CBOs and local health departments. At Juniper, she creates workflows for insured and uninsured PrEP and PEP patients, coordinates the rapid HIV testing program, and provides LGBTQ+/cultural competency training and resources to Juniper staff. She has been an active member of the Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation (CQII)’s end+disparities ECHO Collaborative on behalf of Juniper since September 2018. Recently, Tania was selected to be a part of the CQII Leadership Program, which provides tools, coaching, and opportunities for regional and national collaboration to QI leaders, with the goal of creating a regional QI project starting January 2020.
Outside of Juniper, Tania is a co-founder of the South Asian Sexual and Mental Health Alliance, an organization that creates space and dialogue around identity, third culture, sexual and reproductive health, LGBTQ+ issues, and mental health in the South Asian diaspora.
Laura W. Cheever, M.D., Sc.M. – Dr. Laura Cheever is Associate Administrator of the HIV/AIDS Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) where she provides leadership and technical expertise in the administration of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Her priorities are ending the HIV epidemic in the United States through increasing access to HIV care, reducing health disparities, and improving outcomes; integrating substance abuse treatment into HIV care; and eliminating Hepatitis C infection among co-infected patients. She is a Board Certified Infectious Disease physician and continues to provide clinical care for patients with HIV.
Tony Christon-Walker started out as a volunteer with AIDS Alabama in 2012 and began working full-time for AIDS Alabama in 2013. He has worked as a Peer Support Specialist, Civic Engagement Coordinator, and Men’s Health Coordinator. Tony is currently the Director of Prevention and Community Partnerships with AIDS Alabama. Tony is a long-time HIV survivor and a recent cancer survivor.
Tony is an HIV advocate and educator. He is responsible for HIV testing and education in the Greater Birmingham Metropolitan Area. Under his direction, AIDS Alabama is currently working on two major CDC grants. AIDS Alabama is the lead agency for a CDC grant focused on HIV prevention, testing, linkage to care and wrap-around services targeted toward men of color. AIDS Alabama also is a collaborative partner on another CDC grant focus on HIV in African American women. Tony is the immediate past President of the Alabama Consumer Advisory Board and serves on the Jefferson County HIV Coalition, PrEP Summit Planning Committee, and past member of the Alabama HIV Prevention and Care Group.
Haley Coles is the co-founder and executive director of Sonoran Prevention Works. She has been building harm reduction programs and support in Arizona for over 10 years, with a focus on organizational development, leadership, and state level advocacy. She plans to one day build an off-grid homestead with her partner Chris, pit bull Beulah, and cat Beans.
Bryan Collins first intersected with HIV prevention programs in 2009, as a participant in a group-level intervention for high-risk young MSM living in the DC area. In the ten years since that intervention, he has worked in HIV prevention as a street outreach worker, a testing coordinator, a patient navigator, a clinical trials recruiter, and a grant coordinator. Between 2013 and 2015, he coordinated the Virginia Department of Health’s award under the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund for Care and Prevention in the United States (CAPUS) demonstration project, which brought Data to Care and Pharmacy HIV testing to Virginia. In his current role as Community HIV Testing Coordinator at VDH, he has focused on expanding access to rapid HIV testing through Virginia’s network of Community-Based Organizations, and the Home HIV Testing program. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University, and writes fiction in his free time.
Jana Collins currently serves as the Project Director for the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance (KADAP) Program Income Reinvestment Program (KIRP), which is tasked with reinvesting program income generated by Kentucky’s ADAP program into HIV initiatives throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Jana most recently served as the Research Protocol Manager for HIV Programs at the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) funded, Bluegrass Care Clinic (BCC) at the University of Kentucky, where she has worked in various capacities since 2002. Jana serves as a Fiscal, Administrative, and Technical Assistance consultant for Health Resource Services Administration HIV/AIDS Bureau, participating in comprehensive and technical assistance site visits for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients since 2008 and is a consultant for Health HIV’s Fiscal Health Professional Services. Jana has a Master’s degree from the University Of Kentucky Department Of Family Studies, with an emphasis in Family Financial Management and Consumer Issues.
Jose Contreras, BEAT AIDS Coalition Trust
Rick Cook possesses over twenty years of professional experience in the human service and public health fields with specific expertise in program development, management and oversight/monitoring. As the Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI) Coordinator with the Bureau of Community Based Services, Division of HIV/STD/HCV in the NYSDOH AIDS Institute, Cook provides overall oversight for the administration of approximately 6 staff managing about 18 contracts with 12 Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and ensure contractor’s implement a prevention and support services portfolio that offers the best combination of evidenced based approaches targeted to key populations in priority geographic areas, is aligned with Division and AIDS Institute priorities and supports Ending the Epidemic goals.
As the CJI Initiative Coordinator, Cook works in close collaboration with New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYS DOCCS) health and transitional services staff to coordinate the service delivery of our funded CBOs that go into all 52 NYS DOCCS correction facilities to provide HIV/STD/HCV programs and services. He oversees and monitors the outcomes and deliverables of these funded CBOs as they provided HIV/STD/HCV Linkage and Navigation Services, Peer Education, Trauma-Informed and Supportive Services, and anonymous HIV Testing.
Henrietta Croswell, Primary Care Development Corporation
Mary Beth Cox is the Program Evaluation Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Health, Division of Disease Prevention, Hepatitis and HIV Prevention Unit. She has worked in the field of public health for 20 years, beginning with serving in the Peace Corps as a volunteer with the Community HIV Prevention Program. She holds master’s degrees from social work and public health from UNC Chapel Hill and has spent most of her career planning and evaluating public health programs in state and local agencies and nonprofits. She also is a trained quality improvement specialist with over 5 years’ experience planning and facilitating multi-site projects which have demonstrated significant measurable improvement.
Joe Coyle received a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and Master’s degree in Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology from the University of Michigan. He has served as Principal Investigator on CDC viral hepatitis surveillance and prevention awards and managed Michigan’s viral hepatitis surveillance and prevention program from 2012-2017. Joe currently manages Body Art Licensure, Healthcare Associated Infection, Tuberculosis, and Viral Hepatitis programs for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He is passionate about using evidence-based and data-driven approaches to improve health outcomes.
Dana M. Cropper is the Director of Education at HealthHIV, where she oversees the organization’s federal online education portfolio. She has over twenty years of experience working in public health with a special focus on STD/HIV and correctional health. Dana has a passion for health equity promotion and works with disproportionately impacted populations including youth, the incarcerated, sexual minorities and communities of color. She has extensive experience developing and facilitating workshops on various soft skills, communication and wellness issues. Dana is the former Director of Training and Education at the National Coalition of STD Directors. She has a foundation in health, working in state government as a Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS), a Counselor and Educator and the state Family Planning Administrator. She has written several blogs about health inequities and has ample experience developing education and training materials and facilitating courses. She is also interested in how new technologies can create a greater impact on health promotion and prevention messaging to various communities. Previously, Dana worked with Northrop Grumman as a corporate trainer conducting strategic planning, human resources, and organizational development workshops.
Lori DeLorenzo, RN, MSN has a wide range of consulting experience related to Learning Collaboratives, coaching, quality management, capacity building and project administration and is the founder of Organizational Ideas, a healthcare consulting firm. For the past 24 years, she has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS providing technical assistance and conducting site visits to over 150 Community and Migrant Health Centers, Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients and local health departments. She serves as a quality management consultant for the Virginia Department of Health and the New York AIDS Institute, an organizational development consultant for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services’ Part D Program and Indiana State Department of Health.
In addition to working with Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients, Ms. DeLorenzo has worked directly with HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau as the quality management consultant to develop their quality strategy. Over the span of 20 years, Ms. DeLorenzo has worked extensively with HAB’s senior leadership, including strategic planning sessions with Part A, Part B and the AETC Program.
Antigone H. Dempsey is the Division Director for Policy and Data at the Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau in Rockville, MD. She has dedicated her 29 year career to moving HIV prevention, care, support, and treatment services forward for all vulnerable populations. At HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau, she leads innovative and strategic activities related to implementation science, policy, clinical quality management, data collection and management, evaluation, analysis and dissemination activities related to the mission of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and Ending the HIV Epidemic. Prior to this position, Ms. Dempsey worked closely with many federal partners including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide organizational leadership, expert facilitation, training, technical assistance, strategic planning, policy development and systems change to address HIV, viral hepatitis, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Dempsey earned her Master’s in Education from The George Washington University in Washington DC. Her focus areas were in organizational and human development.
Robert Desrouleaux has been working since 2012 on the ground in with the underserved communities, providing training on education and supportive services within syringe exchange programs and drop in centers. Robert works closely with the Founder/ Executive Director of HCMSG, Ronni Marks who in addition to being a patient, has experience working with both patients and providers. Through collaboration with the founder, Robert has co-managed the development of several training and support programs, live presentations, and digital training platforms. In 2018, Robert assumed the role of Programs Manager for HCMSG and currently assists in the oversight of nationwide harm reduction and syringe exchange partnerships as well as digital education and support programs.
Corey DeStefano’s programs on research focuses on identifying and responding to the HIV prevention and care and treatment needs for those that are HIV positive and those that are at risk for HIV and other health disparities. The main focus of these programs recruitment and outreach for testing, retention in care, research and care and treatment responding to HIV prevention, HIV care and treatment, HIV/ STI counseling and testing and Behavioral surveillance research. These programs focus on substance abuse and mental health screening for HIV patients during intensive medical case management sessions. DeStefano is involved in the program’s substance abuse homeless drop in center, which is state funded which focuses on those that are HIV positive and negative individuals that are substance users and homeless. All of the research DeStefano has completed has been federally funded by the NIH, CDC , state of NJ and private pharmaceutical sponsors and has focused on HIV and those at risk for the disease.
Katherine Deye MD, FAAP is a Child Abuse Pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences. She is the co-founder and medical director of the CAREs Clinic at CNH, a medical home for trafficked and at-risk youth that recently received demonstration project funding from the Office of Victims of Crime within the U.S. Department of Justice. She also serves as the pediatric medical director of the Ewing Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT) Department at the Inova Health System and is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University.
In addition to providing medical care for maltreated children, Dr. Deye teaches medical professionals, law enforcement, social workers, attorneys and judges about various aspects of child abuse. She participates in multiple local multidisciplinary teams that respond to cases of suspected child abuse, including suspected human trafficking. Dr. Deye has presented both locally and nationally, and has a number of publications on the topics of trafficked youth, sexual victimization of youth, and other aspects of child maltreatment.
Megan Dieterich MPH, PA-C has worked as a Physician Assistant at Whitman-Walker Health (WWH) at both the NW and SE Washington D.C. sites since 2010. She cares for a patient panel of over 500 people, 50% of whom are HIV positive. She also provides care to general primary care patients as well as patients presenting for transgender care and for PREP. In 2015, she joined the Mobile Outreach Retention and Engagement (MORE) program at WWH as a part-time practitioner. Prior to attending Yale University School of Medicine Physician Associate program, Megan received a Masters in Public Health in International Health and Development from Tulane School of Public Health. Originally from Ohio, Megan now lives with her husband and 6 year old son and 3 year old daughter in Washington D.C.
Anne Donnelly, San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Linda Drach is a Research & Evaluation Manager at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. She has been involved in HIV and STI prevention and care since the 1990s. Current endeavors include coordinating programs and policies related to End HIV Oregon, a statewide effort to end new HIV transmissions, and serving as co-investigator of the HIV Medical Monitoring Project. She received her Master in Public Health from the University of Michigan.
Michele Durham, has been Executive Director of BEAT-AIDS Coalition Trust for 25 years. She holds a bachelor’s of business administration degree in accounting from Lamar University and a master’s degree in psychological education from the University of Texas at San Antonio with an emphasis in guidance and counseling. Her previous experience includes seven years of accounting experience. She has served as the chair of the San Antonio AIDS Coalition, the chair of the Region 8 HIV/AIDS Consortium, as a member of the Mayor’s HIV/AIDS Commission and as the chair of the San Antonio HIV Services Planning Council and is currently an active member of the Statewide HIV Prevention Syndicate and the End Stigma End HIV Alliance. Mrs. Durham is also one of the founders of PEERS for Women, the Women’s Empowerment and Resiliency Program (WERP), two women’s support groups for minority women affected by HIV, Coalition of Positive People, a men’s support group for HIV positive men, and of Newly Empowered Women, a transitional living facility for women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. She has received certificates of appreciation, excellence and achievement from several organizations, including the Texas Department of Health. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Famika Edmond is the current Senior Public Health Educator for the HIV/STI Prevention Division of the Detroit Health Department. Her position supports community program development and builds awareness for HIV/STI prevention services through the Detroit Health Department and provides education to the community. Before starting her career in HIV/STD prevention, Edmond spent four years as a Complex Case Manager Assistant at University of Michigan’s Population Health Program. She furthered her career in case management at the Ruth Ellis Center. Once leaving the Ruth Ellis Center, she entered into the HIV/STD field as a Disease Intervention Specialist at the Wayne County Health Department.
Edmond attended Eastern Michigan University, where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration. Edmond also earned a Master’s in Health Administration from Walden University and will be returning for a second Masters in Public Health. She is an active member for the Southeastern Michigan HIV/AIDS Council (SEMHAC) and the Michigan HIV/AIDS Council (MHAC). Edmond had the honor to be selected in February 2019 for Black AIDS Institutes, Black AIDS Ambassador program. She is one of 20 cohort of Black cis and Trans women, who are living with HIV and HIV-negative. They have utilized social media to expand knowledge of and access to biomedical tools among Black women. During this year, Edmond realized the need for women to have safe space to be able to express themselves and be supported by other women. Edmond founded and created ‘For the Love of H.E.R. (Healing, Empowerment, Resilience), which is a five week workshop in which participants will be given the opportunity to examine their journey and its rising themes in order to identify experiences that have potentially blocked or slowed personal and or professional growth.
Dr. Nada Fadul is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She is the Medical Director of the UNMC’s Specialty Care Center (HIV clinic) and the Principal Investigator of the Ryan White Parts C&D grants. She completed her medical degree from the University of Khartoum, Sudan in 2000 and an Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois; a Palliative Care fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center where she served as a faculty for five years; and an Infectious Diseases fellowship at the University of Texas-Houston. She has published in peer-reviewed journals, authored and co-authored several abstracts and book chapters and presented at national and international meetings. She has mentored several students and trainees and has a keen interest in mentoring and sponsoring women and underrepresented minorities in medicine. Dr. Fadul’s main clinical and research interests are: implementation science of evidence based interventions to improve the HIV prevention and care continuum.
Charisse Feldman is currently the Public Health Nurse Manager with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department located in California. She oversees the County’s STD and HIV surveillance activities as well as manages the Early Intervention Services program that provides linkages to care for those living with HIV. Charisse also oversees the operations and quality of services with the Crane Center; a free walk-in clinic that provides HIV and Hepatitis C rapid testing as well as express STD screening services. Charisse has a bachelor’s of nursing degree from University of San Francisco and began her career as a medical surgical nurse in 1995 at Stanford University Hospital, California. Charisse found her passion for public health in 1999 when she volunteered in the Peace Corps in Nepal with the Safe Motherhood Program helping address the rates of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality as well as promote empowerment among the girls and women in her village. When Charisse entered as a PHN with Santa Clara County, she resonated with programs that served women, children and their families. Over the past 18 years, she has been able to build upon her work as a nurse case manager of new moms, high risk infants and lead burden children.
Dr. Diana Finkel is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Infectious Disease Fellowship Program at Rutgers NJMS. She has been actively involved in patient care, medical education and clinical research. She is passionately committed to improving health disparities in marginalized populations and has coordinated community care for diverse populations at risk, including immigration detainees, LGBQT marginally housed youth and persons who use drugs. She has served as a Principal and co-investigator in the Rutgers NIH sponsored HIV Clinical Trials Unit in both treatment and prevention trials. Her clinical and research interests include HIV infection, transgender community health, telemedicine and the intersection of addiction and infectious diseases.
Brian Fitzsimmons is an advisor in HAB’s Division of Community HIV/AIDS Programs. As a project officer, Brian worked extensively on a HAB cooperative agreement awarded to Boston University’s School of Public Health to develop technical assistance and implementation support on the use of CHWs in Ryan White programs. The project, titled “Improving Access to Care: Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in HIV Care”, recently concluded in February 2020. Brian began working in Ryan White in 2001 as a medical case manager for the Baltimore County Department of Health’s Ryan White program. In 2005, he was installed as the program manager for its RWHAP Part A, B, HOPWA and Healthcare for the Homeless programs before joining HAB in July 2015.
Alfred L Forbes, MBA, was born and raised in Massachusetts. He attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH where he earned his BA in Philosophy, subsequently he completed his MBA at the University of Phoenix. Mr. Forbes has worked in the health field since 1996 providing HIV Ryan White EMA services in Portsmouth New Hampshire, and thereafter as a consultant at the local community-based organizations. In 2000 he joined the CDC funded Northeast Capacity Building Assistance Program, which provided technical assistance addressing the HIV needs of agencies serving the needs of African American/Black men who have sex with men (MSM) throughout the Northeast.
In 2003 he began Forbes Consulting, since then he has provided organizational development and capacity building assistance (CBA) to community-based organizations, AIDS service organizations, social justice organizations, and health departments in over 32 US states. He provides several clients support with their Ryan White funded program reviewing issues of compliance and developing quality management plans and quality improvement plans. He was the lead designer and facilitator of the Rhode Island Department of Health HIV testing curriculum and worked with the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop a Cultural Competency Workshop and the OASIS Project. Mr. Forbes has served on CDC Special Emphasis Panels (1999, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007) • CDC Community Consultations, HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau Division of Community-Based Program Site Visits; and Ryan White Care Act Title III Grant Review (2004).
Mr. Forbes provides mentorship to individuals throughout the US and entrepreneurs in West and South Africa, enhancing leadership, business, and personal development skills, and served as the Vice President of Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association (2015-2017). Currently, he is the Chairperson of the WISH Community Advisory Group at the University of Illinois in Chicago (HPTN and HVTN studies), and was the recipient of the USADF Reciprocal Exchange Fellowship, consulting with Dust Busters in Maseru, Lesotho.
Mario Forte is from Dublin, Ireland and lives with his husband in Chattanooga, TN where they run a small Land Surveying firm. (Mario is a registered professional land surveyor, graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin. Ireland with a BSc., National Diploma and National Certificate in Geo-Surveying Engineering, in 1985).
Mario has volunteered his time in HIV prevention with local agencies and community planning groups since 1999. In 2016, Mario accepted a part time position as PrEP navigator with Cempa Community Care (formerly Chattanooga Cares), at the advice of the TN Dept of Health, who felt that his PrEP background would be a benefit to the largest care and prevention agency in the Southeast Tennessee Region.
Leslie Fowler has been a nurse for 27 years, a long time an HIV and sexual health advocate, and has been a Converse County Public Health for seven years. While at public health, she has worked diligently to address STI rates and was able to implement strategies that reduced the Converse County chlamydia rate by 55.7% from 2012-2014 and increased STI testing 583% from 2011 to 2018.
In July 2017, she completed The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) Policy Academy which allowed her to participate in visits to the Washington D.C. Wyoming congressional delegation as well as being a part of NCSD’s November 2017 STD Engage Day of Action. Leslie is a certified HIV Case Manager serving as the HIV Case Manager for Converse County. She chairs the Converse County Alcohol, Drug, Tobacco, and Suicide Prevention Allicance and serves on the Wyoming Comprehensive Care and Prevention Planning Alliance. Leslie’s Hepatitis C project produced the first Wyoming IDU harm reduction kits, the Converse County Safe Sharps Program, the Converse County Prevention Alliance Addiction Facts Campaign, and the establishment of access to a sliding-fee scale for Hep C treatment in central Wyoming.
Julie Friedman has written and published articles on health promotion and public health issues, as well as on twins. She has an eclectic background in health education, worksite wellness, early childhood development, and workforce development. She has been an invited presenter at local and national conferences to discuss her work in the area of workplace wellness. From her roots as a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood, to launching the lactation program for employees of the Los Angeles Times, Julie has a strong background in women’s health issues. The employee health promotion program she managed at the Los Angeles Times gained notoriety for offering a wide spectrum of intergenerational health and family programs and services that were accessed by all levels of employees from entry level to executives. While at The Times, she was instrumental in founding Worksite Wellness LA, a nonprofit organization providing onsite health education to low wage workers in downtown LA. She served as the board chair of Worksite Wellness – Los Angeles from 2015-2017. In December 2017, Julie was appointed to the LA County Commission on Women by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. As the Executive Director of several nonprofit agencies, women’s issues were central to Julie’s work. Prior to joining WHERC in 2010, she was the executive director of Health & Family @ Work, an organization helping the low wage workforce manage their health and family challenges on and off the job. Julie has served as the executive director of the Early Childhood Parenting Center. She is married and has twin sons.(GSDC) in DC since 2014. GSDC is the second oldest LGBT Democratic Club in the United States.
Earl has received numerous honors and awards for his community service, and was named one of three 2013 Grand Marshalls of the Heritage of Pride (NYC Gay Pride) along with Harry Belafonte and Edith Windsor. In September 2014, Earl was given the 2014 Wanda Alston Democratic Service Award by the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club in Washington, DC. Earl is considered an expert on LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS issues. He has written numerous articles and op-eds, and has appeared on the Roland Martin and Michael Baisden shows. Earl currently resides in Washington, DC.
Frances Fu, Harm Reduction Coalition
Frances is the Drug Overdose Prevention Education (DOPE) Project Coodinator, where she coordinates overdose prevention trainings for service providers and data reporting on naloxone distribution and reversals for the city of San Francisco. Prior to joining HRC, she worked at a movement building organization in San Francisco Chinatown that organizes working-class Chinese immigrant families and youth around racial and economic justice. She is a co-founder and co-facilitator of the Asian American Drug War Healing Circle, which heals drug war trauma in Asian communities through political education, skills-building and storytelling. She has a BS in Social Policy and Minor in Business Institutions from Northwestern University, and is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach.
Patricia Gallegos serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Centro Vicente. She has a comprehensive track record of creating innovative programs in FQHCs, extending from inception of an idea, through preparing persuasive grant applications, to developing and implementing the programs and providing an ongoing support structure. She possesses a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University, New York City, NY, and a certificate in Value Based Health Care from Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH. Ms. Gallegos’ mission is to develop and expand the implementation of existing HIV prevention and treatment tools, including the development of new community-based interventions with the goal of ending HIV.
Rosy Galván, Director of Health Equity, manages the Health Equity team at NASTAD and oversees a HRSA Special Project of National Significance (SPNS) tasked with identifying, cataloging, disseminating, and supporting the replication of evidence informed approaches to improving health outcomes for people living with HIV. Rosy also coordinates the Minority Leadership Program for persons of color working at various levels in state and local health department HIV and hepatitis programs. In her former role with the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, she managed HIV/STD prevention funds, provided capacity building assistance to funded providers, and spearheaded various progressive health equity initiatives. Rosy completed her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, double majoring in Sociology and Human Rights with a minor in Environmental Science. Rosy also has a Master’s in Social Welfare from the University at Albany.
Dr. Neeraj Gandotra serves as the Chief Medical Officer for SAMHSA. Previously, Dr. Gandotra served as the Chief Medical Officer for a large nationwide addiction treatment network where he has developed national strategies specifically aimed at reducing risk and improving outcomes. He is familiar with the development and utilization of medical services budgets, nuances of regulations, and code across various states. He supervised providers across facilities and provided expertise to elected and appointed officials in local markets. Dr. Gandotra began his Addiction career in public health serving an underserved community in Washington DC where he developed his perspective of how a nationwide approach to addiction treatment is greatly needed. As Medical Director of Addiction Treatment Services at Johns Hopkins he directed patient care through implementation of department initiatives and medical center resources. At Johns Hopkins, he was responsible for developing program policy and procedure based on new research findings with the goal of improving outcomes and reducing risk for patients with substance use disorder. Dr. Gandotra has also worked as a Medical Director for federally qualified health centers where it was necessary to develop policies mindful of specific catchment area needs. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Gandotra is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Gandotra has worked with the Maryland State Attorney General on cases of physician misconduct, specifically those involving prescriptions of controlled substances. Dr. Gandotra also has been a consultant for the NFL player’s assistance program for substance use disorders. Dr. Gandotra received his medical degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) School of Medicine and completed his Psychiatric residency at Howard University. He completed an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine.
Rebecca Geiser, University of Pennsylvania Medical System
Nathalia Gibbs (She/They) joined Harm Reduction Coalition in September 2019 as LGBTQ and Harm Reduction Coordinator where she is currently working on building the Lighthouse Learning Collective. The Collective’s goal is to build between LGBTQ service providers, Substance use service providers, and community to transform systems of care for people who use drugs. She hopes for this to become a space to hear community needs, inform resource development, increasing culturally responsive and affirmative care, as well as providing capacity building and technical assistance to collective members in organizations and in community.
Grounded in the principles of transformative justice, pleasure, and liberation, Nathalia centers their work around community. As a queer black doula, organizer and passionate believer in harm reduction, they continuously look to explore how the themes of autonomy, mutual aid, and dignity intersect and connect the frameworks of reproductive justice, harm reduction, and abolition. They last worked at Mount Sinai’s REACH program as a Hep C and MAT patient navigator, increasing access to care and treatment, outreaching and supporting the East Harlem community, and running support groups for folks to engage. Nathalia was first introduced to harm reduction while completing her bachelor’s in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, as a means to fight back against the school’s current and past history of violence on the Baltimore community. As she currently works to complete her MPH, she hopes to continue to build a world where QTPOC are able to thrive and live a life of wholeness and abundance.
Courtney Gidengil, MD, MPH, is a senior physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and the director of the Boston office. She is also on faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gidengil earned her undergraduate and medical degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She trained as a resident in pediatrics at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Brown University. She completed further subspecialty training in pediatric infectious diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she joined the division as faculty in 2009. Her research training included the Harvard Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship Program, and she received an MPH in Clinical Effectiveness from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2009. Her research portfolio centers around quality of care, quality measurement, and patient safety, with a focus on infectious diseases.
Michael J. Gifford has been a leading force in the fight against AIDS in the United States for over 27 years. He currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vivent Health.
During his tenure, Mike led the transformation of Vivent Health from a social service agency into the nation’s premier HIV health care provider. Known as an HIV leader who applies the best principles of for-profit management and leadership to the non-profit sector, Gifford has helped grow Vivent Health from a $2 million to a $185 million corporation. The Vivent Health HIV Medical Home is the country’s leading model for providing integrated AIDS services to assure people with HIV have unfettered access to medical, dental, mental health, pharmacy, and social services, regardless of ability to pay, in order to succeed in managing their HIV disease. It is the only HIV Medical Home recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In 2010, his social entrepreneurism led to the creation of the Vivent Pharmacy, assuring that patients receive the medications they need and creating a new revenue source to help sustain and expand HIV services. Today, Vivent Health patients are significantly exceeding national benchmarks and goals for HIV disease and overall health management.
Mike has developed Vivent Health into a national organization with the opening of HIV Medical Homes in Denver, Colorado, St. Louis, Missouri, and Austin, Texas. He is leading the process of bringing the HIV Medical Home model to additional cities across America. This effort expands services that are driving better health outcomes for people living with HIV and helping to reduce health care costs. As a national leader in the evolution of service delivery to people with HIV, he has provided in-depth technical assistance and consulting to AIDS organizations in 26 states.
Mike received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and International Relations from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Executive MBA program.
Dr. Bretia Gordon is the Director of Capacity Building for Medical Advocacy and Outreach, where she manages Community Outreach, Prevention Education, Advocacy and Civic Engagement, PrEP intake services, and organizational special projects and research efforts. She has worked in various capacities in the fields of Public Health and Human Services for the past 15 years; and is especially interested in furthering the agenda to end the HIV epidemic through coalition building and creating innovative and strategic methods targeting underserved populations and minority communities in the South. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Tuskegee University; Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from Troy University; and a EdD in Human Services Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her research interests are in HIV Prevention, Veterans Issues, Minority Health disparities, and Maternal and Child Health. She was also selected to participate in the Black Women’s Ambassador program with the Black AIDS Institute for 2019.
Kymberly J. Gordon is a 63 year old Transgender Woman, FIRST. She has had many challenges to face; one of the greatest was a lack of education. In 2002, Kymberly Gordon returned to school and received a GED, ABA, BBA and Certification in Addiction Counseling. She has worked in the fight against AIDS for more than 30 years. She has held many positions from a Home Health Aid assigned to some of the first victims of GRID in 1984 and is now the Non Medial Case Management Supervisor at Damien Ministries, Inc. She oversees the 340B Pharmaceutical Program of Damien Ministries, Inc., Program Manager of a growing agency ‘Shuggs Place’ and the Director of the Non-Medical Case Management Department.
Gregg Gore is from Baltimore, Maryland and is a person living with HIV. He Advises local and state agencies in relation to HIV/AIDS prevention and aging. He maintains memberships with community organizations that focus on prevention and harm reduction. Gregg is not a health care professional. He is aging, living with HIV and doing very very well. However, with COVID – 19, he feels like he is reliving the past. So much death so fast, AGAIN!
“I do know one thing. If I die tomorrow or 30 years from now. I BEAT IT”.
Robin Grant is from Southeast Georgia and lives in a small town called Waycross, Georgia. She is married with four children. Spending time with my family and reading mystery novels is what Robin enjoys doing in her free time. She has been working in the nursing field since 2002. Robin’s nursing experience includes 8 years experience of working on the pediatric-adult medical surgical unit at Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross and nine years of public health experience with the Southeast Health District and serving the 16 counties therein for the Office of Infectious Disease. Over the past nine years, she has served in many roles including: Disease Intervention Specialist, HIV Linkage to Care Coordinator, Ryan White Case Manager and Lab Nurse, and am currently the Quality Manager for the Ryan White Wellness Program.
Lennie Green is a Project Officer in the Western Branch of Division of Metropolitan HIV/AIDS Programs at HRSA HAB with 28 years of experience in HIV service planning and evaluation. He is also the PO for the Planning Community HIV/AIDS Technical Assistance and Training.
Reetu Grewal is an associate professor in the department of Community Health and Family Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine Jacksonville. She is the clerkship director for the 3rd year Family Medicine Clerkship, a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and has received the AAFP Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award. She enjoys focusing on wellness, telemedicine, office procedures and teaching medical students.
Bill Gross has worked with LGBT non-profit organizations for well over two decades. At SAGE, he currently manages two of the agency’s longest running and most beloved programs. As head of SAGEPositive, he is in charge of all HIV and sexual wellness programming at the agency including support groups, workshops, social events, and testing days. He also runs SAGE’s Friendly Visitor Program, supervising over 100 volunteers in ongoing weekly visits to isolated clients. He sits on the New York City HIV Planning Council and is a founding member of the Long-Term Survivor Wellness Coalition, a collaborative of agencies dedicated to improving the lives of the long-term HIV survivor community.
Michael Hager is an experienced public health and quality improvement expert focused on LGBT health and HIV. He has over 15 years’ experience working within the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program across its funding streams. He has focused the last 13 years predominantly on QI and demonstrating the impact of funded services in achieving aims, but also downstream impacts on HIV health outcomes for RWHAP patients.
Michael has led several national initiatives aimed at improving RWHAP patient health outcomes, including the in+care Campaign, the HIV Cross-Part Care Continuum Collaborative (H4C), and the end+disparities Learning Exchange. All these programs involved peer learning and sharing of best practices. Each program made a measurable difference in both RWHAP provider capacity for clinical quality management and in downstream HIV health outcomes for RWHAP patients. As an expert in RWHAP CQM, Michael has worked with several Part A and B recipients on creating improvement-driven systems of care in their jurisdictions rooted in Federal expectations and guidelines. Recently Michael has also begun working directly with Part C and D funded hospital systems to enhance their internal CQM programs, particularly focused on QI. In addition, Michael is involved in cutting-edge sustainable systems change aimed at integrating behavioral health and HIV primary care using a blend of evidence-based frameworks drawn from QI and behavioral health. Through his work, Michael routinely develops new tools and systems in addition to written procedures all with a focus on sustainability.
John Hannay is a public health analyst and project officer in the Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Branch of the HIV AIDS Bureau at HRSA. SPNS initiatives in which John has been involved are the Digital and Social Media (Lead Project Officer), Capacity Building Assistance to RWHAP Jurisdictions (Lead Project Officer), Opioid Systems Coordination, Housing and Employment Services, and Black MSM and Behavioral Health.
John has been involved in HIV work in the private non-profit and public sector since 1983. Before working in SPNS, John was in HAB’s Global HIV Program. Before his time at HAB, John did private consulting work related to HIV and a number of other public health issues, and worked on HIV Prevention Issues for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. John is a health educator by profession.
Rita Harcrow is the Director of HUD’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing. This office oversees the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Program, which is the only federal program dedicated to the housing needs of low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. Each year, HOPWA makes grants to more than 220 local communities, States, and nonprofit organizations to increase housing stability for more than 100,000 low-income Americans living with HIV and their families.
Prior to joining HUD in 2015, Rita worked for more than 20 years in the nonprofit sector in rural Alabama developing and operating housing and supportive services programs for special needs populations including people living with HIV/AIDS. She successfully wrote and managed multiple federal and state grants including HUD, HRSA, and SAMHSA programs that assisted very-low income households in the rural south – an area of the country heavily impacted by poverty, new HIV cases, and ongoing HIV stigma. Rita’s later work involved the start-up of a new nonprofit agency focused on developing housing programs that not only assisted people living with HIV, but also included those living with other disabilities and chronic homelessness; these programs utilized HUD’s HOME and Community Development Block Grant programs, in combination with foundation funds and local resources, for new construction and operation of permanent supportive housing units.
Jessica Harris is a psychotherapist who specializes in perinatal mental health, and provides mental health services via telehealth. Jessica has been practicing for the last 5 years and has worked extensively with children on the Autism spectrum, preschool and school-aged children; and families dealing with trauma, separation, and those belonging to the immigrant community. In her clinical work, she has worked and placed focus on parent-child interactions. Jessica began to notice how strengthening of parent-child interactions and bonding should be targeted at conception, and finds it imperative to ensure that Black/African American receive the proper support during and after pregnancy. She is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) Therapy, and utilizes this intervention to treat PMADs and other mental health concerns.
Dr. Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, was the 174th president of the American Medical Association, and the organization’s first African-American woman to hold this position. Dr. Harris has diverse experience as a private practicing physician, public health administrator, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist. Dr. Harris currently spearheads the AMA’s efforts to end the opioid epidemic and has been chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force since its inception in 2014. Dr. Harris continues to lead the task force as it works across every state to eliminate barriers to treatment, provide patients with access to affordable, non-opioid pain care, and fight the stigma faced by those with substance use-disorders. Beyond the AMA she has held positions of leadership with the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, the Medical Association of Georgia, and The Big Cities Health Coalition, where she chaired this forum composed of leaders from America’s largest metropolitan health departments.
Growing up in Bluefield, W. Va., Dr. Harris dreamt of entering medicine at a time when few women of color were encouraged to become physicians. Dr. Harris spent her formative years at West Virginia University, earning a BA in psychology, an MA in counseling psychology and, ultimately, a medical degree in 1992. It was during this time that her passion for helping children emerged, and she completed her psychiatry residency and fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry at the Emory University School of Medicine. A fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Harris continues in private practice and currently consults with both public and private organizations on health service delivery and emerging trends in practice and health policy. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and an adjunct clinical assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine.
Brandon Harrison is a Senior Project Manager and Trainer at the Primary Care Development Corporation. As Senior Project Manager, Brandon is responsible for providing training and technical assistance to healthcare organizations across the country. He has served in leadership positions implementing HIV prevention, and sexual health programs across the country, in communities most impacted by health disparities. Throughout Brandon’s career, he has been diligent in raising awareness to issues such as stigma, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ issues, violence, sex work and other issues affecting vulnerable communities. Brandon remains a leader, supporter, and role model inspiring others to continue their resilience.
Charles Hawthorne works as a trainer for the Harm Reduction Training Institute and Outreach Project in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Charles works passionately delivering training and technical assistance to organizations in the bay area and the greater San Francisco region that impacts the lives of PLWHA, PWUD, PWID and LGBTQ+ communities. Charles works to foster partnerships with other organizations in the Bay Area that do social justice and harm reduction work while helping to expand reach and capacity to communities experiencing disproportionately punitive impacts of racialized drug policies. Prior to joining the Harm Reduction Coalition, Charles interned at HIPS in Washington D.C. in a policy and direct service capacity where his passion for grass roots activism flourished. Charles is a graduate of Purdue University, where he majored in biochemistry and worked to provide safer sex materials and diversity education and training to students, staff, and faculty.
Rick Haverkate, MPH, is an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Michigan), and grew up in the land of his ancestor’s along the shores of Lake Superior. In 1993 he earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Hawai’i. His work in public health has been focused almost entirely on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations. Rick has assumed a variety of roles including Community Health Educator, Public Information Officer, Public Health Advisor, Principal Investigator, Project Officer, Director of Public Health, Senior Program Analyst, and Deputy Director at the local, state, tribal, and national levels. He has specialized in operational management in the fields of HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Child Health, Commercial Tobacco Use Prevention, Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, and Community Capacity Building. Rick currently works for the Indian Health Service as their National HIV & HCV Program Coordinator.
Frank Hawkins, AIDS Delaware
B. Kaye Hayes, MPA, serves as the Acting Director of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) and the Executive Director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). In this leadership role, she is responsible for vaccines/immunization, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, blood and tissue safety and availability, and tick-borne diseases. She also provides oversight for five Departmental advisory councils and workgroups. Before her appointment with PACHA, Kaye previously served as the OASH Acting Deputy Director and Senior Advisor for Policy for the Office on Women’s Health (OWH). Among her responsibilities were the formulation of budget, performance, and policy initiatives for OWH, as well as management improvement and strategic planning.
Before joining OWH, Kaye was Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health and 16th Surgeon General and served as a Policy Advisor with the Surgeon General on the health and medical team to assess the critical health needs after the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Kaye also worked as the Extramural Community Liaison for the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she developed and strengthened national, state, and local organizational partnerships including business, labor, faith community, entertainment, and other nontraditional health partnerships. While at CDC, her career included assignments with CNN Medical News as a producer and health policy advisor with the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues where she worked on the Women’s Health Equity Act and health care reform.
Kaye received her bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication studies from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University, with a concentration in strategic management and human resource management. While in graduate school, she was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society and she was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow and completed her 2-year assignment at CDC in the National AIDS Information and Education Program.
She is proud to have provided advice, counsel and implemented one of the most successful and longest running public education and prevention campaigns for HIV/AIDS—American Responds to AIDS and Business Responds to AIDS.
Heath Holt Hayes is from Lawton, Oklahoma and serves as the Senior Director Communications and Strategic Engagement for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Heath’s responsibilities are focused on leading a cross-functional team engaged with strategic initiatives, community organizing, governmental affairs, communications and public relations. Heath received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma and several graduate degrees from the University of Oklahoma in Human Relations, Administrative Leadership, and a Women’s and Gender Studies.
Dr. Nevin J. Heard received Bachelor’s of Arts in 2013 where he studied psychology, sociology, and public health at the Ohio State University (OSU). He continued his graduate studies at OSU and received a Master’s of Arts in Clinical Counseling, where his clinical work focused on increasing accessibility and cultural competence for queer people of color (QPOC). He is a licensed counselor in the state of Ohio. In 2018, he graduated with his doctorate from the University of Central Florida (UCF) where his dissertation investigated the wellness, resilience, and empowerment of Black men who have sex with men, living with HIV (BMSM+). His research and activism highlights during his doctoral studies included serving as co-founding member of H.E.A.R.T. (HIV Education, Awareness, and Research Team), volunteering for several HIV/AIDS prevention organizations, and community organizing in response to the Pulse Tragedy of 2016. Dr. Heard now serves as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Counseling at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois
As a professor his classroom is a safe but challenging environment that uses innovative methods conducive to achieving the learning objectives through theories rooted in constructivist principles that consider the impact of social and cultural realities within the classroom. Dr. Heard’s research agenda has a social justice lens and includes multicultural issues pertaining to people affected by HIV, LGBTQ concerns, low socioeconomic populations, ethnic and racial minorities and gender issues. His past research has centered on intersectional work of people affected by HIV and racial minority status. Such as, protective factors of HIV to Black men who have sex with men (BMSM); and wellness, resilience, and empowerment in BMSM+. Dr. Heard is also active in various professional organizations both nationally and locally including the American Counseling Association, Association for Black Counseling Professionals, Mpowerment Group (Columbus, Orlando), and Impulse (Orlando, Chicago).
Dr. Mandy Hill is a dedicated and resilient public health practitioner who serves as the Director of Population Health in Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor at UTHealth McGovern Medical School. Dr. Hill, a leader in this field for the past decade, is working to move the needle on this critical initiative in our community. Breaking history as the first full-time public health research faculty member in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Hill leads development and implementation of public health based prevention interventions to vulnerable populations seeking care in the emergency department and community members at large. She is leading not only funded randomized studies in our emergency departments, but also collaborating on county health department efforts and statewide UT system programs.
At the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center, Rutgers School of Nursing, Macsu Hill serves as the Program Manager of a three-year, 13 million dollar Special Project of National Significance (SPNS) to improve the screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections among people with HIV as part of a multi-state, multi-site clinical initiative of the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A key member of a four-member core team, Dr. Hill assists with the organization and facilitation of a network of nine clinical sites from three service jurisdictions (i.e., Florida, Louisiana, and Washington, DC) to implement HRSA-designated interventions to improve sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment of low-income people with HIV and those at risk. In this role, she assists the Evaluation Coordinator and database management firm with the development and implementation of an evaluation plan and electronic data system for each jurisdictional clinical intervention site to utilize for collecting and reporting demographic, process and outcome evaluation data to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and to conduct cost analyses. In addition, Dr. Hill conducts health literacy training for medical case managers to improve the quality and effectiveness of medical care provided to people with HIV and those at risk. Macsu holds a doctorate degree in Education Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University and a Master of Public Health degree, with a concentration in Urban and Environmental Health from Rutgers-Newark School of Public Health.
Marcus J. Hopkins is a West Virginia native currently living in his familial hometown of Morgantown, WV. In 2005, Marcus was diagnosed HIV-positive. After thirty years of involvement in the performing arts (vocal and instrumental music, color guard, and Drum Corps International), he currently spends most of his time dedicated to bringing attention, clarity, and comprehensive education to the world of Patient-Centric HIV and Hepatitis C research and reporting. Marcus presently serves as the Project Director for the HIV/HCV Co-Infection Watch, which is a publication of the Community Access National Network (CANN). He also blogs for CANN’s “Hepatitis: Education, Advocacy & Leadership” (HEAL) coalition. Marcus also serves as the West Virginia Policy Director for the Community Education Group, based out of Shepherdstown, WV and Washington, DC. In his spare time, he’s a video game-addicted, cat-loving insomniac who leaves audiobooks playing in the background at all times.
William Q. Hua, Ph.D., is a clinical health psychologist at the San Francisco VA Healthcare System (SFVAHCS), where he provides integrated care services for veterans living with HIV and/or liver disease. At SFVAHCS, Dr. Hua also serves as chair of the Psychology Diversity Committee, director of the Mental Health HIV/HCV Specialty Care Access Network-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes clinic, and director of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Clinic. He is an associate clinical professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco (USF).
Dr. Hua completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology & Behavioral Medicine at the University of North Texas and received behavioral medicine training through the Palo Alto VA Health Care System psychology internship and fellowship programs. Dr. Hua is also the co-founder of a nonprofit organization called Here to Hope which focuses on promoting health and education for children living in children’s homes in Guyana, South America.
Samantha Hughes, MPA, is the Manager of HIV Prevention and Care Services, at the City of Kansa City, Missouri Health Department, where her responsibilities include, administering the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Ryan White Part A/Minority AIDS Initiative, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services(MODHSS) HIV Prevention, HOPWA, and Shelter Plus Care grants. She has worked for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, for 26 years, in which 12 of those years she served as the Ryan White Planning Council Support Manager. Samantha is currently pursuing a doctorate in Management and Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix, she has earned a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Park University and an Associate of Science in Computer Programming from Penn Valley Community College.
Katherine Huynh has been treating HIV and HCV in the primary care setting in North Philadelphia for over 17 years. She is passionate about providing comprehensive services in modalities that are accessible and affirming for marginalized populations. In addition to being an HIV specialist, she has overseen expansion of HCV services within organizations through mentoring new to treating providers and managing HCV care continuums.=
Nathanaelle Onyu Ibeziako, Tufts University
Karen Ingersoll Ph.D. is a clinical health psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine. Dr. Ingersoll currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), an international organization that promotes excellence in Motivational Interviewing. Dr. Ingersoll earned her B.A. from Louisiana State University, her M.A. in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Southern Methodist University, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia. After a clinical internship at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Psychiatry, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Substance Abuse and Health Psychology at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals.
As a clinical researcher, she works at the intersection of Addiction and Health. She develops and tests interventions using Motivational Interviewing or technologies including mobile apps and eHealth treatments to improve the health of people living with HIV, reduce the risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancies, and encourage lifestyle change to promote health across the lifespan. She is the author of over 80 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and co-author of 2 books, including Motivational Interviewing in Groups (2013) and Women and Drinking: Preventing Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies (2015).
Corey Ingram is currently the lead trainer and a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) for A.I.R. Consulting and Coaching Services, LLC as well as a Specialized Medical Case Manager for Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services (PALSS). He is a former Health Educator with the Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention (SAVIP) office at the University of South Carolina. Corey’s training is in social work, having earned a master’s degree from the University of Alabama and a bachelor’s degree from Miles College. He has experience as a mental health therapist at two all-male group homes in Alabama as well as experience at a residential facility for sexually perpetrated males. As a man of color who worked as an advocate, health educator, and a lead trainer for a majority institution in the area of interpersonal violence, Corey provides a very unique perspective. This perspective is highlighted even more due to his experiences of working with perpetrators and my more recent position of working with survivors. As a health educator with SAVIP, Corey led efforts to engage men around issues related to interpersonal violence and was a male advocate. He developed and implemented the first male-focused program at SAVIP, which is called “True Strength”, which is designed to create a forum for men to share new and innovative ideas to address sexual assault and violence in the Carolina community. He conducted over 800 presentations and served on nearly 80 panel discussions and has presented his work at several national conferences.
Since 2002, Edward Jackson has been a Community Engagement Programs Manager in research studies and projects, including other federally funded HIV prevention interventions and cohorts. Mr. Jackson has drawn upon his extensive network and collaboration in minority communities, including Community Planning Groups, Advisory Boards, Board Member, Coalitions and Consortium. He has presented at various local, state and national conferences, seminars, and workshops. He has worked extensively in public and behavioral health. He has been a consultant on mobilizing communities in HIV/PrEP and other health disparities for several agencies, organizations, and government entities throughout the United States, including the White House. He has vast experience working with culturally diverse backgrounds and focusing on community collaboration and partnership, building robust and meaningful relationships. Mr. Jackson creates and maintains community relationships with organizations and researchers on behavioral, environmental, economic and social HIV risk and protective factors in the Deep South. He attends community events in lending support and building capacity for creative collaborations with community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and AIDS service organizations in the area. Currently, he works in clinical and behavioral research at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).
Mr. Jackson’s most recent position was as a Housing Facilitator and Peer Mentor at Collaborative Solutions, Inc. His capacity and experience to implement the curriculum, empowers and educates consumers to be effective advocates and leaders serving on non-profits boards. He has flexibility, well-honed skills, in-depth insight, and a thorough understanding of the housing and homelessness issues. His facilitation style is engaging, entertaining, and highly interactive. His vision is to support others to realize their inherent creative potential, which is expressed as passion, creativity, prosperity, and a unique contribution to the common good, and stronger, more robust, healthier community
Jen Jackson is an experienced Capacity Building Manager and Harm Reductionist with a demonstrated history of working in Public Health for over twenty years; skilled in Partner Services, HIV counseling and testing, HIV/STI/HCV prevention, Harm Reduction and drug user health, syringe service programs, public health marketing campaigns, stakeholder/community engagement, e-learning development/training, as well as capacity building/TA/organizational development for ASO/CBOs and state/local health departments. They have a Master of Science degree from The George Washington University in EMS Leadership with a focus in Outbreak Response and is currently working on their PhD in Translational Health Science at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Tamika Jackson joined the Harm Reduction Coalition in 2020 as the Harm Reduction Resource Manager. Tasked with providing strategic support for the HepConnect Initiative which aims to reduce Hepatitis C through the expansion of harm reduction services and the build-out of a regional coalition to support this work. The HepConnect team provides training, capacity building, and advocacy assistance to HepConnect Grantees in the Southern region.
Tamika is a Proud Graduate of Alabama State University. She has 15+ years of working with nonprofits specifically in the social services arena. Since her time in undergraduate studies, Tamika has been an active part of her community, Working in Youth Services, Bullying, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Sexual Health, Suicide Prevention, Reproductive Justice, Racial Justice, and Parenting Education. Tamika is a Certified Experiential Specialist and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology also currently pursuing a Master’s in Human Services.
Damon L. Jacobs is a New York-based Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and HIV prevention specialist who focuses his work on sexual wellness, relationships, and harm-reduction. He is the author of two self-help books titled, “Absolutely Should-less” and “Rational Relating.” He is best known for championing the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in The New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, NPR, Vice News, and more. He has presented on clinical approaches to PrEP and Harm Reduction at SYNC, Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) International AIDS SocietyConference (IAS) , The U.S. Conference on AIDS, CROI (USCA), The Harm Reduction Coalition Conference, The CDC National HIV Prevention Conference (NHPC), and more. He was honored to receive a Commissioner Special Recognition Award for his work through the New York State Department of Health in 2016.
Carol Jimenez is the Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives at the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). OIDP as well as HHS’ other public health offices are under the leadership of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. OIDP provides strategic leadership and management, while encouraging collaboration, coordination, and innovation among federal agencies and stakeholders to reduce the burden of infectious diseases nationwide. Ms. Jimenez’s role includes leading the viral hepatitis work of OIDP as well as development of the development of the next iterations of the National Viral Hepatitis Strategy, National HIV/AIDS Strategy, National Vaccine Plan, and first-ever STI National Strategic Plan.
Ms. Jimenez was a practicing health care attorney for almost 30 years prior to joining the federal government in 2010, and has spent her career working to improve the health of vulnerable populations. Before joining OIDP, Ms. Jimenez spent four years at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), implementing the Affordable Care Act for the private health insurance market including leading development of the Medical Loss Ratio program and the Health Insurance Exchanges’ consumer assistance programs. Following her work at CMS, Ms. Jimenez was Deputy Director of the HHS Office of Minority Health, working to improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities, until joining OIDP in January 2019. Ms. Jimenez holds a law degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from University of Rochester.
Debrisha Johnson, a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, and Chief Medical Officer of Bee Busy Wellness Center, has been in the field of Nursing for over 20 years, beginning her career as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, where she served as Charge Nurse for more than ten (10) years. Hailing from Shreveport, LA, and a graduate of Northwestern University for both her undergraduate and Master’s Degree, Ms. Johnson has risen in the ranks of her colleagues, and has been named as the first Family Nurse Practitioner to serve as Chief Medical Officer at a Texas-Based Federally Qualified Health Center. She directed the charge of the health center to achieve national accreditation through The Joint Commissions and has secured certification for the health center as a Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH). She has developed several programs and services addressing the health care needs of vulnerable populations, particularly in the African American and Hispanic communities in the greater Houston, TX area. Her dedication to high quality care and commitment to serving the underserved, lends credibility to her accomplishments. Ms. Johnson has a compassionate demeanor that encourages her patients to ask tough questions about their health and life. She has dedicated her career to providing care to persons of the LGBT community, homeless youth and adults, pediatric patients, veterans, geriatric patients, refugees and persons living with HIV.
In 2000, Deirdre Johnson began her journey with HIV health education in Northern Virginia and soon moved to Richmond, VA to take up a position as a Prevention Case Manager. Currently, she serves as Virginia State Lead for Positive Women’s Network (PWN) USA, 2019 Policy Fellowship graduate, and the Ending Criminalization of HIV and OverIncarceration in Virginia (ECHO VA) Coalition Co-Founder promoting healthy life choices and using life experiences as an educational tool for all ages and walks of life via Facebook as Deirdre Speaks. She has been featured along with Positively Dee in Positively Aware magazine for driving across 13 states of the south in the Driving out Stigma campaign. Deirdre is candid and honest about HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, sex education, women’s rights, relationships, safer sex practices and healthier decision making. “Minutes +/-moments = lifetime. It takes a minute to complete a task, a moment to make (or not) a difference to equal a lifetime of good or bad memories, so make every minute and moment count for a lifetime of great memories”, which she coined herself. Catch her nightly show as Deirdre Speaks on social media platforms where she encourages people to take their medicine and dance to the theme of “Meds will make me dance”.
Lucretia Jones is an epidemiologist at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In her regular position she is the Director of General Surveillance in Communicable Diseases and during emergency activations, as now with COVID, she also oversees the unit of 200+ staff conducting COVID case investigations, facility notifications, and special studies. She co-leads the taskforce on Data Alignment with Ellen Wiewel.
Veronica Karp, Iris House, Inc.
Ramatoulaye Keita has been at Whitman-Walker since September of 2013, starting as a health educator in the community health department and currently is the Senior Manager of Community Health. In addition to working at WWH, she has the pleasure of serving as a commissioner on the Planning Commission on Health and HIV. As commissioner, it is her duty to implement and execute integrated strategies that address the health and social needs of all Ryan White clients across the DC metropolitan area. She is a first-generation West African from Guinea Conakry and proud to say that she is not only fluent in English, but also French and three of my native dialects. She is extremely passionate about building systems that are designed to deliver equitable and low barrier care to under-resourced populations around the globe. In her role, she oversees the HIV prevention efforts to include HIV testing and counseling, PrEP/PEP initiatives, and targeted outreach efforts. She holds a BS in Public Health and an MS in Management and Healthcare Administration from the University of Maryland. She takes great pride in her community advocacy work, where she strives to deliver care and create space that is inclusive of each client and patient’s personal experiences.
Nadine Kela-Murphy currently coordinates clinical practice facilitation projects at acute-care hospitals and community health centers in New York City for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH). She has been a member of the Viral Hepatitis Program at the DOHMH since 2017 and has facilitated quality improvement initiatives to support screening and treatment for Hepatitis C. Previously, Nadine worked on community surveys and partnership development for several Bureaus of the Health Department including Family and Child Health, Epidemiology and HIV. Prior to joining DOHMH, she worked for seven years in marketing at a pharmaceutical company. Nadine completed her Master of Public Health at the City University of New York School of Public Health and received her Bachelor of Arts from the Haute Ecole Leonard de Vinci in Belgium.
Terry M. Kemp Knick is clinical research and project manager for telemedicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health in the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia (UVA). Her current research and publications focus on advancing knowledge of hepatitis C (HCV) and access to treatment with a special emphasis on treatment for those currently struggling with or recovering from substance use by prioritizing harm reduction programs and office based opioid treatment clinics referrals. Her ongoing projects include increasing access to treatment in rural areas through telemedicine and increasing capacity to treat through providers and support staff education with the goal of micro-elimination of HCV, beginning in a rural Appalachian community. She is also working with the Department of Corrections to develop a referral to treatment on release program to ensure those interested in treatment after incarceration have a warm referral to an accepting treatment provider. Through continuing outreach, Terry is presenting at coalition meetings, health departments, and community clinics to increase knowledge of those providing resources of available options for HCV treatment.
Amelia Khalil serves as a senior public health analyst with the Clinical and Quality Branch in the Division of Policy and Data with HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) at the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA). Amelia is the program lead on the Leadership training for people with HIV at HAB. Amelia’s career spans 20 years of working with people with HIV in all Parts of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. In this time, she has held positions in all parts of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program in the areas of behavioral health, quality management, and housing and case management- all focusing on improving health outcomes for people with HIV. Amelia holds a Master’s Degree in Addictions Counseling from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Michael Kharfen is the Senior Deputy Director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration at the District of Columbia Department of Health (DC Health). He has 30 years of experience in public health and human services with federal and local governments and non-profit organizations.
At DC Health, his priorities include collaborating with community partners and regional health departments to develop and implement Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 90/90/90/50 Plan to end the HIV epidemic in the District of Columbia by 2020; improving health outcomes for persons living with HIV; advancing awareness of Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U); increasing use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP); furthering the timeliness of data on HIV and other epidemics; addressing health equity and social determinants of health needs; ensuring access to harm reduction/syringe services; expanding sexual and TB health and wellness services; promoting research and public-private collaborations; and eliminating hepatitis C in DC.
His prior experience includes public affairs at US Department of Health and Human Services and community director for the Mayor of New York. He serves on the executive committees of the DC Center for AIDS Research and the DC Partnership for HIV/AIDS Progress and Secretary/Treasurer of NASTAD (state HIV directors) and board member of the National Coalition of STD Directors.
Robbyn Kistler has worked with the Kaiser Family Foundation since 2007 as a consultant for their media partnerships and health communications program. She serves primarily as a liaison to health departments in the Southern United States, helping them leverage Kaiser’s public information campaigns, including Greater Than AIDS. She supports local efforts for ending the HIV epidemic by guiding strategy and coordinating media placements on billboards, broadcast, and social media.
Before her current career, Robbyn grew up Quaker in rural Pennsylvania, majored in Soviet Studies at Oberlin College, played in a professional Caribbean steel band in Seattle, and ran a USAID-funded grantmaking program in Russia. She is now based in Brooklyn, a proud mom of two teen girls and a loving ally of queer people of color. She serves on the board of He Is Valuable, Inc., a social movement that aims to identify, reinforce and celebrate the value of Black Queer men and their communities.
David Knight has been an attorney with the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice for 12 years, where he works on a broad range of disability rights issues. He has represented the Department of Justice in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy that entire time, and has played a role in bringing over 100 investigations of HIV discrimination.
Virginia Kotsonis has a BA from John Jay college of Criminal Justice in Cultural Deviance. Ms. Kotsonis loves her role as an Outreach Worker in the Prevention, Education and Outreach Department at Ryan Health and she has been employed there for over 19 Years. Her role in the department is largely being out in the field, educating the community and providing counseling and testing for HIV and Hep C, and conducting educational groups at numerous colleges and community centers. It gives her great pride knowing she is empowering our communities of color in NYC who often experience health disparities by providing them with knowledge and encouraging self-efficacy.
Macey Ladisky received her master’s degree in public health at Grand Valley State University in 2018. Following her completion of her MPH, Macey became an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services monitoring Hepatitis A (HAV) surveillance and outbreak response to Michigan’s largest outbreak, the HAV outbreak. Now, Macey is the Viral Hepatitis Patient Navigator at MDHHS where she gets to be a part of both surveillance and prevention! Her role in this position includes providing technical assistance to programs on expanding hepatitis C testing and linkage to care services as well the Project Coordinator of two large projects aimed to increase HCV testing, surveillance, and linkage to care for Michiganders!
Living with HIV and Black Girl Magic, Kamaria Laffrey serves nationally as a speaker, an advocate for HIV justice, a spokesperson for Positively Fearless, a treatment adherence & self-care campaign and works with The SERO Project on HIV criminalization reform. Her local work extends to rural and underserved areas, as she serves as the Vice-Chair on the West Central FL Ryan White Care Council and the FL Dept. of Health Community HIV Advisory Group. Since her diagnosis in 2003, Kamaria has worked to empower others to live beyond the residue of the societal and self-induced stigma of HIV; boldly speaking of life beyond a diagnosis and building a destiny as the founder of the community-based organization, emPOWERed Legacies. A 2018 graduate of Positive Women’s Network – USA’s Policy Fellowship Program, Kamaria is looking forward to furthering her patient advocacy in gender and racial justice for People Living with HIV. Sharing her lived experiences in POZ magazine, Plus magazine and various health blogs, Kamaria seeks to be a willing vessel of faith that guides individuals in her community towards embracing healing, giving inspiration and living victoriously with HIV..
Adam Lake, MD, FAAFP, FACMQ, AAHIVS, CMQ, is a family physician who currently serves as medical director for Lancaster General Health Physicians Comprehensive Care, a Ryan White funded clinic. Dr Lake is a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, and Temple University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in family and community medicine at Lancaster General Health with a focus in HIV medicine. The following year, he completed a fellowship in population health at Lancaster General and ultimately joined the residency faculty. He currently provides care and treatment for infectious hepatitis, HIV, primary care, addiction care for those with opioid use disorder, and hormone therapy for transgender folks, and works with the local department of health as the county tuberculosis physician.
Linden Lalley-Chareczko holds a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology and has eleven years of professional research experience. She has published numerous papers in several fields including forensic psychology, behavioral sleep medicine, and HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Currently, Linden is the Research Program Director for Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers and oversees the conduct of industry sponsored, CFAR, NIH/NIMH, and small grant funded work focusing on optimizing HIV treatment, HIV reservoir mapping and reversal, using technology to improve retention in care, and therapeutic drug monitoring for HIV negative patients taking PrEP.
Colleen Lane joined Whitman Walker Health in 2015 after completing her dual residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She is dual board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, has an expert certificate in HIV medicine, as well as having an extended buprenorphine waiver certificate. Whitman Walker Health is a federally qualified health center in the urban center of Washington, DC. They serve a diverse patient population, including transgender and gender expansive people, those living with HIV, those living with substance misuse disorders (SUDs), and undocumented and underinsured people. Their clinic community serves over 3,000 HIV positive individuals and over 8,000 HIV negative people, 47% of whom are African American, 27% are women, and 40% who live below 100% of the federal poverty level. After one year serving as a staff physician, Colleen was promoted to the medical site director at our Max Robinson Clinic site. This position has afforded her the opportunity to provide vision and guidance in expanding our primary care services, youth services and improvement of integration of HIV and addictions services into primary care.
In Colleen’s current role as medical site director, she not only provides direct clinical care and administrative guidance, but is also involved in clinical research. She served as a co-investigator on a CDC and industry funded pre-exposure prophylaxis study (SHIPP), and is currently a sub-investigator on a NIDA-CTN funded substance misuse disorder research trial. Whitman Walker has historically, and continues to be, at the forefront of fighting the HIV epidemic and participating in research and care delivery that improves patient lives. They continue that commitment to medical research, expanding into the area of SUDs and working on multi-center trials that are helping to determine effectiveness of treatments and integrative clinical care models.
Circe J. Gray Le Compte has over two decades of professional and academic experience in anthropological and health communications research and practice, both in the United States and abroad. She received both her Master of Science (SM) in May 2014, and her Doctor of Science (SD), in May 2020, in the field of social and behavioral sciences, from Harvard University, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to develop and evaluate cutting-edge interventions to promote sexual health among vulnerable LGBT youth of color. For her doctoral thesis, Le Compte leveraged quantitative and qualitative approaches to assess the conceptualization and implementation of seroadaptation among black men who have sex with men in the U.S. During her academic tenure at Harvard, she served as a teaching assistant for 20 graduate-level classes, which earned her an excellence in Harvard graduation teaching assistantship award, and is editor-in-chief of the Harvard Public Health Review (HPHR). Le Compte currently serves as Director of Health Services Research and Evaluation at HealthHIV. She also has worked extensively in health communications, and has extensive experience in grant writing, graphic design, animation, customer relationship management (CRM) implementation, and website management.
Dr. Dana Lehman is a clinical health psychologist with over 10 years of experience working within marginalized communities. She currently works as a supervisor at AIDS Care Group, in Sharon HIll, Pennsylvania, where she provides individual, couples and family therapy, She also supervises graduate students and is the director of the agency’s continuing education programing. Dr. Lehman serves on ACG’s LGBT+ Advisory council. She has an expertise in
health oriented psychology and particularly enjoys treating people struggling with managing chronic health conditions, trauma, eating disorders, and compulsive sexual behavior. In addition to her work at ACG she maintains a private practice in Philadelphia and lectures frequently at local universities. Dr. Lehman believes that a strong therapeutic relationship empowers people by giving them the support and skills necessary to help them reach their goals and live a life which they find meaningful and fulfilling.
Dr. Anthony Lee is the Director of the Community Prevention Program for Infectious Diseases at the UAB School of Medicine, in the Division of Infectious Diseases. He is the Lead Scientist on a variety of funded projects including a CDC Demonstration Project, UAB FOCUS Community Screening Program. He received his PhD at The Johns Hopkins University and went to college at UC Berkeley.
Jennifer E. Lee, MPH, PhD has had a diverse career as an educator, activist, grassroots organizer, community mobilizer, and public health leader in ending health disparities, inequities, and the HIV epidemic. Ms. Lee serves as the Manager of Special Programs for the HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation (CQII), a program of the AIDS Institute at the NYSDOH and currently serves as the Health Equity Initiative Co-Lead, and serves as a community liaison for the Social Determinants of Key Populations subcommittee for the AIDS Institute HIV Advisory Board. She is dedicated to the principles of health equity and health as a human right, where there is equitable opportunity for a full, healthy life for every individual regardless of their ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity/presentation, sexual preference, immigration status, creed, or any other factor that may impact health outcomes. Her public health career entails collaboration with leading stakeholders in using the principles of health equity and community based participatory research methods to address health inequities and injustices of communities, as well as utilizing research to impact the policy and practice of public health and have an impact on various communities.
Dr. Dana Lehman is a clinical health psychologist with over 10 years of experience working within marginalized communities. She currently works as a supervisor at AIDS Care Group, in Sharon HIll, Pennsylvania, where she provides individual, couples and family therapy, She also supervises graduate students and is the director of the agency’s continuing education programing. Dr. Lehman serves on ACG’s LGBT+ Advisory council. She has an expertise in health oriented psychology and particularly enjoys treating people struggling with managing chronic health conditions, trauma, eating disorders, and compulsive sexual behavior. In addition to her work at ACG she maintains a private practice in Philadelphia and lectures frequently at local universities. Dr. Lehman believes that a strong therapeutic relationship empowers people by giving them the support and skills necessary to help them reach their goals and live a life which they find meaningful and fulfilling.
Monika Lemke is the program manager for the CAREs clinic, working as the main point of contact with the DC Human Trafficking MDT and liaising between community partners and the CAREs clinic. With a degree in public health she has experience in community-based social research and programs. Ms. Lemke previously worked in healthcare consulting on large federally funded innovation programs and brings that experience to the CAREs clinic. She has a strong background in data collection, management, and analysis.
Mira Levinson is the Co-Director of the Center for HIV and Infectious Diseases at JSI. She has been on the leadership team of the ACE TA Center since its inception in 2013, and is now its Principal Investigator. Mira has been providing technical assistance and training to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients and subrecipients across the United States since 1998.
Deneen Long-White, PhD, CHES® has over twenty-five years of experience in public health with specific expertise in maternal and child health. During that time she worked with local, state, and federal officials to develop and implement public health programs which focused on providing services to youth, infants, children, and women of childbearing age. Dr. Long-White is a member of the national MCH Navigator Working Group which developed a web-based learning portal for maternal and child health professionals, students and others working to improve the health of women, children and families. For this work, Dr. Long-White and the team received the prestigious 2014 “Effective Practice Award” from the MCH Section of APHA. The “Effective Practice Award” recognizes individuals or groups whose work has made a significant contribution to effective public health practice in MCH at the community, state, tribal, national, or global levels.
Dr. Long-White also serves as a peer reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals including the Maternal and Child Health Journal and the Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved. Her research interests are reproductive health, adolescent health, women’s health and infant mortality with a specific focus on health disparities and the social determinants of health. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology, Master of Science degree in Health Education – Community Health and School Health, and Ph.D. in Medical and Urban Sociology from Howard University. Dr. Long-White currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Community Health Program at Salisbury University.
Cody Lopez is the Founder and current director of the Community Cares Project, an non-profit organization that addresses the social determinants of health with a specific focus on the economic development of LGBTQ communities. Prior to founding the Community Cares Project, Dryer serves as the Program Coordinator for Morgan State University providing HIV, HCV and substance abuse programming to emerging adults aged 18-24. He also served as the Trans-Youth Health Navigator for the University of Maryland’s STAR TRACK program, a HIV outreach program for people living with HIV. Mr. Dryer currently collaborates with Dr. Maulsby on a NIH grant that focuses on the integration of employment services into HIV medication and adherence programs in community and clinic settings.
Michelle Lopez is the Healthy Aging Specialist at GMHC. After working at a Federally Qualified Health Center for 19 years Michelle branched out as a consultant due to her passion for working in Public Health. This passion continues today as Michelle says “I lived to see this aging in the HIV Community and we must be able to age with dignity.” Michelle tested positive in 1990 after the birth of her daughter. She is making a difference in the lives of her peers.
James Macrae, MA, MPP, is the associate administrator for the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). As head of the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Mr. Macrae manages a $5.6 billion budget that supports nearly 1,400 health centers, which operate approximately 13,000 service delivery sites in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. Serving nearly 30 million people nationwide, these centers provide cost-effective, comprehensive, and patient-centered care, coordinating a wide range of medical, dental, behavioral, and patient services. Macrae also served as Acting Administrator for HRSA from April 2015 to April 2017, where he oversaw more than 90 programs that provide health services to tens of millions of people, including people living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, mothers and families, and those otherwise unable to access quality health care. Macrae earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Illinois Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in sociology from Duke University, and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.
For over 25 years Jevon Martin has been a mentor, educator, advocate and a house father in the Ballroom Community. Jevon started his transition in 2000 at Callen Lorde in NYC. One of his strong focuses is being homeless within the TLGBQI+ population. Jevon presently serves as the Founder & Executive Director of Princess Janae Place, which he founded in 2015. Princess Janae Place is a referral organization for TLGBQI+ services with emphasis on the trans homeless population. Those services include medical, legal, mental health and recreational services. He’s a proud brother of the 1st Transmen fraternity Theta Beta Chi where he has helped build brotherhood among Black Transmen in New York, and around the country. He has advocated in the fight to change legislation for Marriage Equality & GENDA in New York. Currently he is a member (2020-2022) Equality New York’s Advisory Council
Jevon is a proud grandparent, he is an actor, model, producer, peer educator, HIV test counselor, and a resounding voice in the community. Jevon facilitates workshops, seminars, panels, and he is unapologetically advocating on issues that affect the TLGBQI+ community with emphasis on the Transgender population. Jevon is a motivational speaker, and has been awarded a 2019 Certificate of Excellence from Governor Cuomo, 2017 Circle of Life Person of Trans Experience Award, 2015 Transman of the Year, 2016 Octavia St Laurent Trans Activist Award, 2014 Marsha P. Johnson Award. 2018 Pioneer Cris Award, Mr. Trans USA New York 2020, Gay City News Impact Award 2020 and many other citations. With a motto that is a part of his daily inspiration which is: If not now then when, If not me then who? Be the change the world needs today for a better tomorrow. And, Jevon Martin is doing just that!
Miguel Angel Diaz Martinez is a national community leader for people living with HIV; more specifically, he operates as a public health practitioner, organizational capacity builder, and language justice advocate. Driven by a passion for improving health equity, his mission is to remove structural barriers to healthcare access. Miguel Angel joined NMAC in January of 2020 after 5 years of working as a front line community organizer in the Mississippi Delta; his work centered on advocating for BlPOC living with HIV, LGBTQ+ youth, and Spanish-speaking immigrants in accessing culturally-responsive care, thus laying the path to his advocacy in language justice. For example, his recent work consisted in adapting the national Building Leaders of Color (BLOC) training into Spanish. Miguel Angel is now the Advocacy Associate Manager for the Center to End the Epidemics, co-leading BLOC en español and the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative. Miguel Angel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health & Biology,
Oscar Marquez joined the CDC-funded HIV prevention capacity-building assistance program (CBA) at PCDC in 2017, providing training and technical assistance to support the delivery of HIV prevention services within primary care. Mr. Marquez leads the development of various capacity building resources such as training curricula, webinars, and other tools. Mr. Marquez has worked in the HIV prevention field since 2002. Before joining PCDC, he worked for over four years at a Los Angeles-based health care organization, implementing direct client prevention services such as Prevention Case Management (CRCS), HIV testing and counseling, Group Level Interventions, Individual Level Interventions, and Recruitment. Prior to that, Mr. Marquez worked at Shared Action at APLA Health, a nationally recognized CBA program, where he oversaw the development, implementation, and quality assurance of distance-learning technologies (e.g., website and online trainings).
Chepkorir Maritim is a nurse consultant with the Clinical and Quality Branch in the Division of Policy and Data with HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) at the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA). Chepkorir is the project officer for the Center for Quality Improvement and Innovation (CQII), a cooperative agreement that focuses on quality improvement and improving patient health outcomes. Chepkorir has been with HAB since 2016. Prior to joining HAB, Chepkorir had worked as an inpatient nurse in various capacities.
Dr. Stockton Mayer is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Infectious Disease department. Aside from clinical responsibilities, Dr. Mayer helps lead the Department of Medicine’s Urban Global Medicine Program. As part of the program, Dr. Mayer works with Community Outreach and Intervention Projects (COIP) and the College of Nursing to provide a comprehensive clinical care program for clients who access the west side syringe exchange. He supports the City of Chicago during the COVID pandemic by providing infection control and testing services in congregate living facilities, particularly homeless shelters and long term care facilities. He is the site Principal Investigator for a novel sepsis study adapted to study high-risk markers for COVID-19. He is also the state Principal Investigator for the PYAD study – a monoclonal antibody study targeted towards preventing COVID in residents of long term care facilities.
Before embarking on a career in medicine, Dr. Mayer worked in public and private sector business development. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala, he trained small business development leaders throughout the Jalapa region. He later worked with Booz Allen Hamilton’s International and Infrastructure team as a consultant. Dr. Mayer still works in Guatemala, assisting local governments with decentralization of HIV services and implementing strategies for outreach to high risk populations.
Brooke Maylath is a Health Facility Inspector for the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH). Within that role, she is tasked with bringing LGBTQ cross cultural competencies throughout the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and out to all licensed health facilities in the state. Prior to working at DPBH, headed the Transgender Allies Group (TAG) since it was founded by in July of 2012. TAG is a group of passionate therapists, advocates and transgender people united by the goal of educating and advocating for the needs of the transgender community in Nevada, TAG has provided education to organizations and agencies that interact with transgender people.
Maylath led TAG’s outreach and activism bringing awareness of the disparities experienced by Transgender people in our healthcare systems. Her presentations have been delivered to a variety of audiences, including counseling, healthcare and sociology. Additionally, her advocacy has led to the adoption of a gender non-conforming student policy for the Washoe County School District, inclusion of “gender identity and gender expression” into Nevada’s Hate Crimes law, defeat of a proposed “bathroom bill” in the 2015 legislative session, and inclusion coverage for Gender Affirming Therapies in the health plans for the City of Reno, NV, the City of Sparks, NV, and the State of Nevada. Due to her advocacy, the Nevada Insurance Commissioner issued guidance in June 2015 that bans exclusionary language or interpretation against transgender care in Health Insurance. During Nevada’s 2017 Legislative session, she successfully led the effort to ban conversion therapy, teach LGBT awareness throughout the state’s foster care and juvenile justice system, and to teach Gender Diversity to faculty and staff in all public schools. In the course of the interim, her efforts have pushed the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to revise the gender identification process on driver’s licenses, including the
addition of a non-binary gender marker, Gender X, as well as adding Gender X to Nevada Birth Certificates. In the 2019 Nevada Legislative Session, she led a slate of LGBTQ+ bills, including SB364, a bill that provides sweeping non-discrimination in licensed healthcare facilities throughout the state, a “first in the nation” law to advance access to appropriate healthcare for all marginalized people. In June, 2019, Maylath was presented the Emilie Wanderer Award for Civil Rights Leadership by the ACLU of Nevada, that organization’s highest recognition for work that advances civil rights throughout the state.
Stephanie McHugh, MPH is the Initiative Lead for the HCV Care and Treatment Programs within the New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute, Bureau of Hepatitis Health Care. She has managed statewide public health programs at the NYSDOH for over ten years. Ms. McHugh received her Master of Public Health from the University of Albany School of Public Health.
Dr. Eugene McCray is the Director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) and is responsible for U.S. domestic HIV prevention activities, budget, and policy. More specifically, Dr. McCray oversees program, research, surveillance, and communications activities that will have the greatest effect on reducing HIV incidence and improving health equity. Dr. McCray began his career at CDC in 1983 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer and has since served in various capacities throughout the agency with increasing levels of scientific, programmatic, and management responsibilities. Before joining DHAP in 2014, he served as a Medical Epidemiologist and Chief of the International Research and Programs Branch in the Division of Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination and was the first Director for CDC’s Global AIDS Program from 2000 to 2004. Dr. McCray completed his clinical training in internal medicine at North Carolina Memorial Hospital, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and completed an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. He has published numerous scholarly articles on public health, concerning TB, HIV and AIDS. Dr. McCray has been deserving of numerous awards for his scientific and public health contributions – including the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) highest honor award, the PHS Distinguished Service Medal, and the CDC highest honor award, the William C. Watson Medal of Excellence.
Marlene McNeese, Houston Health Department
Kaitlyn McTernan is a Project Coordinator at HealthHIV, primarily supporting HealthHIV’s TelehealthHIV program, HCV 20 x 20 program, DC Engage program, the Effi Barry Training Institute, and the Opioid Learning Institute. Kaitlyn is passionate about promoting and enhancing equal and equitable healthcare. In her previous experience, Kaitlyn has worked on the implementation of a program for a marginalized community that addressed cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and various forms of cancer. Kaitlyn also has experience teaching sexual health, STI and HIV prevention and life skills to D.C youth. As a Coordinator, Kaitlyn has been involved in developing curricula for accredited medical education programs, conducting case review sessions, and providing individualized telehealth technical assistance. Kaitlyn received a bachelor’s degree from American University in Health Promotions (B.S.).
John W. Meade Jr. currently serves as a Health Program Coordinator within the Office of Planning and Community Affairs, AIDS Institute at the NYS Department of Health. John has acquired over nine years of public health experience, focusing on socio-contextual determinants of health including addressing health inequities and stigma among MSM of color, youth and sex workers. In his role as Health Program Coordinator, John works within the Executive Office on matters involving HIV prevention, policy, and community engagement, as well as Ryan White Part A programs. John serves as Co-Chair of the Health Equity Initiative Steering committee within the AIDS Institute and guides health equity strategic planning. John has also worked internationally supporting sexual health promotion efforts and HIV prevention research among priority populations in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He holds a B.A. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Connecticut College and a Master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration
Dr. Iván Meléndez-Rivera obtained his BS in Microbiology at University of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez Campus) and joined Ponce School of Medicine to complete his degree. With the help of various mentors, Meléndez-Rivera was accepted as a member of the NHSC Research Team for HIV/AIDS patients care, an important cornerstone of his Family Practice. Meléndez-Rivera was honored by AAFP for developing educational modules to provide effective techniques in HIV/AIDS prevention for high-school students. Then, he entered the Correctional Health Program in Puerto Rico, acquiring vast experience in primary, mental and HIV care in correctional facilities. In 2001, Meléndez-Rivera founded Centro Ararat, Inc., a non-profit private multidisciplinary healthcare center based on HIV standards required by AAHIVS. Eighteen years later, Meléndez-Rivera acts as CMO/COO of this healthcare system, which has become one of the most important and respected HIV/AIDS clinics in Puerto Rico, expanding its biopsychosocial model to the LGBTTQI population and providing PrEP treatment. Awarded by AMA and STFM for Outstanding Performance in HIV Care and Prevention, Meléndez-Rivera has become an important reference to his peers for his achievements in access to medications, improvement on quality of services and HIV prevention as part of an integrated healthcare system.
Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, is Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at CDC, and a Rear Admiral in the United States Public Health Service. Previously, he was Director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC. He was also the Director of CDC-Kenya for 3 years, and the Director of CDC-Uganda for 7 years. He has co-authored over 200 scientific articles. Dr. Mermin was an internal medicine resident at San Francisco General Hospital, and a preventive medicine resident at CDC and the California Department of Health Services. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford University School of Medicine, and received his MPH from Emory University.
Lauren Miller (she/her) is an experienced community health educator and social justice advocate who recently joined NMAC as the Health Equity Program Coordinator for the Center to End the Epidemics. Lauren is driven by a passion for empowering LGBT youth and transwomen of color to be leaders and agents of positive change within their communities. Since 2015, Lauren has been committed to ensuring the voices of black transwomen are heard and eliminating the barriers to equity that prevent LGBTQ+ people from living healthy and happy lives.
Marissa Miller is a nationally recognized advocate for human rights, social justice, health equity, and LGBTQ equality. Marissa has worked for the last 15 years on the local, state, and national levels to improve access to treatment and care for transgender people and people living with HIV, and to erase stigma and discrimination through education, policy, advocacy, and visibility. Marissa is now working to create change Globally; she is the Founder of TransSolutions LLC. TransSolutions LLC is designed to create a Global Culture of safety for the transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming communities through policy, safety networks and plans, web developed concepts, certifications and devices.
Marissa Miller has worked over the last 15 years with some of the nation’s most influential national agencies working to End the HIV epidemic including: AIDS United, NMAC, CDC, HRSA, NIH and a former Board Member for Positively Trans (T+) Transgender Law Center. Through her work with the CDC Marissa served on the team that created the first intervention specifically designed for Transwomen, TWIST. Marissa currently serves as the Senior Strategic Director for the National Trans Visibility March, an annual event that brings together over five thousand constituents from across the U.S. Marissa brings a great deal of expertise serving transgender and gender non-conforming communities, specifically in the areas of: infrastructure building, program development, evaluation and leadership development.
Dr. Warren L. Miller Jr is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Rhode Island School of Social Work in Providence, RI. He is also licensed as a clinical social worker in Washington D.C., Maryland, Rhode Island, and California. Warren has presented at numerous national and regional conferences on topics such as social work ethics, ethical teletherapy practice, HIV/AIDS and social work practice, HIV stigma on the use of spirituality in social work practice, using technology in social work, and demystifying HIV stigma. He maintains certifications as a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and a Board-Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD). Warren has over 11 years of practice experience of psychiatric social work care, mental and behavioral health, and HIV care. His current research is on investigating HIV stigma with intersections of race, gender, sexual minority, and health statuses of individuals aging with HIV.
Gregorio (Greg) Millett a Vice President at amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Director of amfAR’s D.C.-based Public Policy Office. He is an experienced HIV researcher and policy analyst. From 2000 through 2009, Mr. Millett served as a CDC Senior Scientist in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) From 2009 through 2013, Mr. Millett served as Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of National AIDS Policy where he was a key author of President Obama’s original National HIV/AIDS Strategy and worked to support the Strategy’s implementation across the federal government. He has published first author publications in the Lancet, JAMA, AIDS, AJPH, JAIDS, and other journals, and has co-edited a special issue of implementation science and LGBT populations in Journal of the International AIDS Society.
In April 2020, Mr. Millett was invited by the National Academy of Sciences to speak about the similarities between the COVID-19 and HIV epidemics. In May 2020, Mr. Millett published the first national study of COVID-19 infection disparities among black Americans. The study drew widespread media attention, was tweeted by congressional leaders, and highlighted by the National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins. In July, Mr Millett delivered the opening plenary on EHE, COVID-19 and HIV disparities for the International AIDS Conference.
Stephen Mills is the Program Coordinator for the Men’s Sexual Health Project at Mount Sinai in New York City. The grant-funded program provides free HIV and STI testing as well as sexual health education at various sex venues that serve a primarily MSM population. Mills holds a BA in English from Hanover College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida State University. He is the author of three poetry collections including He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices which won the Lambda Literary Award in 2013. He is also the winner of the 2008 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award and the 2014 Christopher Hewitt Award for HIV-related fiction. Much of his writing deals with issues of sexuality, identity, and gender. Before joining the Mount Sinai prevention team in 2015, he spent twelve years teaching at the college level.
Tom Moore, Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services
Noelisa Montero is an evaluation specialist in the Research and Evaluation Unit of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) HIV Care and Treatment Program, Ms. Montero’s primary responsibility is to provide data analysis and reporting to evaluate and plan RWPA-funded HIV programs. In this role, she works with providers, consumers, and other DOHMH staff to promote health equity and data-driven community planning. Ms. Montero manages HIV program and surveillance databases to produce reports on service utilization, client characteristics, enrollment patterns and health outcomes, for the purpose of assessing HIV/AIDS services in NYC in terms of their appropriateness (fit to client need), quality and impact.
Prior to joining the DOHMH in 2017, Ms. Montero was a CDC/CSTE fellow in the Infectious Disease Section of the Connecticut Department of Health. In this role, her projects included: conducting an evaluation of the TB Control Program; matching HIV, tuberculosis, HCV, and STDs surveillance data to identify infectious diseases syndemics in Connecticut, and then analyzing this information to identify the populations in greatest need of integrated services. Prior to starting the CDC/CSTE fellowship in 2015, Ms. Montero was an intern in the Bureau of Communicable Diseases at the NYC DOHMH. She has also had the opportunity to work directly with client populations by volunteering in a Syringe Exchange Program to screen and enroll participants in a Person Who Inject Drugs (PWID) study conducted by the NYS Department of Health AIDS Institute for which she administered rapid hepatitis C test and questionnaire, and tracked participation, recruitment, and incentive delivery.
For the past 20 years, Aisha Moore, M.P.H. has worked at the local, state, and Federal levels to design, implement, and evaluate public health programs. She currently serves as the Project Director for the HRSA/HAB Planning Community HIV/AIDS Technical Assistance and Training that provides technical assistance to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A planning councils and planning bodies (PC/PB) across the U.S. to fulfill their legislative responsibilities, strengthen consumer engagement, and increase the involvement of community providers in HIV service delivery planning.
Dayna Kirk Morrison brings 20 years of experience working with people living with HIV/AIDS in Oregon and abroad. She has coordinated the LGBTQ+ Health Coalition of the Columbia-Willamette since 2010. In this role she represented LGBTQ+ voices in Health Equity Workgroups through the Oregon Health Authority and served as a stakeholder advisor to Cover Oregon. Previous professional positions include Director of HIV Services at Quest Center for Integrative Health, and Program Coordinator for the CDC Global AIDS Program. In her role as the Program Manager for the Oregon AIDS Education and Training Center, Ms. Morrison serves as the Lead Faculty for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) provider education and directs practice transformation efforts across the state.
Since 2018, De’ Morris Murry has been a Patient Navigator on the Grady Retention Enhancement Assistance Team (G.R.E.A.T.) of the Grady Health System – Ponce de Leon Center. Enthusiastically solving problems and providing enhanced personal contact to patients as they learn to self-navigate the health care system. He deploys strategies that promote retention and medication adherence for those who are living with HIV. Mr. Murry holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, specialization in Management, and continues to progress towards the completion of an MBA with an expected graduation date in 2020. Mr. Murry also has experience as an engagement lead and regional trainer for the global humanitarian organization -American Red Cross. He has completed numerous HIV- related trainings including the AIDS Education and Training Centers Program (AETC) on Motivational Interviewing. Mr. Murry deploys social influence naturally so much that it evokes the maximum potential from others. Mr. Murry takes pride in being an active philanthropist of his community. He has assisted with small to large blood drives, hosted by the American Red Cross. Served those who are less fortunate and displaced with housing with St. Jude’s, Alabama Coalition for the Homeless. Mr. Murry believes this is the least he can do for the community that has imparted and invested into his life.
Kirk Myers serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Abounding Prosperity, which he founded in 2005 to address aging with HIV in the African American community. He has over 10 years of experience in health education and disease prevention, with a specific expertise in HIV prevention and education. In his role as CEO, Myers oversees a team of volunteers and staff experienced in health education and disease prevention. He also oversees Dallas Southern Pride.
John A. Nelson, PhD, CNS, CPNP, is the Principal Investigator of the HRSA-funded Special Projects of National Significance, Improving Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Testing and Treatment among People with HIV or at Risk for HIV, at the Rutgers School of Nursing as well as the Program Director of the AIDS Education and Training Center National Coordinating Resource Center (AETC NCRC). John has a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, an MSN (pediatric clinical nurse specialist) from Yale University, a post-master’s pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) certification from Columbia University, and a PhD in Nursing from New York University.
John began providing care to HIV-infected adolescents in 1989 at Montefiore Medical Center after completing his MSN. After 24 years of providing direct care to HIV-infected and HIV at-risk adolescents and young adults in hospital-based, school-based, and community-based settings in New York, John began his work at the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center, Rutgers School of Nursing in his current role. John has published journal articles on issues including LGBT adolescents, HIV and adolescents, sexually transmitted infections, anal dysplasia in YMSM, and HIV care continuum outcomes of rural U.S. residents.
Rebecca Nessen received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Samford University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health. She began her career with the administration of medical care for homeless women and children in shelters across Atlanta, Georgia. Rebecca has been thrilled to become an integral part of Metro Inclusive Health, focusing on the development and implementation of new initiatives and programs to best serve the HIV positive and LGBTQ+ communities of the Tampa Bay Area. Rebecca believes in the meaningful impact that integrated, coordinated delivery of social and medical care services can have on the most vulnerable in our communities.
Omar Nieto graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in LGBT Studies. He is currently working in the UCLA Department of Family Medicine as the Project Director of various HIV prevention and treatment-related research studies with queer men, transgender women, and cisgender women of color in Los Angeles County, as well as youth and young adults who are living with HIV across the country. His main areas of focus are to advocate for racial and gender justice, with a particular emphasis on uplifting the voices of racial/ethnic, sexual, and gender minority individuals.
Christy Nolan, University of Buffalo
Oriana Nolan has been working in community health for nearly 20 years, always with an emphasis on equity and community mobilization. Her current interests include addiction, mental health, trauma healing, and sourcing community wisdom. She lives on the Central Coast in California.
Kevin Nooney first had the opportunity to work with the wonderful folks at HEP while providing HIV prevention services. His educational background is in chemical dependency counseling from Edmonds College and in peer support services. At HEP, Kevin works as a medical case manager to support individuals seeking treatment for hepatitis C and support participants in the low barrier buprenorphine clinic as a patient care navigator. Kevin is excited to be working with HEP as so much of the work they do is a personal passion for him. He believes strongly in the principals of harm reduction that are practiced at HEP and seeing those forces in action helping people live better and healthier lives is a truly unique reward. When at home, you’d likely find Kevin on his computer gaming, gardening or baking desserts. He started with HEP in August 2018 and looks forward to contributing here for a productive future.
Hil O’Connell (they/them) is a Philadelphia-based researcher, educator, and organizer working towards gender justice in sexual and reproductive health care. They serve as the Senior Research Analyst at AccessMatters, where they lead and conduct research and program evaluation efforts across sectors including HIV prevention, family planning, adolescent health, breast and cervical cancer prevention, and maternal/child health. They have presented original research at a wide range of academic and professional conferences across the U.S., and have been published for their work on disability and sexual assault law. They also bring 10 years of experience in community education to their work as a Trainer, offering in-depth skill-building trainings and workshops on LGBTQ cultural responsiveness to clinical providers, medical students, adolescent service providers, and others in care professions.
Bisola Ojikutu MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and an Associate Physician within the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She also holds a joint appointment within the Infectious Disease Division at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Ojikutu has dedicated her career to rectifying disparities experienced by people living with or at risk for HIV, domestically and internationally. Her recent research explores the impact of structural factors and social determinants of health (e.g. crime, poverty, discrimination, immigration policy) on HIV transmission, clinical outcomes, and barriers to accessing care. Much of her work has focused on racial and ethnic disparities in HIV care and treatment. To that end, she is co-editor of a comprehensive textbook, has lectured widely, and has served as Principal Investigator and Clinical Advisor to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded grants on that topic. Internationally, Dr. Ojikutu has worked throughout sub Saharan Africa developing and evaluating models of care for people living with HIV. As a Senior Advisor at John Snow Research and Training Institute, she has led large USAID-funded HIV service implementation projects focused on expansion of HIV treatment. At HMS, she is co-Principal Investigator of the Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship for Medical Students. She is also the former Director of the Office of International Programs within the Division of AIDS at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Ojikutu graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, completed residency in Primary Care- Internal Medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Infectious Disease Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She received a Master of Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health and was a Commonwealth Fund/Mongan Fellow in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University. Dr. Ojikutu maintains an active clinical practice focusing on the treatment of HIV, primary care and general infectious diseases.
Michelle Osterman, Institute for Family Health
Murray Penner is the U.S. Executive Director for the Prevention Access Campaign (PAC) and the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) campaign. Murray served as Executive Director at NASTAD from 2015-2018 and served as NASTAD’s Deputy Executive Director and director of its care & treatment program from 2001-2015. Prior to joining NASTAD in 2001, he served as the planning coordinator for the Fort Worth, Texas, Ryan White Planning Council and previously as an administrator with the Fort Worth and Oklahoma City YMCAs. Murray has strong expertise and experience in HIV and hepatitis treatments, the Ryan White Program and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP), as well as drug pricing. He also currently serves on the boards of the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC) and HarborPath and is a member of PAC’s Founding Task Force. Murray received his bachelor’s degree in social work from Bethel College in North Newton, KS. He is a strong advocate for the rights of people living with HIV to have unfettered access to life-saving treatments, and as a person living with HIV since 1986, has a deep personal interest in helping people achieve sexual health and well-being, as well as reducing HIV stigma and shame.
Dr. Jennifer Perkins, Abounding Prosperity
Elaina Perry, CHES, is a Project Coordinator at HealthHIV, primarily supporting HealthHIV’s HIV Prevention Certified Provider (PCP) Program, the Effi Barry Training Institute, the Opioid Learning Institute, and the National Coalition for LGBT Health. Elaina is interested in enhancing capabilities of equitable patient-centered health systems, focusing on the prevention of chronic illnesses. In her previous public health programmatic experience, Elaina has worked on the implementation of water and sanitation programs in northern Peru, the development of peer-led champion groups for adolescents with HIV in Nairobi County, Kenya, and largescale recreation/fitness programs. Additionally, Elaina has experience in both qualitative and quantitative research, conducting research on topics in global health and human rights at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Africa Program and the West Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. As a Coordinator, Elaina has been involved in conducting formative research, developing curricula for accredited medical education programs, and conducting individualized technical assistance for Washington, DC-based providers. Elaina received two Bachelor’s degrees from American University in Public Health (B.A.) and International Studies (B.A.).
Scott Petersen is a licensed social worker in New York State working on quality improvement in the HIV field with Northwell Health’s Infectious Disease Department in the Center for AIDS Research and Treatment (CART). His current title is HIV Service Line Administrative Supervisor. He is the former Chair of the Nassau County Ending the Epidemic Steering Committee and worked in community mobilization around ending the HIV epidemic on Long Island with Pride for Youth, an LGBTQ youth services organization. This work has led him to an adjunct position teaching human sexuality and social work courses at Nassau Community College. He currently sits as a member on the New York State HIV Advisory Body.
Scott is a social worker that concentrates on community, social, and political action. Specifically, his experience focuses on LGBTQ health and HIV advocacy with an emphasis on stigma reduction. Scott has worked on multiple campaigns from the lens of reducing stigma, promoting messages around U=U, PrEP, and HIV testing. Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Social Work from Stony Brook University. He is currently a PhD candidate with the Graduate Center at CUNY.
Kenneth J. Pettigrew currently works at the District of Columbia Health Department in the HIV, Hepatitis, AIDS, Tuberculosis, and STD Administration (HAHSTA) as the Supervisor/Program Manager for a CDC demonstration project. The goal of the project is to create a system of care for men who have sex with men and transgender persons of color within in the District of Columbia, Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia metropolitan area. He has been involved in sexual minority health, advocacy, education and public health for over 20 years. His early work in Washington DC includes management in banking and telecommunications. Ken began working with gay men in the late nineties as a volunteer facilitator for a local gay men’s discussion group. In 2000, Ken accessed services at a local HIV community based organization, Us Helping Us, People Into Living. Shortly after his experience as a client, he immediately began volunteering to assist in a variety of functions, thus tapping into his passion, helping others. In 2005, Ken became Director of Programs, managing programs and services targeting black gay/bisexual men at the very same agency he started at as a client. During his tenure as Director of Programs was responsible for the increases in the number of black gay men and transgender persons who typically would not access programs and services at local community based organizations (hard to reach individuals). In June 2011, Ken left Us Helping Us to become Chief of Program at Metro Teen AIDS, an organization dedicated to serving youth within the District of Columbia. He was responsible for the oversight of all program departments including: Prevention; Clinical Services; Evaluation and School Services. In 2013, he joined the Wanda Alston Foundation where he was responsible for creating and maintaining innovative programming for LGBTQ youth who may be at risk for or experience homelessness. As an ongoing consultant for many years, he has provided capacity building and subject expert consultation to such agencies as the American Psychological Association, Stroger Hospital of Cook County-Chicago Il- Department of Psychiatry and ABT and Associates. Ken remains committed to serving the community by sitting within various boards and committees including the local HIV community plan group and HIV Vaccine Trial Network (HVTN) working group. He is a 2005 graduate of CDC’s Institute for HIV Prevention Leadership.
Harold K. Phillips, MRP works in the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OIDP), Office of Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the Senior HIV Advisor and Chief Operating Officer of Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America.
In this position, he oversees the coordination of the initiative’s activities, ensuring that all U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) operating divisions are collaborating and communicating as they work to support jurisdictions in making the best use of the science, data, and tools we now have available to end the HIV epidemic. He also works to ensure there is both community awareness and engagement in our efforts to End the HIV Epidemic.
Prior to joining OIDP, Mr. Phillips served as Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Training and Capacity Development (OTCD) at the Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA/HAB). OTCD administers the Ryan White Program’s AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC), Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) and support for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
He also held past positions within HRSA/HAB as the Deputy Director of the Ryan White Part B and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP), working with Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients, planning councils, providers and patients, and served on the CDC/HRSA AIDS Advisory Committee (CHAC) from 2003 – 2010. He has a Master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College in Michigan.
Cedric Pulliam, Ph.D. currently serves as a Senior Public Health Advisor and Project Officer for the CDC in the Prevention Program Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. In 2019, he completed his postdoctoral fellowship as a Senior Health Equity Fellow at the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, CA as a member of the Youth Health Equity Model of Practice Health Equity Fellowship program by the Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Pulliam completed his doctoral studies in Health and Medical Psychology with a focus on Psychosocial and Sexual Effects of Young Men who have Sex with Men of Color who take PrEP and PEP from Northcentral University. He has served in the U.S. federal government for over 10 years and most recently as the Senior Human Rights and Key Populations Advisor at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy (PEPFAR) where he spent four years. Dr. Pulliam began his HIV community work in 2009 as a college student and has continued volunteering in NC, Washington, DC, Virginia, and Atlanta. For Virginia advocacy, Cedric co-founded the Ending the Criminalization of HIV and OverIncarceration in Virginia Coalition (ECHO VA Coalition). He also founded and leads the Regional HIV/AIDS Policy and Planning Summit for the DC metro area held every other year combating key policy issues facing people living with HIV. He earned master’s degrees from Central European University and Georgetown University and bachelor’s degrees from Elon University. He serves on the board of directors of Sister Love, Inc, Sister Love International South Afirca, He Is Valuable, Inc, TruEvolution, Inc, Global Black Gay Men Connect, HealthMPowerment Youth Advisory board, and the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa International Steering Committee.
Craig Pulsipher has served as State Affairs Specialist for APLA Health since 2014, where he oversees HIV and healthcare policy, legislation, budget, and political strategy at the state level and participates in community collaborations on a broad range of HIV and health related issues. Craig led California’s coalition effort to reform outdated HIV criminalization laws, passed groundbreaking legislation to improve access to HIV treatment and PrEP, and currently leads a statewide campaign to end the HIV, HCV, and STD epidemics. Craig received graduate degrees in Public Policy and Social Welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Aida M. Ramon is an MPH candidate at Florida International University’s Robert Stempel of Public Health focusing on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Maternal and Child Health. Aida has worked extensively in the pediatric dental field educating and promoting culturally competent healthy eating and oral health habits. Realizing the need to involve parents in sexual health education and STI and HIV prevention for their children and adolescents, she started interning with the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center where she successfully developed and launched a parent workshop. She, along with Mr. Andrew Ruffner, are in the process of launching another educational workshop that would educate health care workers and providers on how to support LGBTQ youth in STI and HIV prevention. Aida is passionate about the work she does health education with children and adolescents and hopes to continue advocating for comprehensive sexual health education and the rights of people living with HIV.
Dane Ray is a Washington, DC based mental health professional, who currently works with the DC Department of Health (deployed at the Mayor’s Office for LGBTQ Affairs. Dane believes that in order to achieve equitable care, it is critical that mental health and community health providers be informed of and prepared to meet the needs of trans and gender expansive people. In working towards this goal, Dane has 12 years of experience as an educator, within and on behalf of the transgender communities, with additional experience in prevention education and research related to HAHSTA (HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration). Dane’s current research interests center on public health communication in response to gaps in the healthcare system for self-identified trans and gender expansive people. Dane is a graduate student at University of the District of Columbia’s Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Program, and is sitting for a Licensed Professional Counselor credential in DC. Dane received a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion from Birmingham-Southern College in 2007, and has worked for the DC government since 2016.
Graciela Razo is the Harm Reduction Coordinator at Safe Horizon Streetwork Project in the Lower East Side of New York City. She began working at Streetwork in 2013, first as an overnight outreach worker, then as a youth advocate running the drop-in center, then a case manager. For the past two years, she has been working at the Harm Reduction Coordinator, specializing in safer drug use, overdose prevention and reversal, as well as safety planning with homeless youth. Graciela is most passionate about working with street homeless and at-risk youth, getting Narcan kits into as many hands as possible and advocating for safer consumption spaces as a harm reduction tactic to prevent fatal overdoses.
Adyam Redae has over 10 years of experience in public policy, health education and community development. experience working in the public health field. She is the Service Navigation Program Coordinator for Status Neutral program at the Virginia Department of Health Division of Disease Prevention. Additionally, she coordinates the community advisory board for gay and bisexual men of color for the department as well. Adyam previously worked at the Prince Georges Health Department in Maryland on their Community Transformation Grant focusing on chronic disease prevention specifically tobacco and obesity prevention. Adyam also facilitates Mental Health First Aid and Revive Lay Person training for Virginia funded sub-recipients. She holds a Master’s Degree in Community Mental Health Counseling and was a fellow of the Black AIDS Institute where her focus was on reaching Young Black MSM.
Melanie A. Reese is an older African American woman thriving with HIV for 21 years. She has 17 years of planning experience serving the on Ryan White Planning Council, HIV Prevention Groups, The Baltimore Student Harm Reduction Coalition. Advocates for Social Justice, Civil Rights, Human Rights, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in all of Society and it’s structural and institutional entities. Committed to planning the EHE in Baltimore City, she is also committed to all who are living with HIV have access to age appropriate treatment, care, all wrap around services needed along with robust resources are in place that will ensure a high quality of life and healthy outcomes along the life span.
Andrew Reynolds is the Hepatitis C Wellness Manager at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and an independent hepatitis C and harm reduction consultant. In these roles, he manages a hepatitis C screening, prevention and treatment program for people who inject drugs and who are experiencing homelessness, while doing 1-on-1 and group-level prevention and treatment interventions. Andrew writes health education materials, fact sheets, toolkits and articles on all aspects of hepatitis C awareness, prevention and treatment.
Andrew is the Guest Editor, Hepatitis C and the lead author of the Positively Aware “Annual Hepatitis C Drug Guide,” and sits on the AASLD/IDSA HCV Guidance Panel. Andrew has over 20 years of HCV, HIV and STD awareness, prevention and treatment experience, delivered in a wide variety of settings from street outreach to clinical settings to jails and prisons. Andrew writes and lectures extensively on sexual transmission of HCV, including developing the Hepatitis C Screening Toolkit for HIV Providers, and a patient education booklet entitled “Sex-C: Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis C. Prevention Tips for Gay Men.”
In addition to HCV, Andrew works extensively in drug user health, harm reduction and safe consumption space education and advocacy. He serves on numerous boards of directors, advisory boards and committees, including the Organizing Committee of the “End the Epidemics” campaign for California, a community initiative to eliminate HIV, HCV and STDs in California.
Lindsey Richesin is the Client Services Director at Positively Living/Choice Health Network where she leads a team of case managers and mental health professionals, providing services to people living with HIV across the state of Tennessee. Since beginning her career at Choice Health Network in 2012, Lindsey has assisted in the development of multiple programs including Ryan White Part B services, mental health therapy services, and the agency’s 340B program. Lindsey earned her Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Lindsey’s Social Work background and belief in kind, competent care, has guided her leadership style and influenced the delivery of client services provided by Choice Health Network. Lindsey currently lives in Knoxville Tennessee with her two dogs, Zak and Zora, and cat, Molly. She enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors exploring the hills and mountains of East Tennessee.
Dr. Elena V. Rios serves as President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, (NHMA), representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians in the United States. The mission of the organization is to improve the health of Hispanics. Dr. Rios also serves as President of NHMA’s National Hispanic Health Foundation to direct educational and research activities. Dr. Rios also serves on the Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield, Better Medicare Alliance and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda Boards of Directors, Centene Health Policy Advisory Committee, Cancer Treatment Centers for America Hispanic Advisory Council, Office of Research on Women’s Health Advisory Committee, NIH, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the VA National Academic Affiliations Council. Dr. Rios has lectured, published articles and has received several leadership awards, including awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Congressional Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American Caucuses, American Public Health Association Latino Caucus, Association of Hispanic Health Executives, Minority Health Month, Inc., Hispanic Magazine, Verizon’s First Pollin Community Service Award, and Amerigroup. Dr. Rios was appointed to the Minority Alumni Hall of Fame of Stanford University in October, 2006, as a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2007, the Institute of Medicine Global Forum for Health Professions Education in 2014, as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2016, and as a member of the Society of Medical Administrators in 2017.
Prior to her current positions, Dr. Rios served as the Advisor for Regional and Minority Women’s Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health from November 1994 to October 1998. In 1998-2004, Dr. Rios served as Executive Director, Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools. In 1993, Dr. Rios was appointed to the National Health Care Reform Task Force as Coordinator of Outreach Groups for the White House. From 1992-94, Dr. Rios worked for the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development as a policy researcher. Dr. Rios has also served as President, Chicano/Latino Medical Association of California, Founder of the National Network of Latin American Medical Students, member of the California Department of Health Services Cultural Competency Task Force, the Stanford Alumni Association, Women’s Policy Inc., Commission to End Healthcare Disparities, Nurse Family Partnerships, Campaign Against Obesity, and Partnership for Prevention Boards of Directors, PacifiCare-UnitedHealthcare California Investment Committee, ASU Health Futures Council and the AMA’s Disparities Commission and Minority Affairs Consortium Steering Committees. Dr. Rios earned her BA in Human Biology/Public Administration at Stanford University in 1977, MSPH at the UCLA School of Public Health in 1980, MD at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1987, and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and the White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles in 1990, and her NRSA Primary Care Research Fellowship at UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine in 1992.
Ace Robinson (pronoun: he) is a leading administrative and policy HIV advocate and population health expert who serves communities disproportionately impacted by HIV, COVID-19 and associated illnesses through NMAC (formerly National Minority AIDS Council) as the Director of Strategic Partnerships & the Center to End the Epidemics. Ace also serves on the boards for the Economic & Policy Impact Center (EPIC) focused on leadership development for BIPOC and sits on the UCLA Center for HIV, Identification, Prevention & Treatment (CHIPTS) steering committee. Prior to joining NMAC, Ace served in senior leadership roles at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) in New York City, Lifelong (AIDS Alliance) in Seattle, and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa. Robinson holds a Master of Healthcare Leadership from Brown University, a Master of Public Health from the University of Cape Town, in addition to a Bachelor of Chemistry from Duke University.
Debora Robinson, MPH, was born, raised, and educated in the State of New York. She is passionate about minority, reproductive, and sexual health. Debora received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology with a minor in Medical Anthropology from the State University of New York at Albany. She then completed her Master of Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine in East Harlem, New York. Debora has always had a strong relationship with the community. She has worked with seniors at a Harlem based senior housing organization and Harlem youth through summer programs and community outreach. Currently, Debora works as Program Coordinator at the National Black Leadership Commission on Health, Inc.
Gennifer Robinson, M.S. in Human Services Administration began her career as a Medical Records Clerk in 1997 with the now defunct Gundry Glass Health Systems. What began as a summer job, would eventually become an intense desire for more in-depth interaction with people. Based on her work at the Catonsville, MD location of Glass Health Systems, she was asked to return the following summer for work at the organization’s headquarters, in Pikesville, MD. Gennifer then sought out positions within the local healthcare industry and managed to acquire a position as a temporary, contractual employee with the University of Maryland Health Systems. Gennifer looked to be more community based, provide more direct services and be totally engaged with those who were in need of help. In 2009, Gennifer enrolled into the Master of Sciences collaborative program of Coppin State University and the University of Baltimore. By 2011, Gennifer had transitioned from medical records clerk to aspiring Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor. Licensing which she still seeks, despite having found an immense amount of gratification having serviced the mental health, homeless, youth, women, infants, children, ex-offender and HIV positive and at-risk populations. Taking note of the number of clients with whom she had not only serviced, but also developed meaningful relationships post to the provision of service, it became evident that she was making an impact. Cromulent, she appeared to be as she transitioned through various human service agencies.
In 2013, Gennifer began to realize that the voices of so many couldn’t be wrong and decided to succumb to the echoes of taking her bold, brash and comedic persona to the world of stand-up comedy. Her first appearance as a stand-up comic would certainly not be her last. Now, with comedy as a release from all the potential stress of helping others, Gennifer demonstrated her innate gift for healing after her first appearance in the Chocolate City Comedy competition. After her performance, it was a member of the house band who would beseech her to keep performing and remain in touch, as her powerful performance was just what he needed to keep himself from committing suicide, as he planned to upon to his return home. Known to the comedy circuit as Phoenyx, she spent the last 6 years making it a point to keep the comedy and the Human Services worlds apart. Alas, it became almost inevitable as technology and social media have become the way of the world. Amidst, yet another moment of life reflection, it would be the words of Marianne Williamson that would compel her to, finally make the connection. “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure!” No longer afraid of her own power, now nestled in a career as Sr. Community Outreach Specialist for the Johns Hopkins Women, Infants, Children and Youth Partnership, Gennifer Robinson a.k.a Phoenyx, would embrace the penchant she possesses to heal, help and humor the masses.
Alex Rock is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in Worcester MA who after graduation worked for several years at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans LA as an inpatient clinical pharmacist and as an ambulatory care pharmacist in an adult Cystic Fibrosis clinic. Alex eventually relocated to Massachusetts and completed a PGY1 clinical pharmacy residency at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield MA. After the completion of this general year he went to the University of Illinois at Chicago to complete a PGY2 Infectious Diseases and HIV pharmacy residency. Longitudinally throughout that year he helped to develop pharmacy services in a clinic funded by the Hearst Foundation. This clinic catered to the hardest to reach populations including active intravenous drug users, homeless populations, and community members recently released from correctional facilities. His interests are broad including, pediatrics, emergency medicine, infectious diseases, oncology, and ambulatory care. However, his passion is in HIV Medicine and the care revolves around minority populations and the LGBTQ community.
Mr. Christofer Rodriguez has served in the US Navy for 9 years, working multiple areas aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk CV-63 stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. During his military career, Mr. Rodriguez deployed to multiple locations, and participated in the US Navy’s biennial humanitarian medical support missions known as Pacific Partnership in 2012. During this mission, Mr. Rodriguez supported the missions of providing medical care and pharmaceutical support to over 40,000 people living in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Upon completing the US Navy, Mr. Rodriguez went on to complete a Bachelor’s of Science in Healthcare Administration with a concentration in Health Management. Mr. Rodriguez was accepted to the University of San Francisco Masters of Public Health, concentrating in research courses, and receiving the 2016 Dean’s Medal for Promoting Professionalism. He then started a full-time position at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in the Department of Population Science and Policy, Epidemiology and Biostatistics division. Currently, Mr. Rodriguez is a Research Project Coordinator with 3+ years of research, evaluation, and data analysis experience, working on multiple grants awarded to Dr. Jenkins and other fellow researchers. Mr. Rodriguez will continue his journey by beginning his PhD program in the fall of 2020.
Mr. Rodriguez’s research interests include LGBT sexual and mental health, infectious diseases (specifically HIV and other STIs), opioids, and mental health disparities among disadvantaged populations. Mr. Rodriguez also serves on the Illinois HIV Integrated Planning Council as a non-voting member at large.
Ashley Rojas, Fresno Barrios Unidos
Andrew Ruffner is the Director of Education for the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center in Wilton Manors, Florida. He has over 30 years’ experience as a mental health counselor and social worker, working a variety of public and private settings. Prior to joining the World AIDS Museum, he was the Project Director for the University of Cincinnati Early Intervention Program, a public health screening and risk reduction program for HIV, Hepatitis C, substance abuse and mental illness in the Emergency Department of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. During that time, he worked on many public health/health services research projects, focusing on patient and provider relationships. Andrew has been active in LGBTQ and HIV service organizations, as co-chair for the Greater Cincinnati chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network; chair for the Ohio HIV Community Planning Group; co-chair for the Ohio HIV Integrated Plan for Prevention and Care; and is a current member of the Broward County HIV Health Services Planning Council and the Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council. He has also served on the teaching faculties of the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, and the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He lives in Hollywood, Florida with his partner David, and their new puppies, Sydney and Kono.
Francisco Ruiz is the Team Lead for the National Partnerships Team within CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP). In this capacity, his primary role is to provide leadership for the development and maintenance of partnerships initiatives that advance DHAP’s national HIV prevention goals. Mr. Ruiz serves on the leadership team that provides strategic direction for the development and dissemination of scientific, statistical, visual, and technical communications on HIV. Prior to joining CDC, Mr. Ruiz served as Senior Manager at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) where he provided guidance to state and local health departments on how to address the disproportionate impact of HIV among the most impacted communities.
Dr. Kathleen Ruth currently serves as the Curriculum Development Lead and is the Director of CAI Inc. Atlanta office. CAI is a mission-driven non-profit organization that seeks to improve the quality of healthcare and social services delivered to vulnerable populations worldwide. For nearly 15 years, Kathleen served as a Senior Behavioral Scientist at the world’s leading public health organization – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During her tenure at CDC, Dr. Ruth worked in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention providing leadership and scientific expertise in translating evidence-based strategies to prevent HIV transmission and support people living with HIV in achieving viral suppression. Dr. Ruth led the development of the Division’s first mobile application to support medication adherence and retention in care among people living with HIV. She also led the creation of an on-line toolkit to assist HIV care providers in supporting medication adherence among patients. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences and authored numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts.
Shannon Ruth-Leigh is a Patient Navigator for HIV prevention in Infectious Disease and Immunology at UW Health, a major Midwestern academic health system affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Situated in Prevention Services in the HIV Comprehensive Care program in Infectious Disease, Shannon supports youth and adult patients across UW Health and the broader Dane County community to access HIV pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis. Shannon brings to the role ten years of experience as a health advocate, promoting patient-centered care at the individual, health system, and public policy levels. Shannon received her master’s degree in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College in New York where she focused on sexual violence prevention and adolescent sexual health. She delivers high quality sexual health training and technical assistance to providers throughout Wisconsin and directly supports PrEP patients in her clinic and community to stay HIV free. Additionally, Shannon spearheads multiple continuous quality improvement initiatives in HIV Prevention Services at UW Health, working with the care team to improve workflows and support optimal sexual health for patients by increasing rates of extra genital STI screening. In all her various hats, Shannon centers the patient experience in the effort to end the HIV epidemic.
Eric Scharf serves as the Advocacy Advisor for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, the nation’s leading peer-focused mental health organization, whose mission is “to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.” He is the retired President of Kelsey Consulting, which focused on assisting nonprofit organizations with issues of business process improvement and governance issues. Eric has more than thirty years of experience in association management and a background in health policy and human rights advocacy. During his career he served as Executive Director of five professional and trade associations addressing issues in substance abuse addiction, maritime transportation, international trade facilitation, nursing profession and financial services.
Eric has maintained an active schedule of volunteer commitments on both the local and national levels. He is a co-founder of Center Global, a program of the DC Center for the LGBT community which welcomes and supports LGBT asylum seekers in the Washington, DC area and the Treasurer of the LGBT-Freedom and Asylum Network. As a volunteer for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance National Capital Area Chapter he serves as a support group facilitator and helps lead community outreach for them . Additionally, Eric serves on the Board of Capital Clubhouse, a mental health clubhouse; Vice Chair of and is active with both the Mt. Pleasant Library Friends and the Federation of Friends of the DC Library. A Washington, DC resident, Eric currently lives in Columbia Heights. He is native of Maine, having grown up in Yarmouth and graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a degree in Political Science. While at USM he was the Chairman of the Student Senate and served as a student representative of the University of Maine Board of Trustees.
Camille Schrier, Miss America 2020, grew up In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, before moving to Virginia to pursue her undergraduate degrees. In 2018, Camille graduated with honors from Virginia Tech with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Systems Biology and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University.
In June of 2019, Camille was named Miss Virginia after breaking from tradition to
perform the “catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide” as her onstage talent. Her
unique talent performance and focus on women in STEM has sparked a positive
reaction of inclusivity for the program. Camille’s story has been shared with hundreds of children and viewed by millions. She can be seen on national and international media
outlets including The Today Show, Talk Stoop, CNN, BBC, The Kelly Clarkson Show,
CBS This Morning, Inside Edition, The Weather Channel, Southern Living, Canada’s
CTV, Germany’s RTL, and many more.
On December 19, 2019, Camille earned the job of Miss America 2020 after competing
live on NBC from Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. A certified Naloxone trainer in the city of Richmond, Schrier will use the Miss America national recognition to promote her own social impact initiative, Mind Your Meds: Drug Safety and Abuse Prevention from
Pediatrics to Geriatrics. Most recently, Camille was awarded the Engineering Champion
Award by the Phi Sigma Rho National Sorority for her work in promoting women in
engineering and technical fields. Camille will travel over 300 days this year to share her message and advocate for change.
In addition to her passion for science and drug safety, Camille has battled body image issues. As a young woman who previously battled an eating disorder, Camille chose to
compete In Miss America 2020 because of the redirection from physical appearance to social impact.
Follow Camille’s journey @MissAmerica and @CamilleSchrier. Keep up with all things MAO by following #MissAmerica.
Amanda Scott, MPH, graduated from Wayne State University Master in Public Health Family Practice Program in December 2017 and started at Detroit Recovery Project as Clinical Director in April 2018. Amanda has since transitioned within DRP to Project Coordinator to Project Director to Program Director of Prevention Services. Amanda has a strong background in Substance Abuse and Prevention and is passionate about serving her community. She believes that her primary purpose is to be of service, and with that as her driving force she will be able to create effective changes within individuals, the community and in health policies.
Dr. Scout is the Executive Director of the National LGBT Cancer Network and the principal investigator of the CDC-funded LGBTQ tobacco-related cancer disparity network. In this capacity he leads a team that provides technical assistance for governmental tobacco and cancer focusing agencies expanding their reach and engagement with LGBTQ populations. He has a long history in health policy analysis and a particular interest in expanding LGBTQ surveillance and research. His work has won him recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives, two state governments, and many city governments. Scout is an openly transgender father of three, a vegetarian, and an avid hiker.
Tyeirra Seabrook works at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a Quality Management Specialist providing programmatic monitoring and technical assistance to Ryan White Part A Care Coordination programs. Previously, Tye was a Global Health Corps Fellow with the NYC Department of Health as a HIV Quality Improvement Specialist coordinating and managing data quality assurance activities of a needs assessment to identify best practices in the delivery of care to HIV- positive clients. Prior to New York City, Tye attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham obtaining a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in health behavior while working as a Prevention Specialist and PrEP Navigator for Birmingham AIDS Outreach. When Tye is not at the NYC Department of Health, she can be found lecturing students on Health Problems in Urban Communities at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Michael D. Shankle, MPH, HealthHIV’s Senior Director of Capacity Building, has over 24 years of experience in HIV prevention and care delivery, LGBTQ+ health, public health program management and development, health outcomes performance improvement, and technical assistance/capacity building. As HealthHIV’s Senior Director of Capacity Building, Michael is responsible for leading the organization’s day-to-day capacity building, technical assistance, and curriculum development efforts. He develops strategic capacity building plans to address the needs of community-based organizations, health departments, clinical providers, fiscal administrators, municipal leaders, and medically underserved communities. He has also built coalitions and developed public health practice partnerships at the local (city and county), state, and national levels. Additionally, Michael served as the Project Director for a multisite, national medication therapy management demonstration project integrating health centers and community pharmacists and a national technical assistance center charged with building the capacity of health department and community partners to respond to the comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, behavioral health, and social service needs of MSM of Color at risk for and living with HIV. Shankle serves a Project Director for a project that develops and deploys telehealth services to provide HIV primary and specialty medical care for racial and ethnic minority communities with HIV in urban areas. He leads an “Opioid Use and Misuse Learning Institute” for healthcare practitioners with a mission to educate prescribers and other health care professionals on safe and effective opioid prescribing practices. Prior to joining HealthHIV, Michael began his career as a research specialist with the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, where he combined his experience of behavioral health sciences, health research, and technology, to develop online HIV/STI interventions. While there, he implemented programming that facilitated parity, inclusion, and representation of high-risk, sexually active young adults in HIV community planning processes. In 2006, Shankle produced and published the first public health textbook dedicated exclusively to LGBT Health entitled, “The Handbook of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Public Health: A Practitioner’s Guide to Service.” Michael joined the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts in 2006, first as Director of The MALE Center (Boston’s gay and bisexual men’s community health and wellness center), and then as Director of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Services.
Charles Shazor Jr. has worked as a national community leader for people living with HIV since 2016 with NMAC (formerly the National Minority AIDS Council). Charles spent the prior 8 years working with D.C. community-based non-profits advocating for communities of color, HIV affected individuals, homeless populations, and LGBT youth. Over the years, Charles has shown a proven commitment to serving those affected by the HIV epidemic in America through his engagement with various non-profits and HIV provider led coalitions. Using life-skills as a tool to elevate and educate underserved communities around the District has become a staple in the advocacy that Charles uses to influence healthy structural changes.
As a black man publicly living with HIV, Charles has dedicated his career to improving the health outcomes and equitable gains for people of color living with HIV. Through national and local data collection around the HIV epidemic in America, Charles has armed himself with the knowledge and support needed to make continuous meaningful impacts for those affected by HIV. Community leadership building and mobilization are his main passions and areas of expertise in his role as a leader in the HIV community. Charles’ goal is to use his advocacy platform to assist in the ongoing fight against HIV as laid out in the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative (EHE).
Jacqueline Sherbuk is a post-doctoral fellow in infectious disease at the University of Virginia. Dr. Sherbuk focuses on outcomes research in HIV and Hepatitis C. Her interests include identifying barriers to care among marginalized populations and translating these findings into recommendations for interventions and policy changes that can be implemented at multiple scales in order to reduce disparities in care.
Ashley Slye is the Manager of NNEDV’s Positively Safe project. With NNEDV’s HIV and Domestic Violence Advisory Committee, she developed a training curriculum on the intersection. Since its inception in 2010, Ashley has developed topical trainings, webinars, and a toolkit on DV & HIV for domestic violence and HIV advocates. Ashley has presented on the intersection at numerous international, national, and state conferences. Prior to joining NNEDV, Ashley supported the transitional housing program at the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Virginia Tech.
TJ Smith is currently the Assistant Director of Program Services with the Alliance for Positive Health (AFPH), a community based organization dedicated to improving lives impacted by HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses in a 15 county region in Upstate New York. She started her career with AFPH as the Training Coordinator 18+ years ago, moved to Program Manager, and then to ADOPS. Prior to joining AFPH, Ms. Smith supervised three residential programs for adults with intellectual disabilities, was a Supervising Case Manager for the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, a Program Coordinator for Schenectady ARC, and a Secondary English Teacher. Real Talk, a youth-driven prevention initiative, was developed by Ms. Smith in conjunction with high risk Black/Latino youth ages 13-17. Her teen HIV/STI curriculum, A-Tech, was recognized by NASTAD, and she is a co-author of “At-Risk Adolescents as Experts in a New Requirements Elicitation Procedure for the Development of a Smart Phone Psychoeducational Trauma-Informed Care Application,” which summarized a research project conducted in collaboration with Drexel University and the Real Talk program.
Gabriella Spencer, NMAC
Teresa Springer started working with the community in 2005 on HIV risk reduction and test counseling. Working with Commercial Sex Workers, Young Black MSM and Trans Women of Color Teresa discovered a passion for assisting her communities reduce their risk of HIV transmission and linking them to treatment and care when seroconversion occurred. In 2010, she wrote her first grant to the AIDS Foundation securing funding for their recently opened Syringe Exchange program and from there co-founded a local LGBTQ+ drop-in center and co-founded the annual Flint Gay Pride event. She remains one of the main planners on these projects. In 2014, Teresa was promoted to Director of Programs and has worked diligently to ensure that clients receive equity-based services that are affirming and uplifting. She along with the team at Wellness Services Inc., in Flint MI work together to bring awareness to the issues of those most affected by transphobia, racism, homophobia, poverty and other stigmatizing and marginalizing social constructs. She does all of this with a commitment to being her authentic self and refusing to code switch to fit into a box society thinks she should be in. You can find her on facebook, snapchat, and Instagram.
Clemens Steinböck, MBA, has more than 25 years of experience in the field of quality improvement, centering on improving the quality of HIV care and prevention across the United States and beyond. He currently serves as the Director for the HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Center for Quality Improvement & Innovation (CQII), previously known as the National Quality Center (NQC), and has led CQII to become the premier technical assistance resource to advance the quality of care among federally funded HIV providers and health departments across the United States. In the past 2 years, Mr. Steinböck has successfully implemented the largest HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau-supported national quality improvement collaborative to address HIV disparities. Mr. Steinböck is a nationally recognized expert in quality improvement with regular teaching and speaking assignments, nationally and internationally, and authored over 20 quality improvement books in addition to numerous publications.
Jeremy von Stilb is a queer activist, filmmaker, and event producer based in Austin, Texas. For the past seven years he has brought an innovation approach to HIV prevention and advocacy. He has developed relationships with Austin’s nightlife and creative communities to help produce and transmit safer sex messaging to target populations by creating social media campaigns, dance events, drag shows (he is an expert drag queen wrangler), billboard and bus campaigns, and viral video content. He has helped launch or rebrand three HIV prevention clinics including ASHwell Sexual Health Center, KIND Clinic, and The Q Austin (an MPowerment program of AIDS Services of Austin) that currently provide services to thousands of patients. Stilb also worked with the Beto O’Rourke senate campaign to help create voter interest in the queer queer community with the “YOU BETO WORK” event and social media campaign. For his work in activism and LGBTQ advocacy, Stilb has won four Austin Chronicle “Best Of” Critic’s Picks, and was nominated by the Austin American Statesman for a “Best of Social Media ” award. Stilb’s personal motto is “when there’s a wig… there’s a way.”
Kate Sugarman, MD is a board certified family physician. She works at Unity Health Care, a federally qualified health center in Washington DC, which provides sliding scale medical care to a large percentage of DC’s poor, underserved and immigrant population. She has been an HIV physician since the very beginning of the epidemic and continues her HIV practice. She has written over 600 letters on behalf of asylum seekers, documenting their scars of torture as evidence of their past persecution in their asylum applications. She is also writing letters on behalf of immigrants in ICE jails in order to get them released during the Covid 19 pandemic. She is very active in Doctors for Camp Closure and co -chairs the Maryland chapter.
Ashley Michelle Tarrant, a Birmingham, Alabama native, relocated to Montgomery in 2010. She graduated from The University of Alabama in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and obtained a Masters of Public Health Degree (MPH) from the University of Alabama – Birmingham in 2009. In 2017, Ashley boosted her professional knowledge by participating in the Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Executive Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management—Los Angeles, California. Ashley serves as the Chief Operations Officer for Medical Advocacy and Outreach (MAO) based in Montgomery, Alabama. Ashley’s passion for working towards the improvement of the health status of adolescents, minorities, women, and disenfranchised populations grew while she spent the Fall of 2009 working with the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) in Ocho Rios, Jamaica conducting community HIV/AIDS education and outreach activities. After working internationally in the field of HIV/AIDS, Ashley returned to the U.S. and began working with MAO in 2010. Over the last 8 years, she has served in various positions at MAO including Ryan White Programs Administrator, Chief Programmatic Officer, and Compliance Officer. Ashley has been a member of the Alabama Quality Management Group since 2010 and currently serves as the group’s Co-Chair. She has presented on HIV Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) topics across the state and has also served on national grant and abstract review committees. Ashley’s professional organizational memberships include The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation (WBL).
Outside of her professional duties, Ashley is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®–Beta Nu Omega Chapter and The Junior League of Montgomery. She has served in leadership positions in both organizations. In addition, Ashley is a trained Birth Doula and enjoys reading, travel, Alabama football, and volunteering in her spare time. Her favorite quote is by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Jasmine Tasaki is a staunch advocate and community organizer for transgender women and issues affecting trans rights, health, and housing. Through her work, intersectionality has become very important to her. Jasmine has worked as a PrEP navigator, an HIV counselor, Sexual Health Educator, and Cultural Competency Facilitator for the Memphis Police Department. She was also the first leader of trans experience in the National Urban League of Young Professionals (Health Literacy and Advocacy Chairperson, Memphis Chapter), and an Ambassador for the Black AIDS Institute. Ms. Tasaki is also the Executive Director of the first trans-led organization, WeCareTN, in Memphis. Jasmine works closely with the community to meet the needs identified by the community. She has been featured on the cover of Focus magazine, and wishes to bring even more attention to the needs of the community. Jasmine believes that “support is the foundation you stand on, values are the directions you walk by, and relationships is the garden in which you grow.”
Kacie Taylor is a Disease Intervention Specialist and Regional Consultant for the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), where she works one-on-one with clients to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections and HIV. Her day-to-day activities in western Colorado include partner services, outreach testing, facilitating STI treatment and linking clients to sustainable medical care in rural communities.
Molly Tasso, John Snow Inc.
Hanna Tessema, The George Washington University
Gabrielle Thomas is a 62 year-old Transgender Woman who has worked and been an advocate in the Transgender community since 1999. She has worked with several organizations including Us Helping Us, Transgender Health Empowerment and most recently, TERRIFIC, Inc. as an HIV Prevention Educator working with Older Adults. Gabrielle has done everything from front desk drop-in center check-in to HIV Testing and Counseling. In 2011 she was honored by the DC Capital Pride Committee with “The Engendered Spirit Award” given to advocates for their exemplary work in the community. She is currently the Executive Director of Shugg’s Place, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming individuals in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia areas.
Wesley Thomas is a Philadelphia native holding master’s degrees in both Public Health and Human Sexuality Education. An alumni from Cheyney University, he has committed his professional career to reconciling conversations between health disparities like HIV and STI acquisition with an understanding of intersecting identities and oppressions of marginalized populations.
In his current role, he works for the District of Columbia Public Schools, where he supports a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health grant creating safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ students in primary and secondary schools. He also manages sexual health services programming throughout the district ensuring students have access to condoms, STI screenings, and reproductive health services for students in high schools. He leverages this work, as well as his own identities, to uplift the experiences of queer and transgender young people that are often left out of conversations about institutional changes that impact their lives.
Chantil Thomas, M.A. is a native of Washington, D.C., Howard University Alum, where her area of focus was The African American Family and Black Masculinity in the Media. Her expertise include, HIV Prevention and Care in the African American Community, Trauma Informed Care, Culture and Communication, and Community Engagement. She currently coordinates PrEP Navigation at the DC Dept Health. Chantil is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc, and resides in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Mark Thompson is the program coordinator for the New York State Dept. of Health AIDS Institute’s (NYS DOH AI) YGetIt? Project which uses social media tools to engage, educate and empower young adults about all facets of the HIV care continuum. Mark is an active member of the AIDS Institute’s Digital Health Initiative which develops and disseminates best practices and policies regarding use of digital technologies, such as social media, to effect health outcomes.
Mark’s passion for prevention and HIV care began while he was an outreach and HIV testing associate with Just Been Tested (JBT Foundation). At JBT, he facilitated the development of a robust social media presence and used STI surveillance data to create a more impactful outreach strategy. Mark’s work at AI has helped to communicate and implement HIV treatment and prevention options in an increasingly interconnected and tech savvy population. Mark hopes to continue the fight against HIV and looks forward to meeting NY’s ETE2020 goals.
Mark is a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.
Mark holds a Masters of Public Health from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a Bachelors of Biology for Iona College.
Celsea Tibbitt is a PhD candidate in Nursing at Northeastern University. Celsea currently practices as a public health RN and as a public health clinical instructor for Northeastern University. She also runs a non-profit feeding plant based meals to Boston community members who are experiencing hunger and homelessness. Her research focuses on individuals who are marginalized and facing health disparities.
Marissa Tonelli is responsible for managing HIV and HCV prevention, care, and policy technical assistance (TA) programs for health departments, community-based organizations (CBOs), AIDS service organizations (ASOs), health care organizations, and physicians. She has led training, TA, and skills-building tool/resource development to improve the sustainability and effectiveness of organizations serving minority populations for over eight years. She leads HealthHCV, an advocacy and education initiative of HealthHIV that delivers medical education, training, and TA to health care organizations and providers to enhance their ability to effectively screen, link to care, and treat people with hepatitis C. Prior to joining HealthHIV, she served as a Public Health Associate for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a field assignment with District of Columbia Department of Health. While there she supported tuberculosis and viral hepatitis education/training and TA in the community and assisted with TB contact investigation and viral hepatitis surveillance activities. Ms. Tonelli is a graduate of The George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services.
Cynthia Tucker is the current Vice President of Prevention and Community Partnerships at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Cynthia is an invaluable leader for the organization’s prevention initiatives, capacity building and Corrections Case Management program. Her leadership behind programs like the Organizational Capacity Building Initiative, Women’s Connection, and the newly created Safe and Sound Return Partnership have changed thousands of lives and molded AFC’s reputation as an innovative leader in the HIV/AIDS movement. Cynthia has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction community programs and a B.S. in nutrition. She is currently a doctoral candidate in public health with an emphasis on community education.
Jeffrey Underwood, Institute for Family Health
Katherine Varin is a registered nurse who lives in San Luis Obispo, CA. She currently is working at Access Support Network as the HCV treatment nurse and is the agency RN case manager for the AIDS Medi-Cal Waiver Program. Also, she continues to work at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA as an Emergency nurse.
Dr. Nicole Villegas, OTD, OTR/L (she/they) has provided care to HIV+ individuals in a community-based non-profit for 5+ years. Dr. Villegas also leads events and workshops for women, non-binary, and transgender people of all genders to build community and resilience while engaged in outdoor adventure. They value occupational therapy’s role in serving the LGBTQ+ population, and encourage personal reflection and growth for client-centered care. Additionally, they mentor graduate students at Boston University and Pacific University, and provide consultation and training for workplace wellness.
Rachel Viqueira, MHS is an epidemiologist and program evaluator in the Maryland Department of Health’s Center for HIV Prevention and Health Services. In this role, she collects and analyzes statewide needs assessment, client satisfaction and service delivery data along the HIV continuum of care to evaluate HIV prevention and health services outcomes, and identify best practices, performance gaps, unmet needs, and disparities among clients served by Maryland HIV programs. She received her Master of Health Science degree in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her prior experience includes working as a program analyst and programmer at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and as a research assistant with the Safe Urban Harvests study at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. Her research interests center structural determinants of health and work towards the implementation of structural-level interventions to address historical inequities in public health.
Daniel Wakefield is the Director of the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry in Youngstown, Ohio. Prior to becoming the Director in 2017, Dan worked in the Ministry as the Associate Director and Special Projects Coordinator. He first got his start working in the field of HIV/AIDS as a tutor for the HIV Ministry’s children’s program in 2000.
Dan has a master’s degree in History from John Carroll University (2013), a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2007), and bachelor’s degrees in History and Secondary Education Integrated Social Studies 7-12 from Youngstown State University (2004). He is the proud uncle to triplet nieces and a one year old nephew.
This past May, Sara Wallach graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health with her Master of Public Health and a certificate in “Evaluation: International Health Programs.” She is currently a Research Assistant with the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights, where she does advocacy work fighting for the decriminalization of same-sex sexual intimacy, investigates the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on LBGTQ+ communities around the world, and researches harms and policies related to conversion therapy. In the fall, she will be traveling to Zimbabwe to complete a PHI/CDC Global Health Fellowship in Monitoring and Evaluation with CDC Zimbabwe. Before pursuing her Master’s, Sara worked in HIV prevention and treatment program development and management for the New Jersey Department of Health, Division of HIV, STD and TB Services. She managed the state’s PrEP Counselor Program, Syringe Access Programs, transitional housing programs, and “ending the HIV epidemic” efforts. Her interests include HIV prevention and care, LGBTQ+ health, human rights, and health equity and innovation.
Lori M. Ward, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, John D. Bower School of Population Health, Department of Population Health Science. Dr. Ward earned a dual-title PhD in Pharmacy Administration (Health Outcomes Research) and Gerontology from Purdue University. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a Biochemical Concentration from Tennessee State University and a Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a specialization in Health Outcomes Research from Florida A&M University. Her prior research experience in assessing patient perceptions of physicians and medication adherence among vulnerable populations. In the area of HIV prevention, her research focuses on increasing HIV testing, PrEP initiation, adherence and retention in care among health disparate populations.
Jacob Watson became interested in epidemiology during his undergraduate Anthropology studies. After graduating, he enrolled in an MPH program to pursue his specific interest in infectious disease and outbreak response. Jacob’s graduate thesis was an in-depth analysis of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis in New York City over an 11-year period. In addition to his experience in public health based epidemiological work, Jacob also worked in the private sector with a global health consulting firm.
Jacob is currently employed by the State of Michigan as an HIV Surveillance Epidemiologist. He manages the Molecular HIV program for the State of Michigan and runs their incidence-based outbreak monitoring program. In addition, his experience in molecular epidemiological surveillance and other practical epidemiological work led to his appointment as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health at his Alma mater, New York Medical College.
Dr. Fern Webb, University of Florida College of Medicine
Shannon Weber believes you can thrive at the intersection of empathy and resilience.
Shannon leads efforts to end HIV by day and hangs anonymous love notes in public spaces with her three teenagers by night. She is a serial social entrepreneur, having launched several HIV-informed sexual and reproductive health initiatives that have served thousands locally and impacted tens of thousands around the globe. Shannon has a Master’s of Social Work from Tulane University, New Orleans, received the 2018 UCSF Chancellor’s Award for Public Service, and has taught on stages from Durban to Hong Kong. She is the author of Show Up Hard: A Road Map For Helpers In Crisis.
Max Wegener is an epidemiologist with the Yale University School of Medicine’s AIDS Program. Max has been working in the public health field for 7 years and he holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. His Current work is focused on the development of a data to care approach to identify and re-engage out of care coinfected individuals through collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s (CT DPH) HIV and Hepatitis C surveillance programs.
Patrick Wenning joined Restore Motion in the DC Metro area in 2016 after owning his own private practice in Manhattan for over 10 years. In New York, he worked with dancers and actors of all levels from amateur to student to pre-professional to Broadway, in addition to his general orthopedic practice. His focus is with patients who have spine, pelvic and foot/ankle issues. He treats all types of patients with pelvic floor difficulties from adults to the pediatric and has specialties in Men’s Pelvic Floor issues, Fine Arts Rehabilitation, and foot orthotic casting. He has certification as an Integrated Manual Therapist from Great Lakes Seminars, in Manual Trigger Point Dry Needling from Myopain Seminars and continues to work on training in alternative modalities as diverse as craniosacral, pilates, and visceral mobilization. His background is in theatre, dance, and gymnastics. Patrick earned his Master of Physical Therapy degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas in 1998, his undergraduate from the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Ellen Weiss Wiewel is an epidemiologist and the Director of Research and Evaluation in the Housing Services Unit of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She leads a program examining housing and health outcomes among low-income persons with HIV, particularly those in HOPWA, Ryan White, and New York City HASA housing programs. She also co-leads two initiatives within her agency to standardize data on individual identity information such as gender and race.
Dr. Ariel White grew up in Washington DC and is an adolescent medicine specialist physician in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children’s National Hospital. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Elon University and went to medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis in 2017. In her current role at Children’s National, Dr. White is an attending physician who cares for youth ages 12-22 years old and is part of the Center for At-Risk Evaluations (CARES) Clinic, which aims to function as the medical arm of a city-wide multidisciplinary team response to suspected cases of minor sex trafficking. Her research focuses on Medicaid Freedom of Choice legislation and youth access to family planning services in Washington DC.
Tameka White is a graduate from Kansas State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Services. She has a diverse and extensive background in mental health, HIV/STI education and prevention. For the past twenty years she has devoted her time empowering individuals through social, mental health behavior and sexual health. She is passionate about helping individuals overcome challenges and has worked with people from a walks life. She currently serves as a Public Health Specialist for the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department where she provides HIV/STI and hepatitis education and is an advocate for individuals that are HIV positive and is Lost to Care.
Aisha L. Wilkes, MPH is a Behavioral Scientist in the Prevention Research Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) at CDC. In this position, she has led and co-led several HIV prevention research translation projects for diverse populations including men who have sex with men, African American and Latinx youth, incarcerated populations, and women. Most recently, she served as the Lead Project Officer for two jurisdictions, Houston Health Department and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, under Project PrIDE. In addition, her work focuses on the implementing and evaluating the use of Telemedicine to re-engage PWH in care within an urban area. Her experience also includes the development of technology-based tools to improve HIV care and treatment and qualitative data collection and analysis of patient and health service providers’ perspectives on resources and accessibility of HIV and other prevention services. She received her Master of Public Health degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, where her concentration was behavioral science and health education.
Kevin Williams is a consultant that has worked both in direct service delivery and as a national capacity building assistance provider in the role of Program Manager. He is currently working with several clinical and community-based organizations to update their testing technology to combined antigen/antibody screening.
Brandon G. Wilson, DrPH, MHA is a US Health & Human Services health services researcher at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, where he develops and tests innovative health care payment and service delivery and policy models, that aim to achieve better care for patients, better health for our communities, and lower costs through improvement for our health care system. His research interests include using health economics and outcomes research, health-related quality of life and patient-reported outcome measures, social determinants of health, population health quality measures, and psychometrics to evaluate, reduce, and eliminate health disparities and advance health equity in the most vulnerable and marginalized populations. He also serves on the Assistant Secretary of Health’s Commission on the Development of a Federal Action Plan on STI’s. Dr. Wilson is recognized for excellently executing the Accountable Health Communities Model and the Health Care Innovation Awards by the CMS Administrator, for outstanding dedication and commitment in malaria vaccinology clinical research by NIH’s Director – Dr. Francis Collins, and exceptional contributions to Vaccine Research Center HIV, emerging, and re-emerging infectious diseases vaccine clinical studies by NIAID’s Director – Dr. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Wilson is a 2020 alumni of Morgan State University’s School of Community Health & Policy, where he successfully defended his Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) dissertation, “Cultural Adaptation of NIH’s PROMIS-29 Profile with Black MSM Living with HIV/AIDS in the US: A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study Using the Rasch Rating Scale Model.” He also received his Master in Health Systems Management, from George Mason University Bachelor of Social Work and Theology from Oral Roberts University.
Ashlee Wimberly is the program manager for the DC PrEP for Women Initiative, a public-private partnership between the Washington AIDS Partnership and the DC Department of Health. With the overall aim of increasing the knowledge and utilization of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among women of color in Washington, D.C., Ashlee’s activities focus on PrEP grantmaking, capacity building among providers, and community outreach. Ashlee also collaborates with DC Health’s condom coordinator to host small group presentations around sexual health and HIV prevention. Prior to her current role, she provided program support to the National Association of Community Health Centers. Ashlee graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in Medicine, Health, and Society and obtained a MPH in Health Policy from the George Washington University.
John D. Winnett joined NPS Pharmacy (NPS) in 2020 in the newly created role of Chief Strategy and Public Policy Officer. He is responsible for NPS’ growth strategy, partnership development, government relations, marketing/communications, and corporate social responsibility.
As an experienced change agent and growth strategist, John has worked across all three sectors—nonprofits, government, and industry. Before joining NPS, he served as executive director of SACNAS, the nation’s largest multicultural and multidisciplinary STEM diversity organization, John was responsible for 73% growth in membership, 54% growth in earned revenue, and production of two record-breaking National Diversity in STEM Conferences. Prior to this, he served as an executive with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Foundation for Philanthropy, Boys & Girls Clubs, Nashville CARES, and Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s foundation. John also founded and still serves as president and chief WOW officer of WOW! Impact Strategies, a social innovation, change management, and government relations consulting firm that helps transform nonprofits and train boards of directors across the United States.
John is characterized by his peers as a natural relationship architect, a mastermind at making win-win deals, and a big personality. He is an avid softball player, foodie, and dad of Jackson, his 7-year old Boston Terrier that travels everywhere with him. He is based, and lives, in Washington, DC.
Sara Woody is a Management Analyst in the Data Management and Analysis Branch within the Division of Policy and Data (DPD) in the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). In this role, she is responsible for coordinating a portfolio of projects related to Hepatitis C coinfection, including jurisdictional approaches with state and local health departments. Prior to joining HRSA, Ms. Woody served as a healthcare administrator in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Public Health Service. As a Naval Officer, Ms. Woody supported humanitarian medical operations onboard the hospital ship USNS COMFORT and as a Public Health Service Officer, she evaluated the effectiveness and impact of public health programs and supported the H1N1 response while assigned to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Woody is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and has a Master of Science degree in Health Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado.
Katherine Wright is a research assistant in the social & behavioral research department for Howard Brown Health in Chicago. She identifies as a nonbinary lesbian, and uses any and all pronouns said with respect. Katie has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kalamazoo College, MI, and a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Katie works on a variety of research projects engaging members of the LGBTQ+ community. She is currently piloting a research project, which utilizes Department of Public Health surveillance data to re-engage people living with HIV who are out of care. When not engaged in professional activities, Katie is an avid knitter, seamstress, and board game player. On any given Saturday, she can be found Pokémon hunting with her partner, Kayla, and their dog, Remus.
Mx. K.C. Wuebbling, LPC, ATR-BC, CAADC is a full time staff therapist, licensed professional counselor, and board certified art therapist at Mosaic Medical Center in Sharon Hill PA. They have over five years of experience working in AIDS Care Organizations providing individual and group psychotherapy services for members of the LGBTQ community and persons living with substance use disorders. Beyond their clinical work, Mx. Wuebbling is an adjunct clinical professor in the Art Therapy at Drexel University and Temple University.
A. Toni Young is the founder and executive director of Community Education Group, a community-based organization focused on HIV/AIDS prevention, advocacy, and research. Originally founded to provide HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention services for African American women in the early 1990s, CEG has evolved to advocate for all at-risk communities, including in rural markets. A national leader for HIV/AIDS training and prevention in urban areas, CEG recently expanded their service model in 2014 to rural markets by opening an office in West Virginia, one of the states leading the nation in opioid-related deaths. Drug use and addiction are inseparably linked with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. The core of CEG’s success was the CHAMPS Model, Community HIV/AIDS Model Prevention Services, taking testing into the field. CHAMPS recruited, trained, and hired formerly incarcerated, rehabilitated substance users, and HIV positive individuals and made them into health advocates. The CHAMPS employees were best able to find, educate, and test at-risk community members by understanding their experiences and gaining trust. The CHAMPS Model can be applied to any setting – rural, urban, or suburban – elevating and leveraging community members to help solve community problems.
Understanding the shift in need from urban to rural support services, Ms. Young is advocating for national legislation and funding for a Rural Health Service Provider Network in response to COVID for nonclinical essential health providers harm reduction, school and family food programs that provide health services throughout rural America. Less than 20 percent of the U.S. population live in rural areas, however, rural populations are also spread throughout 97 percent of the country’s land mass. Therefore, reaching rural populations for health and education services is extremely challenging. She consults with the National Institutes of Health, Center for Disease Control and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Organization on a regular basis to provide program insight and support for grant funding. Ms. Young also serves as an advisor to The George Washington University District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research and the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services. She was previously responsible for the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, sponsored by the Office on Women’s Health of the Department of Health and Human Services. She co-chaired HIV/AIDS Prevention Groups in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. She speaks at and conducts international workshops on HIV/AIDS prevention in Australia, Mexico, and South Africa.
Tommy Young-Dennis, Nebraska AIDS Project