Speaker Biographies

The biographies as organized in alphabetical order by last name.

Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien
Executive Director,
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation
New Brunswick, NJ 

Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien, Executive Director of Hyacinth AIDS Foundation in New Brunswick NJ, is a seasoned executive with experience in both the not-for-profit and for-profit environments.  She is the Co-Chair of New Jersey’s Taskforce to End the HIV Epidemic. Prior to being named Executive Director in March, 2009 Kathy served as member of the senior staff for over 10 years and was instrumental in strategic conversations which pertained to client services, prevention and public policy, the cornerstones of Hyacinth’s mission. She is also the appointed Co-Chair of the Essex County, NJ LGBTQ Advisory Board, tasked with advising the County Executive on issues relative to the LGBTQ population for residents, employees and visitors of the County.  She served as a member of the board of the New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalitionfrom 2000 until 2009.   Kathy has her Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ.

Christopher Allen
Health Equity Coordinator,
University of Texas, Austin
Austin, TX

Christopher Allen is a member of the UT-Austin Health Innovation and Evaluation team and serves as the Health Equity Coordinator for the Texas Department of State Health Services HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch. Chris works with the HIV/STD Prevention and are the most kind and accountable control freaks, and if something needs to be done, to give it to a nurse. That is why I have facilitated some nurse-centered processes that help our clients navigate through what can be an immensely difficult and confusing time.

Heather Alt-Olsen, MD
Deputy Director of Nursing,
Whitman Walker Clinic
Washington, DC

As the Deputy Director of Nursing at Whitman-Walker Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Washington, DC that focuses on providing expert HIV and LGBTQ care, I oversee the nursing programs that coordinate care with our clients. I have had the privilege of working at Whitman-Walker for over ten years, first as a nurse at our former inpatient substance use program, then in various roles in nurse care management. I always joke that nurses are the most kind and accountable control freaks, and if something needs to be done, to give it to a nurse. That is why I have facilitated some nurse-centered processes that help our clients navigate through what can be an immensely difficult and confusing time.

Amanda Altman
Correctional Health Program Manager,
Hepatitis Education Project
Seattle, WA

Mandy Altman is the Director of the National Hepatitis Corrections Network (NHCN) and manages the prison and jail health education programs for the Hepatitis Education Project (HEP) in Seattle, WA. HEP is a nonprofit committed to providing support, education, advocacy and direct services for people affected by hepatitis and to helping raise hepatitis awareness among patients, medical providers and the general public. An initiative of HEP, the NHCN is an international network of people working with hepatitis C in correctional settings through a public health approach to hepatitis prevention, testing, treatment, linkage to care, and harm reduction education prisons and jails. Prior to her current position, Mandy has worked in correctional health education and global health.

Andria Apostolou, MD
STD Program Sr. Lead
Indian Health Services
Rockville, MD

Andria Apostolou is the lead for the Indian Health Service National STD Program. She is a graduate of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemic Intelligence Service and the CDC Health Systems Integration Program. She was stationed at the New Jersey Department of Health. Andria has a PhD in Molecular Medicine from the University of Maryland, and an MPH in Epidemiologic & Biostatistical Methods for Public Health & Clinical Research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). She holds graduate certificates in Public Health Preparedness and in Risk sciences and Public Policy from JHSPH.

Nicholas Athayde-Rizzaro
PrEP Navigator,
Community Health Department 
Whitman-Walker Health
Washington, DC

Nicholas Athayde-Rizzaro serves as PrEP Navigator with the Community Health department at Whitman-Walker Health, where he works with uninsured and underinsured populations to help them access PrEP. As PrEP Navigator, Nicholas also acts as an educator, being the first point of contact for clients attempting to access PrEP, and coordinating with providers, nurses, the pharmacy, and assistance programs to ensure that patients are able to seamlessly access the services they seek. He has a deep commitment to promoting healthcare access to the LGBTQ community and communities of color.

Nicholas graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland, where he obtained a B.A. in Spanish Language, Literatures and Cultures. He also has a B.S. in Psychology from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil.

Latham Avery
Health Analyst,
Health Resources and Services Administration
Rockville, MD

Latham Avery is a Public Health Analyst the Department of Health and Human Services’ HIV/AIDS Bureau. Prior to joining the HIV/AIDS Bureau, Latham worked with a variety of nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. Latham also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya from 2012-2014, working as a health outreach specialist. Much of his time in Africa was spent guiding a local HIV/AIDS organization and organizing various public health-focused projects.

Latham received a BS in Psychology from Northeastern University, Masters degrees in Public Health and Social Work from the University of South Carolina, and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Public Health program at Johns Hopkins.


Tammy Beckham

Scott Bertani
Policy Director,
Lifelong AIDS Alliance
Seattle, WA

Gail Bolan
STD Prevention Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Washington, DC

Dr. Bolan is Director of the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  A graduate of Dartmouth Medical School, she completed her training in internal medicine at the University of Virginia, in infectious diseases at Tufts New England and Stanford Medical Centers and in medical epidemiology as aCDCEIS officer in the Respiratory and Special Pathogens Branch.  Prior to joining CDC, she served asthe Chief of the STD Control Branch atthe California Department of PublicHealth. As a leader in the field of STD Prevention, Dr. Bolan is recognized for her contributions in applied STD prevention research and implementation of science-based STD programs.  Dr. Bolan has over 150 scientific publications.  She has served on the CDC HIV/STD Prevention Advisory CommitteeandOID Board of Scientific Counselors, the Executive Committeeof ASTDA, and Board of Directors of NCSD and ASHA.

Candace Bond-Theriault, Esq., LL.M

Heather Bradley, MD
Assistant Professor
Epidemiology & Biostatistics,
School of Public Health at
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA

Heather Bradley is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. She is an epidemiologist whose main research interests include HIV prevention and treatment outcomes, surveillance methodology, and the intersection of infectious diseases with the U.S. opioid epidemic. Dr. Bradley’s current work includes population estimation of hepatitis C prevalence, and she serves as the Project Director for HepVu, a data visualization resource that maps the first standardized state-level estimates of people living with hepatitis C infection across the United States. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia State, Dr. Bradley worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in various positions, including as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in the Division of STD Prevention. Most recently she served as the Associate Chief for Science for the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, where she oversaw the training and research of more than 50 epidemiologists.


Ryan Braunberger
Community Co-Chair,
North Dakota Planning Group
Fargo, ND

Ryan is the Community Co-Chair for the North Dakota Community Planning Group.  Ryan has been on this planning body for 5 years and is in his 4thyear as the Community Co-Chair.  He has been involved in HIV/Prevention on a voluntary basis for the last 10 years.   


Eli Briggs
Senior Director of Government Affairs,
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
Washington, DC

Doris Browne, MD, MPH Colonel, USA, MC (retired)
President and CEO
Browne and Associates, LLC
Washington, DC


Katie Burk
Viral Hepatitis Coordinator,
San Francisco Department of Public Health
San Francisco, CA

Katie is the Viral Hepatitis Coordinator at the San Francisco Department of Public Health where she oversees hepatitis programming and works on related drug user health-related issues. Prior to her employment at SFDPH, Ms. Burk worked as a Capacity-Building Program Manager at the Harm Reduction Coalition, where she worked nationally to expand syringe access service provision, and as a Program Evaluator at Public Health Seattle & King County’s Health Care for the Homeless team. Ms. Burk started her career as a case manager for San Franciscans living with HIV.

Damián Cabrera-Candelaria
Programmatic Advisor / Research Assistant,
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Damián Cabrera-Candelaria, a Puerto Rico native, has been working within the LGBTQ community from academic and advocacy fronts since 2009 after a tragic event ended the life of a young gay man, Jorge Steven López Mercado. Today Damián serves as a Research Assistant for the Sex+TEAM at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, where he focuses his research on the public health of LGBTQ individuals. His research has provided educational interventions for trans women and has deepened knowledge on the experiences of gay men living with HIV in the Island after Hurricanes Irma and María. Damián’s collections of accomplishments has been hugely aided by his education. Not only does he hold a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico- Río Piedras Campus, but he also earned a Graduate Certificate in LGBT Health Policy and Practice from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. George Washington University even awarded him their LGBT Health Policy and Practice Program Fellowship. Along with this, Damián has had numerous presentations such as, Puerto Rico: A struggle for liberation and equality, LGBTQ Directory: A proposal for action to address health disparities in Puerto Rico, Equitable Health for the LGBTQ Communities, and Approaching cruising in Puerto Rico: Intersections of sex among men and masculinities, which have been presented at the Carlos Albizu University’s 2nd LGBT Symposium, and the 2018 Society for the Scientific Study Annual Conference in Montreal, Canada.Cabrera-Candelaria has also volunteered with community based organizations such as CARIB Project, which allowed him and his team to spread knowledge about HIV and STI prevention, as well as gain new partnerships and exposure for the organizations most vital programs. Seeing that one of the biggest hurdles faced by LGBT members was related to health, Damián became the Project Founder of Puerto Rico’s LGBTQ Health Services Directory, a site that gathers LGBTQ-friendly health providers, promoting a safe space to discuss sexual orientation and gender identity. With these and other initiatives, Damián aims to continue putting research and advocacy together to help LGBTQ individuals live safer, more resilient lives.

Joie Cantrell, RN 
Maternal & Infant Care Coordinator,
Telemedicine and Hepatitis C Treatment
Wise County Health Department
Wise, VA

Joie Cantrell RN, of Pound, Virginia began her Public Health Service in 1991.  She provided home health to patients in the most southwest part of Virginia, Lee county. Later she developed her passion for communicable disease investigation and treatment while working for the Virginia Division of Tuberculosis Control.  Joie graduated from Mountain Empire Community College with and Associates in Applied Science in 2009.  She then began her career as a Public Health Nurse at Wise County Health Department. She currently serves as the coordinator of the following programs: Maternal and Infant Care, Telemedicine and Hepatitis C treatment.  She is also the lead nurse for the first Comprehensive Harm Reduction Program to include syringe exchange services in the state.

Laura W. Cheever, M.D., Sc.M.
Policy Director,
One Colorado
Denver, CO

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 and in HRSA’s global HIV/AIDS program.  Upon joining HRSA in 1999, she served as the national director of the Ryan White AIDS Education and Training Center program. Her priorities are increasing access to HIV care and improving outcomes, integrating substance abuse treatment into HIV care, and eliminating Hepatitis C infection among co-infected patients.

Previously, Dr. Cheever was an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University where she developed a regional HIV program to provide on-site HIV care in health departments serving 18 Maryland counties.  Dr. Cheever has served as medical director of both a women’s methadone program and a peer-based adherence program and directed provider training for the Johns Hopkins AIDS Service.  Dr. Cheever has worked internationally and with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief since its inception. She continues to provide clinical care for patients living with HIV.

Tony Christon-Walker
Program Director,
Prevention and Community Partnerships
for AIDS Alabama
Birmingham, AL

Tony Christon-Walker is the Director of Prevention and Community Partnerships for AIDS Alabama, a non-profit organization which devotes its energy and resources statewide to helping people with HIV/AIDS live healthy, independent lives and works to prevent the spread of HIV.Tony is a long-time HIV survivor, and since beginning his work in HIV in 2013, he has always focused on advocacy in all its forms. Being very passionate about the plight of people living with HIV/AIDS, he feels that it is everyone’s responsibility to educate themselves and others as much as possible on HIV/AIDS to help prevent its spread and start erasing stigma. Fighting HIV is an intersectional fight. If we are ever going to eradicate the virus, we have to fight the following: poverty, educational disparities, homophobia, bigotry, and racism. All of these play a part in the spread of the virus. Since beginning work in HIV Education last year, He’s realized how powerful and influential it is to be open about his status. People fear things that they don’t understand, and I am using my personal story and experiences to combat stigma, fear and overall ignorance wherever it exists. There was a time when being HIV Positive was a death sentence, now the disease isn’t killing people, fear is.

Cecilia Chung
Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Evaluations,
Transgender Law Center
Oakland, CA

Anna Clayton, MPH
Capacity Building Coordinator,
Washington, DC

Jana Collins, MS
Kentucky Income Reinvestment Program – Project Director,
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY

Rick Cook
Criminal Justice Initiative Coordinator,
NY State Department of Health
AIDS Institute’s Bureau of Community Based Services
New York, NY

Rick Cook possess 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 NYS DOH AIDS Institute, he 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.

Skilled in the administration of public funds which includes providing administrative oversight of contract and data management activities, monitoring and evaluation, staff recruitment, training design and delivery, facilitation, advocacy, community education/mobilization, client services/health education, public speaking, and curriculum-materials development/translation.  He has excellent verbal and written skills; has expertise on advocacy and education/technical assistance to consumers, providers and public officials; experienced in networking with community and government organizations; good understanding of current public health concerns; experienced with article, report writing and materials development/review.

As the CJI Initiative Coordinator,  Mr. 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 54 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.

Mr. Cook has presented on the NYSDOH AIDS Institute Criminal Justice Initiative at numerous conferences including the 2018 International AIDS Conference, and the CDC’s National HIV Prevention Conference in 2015 and 2011.

Mr. Cook is also a certified Trauma-Informed Criminal Justice Responses trainer through SAMHSA’s GAIN Center.

Tori Cooper
Executive Director,
Advocates for Better Care Atlanta, LLC
Atlanta, GA

Tori Cooper is a consultant and Prevention Specialist at Positive Impact Health Centers in metro Atlanta.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services and is matriculating towards her Master of Arts in Public Health.  She has over 30 years of experience in HIV first serving as a volunteer near the beginning of the epidemic and eventually making a full career change to focus on the HIV epidemic.

Tori is a national trainer and Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the CDC’s new TWIST intervention, the first of its kind, specifically for transgender women living with HIV.  She is a national, regional and local trainer for NMAC’s BLOC program.  She is the first transgender woman certified by the CDC as Lead Facilitator of the WILLOW intervention.  She adapted the curriculum for this intervention in 2015 making it trans specific and culturally appropriate.  She has served on several boards including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottom’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, the boards of SisterLove, Inc., Project Affirm, PozVets, AAOI, PositivelyTrans, the Clayton County HIV Consortium and a host of others.  She travels extensively educating on the transgender community, HIV, diversity and facilitation skills.

Ms. Cooper has received numerous awards for her work and is a published author appearing in print and video for NBC News, Huffington Post, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Advocate and other periodicals.  Her work is featured in a documentary titled, “Silent Epidemic” discussing the trans community and HIV in the South.  She is a staunch believer in health and financial equity for trans people and for people living with HIV.

Tori believes that empowerment, education and opportunity are three important factors in success. She is driven to empower the transgender and the PWHA communities by being a role model and a staunch advocate. Ms. Cooper lives by the credo that with greater visibility comes greater responsibility.

Taryn Couture
Sr. Manager,
Government and Policy Relations
National Coalition of STD Directors
Washington, DC

Taryn is the Senior Manager of Government and Policy Relations at NCSD. She focuses on providing state level public employees with the knowledge and skills to engage in policymaker education as well as supporting federal level policy engagement on STDs. Prior to joining NCSD, Taryn was a research associate with PAI where she supported advocates in Sub-Saharan Africa to increase funding for family planning and also worked at Palladium. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University at Albany.

Vincent Crisostomo
Program Manager,
Elizabeth Taylor 50-Plus Network
San Francisco, CA

Vince Crisostomo is a gay Chamorro (Pacific Islander) long-term HIV/AIDS survivor who believes in the power of community and has dedicated more than 30 years to HIV/AIDS activism and LGBTQ communities. He is passionate about bringing health care and social justice equity to people of every sexual identity, HIV status, gender, race and age.

Vince currently runs the Elizabeth Taylor 50 Plus Network for long-term HIV survivors at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. He also co-chairs the HIV & Aging Work Group of the Mayor’s Long Term Care Coordinating Council. Vince has led a number of grassroots HIV advocacy organizations both in the U.S. and overseas. He was executive director of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Regional Networks on HIV/AIDS, founded the Pacific Island Jurisdiction AIDS Action Group, and served as a United Nations NGO delegate for the Asia Pacific.

Shelia Crockett
HIV Activist,
Positive Women’s Network – USA
Oakland, CA


Corinna Dan, RN, MPH
Policy Counsel,
Reproductive Health, Rights & Justice at National LGBTQ Task Force
Washington, DC


Doreen Dankerlui, MPH
Program Manager,
Global Health Initiative
Henry Ford Health System
Jackson, MI

Doreen Dankerlui moved to Detroit in 2012 after receiving her master of public health degree in global health, with a focus on leadership, policy and management, from the University of Washington. She started working at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) the following year, co-founding the Global Health Initiative. Ms. Dankerlui has been engaged in global health work for over 12 years, primarily in HIV/TB training and education, and currently manages STD/HIV and diabetes projects at HFHS. Her current global health activities include strengthening skills of healthcare providers in Suriname for HIV Care and Treatment for Key Populations. Originally from the Caribbean, Doreen has in-depth knowledge of local contexts and challenges of resource-limited settings. She brings her global experience and public health education to efforts to improve health for underserved populations in Detroit.

Warren A. O’Meara-Dates, BA, CPAT
The 6:52 Project Foundation, Inc.
Atlanta, GA

Warren Alexander Dates is a native of Gadsden, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from Miles College, a United Negro College Fund member institution. He obtained his license to preach in 2004. In 2010 following his November 2009 HIV/AIDS diagnosis, Minister Dates founded The 6:52 Project Foundation, Inc. (6:52 Project). The 6:52 Project began leading the way of exploring the complexity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as it partners with local, state and national individuals, organizations and corporations on January 16, 2010. Its resources target individuals and organizations whose audience includes those affected and/or infected between the ages of 15-35 years. Warren’s corporate work experience includes being employed at The National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation (NBCAHOF) in Atlanta, Georgia where he served as Vice-President of Programs & Fund Development. Prior to the Hall of Fame, Warren worked for the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute in North Carolina. As Program Manager, Warren was responsible for corporate relationships and was project manager for the annual Chief Diversity Officers Forum. Warren is currently a member of the Alabama Department of Public Health’s HIV Prevention & Care Group (HPCG); He was recently promoted to HIV Special Projects Coordinator for AL Dept. of Public Health, HIV/AIDS Division; He is the Founding Chairman of the Board of Directors for NEAL (Northeast Alabama) Together (an LGBTQ Community Support Group). On September 24, 2016, Dates married his love, Kevin, and is now Warren Alexander O’Meara-Dates.

Cynthia Davis
Assistant Professor,
College of Medicine and Science & Health
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Los Angeles, CA

Cynthia Davis is an Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine and College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science which is located in Los Angeles, California. Professor Davis has worked at the University for the past 36 years developing, implementing and evaluating culturally relevant, community-based HIV/AIDS/STI-related primary prevention projects targeting medically underserved populations with a focus on at risk racial ethnic minority youth, at risk African American and Latina women and young African American gay men. Professor Davis established the first pilot demonstration mobile HV testing program under the auspices of the Los Angeles County Health Department in 1991. This project has served over 60,000 community residents in the past 27 years throughout Los Angeles County. In 1993, she helped established a non-profit called Health Promotion Institute, Inc. to develop a residential shelter for HIV positive homeless women and their dependent children. This residential shelter, called Agape House, served over 100 women and children for a 10 year period before closing in 2003. Professor Davis was the co- investigator with researchers from UCLA’s School of Public Health in the 1990s on a HRSA SPNS research grant assessing access to care issues for low income racial ethnic minority HIV positive individuals who had fallen out of care. Funded for five years, this research project had positive outcomes for the participants who were engaged in the study and followed closely by case managers throughout the course of the project and established positive clinical outcomes, including fewer client visits to emergency rooms as well as increased CD4 counts among study participants. In 1998, Professor Davis, developed the Dolls of Hope Project as a World AIDS Day activity for the University and this year, the project is celebrating 20 years of bringing together at risk women and girls in the community to make handmade cloth dolls for HIV/AIDS orphans and other at risk youth around the world. To date, over 6,000 Dolls of Hope have been disseminated nationally and globally and Professor Davis has made presentations highlighting this project at three International AIDS Conferences over the past 18 years. Professor Davis has used the Dolls of Hope Project to address HIV/AIDS “Stigma” as well as to “Break the Silence” surrounding HIV/AIDS in the African American community. Professor Davis is currently the PI on an NIH AXIS Pilot project assessing PrEP and PEP knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors among at risk African Americans living in rural communities and inner cities in the U.S. Professor Davis currently teaches in the Urban MPH Program at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and mentors numerous graduate students in community-based participatory research and community engagement.

Precious Davis, MSN, RN 
Nurse Case Manager,
Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE

Precious Davis MSN, RN is a Nurse Case Manager at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing degree from Western Governors University and is currently working on her doctorate degree in Healthcare Leadership and Education at Clarkson College. She has been in the nursing field for over 18 years and prides herself in working her way up the ranks, from nursing assistant to her current role. Her passion is Public/Community Health, giving back to her community, and volunteering her time to community outreach and awareness.

Shannan Dell
Presidential Management Fellow / Nurse Consultant,
Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)
Bureau of HIV/AIDs (HAB)
Rockville, MD

Shanna Dell is a Presidential Management Fellow/ nurse consultant at HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau where she serves as a project officer and subject matter expert on projects related to clinical HIV and STI care. She is an ACRN and holds a BS in biochemistry from Beloit College, a BSN from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to working at HAB, Shanna served as a nurse case manager at a Ryan White clinic in Baltimore, MD.

Paris Del La Rosa
Program Manager,
Salinas, CA

Paris De La Rosa has been working in health and human services since 2013, advocating for the needs of people through homeless services, syringe exchange, HIV & Hep C testing and access to care. Paris has a natural talent for connecting with people in all types of situations, and enjoys helping to make a small difference in his clients’ lives through outreach, case management, and team leadership. Paris is motivated by his clients who he has witnessed overcome tremendous challenges in their lives, and he is excited to learn and share best practices to improve service delivery. This is his first time attending the SYNChronicity conference. 


Ambrose Delpino, Pharm D, AAHIVP
Senior Manager,
Patient Care and Advocacy
Mid-Atlantic Region

Ambrose Delpino, PharmD, AAHIVP Senior Manager, Patient Care and AdvocacyHIV, Hepatitis, Organ Transplant, and Chronic Inflammatory Conditions. I am a 2009 graduate from the nation’s first pharmacy school, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Upon graduation, I continued my career with Walgreens managing a pharmacy in an underserved neighborhood in Wilmington, DE that has been highly impacted by HIV. Shortly afterwards I began educating other Walgreens pharmacists throughout the Mid-Atlantic regarding HIV care. In 2013, I transitioned into a role at the corporate office responsible for overseeing the HIV and Hepatitis programs. Since then, my role has grown to include responsibility for the company-wide strategies for HIV, Hepatitis, Organ Transplant, and Chronic Inflammatory Conditions. As the Senior Manager on the Patient Care and Advocacy team at Walgreens I work to ensure that all Walgreens pharmacists have the education, skills, cultural competency, and tools to provide the highest levels of care and service to patients who are living with HIV, hepatitis, chronic inflammatory conditions or are recipients of organ transplants. I also have the opportunity to work with community partners to find ways to improve access to high quality HIV testing, prevention, and treatment services. I am a proud member of the Board of Directors for the Delaware HIV Consortium in his home State and am also credentialed by the American Academy of HIV Medicine as an HIV specialist.

Anitra Denson 
Perinatal Coordinator,
HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration
DC Department of Health
Washington, DC

Currently I serve as the perinatal coordinator for the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration at the DC Department of Health. My main goal is to work with providers in the community to eliminate perinatal HIV and Hepatitis B infection in the District. One of my proudest accomplishments to date is making pregnancy in HIV-infected women a reportable condition so that we can offer services to her during the pregnancy. I have recently started working with providers regarding elimination of perinatal HepB transmission. I am trained in Pediatric Infectious Disease. I completed my training forPediatric Infectious Disease at Children’s National Medical Center here in Washington, DC. I completed my General Pediatric residency at Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami,Florida. I received my bachelor’s, MD and Master’s in public health degrees all from The George Washington University. I have been in my current position with HAHSTA since 2008.

Dázon Dixon Diallo, MPH
Founder and President,
SisterLove, Inc,
Atlanta, GA

Dázon Dixon Diallo is Founder and President of SisterLove, Inc, established in 1989, the first women’s HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Justice organization in the southeastern United States. Dázon is a recognized visionary and advocate in the struggle for human rights, sexual and reproductive justice, and the fight against HIV/AIDS, with, and on behalf of, communities of women and girls living with HIV and those at risk for HIV and STIs. She is a proud member of In Our Own Voice: The National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, where she advocates for sexual and reproductive justice in public health and prevention policies and programs. Dr. Diallo is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Health Network, and she is a co-chair for the Act Now End AIDS National Coalition

Kate Drezner 
DC Department of Health
Washington, DC

Ms. Drezner has been working in public health for 8 years. She is an epidemiologist at the DC Department of Health, focusing on data to care, PrEP, and evaluation.

Daniel Driffin, MPH
Director of External Affairs,
Atlanta, GA

Mr. Daniel D. Driffin, served as the Co-Chair of the Fulton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS and the Co-Founder of THRIVE Support Services, Inc., a patient-advocacy and social support network based in Atlanta, GA offering resources for Black gay, bisexual and same-gender loving men living with HIV to achieve better health equity. THRIVE SS provides culturally-responsive education to fill in the gaps and increase connectivity to provides and high-quality services to more than 875 Black SGL men living with HIV in Atlanta metro. Driffin holds a Master of Public Health from Morehouse School of Medicine with a focus identifying and curating community-driven innovative solutions to improve health outcomes among men of color. Mr. Driffin’s work and study seeks to improve viral suppression rates in the Deep South and elevate meaningful involvement of those most affected to find solutions that will reduce persistent disparities among men of color living with HIV.

Alftan Dyson, PharmD, BCACP, AAHIVP
Director of Pharmacy Services,
Medical Advocacy and Outreach
Montgomery, AL

Alftan Dyson, PharmD, BCACP, AAHIVP, is the Director of Pharmacy Services with Medical Advocacy and Outreach (formerly Medical AIDS Outreach of Alabama) located in Montgomery, AL. In this role, she oversees all pharmacy services available to patients, including the 340B drug program. Additionally, she manages pharmacy operations for MAO’s in-house pharmacy, Copeland Care Pharmacy. She previously worked as a Registered Store Manager with Walgreens Local Specialty Pharmacy in Montgomery, AL prior to joining MAO to open Copeland Care Pharmacy. Dr. Dyson received a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2008 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN), and then traveled to Memphis, TN, where she completed her Doctor of Pharmacy in 2013 from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. In June 2014, she completed a community pharmacy residency with the University of Missouri- Kansas City (UMKC) College of Pharmacy where her practice site was a Walgreens Local Specialty Pharmacy located on the campus of Truman Medical Center-Hospital Hill. During this time, Dr. Dyson also received specialized HIV/AIDS training at the Kansas City Care Clinic and was selected to participate in the Midwest AIDS Education and Training Center (MAETC) Scholars Program. She completed the program in September of 2014 and attributes her passion for the work AETCs do throughout the country to her participation as a MATEC scholar. Dr. Dyson continues to be activiely involved with AETCs and presents often for the Southeast AETC on behalf of the Alabama AETC for regional webinars and conferences. An active member of the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA), Dr. Dyson serves as the national Zone II Director for the organization. She provides yearly HIV/AIDS updates to pharmacist members of NPhA during the annual convention. Dr. Dyson’s major areas of interest include the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, Hepatitis C, specifically in PLWH and HIV/AIDS treatment. She is equally passionate about increasing knowledge about and the uptake of HIV prevention strategies. Dr. Dyson serves as a preceptor to student pharmacists for the McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University and the Harrison School of Pharmacy at Auburn University.

Chris Duncombe, MD, Ph.D
Vice President of Programs,
International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Washington, DC


Nicole Elinoff 
Sexual Minority Health Coordinator,
Florida Department of Health – Orange County
Orlando, FL

Nicole Elinoff is a fierce social justice and population health advocate working towards an AIDS free generation. Born and raised in South Florida, Nicole moved to Orlando in 2010 and went to the University of Central Florida, where she studied Psychology and Women & Gender Studies. When her Uncle passed away from AIDS- related complications in 2012, Nicole shifted her focus towards HIV work and became an HIV tester and counselor at The LGBT+ Center. She has been working in the HIV field for the last four and a half years, and currently serves as the Regional Sexual Minority Health Coordinator for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County and is an Associate Member of the Central Florida HIV Planning Council. Some notable achievements throughout the last four years include being selected as an inaugural fellow of the Human Rights Campaign’s HIV 360 fellowship, a national fellowship program for youth leaders working to end the HIV epidemic, and serving as the Co-Chair for the 2018 United States Conference on AIDS Host Committee. Additionally, Nicole is currently working towards her Masters in Public Health in Public Health Education at the University of South Florida.

Richard Elion, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine GW,
Washington Health Institute
Washington, DC

Cicecly Everson 
Founder & Practitioner,
Tao Holistics
San Jose, CA

Dr. Nada Abdellatif Fadul
Assoc. Professor of Medicine,
Division of Infectious Diseases,
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
Omaha, NE

Dr. Nada Abdellatif Fadul is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She is Associate Medical Director of the UNMC’s Specialty Care Clinic. Prior to this role, she was at East Carolina University-Brody School of Medicine where she was the Director and Principal Investigator of the Ryan White Grant Program and the Medical Director of the Infectious Disease Clinic. She completed her medical degree from the University of Khartoum-Faculty of Medicine in Sudan in 2000 and subsequently completed 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 coauthored several abstracts and book chapters and presented at national and international meetings. Dr. Fadul’s main interests are: linkage and retention in care of people living with HIV/AIDS, the long-term complications of HIV and its treatment; as well HIV prevention strategies including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and routine opt-out testing.

Megan Falkenhan
Acting Senior Manager,
ViiV Healthcare
Washington, DC

Megan Falkenhan is Acting Senior Manager at ViiV Healthcare, the only company solely focused on HIV, where she leads the company’s Positive Action community giving programs in the US. Her focus is on national initiatives that drive new insights, connection and impact for people living with HIV, as well as initiatives focused on increasing youth mentorship services to support youth living with HIV to successfully enter adult care. Prior to her role with ViiV Healthcare, Megan served as Manager, Government Affairs, Emerging Markets Asia Pacific at GlaxoSmithKline, where she was responsible for designing and leading integrated public and government affairs programs to support operations in 118 countries outside the US and Europe. Her primary role was to support the development and implementation of partnerships that helped achieve GSK’s commitment to improve access to medicines, work with Governments to find innovative solutions to provide the best treatments possible for patients, encourage fair, transparent and pro-innovation pricing regimes, and improve and/or accelerate market access opportunities for GSK products, specifically for Asia Pacific, Russia/CIS, and the Middle East North Africa regions. Megan joined GlaxoSmithKline in 2009 as Team Administrator, Government Affairs, Emerging Markets & Asia Pacific. In 2012 she was promoted to Government Affairs Analyst, Emerging Markets & Asia Pacific, where she assisted with communication of key messages regarding the EMAP region to US-based political audiences. Other responsibilities included supporting the coordination of multi-faceted advocacy/influencing strategies to help promote, support and/or defend primary international business goals and policy objectives, as well as supported the implementation and coordination of both above and in-country lobbying strategies to influence healthcare, trade, economic and social policies that impact business growth. Megan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Studies at George Mason University in 2004. She lives in Maryland with her husband, 2 sons and daughter.

Samantha Forsythe 
Hepatitis C, Case Manager,
Howard Brown Health
Chicago, IL

I began working at Howard Brown three years ago in HIV Case Management. I was drawn to Howard Brown for its LGBTQ competency and the community based aspect, specifically the fact that uninsured and undocumented people could go there for services. Because many of my family and friends suffered from Hepatitis C, HIV, and lack of access to services due to language barriers or income, the importance placed on accessibility of services was particularly important to me. I began in Ryan White Part D Case Management working primarily with trans and cis women of all ages, and youth of all gender identities. As I learned more about harm reduction strategies and trauma-informed care I became more interested in furthering the applications of these tools, which brought me to the Hepatitis C team. We are only a group of 4 people, two case managers, one registered nurse, and one pharmacist, but we are all determined to make treatment accessible to everyone- regardless of substance use, previous denials, cost, insurance, documentation, or otherwise.

Mario Forte
PrEP Navigator,
Cempa Community Care
Chattanooga, TN

Mario is a married gay man, small business owner and a PrEP Navigator for Cempa Community Care in Chattanooga TN. He has served as president of Tennessee Valley Pride, the local LGBT Pride festival committee and continues to be active in the community. Mario has served as Chair of the regional Community Planning Group since 2008 and has been working in HIV Prevention since that time, also serving on the MSM Taskforce and advisor to the Tennessee Department of Heath for PrEP/PEP implementation programs. Mario is an activist for LGBT rights and has a social media campaign “PrEPdaddy” which offers information and assistance with PrEP, throughout the world.

Cassandra Fortunato
Counselor Center for Comprehensive Care, 
Jersey City Medical Center 
Jersey City, NJ

Cassandra Fortunato is a Counselor at the Center for Comprehensive Care (CCC) at Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC). Cassandra graduated from Monmouth University with a Master’s in Social Work and a concentration in International Community Development. While in graduate school, Fortunato has worked on organizing, analyzing and interpreting data for research projects that includes raising awareness for road safety in Vietnam. Fortunato is working towards becoming a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) to work more closely with vulnerable populations.

Earl Fowlkes
Center for Black Equity
Washington, DC

Earl Fowlkes serves as the President/CEO of the Center For Black Equity, Inc. (formerly the International Federation of Black Pride -IFBP). He founded the IFBP in 1999 ago as a coalition of organizers in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa formed to promote a multinational network ofBlack LGBT Pride and community-based organizations.There are over fifty plus Black Pride events with over 350,000 attendees each year. 

Prior to working at the Center For Black Equity, Earl previously served fifteen years as the Executive Director of the DC Comprehensive AIDS Resources and Education Consortium (DC CARE Consortium) and Damien Ministries, organizations that provided services to Person Living With HIV/AIDS in Washington, DC. Licensed as a Social Worker (New Jersey), Earl has worked on health, political and LGBTQ issues in many communities for nearly thirty years. Earl currently serves on several non-profit boards of directors including the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, Washington AIDS Partnership and Damien Ministries.  In addition, he was recently reappointed to his second term as Chair of the Washington, DC Commission on Human Rights.  He previously served as the Chair of DC Mayor’s GLBTQ Advisory Committee, Community Co-Chair of the DC HIV Prevention Community Planning Group and a member of the DC Commission on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

Earl has always been politically active focusing on voter registration and getting out the vote activities particularly among communities of color and LGBTQ voters.  In 2009, he was appointed by then Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as an At-Large member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  In August 2013, Earl was reappointed, and elected Chair of the DNC LGBT Caucus. In October 2017, Earl was reappointed to his third term as a DNC At-Large member and was reelected Chair of the DNC LGBT Caucus.  Earl has served as President of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club (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.


Chelsea Frand
Houston Health Department
Houston, TX

Chelsea Frand, MPH works as an analyst for the Bureau of HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention at the Houston Health Department. She holds a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the Texas A&M Health Science Center in College Station, Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Chelsea last served the Texas Department of State Health Services as an epidemiologist, where she worked closely with the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch (TPCB) to promote prevention and reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in Texas, especially among disparate populations. In her current position, she provides epidemiological support through the surveillance, evaluation, and analysis of sexually transmitted disease data. Chelsea also assists in the planning and implementation of programs to prevent and control these diseases.

Anthony Freeman
Sr. Evaluation Specialist,
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York, NY

Anthony Freeman is a Senior Evaluation Specialist in the HIV Prevention Program at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He is also a doctoral candidate in the Social Welfare program at the CUNY Graduate Center/Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. His primary research interest lies in identity issues concerning Black and Latinx lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. Anthony has served as a community rep on the New York State Taskforce on Black Gay Men’s Health, the New York City HIV Prevention Planning Group (NYC HPG) and UCHAPS. He received a master’s degree in the Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU) and bachelor’s degree from Hunter College with a double major/BA in Psychology and Media.

Mike Gellman 

Keylie Gibson
Doctoral Student,
The George Washington University
Washington, DC

PhD student in Computational Biology at George Washington University. Bachelor of Science degrees in Forensic Science – Molecular Biology and Biology from the University of Central Oklahoma. Currently topics of interest include: HIV and retroviral genomics and phylodynamics with NGS, microbiome (using whole-shotgun sequencing) of wildlife, human diseases and breastmilk, software development, and forensic NGS applications.

Brett P. Giroir, M.D.
Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service
Assistant Secretary for Health
Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Opioid Policy
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Admiral Brett Giroir is the 16th United States Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. He serves as the Secretary’s principal public health and science advisor, as well as the Secretary’s chief opioid policy advisor. He oversees Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, as well as key public health and science offices that focus on transforming the current “sick-care system” into a “health-promoting system.”  

His office oversees many critical national initiatives, including an historic new plan to end the HIV epidemic in America, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans; the revised Common Rule; and a cross-agency effort to improve the outcome of patients with Sickle Cell Disease.

Previously, Dr. Giroir has served in numerous leadership positions in the federal government and in academic institutions.  Most notably, he was the first physician to be appointed as an office director at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

As a pediatric critical care physician, Dr. Giroir cared for critically ill children for 14 years.  He continues to bring that hands-on, patient-centered perspective to his work as Assistant Secretary for Health, where his primary goal is leading America to healthier lives.

Rachel Gonzalez
Assistant Director, NHCRC
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, DC

Rachel Gonzalez is the Assistant Director of the National Hepatic Consortium for Redesigning Care (NHCRC) for the Veterans Health Administration in the Department of Veterans Affairs. She has co-led the Hepatic Innovation Team (HIT) initiative since October 2014.

Bretia Gordon, MD
Division Manager, Systems Outreach,
Medical Advocacy And Outreach
Montgomery, AL

Dr. Bretia Gordon is the Division Manager of Systems Outreach with Medical Advocacy and Outreach, where she manages PrEP services, community engagement, 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.  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, and Minority health disparities, Family Dynamics, and Maternal and Child Health. 

Nicholas Grant, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychcologist,
Independent Practice
Washington, DC

Nicholas Grant, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, licensed in Washington, D.C., with a clinical background in health psychology/behavioral medicine, and a research background in sexual and gender minority health. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University, where he worked as a research assistant with the Center for LGBT Evidence-based Applied Research (CLEAR). He is also an alumnus of the LGBT Health Policy & Practice Graduate Certificate Program at The George Washington University. Nick completed his pre-doctoral internship in Behavioral Medicine at Tulane University’s School of Medicine and a postdoctoral fellowship focused on LGBT Mental Health in the Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Residency Program at the VA San Diego Healthcare System/University of California, San Diego. Following his residency, Nick served as an American Psychological Association’s (APA) Congressional Fellow through the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship Program. He was named an APA William A. Bailey Health and Behavior Fellow, a specialty designation APA awarded to him based on his extensive background in LGBTQ clinical practice, research and community involvement. He served in the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) where he worked on the Senator’s Military/Veterans, Healthcare and LGBTQ legislative portfolios. Additionally, Nick is involved in the APA Health Equity Ambassador Program, serves as the Vice President for External Affairs for GLMA: Healthcare Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, and is a current co-chair for the Public Policy Committee for APA’s Division 44, the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

Diedre Gray
Transgender Health Coordinator,
DC Department of Health
Washington, DC

Whether teaching, performing music, mentoring or working to end HIV, it was clear from an early age that Diedre was destined for a non-traditional life walk. As a gospel artist and music teacher, Diedre knew that for some, feeling connection and having their heart touched can be the difference between life and death. So she worked hard to bring her unique life perspective and sensitivity to every moment in life. Although she is proud to have graduated from Bowie State University with her BS in music, then impacting and changing lives while teaching at DuVal HS, Diedre is most proud of facing her biggest life’s challenge, accepting her own truth to walk in her authenticity. In addition to being a minister of the gospel, she works at the DC Health to end HIV, improve health access for the transgender community while still sharing music and inspiration through her story. Diedre believes she truly is where God has her to be.

Evelyn Green, AM
Health Administrator,
Chicago Department of Health
Chicago, IL

Evelyn Green is a public health administrator with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). She is the project manager for Project PrIDE and has been employed at CDPH for 23 years. Evelyn is a trained healing circle practitioner and is a trauma informed champion involved in the department’s efforts to create strategies for Chicago to become a trauma informed city. Kentrele Shipp is a father in the House Ball Community and provides a safe and nurturing environment to youth who have become unstably housed as a result of the sexuality and/or gender transition.


Amy Griffin
Public Health Analyst,
Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA)
Rockville, MD

Amy Griffin is a Public Health Analyst at the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) in HIV/AIDS Bureau’s (HAB) Division of State HIV/AIDS Programs.   She has been in the HIV/AIDS Bureau for 5 years and is the former chair of HAB’s Homeless and Housing Workgroup.  Prior to her employ at HAB, she worked at Collaborative Solutions, Inc. as a national technical assistance provider for the Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS program (HOPWA) at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) working on projects related to HOPWA data collection and analysis as well as the development of housing-focused HIV care continuums.  Ms. Griffin worked for the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) developing and implementing 3-day trainings focused on building capacity to provide HIV care services in community-based organizations.  Additionally, Amy worked as the Housing Manager for the District of Columbia HIV/AIDS, STD, and TB Administration, and as medical case manager in a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program in Atlanta, Ga.

Bill Gross
SAGEPositive Program Manager,
New York, NY

Bill Gross manages two of SAGE’s longest running and most beloved client services. As head of the SAGEPositive Program, 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 volunteers in ongoing weekly visits to isolated clients. Bill has worked with LGBT non-profit organizations for well over two decades, including leadership positions at Gay Men’s Health Crisis and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. 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.

Rick Guasco
Creative Director,
Chicago, IL

Rick Guasco is creative director of Positively Aware, the HIV treatment magazine published by TPAN, a non-profit HIV/AIDS services organization in Chicago. He is 54, and has been living with HIV for more than 26 years and has most recently dealt with anal cancer. A native Chicagoan, Rick’s a big “Star Trek” fan, Apple fan boy, and an art lover.

Ian L. Haddock
Executive Director,
The Normal Anomaly Initiative
Houston, TX

Ian L. Haddock serves as the Executive Director of The Normal Anomaly Initiative and the Vice President of Impulse Group Houston. He has had the honor of having been recognized as one of the top LGBT Entrepreneurs in Houston by I10Media Group and listed as one of the 10 Faces of Black LGBT Leadership in Houston by Outsmart Magazine. Haddock has been on television nationally and locally; found in a commercial playing in select markets surrounding PrEP done through Greater than AIDS and on the critically acclaimed Isaiah Factor Uncensored on FOX 26 Houston. He has had the honor of writing for publications such as Huffington Post, Outsmart Magazine, EFNIKS Magazine, Spectrum South and he is featured in the Fall 2017 Edition of Urban Socialites Magazine. He has been on several radio stations including KBXX FM 97.9, KPFT FM 90.1 and KQBT FM 93.7. Recently, he began to produce his own podcast in which he unboxes taboo sexual topics found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, IHeartRadio and Google Play. Haddock is also a proud Greater than AIDS Ambassador.

Michael Hager
President & CEO,
Hager Health, LLC
New York, NY

Michael Hager is an experienced public health expert and trainer. He has over 15 years’ experience working within the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program directly and indirectly with all Parts funding. He has focused the last 9 years predominantly on quality improvement and demonstrating impact of funded services in achieving stated aims, but also downstream impacts on HIV health outcomes for RWHAP patients. Michael’s passion for data-driven process has led him to innovate new utilization, cost-effectiveness, health outcomes, and health disparities tools and calculators to help simplify complicated subject areas to improve focus on solutions. 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 made a measurable difference in both RWHAP provider capacity for clinical quality management and in downstream HIV health outcomes for RWHAP patients. Beyond HIV, Michael focuses on social justice, health equity, and behavioral health as they relate to quality management.

David Hardy
Adjunct Professor of Medicine,
Division of Infectious Diseases
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Dr. W. David Hardy serves as Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and lives in Washington, D.C. He served as Senior Director of Evidence-based Practices (Research) at Whitman-Walker Health overseeing NIH-funded ACTG trials and HIV Cohort studies and industry-sponsored trials from 2015-2018. From 2002 to 2013 he served as Director, Division of Infectious Diseases at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Hardy also served as chief medical officer for Calimmune (2013-2015), a small, California-based and funded (CIRM), translational science company investigating gene-modified CD4+ T cells and hematopoietic stem cells as a potential cure for HIV infection.

He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX and completed his residency in internal medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. Early in the AIDS epidemic, he completed a clinical fellowship in infectious diseases/immunology and clinical research at the UCLA School of Medicine under the direction of Dr Michael Gottlieb, the physician who recognized and reported the first cases of AIDS.  Later he also completed a laboratory fellowship in molecular retrovirology with Irvin Chen, PhD at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA focusing on development of retroviral vector delivery of gene therapy and vaccine applications.

Dr. Hardy has cared for persons with HIV infection since 1982 and conducted research on HIV and related diseases since 1984. Initially, he focused on treatment and prevention of opportunistic infections and currently on antiretroviral agents, immunotherapies and hepatitis treatments as well as retroviral vector research, cellular and gene therapy as strategies for cure of HIV infection. Dr Hardy currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) as well as Chair of the Education Committee of the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM). He has served as editor-in-chief of AAHIVM’s comprehensive clinical textbook, Fundamentals of HIV Medicine for the HIV Specialist published in 2007, 2008, 2012, 2017 and 2019. While living in Los Angeles, he worked with several community-based organizations, including AIDS Research Alliance (chair, board of directors), the Alliance for Housing and Healing (board of directors), Being Alive-Empowering People with HIV/AIDS, Project Angel Food (board of directors) and AIDS Project Los Angeles (board of directors).

Graham Harriman, MA,
CAEAR Coalition
New York, NY

Graham Harriman, MA, is a long-term survivor of HIV. He is the Director of the Care and Treatment Program at the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the largest Ryan White Part A grantee in the nation. He oversees Ryan White Part A funding that supports over 180 contracts with 93 agencies, serving approximately 16,000, low-income, PLWHA a year. In March 2017, Mr. Harriman became the Chair of the CAEAR Coalition. The Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition is the oldest national organization with a primary focus on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Its members include Ryan White Part A, Part B, and Part C consumers, grantees, and providers, as well as the Part F AIDS Education and Training Centers. The Coalition advocates for Ryan White Program policy, legislation, regulations, and appropriations. Mr. Harriman’s work in the field of HIV began 25 years ago as a mental healththerapist in an integrated medical clinic serving low-income PLWHA. He has worked in public health for the past 15 years, beginning at the Multnomah County Health Department in Oregon, where he was the first manager of the integrated HIV, STD, Hepatitis C program. Mr. Harriman was hired by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as the Director of Health Care Services. He became the Director of Care and Treatment in 2011. Mr. Harriman continues to hold his license as a mental health therapist.

Rhonda Harris, MPA
GMHC, Senior Vice President, People Operations & Compliance Pronouns: she, her, hers

Rhonda has always been passionate about the interconnectivity between people, process, development and technology. With more than 20+ years’ experience in the areas of HumanResources, General Management and Administration, she has specialized in various sectors from pharmaceuticals to hospitality to non-profit and public relations. Rhonda currently serves as the Senior Vice President of People Operations and Compliance for GMHC. Prior to that, she served as Director of Human Resources at Harlem United Community AIDS Center where she transformed the HR department from a transactional unit into a strategic business partner for management in the agency.

Rhonda is an expert in the field of Human Capital Management. She is committed to seeing that workforce populations continuously learn, grow and develop, to not only increase the individual employee value but also to increase the economic value for employers and the economy and community at large. She holds the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Brandon Harrison
Sr. Project Manager,
Primary Care Development Corporation
New York, NY

Brandon is a Project Manager the Primary Care Development Corporation. As Project Manager, Brandon is is responsible for providing training and technical assistance to health care organizations across the country. He has served in leadership positions implementing health programs across the country, in communities most impacted by health disparities. Brandon has been active in disease prevention, LGTBQ rights, youth development and various causes for over the past ten years. Through his advocacy work, he hosted a local Chicago non-profit television program on CANTV, served on many committees and advisory boards, and been an advocate for the HIV and LGBTQ Community. However, it is Brandon’s role as mentor and role model for trans-identified individuals, young men and women faced with social and behavioral health issues that are most fulfilling to him. Brandon’s work as an activists stems from his extended family household where he learned most of his morals and traditions. He was born on December 17, 1988 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and as a child he was very involved in church, theater, and choirs that helped to foster in him a healthy individual and group work ethic. Brandon attended high school in Indianapolis where he studied Health Occupations which followed him into his college career at the University of New Orleans. While at the University of New Orleans, Brandon participated in a student exchange program which allowed him to study aboard in Innsbruck, Austria. His time he traveled to the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Germany.During college, Brandon gravitated towards a career in disease Prevention—an interest in the work started after a death of a close friend. In past positions, Brandon has advocated for LGBTQ individuals using various outlets including scholarship competitions, radio shows and a non-profit television show. Throughout Brandon’s career, he has been influential in raising awareness to issues such as stigma, domestic violence, sex work and other issues the Black Communities face. Brandon remains a leader, supporter, and role model inspiring others to continue their resilience. In recent years, Brandon has focused on self-improvement, education, life goals and physical health. Brandon has dedicated his career on being a servant to the people of his community. Since his youth, he has endeavored to motive and inspire positive change in all people who cross his path.

Carina Havenstrite
Director of HIV Case Management,
Wright Center for Community Health (TWCCH)
Scranton, PA

Carina Havenstrite is the Director of HIV Case Management at the
Wright Center for Community Health (TWCCH) located in Scranton, PA. Since Ms. Havenstrite joined TWCCH as a Medical Case Manager, she has advanced to Director of the Case Management program, which has seen profound expansion during that time, including the development ofPrison Linkage Case Management and Peer Navigation programs. As Director of this program, Ms. Havenstrite is responsible for the oversight of a team of medical case managers who provide services to this dynamic population.  She also oversees all of the funding and reporting of this program, while identifying and advocating for the expansion to best meet the needs of clients.

Ms. Havenstrite graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science with a double minor in Psychology and Sociology. She also graduated a semester early with a 4.0 GPA and no student loans due to working multiple jobs throughout her college career. Ms. Havenstrite acts as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for Oakleaf Therapeutic Horsemanship Center, which provides equine assisted therapy to individuals with physical and mental disabilities.  Ms. Havenstrite participated in several volunteer initiatives abroad, doing service work in countries such as Haiti, Africa, and Peru.  Ms. Havenstrite and her husband also own and operate a small alpaca farm where they live with their two young children.

Merissa Hawkins, MPH
Research and Development Lead,
Beaverton, OR

Merissa Hawkins is the Lead of Research and Development at Nurx. She received her Master’s in Public Health from Purdue University with a focus in communicable disease, global health, and community health. Since the start of her career, she has been passionate about academic research, program development, and implementation with experience working across high-growth startups, nonprofits, and international NGOs. Merissa enjoys establishing new programs and guiding them from strategic planning and pilots through implementation, particularly in the telemedicine and healthcare space.

Tanya Bender Henderson, PhD.
Public Health Consultant,
The HIV/AIDS Workforce

Tanya Bender Henderson, PhD, is an organizational consultant specializing in Public Health and capacity building for the HIV/AIDS workforce. After more than thirty years in Marketing Communications–mainly in health and education–Tanya began working in the sexual and reproductive health field through outreach to the faith community. Tanya current focus area is Sexuality and Aging. She is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C. (PhD, Organizational Communication and MBA}, and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN (BS, Advertising and Public Relations). She has also done advanced study in HIV Science and Treatment and in Human Sexuality at UCLA. She widely lectures on the sexual health of women over 50 and HIV/STI prevention among senior populations.

Theo Hodge, MD
Infectious Disease Specialist,
Providence Hospital
Washington, DC.

Born in Washington DC and raised in nearby Prince Georges county Maryland, Dr. Hodge attended college and medical school at the University of Virginia.  Following a residency in Internal medicine, Dr. Hodge completed an Infectious Diseases fellowship at the Washington Hospital Center/ Veterans Affairs Medical Center located in Washington DC.  On completing fellowship, Dr. Hodge entered private practice where he has focused on the care of those living with HIV.  In addition, he is actively involved in educating the community on the subjects of sexually transmitted diseases as well as the prevention of HIV.  He has been the principal investigator or subclinical investigator in several HIV clinical trials.  He currently practices at Providence Hospital in the northeast region of Washington, DC.

Jolie Holliman
Hepatitis C Program Director,
Franciscan Health
Indianapolis, IN

Jolie Holliman is an accomplished public health administrator and currently directs the hepatitis C program at Franciscan Health. She enjoys collaborating with community members as well as healthcare and research professionals to create exceptional processes that lead to extraordinary care. Ms. Holliman has worked with Franciscan Alliance to enhance HCV screening and linkage to care in their South Suburban Chicago, Northern, Western and Central Indiana regions utilizing FOCUS funded programming. Most recently, she led the charge with Sun Lee-Such, Administrative Director of Pharmacy Services Northern Indiana and South Suburban Chicago Divisions, to create a Multi-Specialty Hepatitis C and HIV clinic in Hammond, Indiana.Ms. Holliman has routinely produced and governed grants and programming funded by CDC, IDPH and CDPH and has extensive experience in HIV/HCV treatment for underserved target populations including young men who have sex with men, men who have sex with men of color, transgender women and cisgender women of color.

Frank Hood
Senior Policy Associate – Hepatitis C,
AIDS Institute
Washington, DC

Frank Hood is the Senior Policy Associate – Hepatitis C at The AIDS Institute where he focuses on policies and appropriations for increased screening, education, prevention, and treatment for viral hepatitis. Prior to The AIDS Institute he worked as a community manager for the National Health Law Program and as a union organizer for SEIU. He holds a Masters in Political Management from George Washington University and a B.S. in Political Science and Entrepreneurship from Ball State University.

Marcus J. Hopkins
Project Director,
Community Access National Network
Washington,  DC

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 histime 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 and Researcher for the HIV/HCV Co-Infection Watch and the Medicaid Watch, which are publications of the Community Access National Network (CANN). He also blogs for CANN’s “Hepatitis: Education, Advocacy & Leadership” (HEAL) coalition.In his spare time, he’s a video game-addicted, cat-loving insomniac who leavesaudiobooks playing in the background at all times.

Jessica Horwitz
Clinical Development Director,
Oakland, CA

Jessica Horwitz is a board-certified family nurse practitioner with a specialization in HIV medicine. She currently serves as the Director of Clinical Development at Nurx and works on the provider team serving Nurx users in California, Illinois, and Virginia. In addition to her time at Nurx, Jessica is the Clinical Director for of HIV Prevention Services and is a primary care nurse practitioner for those living with HIV and at risk for acquiring HIV at the East Bay AIDS Center, in Oakland, California. Jessica has more than 10 years of clinical experience focusing on HIV treatment and prevention, women’s health, gender-affirming primary care for transgender and gender non-conforming patients and comprehensive adolescent healthcare. She is a passionate healthcare provider and advocate at the local, national, and international level for breaking down stigma and creating safe spaces to improve healthcare access and reduce barriers to care.

Erica Hubert
Prison Linkage Case Management Supervisor,
The Wright Center for Community Health
Scranton, PA

Erica Hubert is the Prison Linkage Case Management Supervisor at The Wright Center for Community Health located in Scranton, PA. Ms. Hubert oversees the program’s efforts in providing support and advocacy for individuals living with HIV who are involved in the criminal justice system.Ms. Hubert has 10 years of experience working with the criminal justice population. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Hubert completed an internship at the non-profit Employment Opportunity Training Center (now Outreach Center for Community Resources) in Scranton, where she worked with women in Lackawanna County’s Treatment Court program, assisted in the facilitation of the Life Skills and GED programs at Lackawanna County Prison, and managed an after school-mentoring program for disadvantaged youth. Upon completion of her internship, Ms. Hubert was offered a position as a GED and Life Skills Instructor at Lackawanna County Prison. Ms. Hubert also provided case management services for returning citizens, and was later promoted to Coordinator of Women In Transition Mentoring Program through a federal Department of Corrections grant. Ms. Hubert joined The Wright Center for Community Health in February 2017 as the Prison Linkage Case Manager for their Ryan White clinic. As the program grew, she accepted her current position because of the passion she holds for this resilient population. Her role continues to be to link HIV positive clients from prison to HIV medical care upon their release. She assists clients in addressing barriers to receiving medical care including housing, transportation, insurance coverage, legal, mental health, and/or drug and alcohol issues. Ms. Hubert is looking forward to forming partnerships with additional prisons within her service area in an effort to assist more individuals in navigating through their diagnosis and the criminal justice system.

Kenya Hutton
Program Manager,
Urban Coalition for HIV/ AIDS Prevention Services
Washington, DC

Kenya Hutton has dedicated over 15 years working in areas of social justice, equity, HIV prevention, and the facilitation of behavioral interventions among communities heavily impacted by HIV in NYC and Washington, DC. He has been an advocate for HIV prevention on local and national levels, while bringing awareness to LGBTQ young adults and members of House/Ball Community. While serving these communities, he has been presented a number accolades including: The Dorian Corey Wisdom Award, The Michael J. Harrington Humanitarian Award from the Gay Men’s Health Crises House of Latex Project, the Award of Excellence from the Washington DC Ballroom Coalition, the DC Black Pride Presidents Award and others.Kenya Hutton has devoted his life’s work to the betterment of disenfranchised and marginalized communities, and consistently works towards their achieving Health, Economic, and Social Equity. He fully believes that achieving zero new HIV infections is not only possible, but in our near future. With this goal in mind, Kenya is committed to ensuring all communities share this same vision of the future, and have the tools and knowledge to make it a reality.

Corey Ingram
Medical Case Manager,
AIDS Life Support Services (PALSS)
Columbia, SC

I am 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). I am a former Health Educator with the Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention & Prevention (SAVIP) office at the University of South Carolina (USC) from 2012 – 2017. My training is in social work, having earned a master’s degree (MSW) from the University of Alabama and a bachelor’s degree (BSW) from Miles College. I have 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, I provide a very unique perspective. This perspective is highlighted even more due to my experiences of working with perpetrators and my more recent position of working with survivors. As a health educator with SAVIP, I led efforts to engage men around issues related to interpersonal violence and I was a male advocate. I 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. I conducted over 800 presentations and served on nearly 80 panel discussions. I have presented my work at several national conferences: The Southern College Health Association (SCHA) March 2018, Lucia Murchison Social Work Conference March 2018,Respectcon Emory University April 2018, Beyond Flexner 2018: Community, Diversity, and Equity April 2018, The 2018 Victims’ Rights Week Annual Conference April 2018, The National Association of Social Workers (NASW-Alabama Chapter) 2018 Annual Conference April 2018, The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) 2018 Biennial conference May 2018, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy June 2018 just to name a few. I was the Keynote speaker for Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA) in June 2017 as well as the Keynote speaker for Alabama Coalition Against Rape (ACAR) in September 2017 and January 2018. I was the keynote for Family Services of North Alabama Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM event) at Snead State College April 2018.

Damon L. Jacobs
Psychotherapist / PrEP Educator,
Private Psychotherapy Practice
New York, NY

Damon L. Jacobs is a New York based Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and HIV prevention specialist whose work focuses on health, harm reduction, and pleasure. Through his clinical work, Damon has spent most of the past two decades helping members of the GLBTQ population age and grow with empowerment, meaning, connection, and play. He is the author of two books titled RATIONAL RELATING and ABSOLUTELY SHOULD-LESS. 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 is featured as one of 35 “Leading HIV Activists” by The Advocate Magazine, one of the Top 10 “Influential Voices in HIV/AIDS for 2016” by Healthline Magazine, and part of the “HIV Heroes” series through Metrosource Magazine. Damon is proud to have presented this past year at SYNChronicity 2018, The 2018 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference, 2018 USCA, and National Harm Reduction Conference. He was honored to receive a Commissioner Special Recognition Award through the New York State Department of Health in 2016.

Aviva Joffe,
HIV Program Director,
Einstein Healthcare Network
Philadelphia, PA

Aviva Joffe, MSW, LSW is the Program Director of the Immunodeficiency Center (IDC) at Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia. She provides operational, clinical, and fiscal oversight of the HIV program including the HIV clinic, prevention, and testing programs. Aviva has six years of experience working in HIV care and eight years in social work.

Debrisha Johnson
Chief Medical Officer,
Bee Busy Wellness Center
Houston, TX

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.

Diane Marie Jones
Independent Social Worker,
Washington, DC

Diane Marie Jones is an Independent Clinical Social Worker. She received a Master’s Degree of Social Work in 1988 from Fordham University, in New York City.

She has over 20 years of experience in the provision of Social Work Services in Health Care Settings.  She has served as an Adjunct Professor at the Prince George Community College and continues to serve as a Field Instructor for Schools of Social Work at Howard University, The University of Maryland at Baltimore and Thu University of the District of Columbia UDC.

As one of the first African American Social Workers to enter the HIV/AIDS service arena in 1987, Ms. Jones was forced to draw on a full range of social work skills.  She quickly emerged as a leading advocate for communities of color and specializes in the provision of mental health through individual and group therapy with African American Men and Women living with HIV/AIDS.

Ms. Jones is currently serves as The Director of Special Programs and Field Education at Family and Medical Counseling Service, Inc. where she directs the day to day operations of the Syringe Services Programs in the District of Columbia and the newly funded Prince Georges County in Maryland.

Ms. Jones has skills in the following:

    • Development and implementation of Social Service Programs
    • Development of Quality Assurance Protocols
    • Conducting Needs Assessments
    • Training
    • Supervision for social work licensure and contract compliance

As an established leader in the field, Ms. Jones has provided technical assistance and training to numerous organizations, both locally and nationally.

Jamal Jones
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ORISE)
Oak Ridge, TN

 Dr. Jones is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His research interests include HIV prevention, sexual risk behaviors of young black men, and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis use among underserved populations in the Deep South of the United States. He was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Southern Region Education Board as well as Georgia State University’s prestigious Second Century Initiative Doctoral Fellowship in Health Justice. He has served as an interviewer for the CDC’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance project. Jones has published numerous manuscripts on sex risk behaviors of young men of color and ART adherence among people living with HIV and a book chapter on the epidemiologic history of HIV and AIDS in the United States. Jones received his PhD in Public Health from Georgia State University and his Master of Public Health degree from the University of Miami. During his graduate training, he conducted research on the use of social media marketing to increase HIV testing among young men of color as well as alcohol use and ART adherence among people living with HIV from underserved communities.


Ross Jones
Medical Director, Community Health,
UF Health,
Jacksonville, FL

Tamara Jones
Policy & Systems Coordinator,
End AIDS Washington (EAW)
Washington State Department of Health
Kent, WA

Tamara Jones has served as the End AIDS Washington (EAW) Policy & Systems Coordinator, at the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), since August 2016. Washington has a rich history of addressing HIV/AIDS. EAW connects the work happening at various levels: local health jurisdictions, community based organizations, state and federal agencies, etc.; around the state, securing the safety net, and identifying where we could improve or enhance our efforts. End AIDS Washington is a priority initiative for DOH; focused on addressing HIV related stigma and health disparities, and meaningful community engagement. End AIDS Washington came from the work of the HIV Planning Steering Committee, initiated with a proclamation from Governor Inslee, in 2014.Ms. Jones was educated in Washington’s public education system. She graduated from Tacoma’s Henry Foss High School, earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Washington, and her Master of Arts from University of Washington – Tacoma.Throughout her career, Ms. Jones has worked on a diverse field of work. Her policy experience includes: health care, information technology, labor law issues, economic development, education, and transportation. As a military spouse, Ms. Jones has had the privilege to work in multiple, unique states throughout the United States.Ms. Jones lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their daughter. She can often be found running around town, training for marathons, triathlons, and ultras. The family is active in wear blue: run to remember, combining their military background and enjoyment of running. Ms. Jones is a registered member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Terry Kemp-Knick, BSN, RN-BC, MPH
Clinical Research Manager,
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Ms. Kemp-Knick received her MPH from UVA in 2018, prior to which I practiced as a RN for 14 years. I have been a part of the cure of hepatitis C for more than 300 patients in the past 3 years. I am interested in increasing the conversations between stakeholders to find and implement solutions offering low barrier access to hepatitis C  treatment for everyone throughout the state of Virginia.

Becca Keo-Meier
Ph.D Candidate,
SUSTAIN COMPASS Coordinating Center
Houston, TX

 Becca Keo-Meier is a PhD student at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Their doctoral research interest broadly includes gender wellness with a particular focus on non-binary and genderqueer communities. Becca’s research background also includes trans masculine intimate partnerships, South Asian sexual health, and the NIH-supported HIV Vaccine Trials Network. In addition to their academic commitments, Becca’s dedication to diverse gender communities is demonstrated by serving on local advisory boards as well as co-founding an organization serving individuals whose genders are different than assumed at birth (including trans, non-binary, and genderqueer people), their families, allies, and interdisciplinary providers. Becca’s collaborative approach on the COMPASS Initiative team is guided by intersectional, gender affirmative, sex-positive, and social justice principles. The COMPASS Initiative matters to Becca, who recognizes the importance of a community-driven approach for transforming systems to better serve groups disproportionately impacted by HIV in the Southern United States.

Christian Klimas
Lead PrEP Navigator,
Metro Inclusive Health
Petersburg, FL

Christian Klimas has spent 10+ years working in LGBTQ centered organizations, organizing community involvement groups on large and small levels. For over 3 years he has worked hand-in-hand with Metro’s clinical team in administering PrEP safely and effectively to the ever growing number of patients. Utilizing a team of Navigators, he monitors the current program participants while educating and engaging the community on this popular form of HIV prevention.

Ashlee Knight
Lead Medical Case Manager,
Hepatitis Education Project
Seattle, WA

Ashlee Knight joined the HEP team in 2018 as Lead Medical Case Manager. Her career started in the Midwest over 12 years ago working in case management and social services. Since completing her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree in 2012, she’s worked in mental health private practice, higher education administration, and direct service and operations at a low-barrier community drop-in center. As Lead MCM she oversees HEP’s medical case management staff as well as continues to build and sustain the mcm program. It has long been a core belief of her’s that as a community we belong to one another and she has a strong passion for harm reduction psychotherapy practices. When she’s not at HEP she runs a small mental health therapy private practice in Queen Anne, Seattle.

Sarah Kozlowski
Community Feedback Specialist,
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York, NY

Sarah Kozlowski is currently the Community Feedback Specialist for the Care and Treatment Program’s Research and Evaluation Unit at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She manages primary data collection activities (surveys, in-depth interviews, focus groups) for Ryan White Part A evaluation projects by developing and refining data collection tools, soliciting and incorporating feedback from consumers, providers, and other stakeholders, ensuring data quality, and supporting and conducting data analysis for reporting activities.

Michael Kharfen
Senior Deputy Director of the HIV/AIDS,
Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration
DC Department of Health
Washington, DC

Michael Kharfen is the Senior Deputy Director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration in the DC Department of Health. In collaboration with community partners and regional health departments, he led developing and implementing the 90/90/90/50 by 2020 plan to end the HIV epidemic in DC; establishing a regional project for men who have sex with men of color and transgender persons of color; advancing Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U); increasing Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP); addressing health equity; promoting non-judgmental sexual health; ensuring access to harm reduction/syringe services and opioid treatment; promoting research and public-private collaborations; and eliminating hepatitis C in DC. Prior experience senior positions at US Department of Health and Human Services and for New York City Mayor David Dinkins. He serves on the executive committees/boards of the DC Center for AIDS Research, DC Partnership for HIV/AIDS Progress, NASTAD (state HIV/hepatitis directors), and National Coalition of STD Directors.

Leandra Lacy
Capacity Building / Technical Assistant,
National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD)
Washington, DC

Leandra Lacy bio: Leandra provides capacity building and technical assistance to the members of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) in state, local, and territorial health departments.  Prior to joining NCSD, she was a Research Specialist at an FQHC, working on an HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) clinical trial. Leandra is passionate about HIV/STD prevention and education particularly among communities of color.  Hailing from South Carolina, she holds a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MPH in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Emory University.


Kamaria Laffrey
HIV Advocate,
The SERO Project – HIV Criminalization Reform
Milford, PA

Living with HIV and Black Girl Magic, Kamaria Laffrey serves nationally as a speaker, an advocate for HIV justice, a spokespersonfor treatment adherence & self-care and works withThe SERO Projecton HIV criminalization reform. Her local work extends to rural and underserved areas, as she serves on the West Central FL Ryan White Care Counciland the FL Dept. of Health Consumer Advisory Group. Since her diagnosisin 2003, Kamaria has worked to empower others to live beyond 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’sPolicy 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 magazineand various health blogs, Kamaria seeks to be a willing vessel that guides individuals in her community towards embracing healing, giving inspiration and living victorious with HIV.

Colleen Lane, MD
Medical Site Director,
Max Robinson Center
Whitman-Walker Health
Washington, DC

Stewart Landers
Director of U.S. Health Services,
Boston Office
John Snow, Inc.
Boston, MA

Stewart Landers is the Director of U.S. Health Services, Boston Office for John Snow, Inc. aka JSI.  He is the Principal Investigator of the Integrated HIV-AIDS Planning Technical Assistance Center (IHAP TAC).  Prior to that, he was the Co-PI of the ACE TA Center which helped jurisdictions link people of color living with HIV to Medicaid and market options for health insurance.  He has over 30 years of experience in public health practice, HIV/AIDS, chronic diseases, mental health, and substance use treatment. He is skilled in community and consumer engagement, working with planning bodies and Health Departments to conduct needs assessments and integrted planning. Mr. Landers facilitated development of the Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan for the state of New Hampshire and has conducted comprehensive planning and HIV prevention and care needs assessments in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota, San Jose, DutchessCounty, New York, Phoenix, and Denver.

Jennifer Lee, MPH
Program Manager, HRSA
Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Center
Quality Improvement & Innovation (CQII)
NY State Department of Health
New York, NY

Jennifer Lee, MPH, Doctoral Candidate, serves as the Manager of Special Programs for the HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Center for Quality Improvement & Innovation (CQII) and is dedicated to advancing the quality of care for diverse communities and closing the health equity gap across the United States.

Maria Ma
Program Planner,
NY State Department of Health
New York, NY

Maria Ma is a Program Planner in the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control (BHIV) at the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene where she researches, develops and plans the implementation of evidence-based policy and planning recommendations concerning best practices for HIV prevention programmatic implementation. Maria was previously the PrEP Specialist in BHIV and coordinated PrEP/PEP-related trainings, developed tools and resources for PrEP implementation in clinical settings, and provided consultation and technical assistance to organizations. Maria is a graduate of the Yale School of Public Health where she earned a Master of Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases. Maria has also previously worked on assessing interest and awareness of PrEP in healthcare workers and community members in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Marsha Martin, Ph.D

Victor Martinez
Associate Director,
St. John’s Well Child and Family Center
Los Angeles, CA

Victor Martinez is an openly HIV positive gay immigrant living with HIV for over 28 years. Currently he is the Associate Director of Communicable Disease and Reproductive Health Programs and has over 20 years of experience in the HIV field working with vulnerable populations including immigrants and LGBTQ community. Mr. Martinez has vast experience in the development, implementation, fiscal management and evaluation of HIV care and prevention and substance abuse programs funded by County, State and Federal entities. In addition, Mr. Martinez has been a member of HIV Community Planning bodies, Community Advisory Boards (CAB) at the local, state and national level and has also participated as co-investigator in research programs funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Additionally, Mr. Martinez also contributed in the development of SAMHSA’s “A Providers Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals” in Chapter 2: Cultural Issues in Working with LGBT Individuals, published in 2001. Mr. Martinez has presented in numerous conferences and provided Capacity Building Assistance to Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) and Health Departments. He has Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University Autonomous of Guadalajara in Mexico.

Bianca Chanel Mayes
Health and Wellness Coordinator,
Garden State Equality
Asbury Park, NJ

Bianca Chanel Mayes is a dedicated public health advocate for the health and wellness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. In this role, she is responsible for developing and training LGBT cultural competency for healthcare professionals. Bianca’s career has been centered around general healthcare for marginalized populations. She worked at Atlantic Health System as a Health Educator and Research Associate for Community Health and Population Health Sciences. She holds her Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education. During Bianca’s education at Montclair State University, she worked as a Health Promotion Supervisor for the Health Promotion department. For her graduate internship, Bianca worked as a Digital Education Specialist for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Bianca received her B.S. at William Paterson University of New Jersey with a minor in Women’s & Gender Studies in 2015. Bianca was born and raised in New Jersey. In her free time, this Gryffindor loves to travel, read, and explore new restaurants!

Eugene McCray, MD
Director, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention(DHAP) in CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.


Lesly McIntrye
Peer Mentor,
Medical Advocacy and Outreach
Montgomery, AL


John W. Meade Jr, MPH
Special Asst. to the Asst. Commissioner, 
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s
Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control
New York, NY

John W. Meade Jr. is the Special Assistant to the Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control. John has acquired over 6 years of public health experience, focusing on socio-contextual determinants of health and addressing health inequities and stigma among MSM of color and sex workers. John is a graduate of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health where he earned an MPH in Global Health, with a concentration in Sexual and Reproductive Health. John has also worked internationally supporting sexual health promotion efforts and HIV prevention research among priority populations in Peru and South Africa.

Dr. Iván Meléndez-Rivera
Chief Medical Officer,
Centro Ararat, Inc.
Ponce, Puerto Rico

Dr. Iván Meléndez-Rivera has dedicated his personal effort and professional expertise to serve the HIV/AIDS patient community since 1990. As a clinical consultant, Meléndez-Rivera has conducted numerous research studies related to various aspects of this health condition, sharing his particular vision of integrated healthcare to all his patients, students and peers. Also, Meléndez-Rivera has advised many academic, governmental and clinical organizations that promote better education efforts, clinical research, adequate funding, and better healthcare services for HIV/AIDS patients in his native country, Puerto Rico, as well as in the mainland United States.Among his many professional duties, Meléndez-Rivera is Assistant Professor at the Family Practice Department of the Ponce Health Science University and also at the University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus. He also performs as Senior Clinical Research and Chief Medical Officer at Centro Ararat Inc., a non-profit multidisciplinary organization in service of the HIV/AIDS community-based in Ponce and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He is currently acting as co-chair of the Puerto Rico HIV Medical Treating Professionals Association and invited editor in the professional magazine “Medicina & Salud Pública” His publications have an emphasis on HIV metabolic complications and aging process. He creates the first multidisciplinary transgender clinic in Puerto Rico.

Denise Mendez
Linkage to Care Specialist/DIS,
City of El Paso Department of Public Health
El Paso, TX

Denise A. Mendez is a Linkage to Care Specialist who works with the City of El Paso Department of Public Health. Her focus is linking individuals who test HIV or HCV positive into care. Denise holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and a minor in Community Health from The University of Texas at El Paso. In addition, she has earned her Certified Health Education Specialist certification. Denise strives to keep her community informed and healthy.  

Nicole Morant 
Sr. Account Executive,
Octane Public Relations and Advertising
Washington, DC

Nicole Morant is a senior account executive at Octane Public Relations and Advertising. Mrs. Morant has more than 15 years’ experience in marketing and communications. A strategic planner and creative specialist by training, Nicole is adept at leading teams in the development of integrated campaigns for print, outdoor, broadcast, digital and direct marketing. She is driven by a simple, professional philosophy: anticipate and exceed expectations. As a senior strategist for Octane, Nicole provides strategic planning, media analysis and research for both the advertising and public affairs disciplines. She is an expert at developing effective and strategic marketing plans for companies in the private or public sector. Her application of consumer strategies to nonprofits and public agencies has gained national recognition and awards.

Catherine Moutray
LGBTQ Capacity Building Manager,
Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation
Tucson, AZ

Catherine Moutray currently serves as the LGBTQ Capacity Building Manager for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF). She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona. She has over four years of experience working in health promotion, specifically within the context of tobacco cessation and harm reduction for underserved populations in Arizona. As the LGBTQ Capacity Building Manager for SAAF, she works with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) populations to assess tobacco use and reduce health disparities within this community. Her current efforts involve developing and disseminating outreach materials, developing culturally responsive trainings for health care providers serving LGBTQ patients along with providing training on tobacco cessation and harm reduction to LGBTQ serving organizations.

Landon Lee Nichols, Jr
Civic Health Liaison,
Medical Advocacy and Outreach
Montgomery, AL

Landon Lee Nichols, Jr. was born in Selma and spent their formative years at the end of a red dirt road in rural, unincorporated Perry County, Alabama. As such, voting rights (and voting’s impact on poverty, equality, healthcare access, education parity, and social justice) have always been a central focus throughout their education and career. After academic scholarships and employment opportunities with the Blackburn Institute made the ivory tower accessible, Landon was able to graduate from The University of Alabama with a B.A. in Advertising in May of 2014 and again with a Master of Public Administration in May of 2016. Upon graduation, Landon took their time and talents back home to the Selma area to work as the Destination/Marketing Coordinator for the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information. While at the Chamber, Landon was responsible for the development & design of the Chamber’s annual Find it Local Guide, which was selected as the top chamber publication in the nation by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives for 2017. After just over a year on the job, Landon was called to serve as Campaign Manager for Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb in their 2018 bid for governor. Based on available information, it looks like Landon was the first out LGBTQ+ gubernatorial campaign manager in Alabama history, and at 24, they were also one of the youngest. While the campaign was ultimately unsuccessful, Landon’s conversations with everyday Alabamians from Brewton to Bridgeport starkly reinforced the urgent need for action around so many issues holding Alabama and our people back. Equipped with this experience and fortified zeal, Landon has embarked on a new mission. They are now the Civic Health Liaison for Medical Advocacy & Outreach in Montgomery. MAO is a Ryan-White-funded AIDS Service Organization that provides 28 (mostly rural) counties across southern Alabama with HIV care, behavioral health services, dental services, prevention, education, provider trainings, and a variety of other wraparound social services. Landon’s primary focus at MAO is voter registration, voting rights restoration for formerly incarcerated people, and nonpartisan voter education among our client base, our agency personnel, and the community at-large. Outside of work, Landon serves as Secretary of the board for Easter Seals of West Central Alabama, on the Junior Board for the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, as a Fellow of the Blackburn Institute, as an organizer with Hometown Action, and as a counselor for the American Legion’s Alabama Boys’ State. Landon truly believes that the best way to ensure Alabama’s future is brighter than its past is to develop meaningful civic engagement throughout all of our communities, especially among Alabama’s youth.

Oriana Nolan
Hepatitis C Project Coordinator,
Access Support Network
San Luis Obispo, CA

Oriana has been dedicated to community health for over 15 years. She currently advocates for Hep C access to care for people experiencing drug addiction and homelessness.

Fungisai Nota, PhD, MPH, CCEP
Founder & CEO,
Nota Consulting Group, LLC
Washington, DC


Joseph Olsen
HIV Testing Manager,
New Orleans, LA

Joseph Olsen graduated from The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with a Master’s in Program Design and Management. He has worked in the field of HIV for 8 years and has grown his program to be the 3rd largest publicly funded HIV testing program in Louisiana which has included as many as 6 clinic locations and over 15 community partner locations. Joseph has worked closely with the state and CDC to pilot changes in testing strategies/protocols including the rapid/rapid testing algorithm and Rapid START. He has presented the findings of these advances with at multiple national and state conferences. Working to leverage all the agency’s assets though program collaboration across service areas has been an exciting challenge and rewarding as we continue to see ever increasing client access, linkage, and retention in care not only for HIV/AIDS services but for PrEP, Hep C, and Primary Care services for all.

Queen Victoria Ortega
Transgender Program Manager,
St. John’s Well Child and Family Center
Los Angeles, CA

Queen Victoria Ortega— Is a Transgender Latina with over 20 years experience in creating trans specific programing in HIV care and Treatment. Currently she serves as the Assistant Manager of the Transgender Health Program at St. John’s Well child and Family Center. Through her role, Queen leverages her intersectionality to advise and guide organizations and systems. Queen Victoria contributions include: increasing the capacity of community members and stake holders to engage in advocacy. She has also been a member of such bodies as FLUX, Honor PAC, Down Town LA Proud Fest , Los Angeles County Commission on a HIV Health Services and the Transgender Service Provider Network.

Ilia M Otero-Cruz
Research Coordinator,
Washington, DC

Ilia M Otero Cruz is a research coordinator in the Sex+ TEAM, a sexual health research group committed to sexual health promotion, HIV and LGBTT health in the Center of Evaluation and Sociomedical Research from the University of Puerto Rico- Medical Sciences Campus. Born and raised in the island, her special research interests are regarding the sexual satisfaction and reproductive rights of Puerto Rican women considering the social and cultural context of their lives. Also, she coordinated the most recent Evaluation of Satisfaction of HIV/AIDS services subsidized by Ryan White Program in Puerto Rico. Ilia graduated with honors from the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico with a master’s degree in Public Health in 2015.

Angela Park, PharmD
Process Improvement Program Manager,
Office Healthcare Transformation
Department of Veterans Affairs

Dr. Angela Park is a clinical pharmacy specialist and a Process Improvement Program Manager for the Office Healthcare Transformation at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Dr. Park co-leads the Hepatic Innovation Team National Collaborative, which is focused on utilizing Lean process improvement to improve hepatitis C care from diagnosis through cure and advanced liver disease in Veterans.



Kneeshe Parkinson
HIV Ambassador,
Positive Women’s Network – USA
Oakland, CA

Kneeshe was driven at a very young age to begin her work in the social services field by volunteering with the Helena Hatch Center for women, an organization serving women with HIV/AIDS. Kneeshe’s passion stemmed from the HIV diagnosis of her Aunt, Helena Hatch. Her illness and unfortunate death had a dramatic impact on Kneeshe’s life. Kneeshe has always had a positive impact on those around her. In a matter of time, Kneeshe was motivating other youth to get tested, stay on medications, and attend support groups. She became active in the “ADHERE” program to help women get tested & adhere to treatments using the motto “women need to know.” Kneeshe will work with individuals that are newly diagnosed, newly taking HIV medications, and/or struggling with adherence. Kneeshe has recently been promoted to the BEACON Project which engages or re-engages individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS who have not been in HIV medical care for more than one year. Kneeshe has been a consumer liaison in her region working countless hours over the last 24 months working on Quality Improvement efforts for PLWHA alongside the Missouri Statewide Quality Management Team in collaboration with H4C Continuum Collaborative spearheaded by the National Quality Center. Over 20 years’ experience in program development and community organization entailing outreach, fundraising and promotions; all positions have been in leadership capacities. More than 10 years’ social service experience in administrative and community level prevention for women and girls including counseling, training, facilitating and supervision.Kneeshe was hired at Project ARK (AIDS/HIV Resources and Knowledge) and became a member of the Prevention Team. Her primary role was to educate the community about HIV, test individuals in the drop-in center, and serve as an advocate to those around her. She also has acted as a peer in the Family Advisor Program serving women, children and youth that are affected by HIV/AIDS. As an advisor, Kneeshe has planned socials, facilitated women’s retreats, and has assisted with community wide events such as the Holiday Gold for Kids Toy Drive, serving nearly 1,000 children affected by HIV/AIDS.Since a young person, Kneeshe has cared for her community. That is true to this day as she pursues her educational goals. Kneeshe has earned an Associate’s Degree in Human Services and currently attends the University of Missouri-St. Louis pursuing a Bachelors of Social Work. She has gained the academic honor of Phi Theta Kappa and has been on the Dean’s list the past two years of her academic career. In terms of community based work, she additionally has chaired The Emergency Fund Network for the United Way-St. Louis Region 15yrs. Kneeshe knows there is no limit to what she can accomplish as long as she continues to remain passionate and true to herself with a strong commitment to the community. Kneeshe has been apart of Positive Women’s Network since 2016 where she has taken the charge in our state as the Missouri State lead to provide leadership based on the vision of Positive Women’s Network which all women living with HIV have access to high quality, culturally relevant, non stigmatizing and affordable health care and services to achieve emotional, mental and physical wellness, regardless of sex at birth, race, immigration status or ability to pay. She was recently the Shero of the month for October a current PWN Policy Fellow, and a fierce advocate. She’s also a dedicated team player. Said Olga Irwin, a member of her team on the PWN Policy Fellowship practicum, who nominated her for Shero of the Month, “She always reminds us of upcoming assignments and webinars. She also planned and wrote an abstract for our team for USCA, even though she already had a scholarship for herself–she wanted to find a way to get the whole team there. “Advocacy runs in Kneeshe’s veins: She grew up in a family of activists. “Before I knew anything about lobbying or mobilizing, my dad was an activist. He went to all the marches in D.C. for civil rights. Everyone participated.” Her aunt Helena Hatch, who died of AIDS-related complications in the early ’80s, was a particular inspiration for Kneeshe’s advocacy. Her aunt marched in the streets under her slogan–“Women need to know”–and brought people to get tested, handed out condoms in public parks, and led the fight for women living with HIV locally. Her advocacy was so important that there is a women’s clinic, the Helena Hatch Special Care Center for Women, at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, which provides care to women diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, regardless of their ability to pay. Kneeshe began dedicating her time there at a young age. “I eat, breathe, and sleep advocacy,” said Kneeshe. “If my voice goes dormant, who am I helping? I can’t shut up. I’m a woman living with HIV first. My voice does matter. I can’t change my diagnosis, but I can adapt in a meaningful way to improve life for others.”Kneeshe cites her involvement in Positive Women’s Network – USA as a highlight in her years of advocacy–in particular, being a PWN Policy Fellow. “Being part of PWN has enlightened me,” she explained. “I’ve had the opportunity to learn, to be chosen to do this work in policy. Hearing the lived experiences that others have walked through; all the women I’ve had an opportunity to sit down with and talk to, knowing they’re at the forefront of a movement” has helped her grow and think big. Asked about her goals for the future, Kneeshe shared some big plans. She envisions herself working with a national organization within five years, and within the next ten to fifteen years, she plans to have a Master degree and a PhD in public health. Her advice to any woman living with HIV considering getting involved in advocacy? “Advocacy can’t hurt. It can only make us change-makers–to continue the ‘we’ movement, so we can have access for all.”

Henna Patani
Epidemiology Analyst,
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Washington, DC 

Patani is currently working as an Epidemiology Analyst for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. She received her Bachelor in Dental Surgery from India and then pursued Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from University of South Florida. She is currently based in Los Angeles and can be reached at henna.patani@aidshealth.org

Katherine Penrose
Sr. Research Analyst,
Research and Evaluation Unit
Care and Treatment Program
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York, NY

Katherine Penrose is currently a Senior Research Analyst with the Research and Evaluation Unit of the Care and Treatment Program at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she has worked since 2013. In this role, she works with large programmatic and HIV surveillance datasets to inform the planning, implementation and monitoring of Ryan White Part A programs. Her recent work has focused on the five-year NIH-funded CHORDS study to evaluate the effectiveness of New York City’s Ryan White medical case management program and on improving hepatitis C care and treatment rates among individuals co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C.

Scott Petersen
Epidemiology Analyst,
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Washington, DC 

Scott Petersen is a licensed New York State social worker. He has previously worked in the capacity of a Community Mobilization Coordinator at Pride for Youth, an LGBTQ+ community-based organization on Long Island. In his role he developed media campaigns, produced community-wide events, and helped to build coalitions around ending HIV as per the ETE 2020 Blueprint put forward by Gov. Cuomo. Since then, Scott has moved to Northwell Health working in the Division of Infectious Disease and the Center for AIDS Research and Treatment. He is currently the Program Improvement Coordinator, utilizing data and quality improvement tools to better serve patients living with HIV/AIDS. He has sat as the chair of the Nassau County Ending the Epidemic Steering Committee and was recognized by the New York State Department of Health – AIDS Institute (Metropolitan Area Office) for his outstanding work and commitment to ending the HIV epidemic.

Kenneth J. Pettigrew
Program Manager,
DC Department of Health
Washington, DC

Ken 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. Using the whole person health model, this system will address access to HIV treatment/care, behavioral health and other social services. He has been involved in sexual minority health, advocacy, education and public health for over 20 years. Ken is a native of Chicago Illinois; he moved to Washington DC in 1989 in pursuit of professional growth and development. His early work in Washington DC includes management in banking and telecommunications. It was during those early years he developed an understanding of importance of customer needs and customer satisfaction. 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 local a 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. As Chief of Programs, from June 2011 to November 2012, 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 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. Terrance Payton:Terrance Payton is currently employed with DC Health, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration (HAHSTA) as a Public Health Services Specialist/Community Liaison for the Improve Measureable Participation and Access to Care and Treatment project (IMPACT DMV). IMPACT DMV is a regional project aiming to establish a system of care for men who have sex with men and transgender persons of color in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Terrance’s journey in HIV prevention began with Friends 4 A Cause and The Ernest M. Bradley Center. Both were organizations working to increase awareness of HIV in the African American community via performance and visual arts integration. His interests in community engagement would continue in working with Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. as a volunteer community outreach worker. Terrance later joined the staff of Us Helping Us where he served last as the Manager of Prevention Programs. Terrance is also a founder of Project Healthy Living- The ManDate. ManDate is an organization working to create healthier whole-life outcomes for African-American gay and bisexual men and their social and sexual networks.

Thaddeus Pham
Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator,
Harm Reduction Services Branch
Hawaii Department of Health
Honolulu, HI

Thaddeus Pham is currently Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator for the Hawaii State Department of Health in the Harm Reduction Services Branch. He is also co-Founder and co-Director of the Hep Free Hawaii Coalition, a community-based program focused on increasing awareness and access to hepatitis services in Hawaii (www.hepfreehawaii.org). In 2018, he was recognized by the National Minority Quality Forum as a 40 Under 40 Leader in Minority Health. He approaches public health from a social justice perspective and seeks to leverage community partnerships and systems-level policy changes to address health disparities, regardless of disease state.

Presented by: Anihita Pirna
Grants Optimization Specialist
Eau Claire Cooperative Health
Columbia, SC



Anna Poker, RN, MS
Senior Public Healthcare Analyst
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Rockville, MD

Currently, Anna is  a Senior Public Healthcare Analyst at the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)’s Bureau of HIV/AIDs (HAB) in the HIV Education Branch at the Domestic Division of the Office of HIV/AIDS Training and Capacity Development in the AIDS Education and Trainign Center Program (AETC). Prior to working at HRSA/HAB, Ms. Poker workedat HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care as Project Officer for the Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) Program.

Prior to joining HRSA, Ms. Poker served in the State and Community Program division at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)/HHS. Ms. Poker’s federal experiences include serving at DoD; Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Indian Health Services (IHS). She is a Registered Nurse with an MS in Informatics from the University of Maryland.

Prior to joining HRSA, Ms. Poker served in the State and Community Program division at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)/HHS. Ms. Poker’s federal experiences include serving at DoD; Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Indian Health Services (IHS). She is a Registered Nurse with an MS in Informatics from the University of Maryland.

Harlan Pruden
British Columbia Center for Disease Control
Vancouver, BC

Harlan Pruden is a proud member of the Cree Nation, or nēhiyaw in Cree. Harlan’s mother is from the Beaver Lake Reservation and father from the Whitefish Lake Reservation, both located in northeastern Alberta – Treaty 6 territory. After living in New York for 20 years, Harlan moved to Vancouver and now lives, works and plays on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the shared territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.Harlan works with the Two-Spirit community locally, nationally and internationally. Harlan is currently a Ph.D student at UBC’s Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program and is focusing on historical images of Two-Spirit individuals. Harlan is also an Educator with the BC Center for Disease Control’s Indigenous public health program, Chee Mamuk and the Managing Editor of Two-SpiritJournal.com, an interactive multi-platform Two-Spirit media/news site. Closer to home, Harlan is a board member for Qmunity, the home for Vancouver’s LGBT, Queer and Two-Spirit community and was just appointed by the City of Vancouver as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Vancouver Public Library. Harlan serves as a representative to the International Indigenous Peoples Working Group on HIV/AIDS.Before moving to Vancouver, Harlan was co-founder and Director of the New York City’s NorthEast Two Spirit Society and served as the principal Two-Spirit consultant to US’ Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center and Trans Care BC. In August 2014, Harlan was appointed by President Obama to the US Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and provided advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Health & Human Services and the White House. (In December 2018, Harlan was fired from PACHA by Trump via Fedex.

Cedric Pulliam
Sr. Human Rights and Key Populations Advisor,
U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief 
Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator 
Washington, DC

Cedric Pulliam serves as the Senior Human Rights and Key Populations Advisor at the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) fostering partnerships and working with civil society organizations, leading as the expert on Stigma & Discrimination efforts, and engaging work within the PEPFAR HBCU Global Health Consortium and enhancing the continued key populations, human rights, and LGBTI programming. He currently serves on the International Steering Committee for the International Conference on HIV and STIs in Africa. Cedric serves on several local, national, and global boards of directors and councils.In the DC/MD/VA community, he serves as a HIV Outreach and Prevention Volunteer at the Gay Men’s Health Collaborative (GMHC). He’s worked on the Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS,Regional HIV/AIDS Policy and Planning Summit, co-founder of the Ending the Criminalization of HIV and Overincarceration in Virginia Coalition (ECHO VA Coalition), and supports organizations like Safe Space NOVA, Gay Professional Men of Color (GPMC), The Counter Narrative Project (Atlanta), Brotherhood in Advocacy Leadership Retreat, and Positive Women’s Network.

Sean Quigley

Emily Raganold
HCV Project Coordinator,
San Francisco Department of Public Health
San Francisco, CA

Emily Raganold currently works as the HCV Project Coordinator for the San FranciscoDepartment of Public Health. Her primary focus is on hepatitis C testing at community-based sites andhepatitis C treatment within the San Francisco safety net health network. Emily also serves on theCoordinating Committee of End Hep C SF, a collective-impact multisector hepatitis C elimination initiative. End Hep C SF’s mission is to support all San Franciscans living with, and at risk for, hepatitis C to maximize their health and wellness through low-barrier hepatitis C testing and treatment. Emily holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Education from San Francisco State University with an emphasis in community health. Emily previously worked as the HIV Programs Coordinator for the Shanti Project,
providing supportive services to people living with HIV in San Francisco, California.

Kimberly Ramirez-Mercado
Program Manager,
Sinai Health Systems,
Sinai Infectious Disease Center
Chicago, Illinois

Kimberly Ramirez-Mercado is a first generation queer Salvadoran Mexican American from Los Angeles. She is the Program Manager at Sinai Health System, helping coordinate HIV, Hepatitis C, and PrEP community initiatives. In addition, she’s a member of the Chicago Area HIV Integrated Services Council, and the Illinois HIV Integrated Planning Council. She earned her Master’s degree at Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Arts from Whittier College. Kimberly lives in Chicago’s La Villita neighborhood with her wife.

Siddharth Raich
Education and Research Director,
Center for Health Justice
Los Angeles, CA

Siddharth has researched issues ranging from tobacco cessation and education to infectious diseases. His passion is serving underprivileged populations and helping bridge health disparities. He completed his Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from New York University. Siddharth also has a scientific background with his Bachelors in Biological Sciences from UNLV. Additionally, he has collaborated with various non-profit Sindhu Ravishankar, MPhil organizations including Immunize Nevada on projects to map out areas with low immunization rates that overlap with low health care accessibility throughout Nevada. His graduate thesis analyzed the cultural influences of diet on heart disease among the South Asian population, taking into account variables of exercise and acculturation. Siddharth also has extensive experience in health education and mentoring K-12 youth.

Sindhu Ravishankar 
Sr. Director,
Technical Programs
Fast-Track Cities
International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Washington, DC

Sindhu Ravishankar is the Senior Director of Technical Initiatives for the Fast-Track Cities at the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care. She holds a Masters of Philosophy in Development Studies from the University of Oxford where she focused on health and development and wrote her thesis on barriers to antiretroviral therapy adherence in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Prior to joining IAPAC in 2015, Sindhu has lived and worked in the United States, South Africa, India, and the UK, and has primarily focused on HIV and intersecting health issues including mental health, substance use, and reproductive health.

Andrew Reynolds
Hepatitis C and Harm Reduction Manager,
Project Inform
San Francisco, CA

Andrew Reynolds in the Hepatitis C and Harm Reduction Manager at Project Inform. In this role, he writes health education materials, fact sheets, toolkits and articles on all aspects of hepatitis C awareness, prevention and treatment, as well as managing Project Inform’s viral hepatitis and drug user health policy portfolio, including managing the California Hepatitis Alliance. He is the 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.

Bruce Richman, JD, M.Ed

Brian Risley
Program Manager,
HIV/Hep C Health Promotion
APLA Health
Los Angeles, CA

Brian Risley has worked in the fields of HIV and viral hepatitis for 20 years and has been named by Thebody.com as one of the Top 10 U.S. HIV Prevention Educators. In his seventeen years at APLA Health, Brian has managed the Treatment Education Program and currently manages the new program HIV/Hep C Health Promotion, as well as an innovative program for HIV & Older Adults. Brian is the Co-Chair of the Hepatitis C Task Force for Los Angeles County and facilitates the longest-running newly diagnosed HIV group in California.

Bethsaida Rivera

Jason Rivera
Associate Director, 
Prevention Services
Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation
Tucson, AZ

Jason Rivera holds a master’s degree in Public Health and is the Associate Director of Prevention Services at the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. Mr. Rivera has 14 years of experience in public health primarily in the areas of sexual health and substance use. He has lived and worked in Tucson and southern Arizona since 2009 with positions at University of Arizona College of Medicine and Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. Mr. Rivera works closely with Ms. Moutray in implementing a statewide program addressing tobacco use disparities among LGBTQ residents. He oversees three SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) grants which fund prevention and harm reduction interventions for youth, young adults, and people who used drugs along with managing SAAF’s Syringe Access Program.

Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz, PhD, MPHE, MCHES
Sex+TEAM, Center for
Evaluation and Sociomedical Research
Washington, DC

Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz is a community health scientist with over fifteen years of experience conducting action research in Puerto Rico, the United States of America, and the Caribbean Region. His work has focused in the areas of HIV care and prevention, sexual health promotion, and health equity through actions on the social determinants of health. He has served as lead in several programs and studies addressing health inequities among populations made socially vulnerable including people with HIV, Hispanic/Latinxs, incarcerated populations, LGBT individuals, and men who have sex with men. Rodriguez-Diaz completed post-doctoral training in HIV and Global Health Research, a PhD in Public Health with a major in Community Health, and a MPH in Health Education. He has also completed post-graduate training in health policy, human rights, and health diplomacy.

John Rose
Community Prevention Navigator,
Einstein Healthcare Network
Philadelphia, PA

Grant Roth
Program Coordinator,
Sexual and Behavioral Health Program
Mount Sinai Hospital Institute for Advanced Medicine
New York, NY

Grant Roth is the Program Coordinator for the Sexual and Behavioral Health program at the Mount Sinai Hospital Institute for Advanced Medicine in New York, NY. He has previously worked at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York University Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies. A large focus of his research is HIV prevention in gay and bisexual men, specifically around PEP and PrEP.

Laura Duggan Russell, MPH
Sr. Program Coordinator,
Office of the Medical Director
NY State Department of Health
New York, NY

Laura Duggan Russell, MPH is a Senior Program Coordinator at the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute’s Office of the Medical Director where she manages the AIDS Institute’s Clinical Guidelines Program and participates in statewide efforts to meet the goals of New York State’s Ending the Epidemic initiative.

Daniel Salas
Disease Intervention Specialist
City of El Paso
Department of Public Health
El Paso, TX

Daniel serves as a Disease Intervention Specialist/ Health Prevention Specialist with the city of El Paso Department of Public Health. Born and raised in the El Paso, he has developed a passion to keep his community and neighbors healthy. He holds a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso. He has volunteered with several programs including FEMAP at a local low income hospital in the city of Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He has also lived in different areas of Mexico, and South Texas. Previous to his position with the Department of Public Health he held management positions for nearly 8 years.

Brittany Sanders, DNP, ANP-C, GNP-C
Lead Nurse Practitioner – Specialty Clinic
Jefferson County Health Department
Birmingham, AL

Dr. Sanders is a native of Birmingham, AL. She earned her BSN and DNP from the University of Alabama and earned her MSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She began her career as a registered nurse in the Emergency Department and Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Princeton Hospital. She has had an interest in HIV prevention and STDs since she was a teenager with dreams of finding a cure for HIV.  In 2011, she began working at the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) in the STD Clinic as a Nurse Practitioner where she has implemented PrEP and Hepatitis C testing/treatment programs.  She is a current member of NACCHO’s HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis workgroup and a 2017 Fellow for the Engagement of Primary Care Providers in HIV Prevention and Care (Alabama AIDS Education and Training Center at Medical Advocacy and Outreach).

Anthony Santella
Associate Professor,
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY

Dr. Anthony J. Santella is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Professions at Hofstra University and teaches in the Public Health, Community Health, Health Sciences, and LGBTQ+ Studies programs. Dr. Santella also serves as Chair of the Nassau-Suffolk Ryan White HIV Planning Council, Governing Councilor of the HIV/AIDS Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA), and Academic Editor for PLOS One. Dr. Santella is a public health researcher and evaluator specializing in HIV and STI prevention and sexual health. 

John Sapero
Office Chief, HIV Prevention Program
Arizona Department of Health Services 
Phoenix, AZ

John Sapero is the Office Chief for HIV Prevention for Arizona Department of Health Services. He leads an awesome team of staff and volunteers that implement innovative, collaborative initiatives designed to end the HIV epidemic in Arizona. John has a long history of working in the Phoenix HIV community as an educator, director of two AIDS Walks, and volunteer for several HIV organizations.John currently serves as the Chair of the Phoenix EMA Ryan White Part A Planning Council, and as a member of the City of Phoenix 90-90-90 Commission, which oversees the local implementation of the UNAIDS Fast-Track Cities Initiative. On July 21, John celebrated his 29th anniversary living with HIV.

Eleanor Sarkodie
Clinical Research Data Manager,
Whitman-Walker Health
Washington, DC

Eleanor Sarkodie has been working at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, DC for over 3 years. Her current research interests are in PrEP retention, rapid antiretroviral treatment initiation, transgender women living with HIV, and HIV cure research. She also serves as a community advisory member for a large HIV cure study based at Weill Cornell Medical College in NYC. Prior to working at Whitman-Walker Health, Eleanor served as a research assistant for many HIV studies conducted at Emory University, where she received her Master in Public Health. 

Maureen Scahill
Nurse Practitioner/Senior Public Health Advisor,
University of Rochester
Center for Community Practice
Rochester, NY

Maureen Scahill is a nurse practitioner, completing her MS in 1992 at the University of Rochester (UR), and has worked for the UR Medical Center (URMC) for over 43 years, in a various clinical settings. The past 24 years have been with the URMC Infectious Diseases Division, Department of Medicine, working as an NP in the County STD Clinic Program, as well as with the UR-Center for Community Practice (CCP). As an NP and Senior Public Health Advisor, this ID work has focused on HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis (VH). CCP is designated as an HIV national capacity building assistance (CBA) organization, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is also designated as the New York State Department of Health-AIDS Institute (NYSDOH-AI) as the statewide STD Center of Excellence for the Clinical Education Initiative (CEI). CCP is also the Upstate NY Regional Training Center for the NYSDOH-AI, for HIV/STD/VH prevention. The training and other technical assistance (TA) are provided to a wide range of clinical and other healthcare service providers in HIV/STD/VH prevention. Ms. Scahill has worked in direct clinical STD public health settings (e.g., main clinic, criminal and juvenile justice settings, mobile van projects) for 24 years. She has extensive public health program experience including direct patient/client services, supervision, coordination, and staff development. In addition, she has provided didactic training for the aforementioned target audiences. Through CDC funding, Ms Scahill has delivered over 22 years of training/TA to these same audiences, particularly to health departments. In addition, Ms Scahill has provided clinical training and other TA for STD care and prevention. Ms Scahill has experience in development of curricula, behavioral and biomedical intervention development and implementation, clinical and didactic training, and preceptor-/mentor-ships for academic and direct service providers.

Carl Schmid
Deputy Executive Director,
The AIDS Institute
Washington, D.C.

Carl Schmid has been with The AIDS Institute, a national nonpartisan, public policy, advocacy research, and education organization that advocates for people with HIV and viral hepatitis, since February 2004.  He leads the Institute’s federal policy work before the executive agencies and the Congress.

Schmid helps lead the HIV and hepatitis communities’ advocacy efforts in Washington DC to ensure domestic HIV and hepatitis programs, including the Ryan White Program, CDC HIV and hepatitis prevention programs, and NIH AIDS Research, are based on sound public policy and fully funded. He is a Convening Group member of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership and co-chairs its AIDS Budget and Appropriations Coalition. He has expertise in health care financing systems, including Medicaid and Medicare, and led efforts to ensure that Affordable Care Act implementation meets the needs of people living with or at risk of HIV and hepatitis.

As part of the Institute’s work in advocating for people with HIV and hepatitis, Schmid works extensively with other patient and disease groups on collective efforts to ensure that patients, particularly those with chronic conditions, have access to quality and affordable health care.  In January 2018, Schmid was appointed as a consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

In December 2018, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appointed Schmid as Co-Chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, a group that he served on from 2007-09 and chaired its Domestic Subcommittee. In 2010, he was named by POZ Magazine as one of the 100 most effective AIDS fighters and by Whitman Walker Health as one of the 25 individuals who have played prominent roles in the fight against HIV in DC. In 2016, he was named the Champion of the Year by the ADAP Advocacy Association.

Mr. Schmid earned a B.A. in Public Affairs and a M.B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Melissa Schwarz
Evaluation Specialist
Access Community Health Network
Washington, DC

Melissa Schwarz has served as an Evaluation Specialist at ACCESS Community Health Network for six year, evaluating a portfolio of grant-funded programs, primarily relating to HIV prevention in high-risk populations and HIV/HCV testing expansion in the general clinical setting. In that role she has provided regular feedback and reporting for program improvement and compliance with funder requirements. She has worked with IS and operational teams to develop systems to capture and extract necessary data elements and collaborated with external academics and internal stakeholders to disseminate findings from evaluation studies and quality improvement projects. Prior to working at ACCESS, Ms. Schwarz was a Senior Analyst at Metro Chicago Information Center, a non-profit research and consulting agency that provided information and insight to enhance program and planning decision made by civic, social service and philanthropic organizations. In that capacity she developed and implemented research plans to collect quantitative and qualitative data, including overseeing telephone surveys, moderating focus groups and participating in evaluation research. She worked extensively with data, developing and compiling data models and indices of community conditions to track and inform community development efforts. As an evaluator and data specialist with almost twenty years of experience, Ms. Schwarz believes in the power of data to inform decisions and shape programs, and she recognizes the challenges in making that happen. She is happy to explain the nuances of the data and how its collection and processing impact its use.

Michael Shankle, MPH
Senior Director of Capacity Building,
Washington, DC

Michael D. Shankle, MPH, HealthHIV’s Senior Director of Capacity Building, has over 22 years of experience in HIV prevention and care delivery, public health program management and development, 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, and medically underserved communities. He has also built coalitions and developed strategic public health practice partnerships at the local, state, and national levels. Additionally, Michael serves as the Project Director for a multisite, national medication therapy management demonstration project integrating health centers and community pharmacists; 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; and a project that develops and deploys telehealth services to provide HIV primary and specialty medical care for racial and ethnic minority communities living with HIV in urban areas. 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. 

Jacqueline Sherbuk, MD
Research Fellow,
Infectious Diseases
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Jacqueline Sherbuk, MD, is a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health at the University of Virginia.

Ron Simmons, Ph.D
Ron Simmons Consulting
Washington, DC 

Ron Simmons, Ph.D., is the former President/CEO of Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. (UHU), a nonprofit organization that specializes in HIV prevention and support services for the African-American community. Under his leadership, UHU evolved from a support group for HIV-positive Black gay men to one of the largest Black AIDS services organizations in the nation. He retired in 2016. In 2018, he started Ron Simmons Consulting, LLC, and developed the Bodemé Workshop, a HIV prevention intervention for young Black gay men, ages 16 to 29. He is a member of the DC Regional Commission on Health and HIV, the Global Network of Black People working in HIV (GNBPH), and serves on the Steering Committee of ICASA, the international AIDS conference for African nations.Dr. Simmons’ published works include: “Some Thoughts on the Challenges Facing Black Gay Intellectuals” in Brother To Brother: New Writings By Black Gay Men; “Sexuality, Television and Death: A Black Gay Dialogue On Malcolm X” in Malcolm X: In Our Own Image; “Baraka’s Dilemma: To Be Or Not To Be” in Black Men on Race, Gender and Sexuality; “The Voice” in For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough; and “Joe, Essex, Marlon, and Me” in Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call;. He was a field producer, photographer and cast member of the award-winning documentary, Tongues Untied. His honors include: the 2010 Life Time Achievement Award from the Black Gay Research Group; the 2010 Harvey Milk Alumni Award from the State University of New York at Albany; and the 2004 Heroes in the Struggle Award from the Black AIDS Institute. He was inducted into the National AIDS Education and Services for Minorities’ Black Gay Men Hall of Fame in January 2013 and selected by POZ magazine as one of the POZ 100 most influential AIDS activists in the United States.

Chris Sloane
Associate Principal,
Avalere Health
Washington, DC

Chris Sloan advises a number of clients, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, health plans, providers, and patient groups on key policy issues facing the healthcare industry.

His particular areas of expertise include prescription drug pricing, economic and population impacts of policy, the Affordable Care Act, generic drugs, and biosimilars. Additionally, Chris is a recognized expert in the healthcare policy issues facing people living with HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis.

Chris’s economic analyses of key policy proposals and issues, including drug pricing and the repeal and replace efforts around the Affordable Care Act, have been featured in a wide range of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico, Axios, and Vox. Chris’s work has also been cited by policy makers on the Senate floor and by the Congressional Budget Office.

Chris has a BBA in economics and marketing from the College of William and Mary.

Shannon Stephenson
Chief Executive Officer,
Cempa Community Care
Chattanooga, TN

Shannon Stephenson is the Chief Executive Officer of Cempa Community Care, formerly Chattanooga CARES, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Shannon comes from a background in regulatory compliance, public health and safety, business administration, and emergency management. Shannon has a proven track record as a pioneer in cultivating the values of an organization to lead it to success. As an innovative and strategic leader, she uses her visionary approach to move the agency forward by developing culture, enhancing communication, creating strong alliances, and building high performing teams in a desirable work environment. Since arriving in October of 2015, Shannon has been instrumental in expanding the programs and services offered by Cempa Community Care. After assessing the community needs, Cempa restructured its mission to include Hepatitis C and Sexually Transmitted Infections. This led to the creation of an STI clinic that offers both Hepatitis C and PrEP services. Additionally, the agency expanded its operations and opened a sister site in partnership with East Tennessee State University Center of Excellence. Further strategic initiatives include introducing the Rapid Antiretroviral Program Initiative for new Diagnosis and Rapid Syphilis Testing; enhancing behavioral health and care coordination programs; launching a rural mobile clinic and syringe services program; rebranding the agency; and expanding access in minority communities. As an emerging leader in Healthcare Administration, Shannon has engaged as a speaker or panelist concentrating on innovative practices, fiscal oversite, and program compliance. Most recently, she accepted an invitation as a panelist for SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions focused on Sustaining Integrated Care. Nationally, she serves as President of the Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access. Regionally, she serves as the President for the Association of Governmental Accountants. Locally, she serves as a board member or committee member with several community based organizations.Since taking the helm, in collaboration with the forward-thinking Board of Directors, Cempa has demonstrated achievement in the following areas:Fiscal Efficiency and GrowthGrant Revenue: Increased from $1,306,994 to $2,135,800Pharmacy Revenue: Added new covered entity and increased from $5,424,603 to $13,623,031 Contributions and Donations: Increased 90%Special Events: Increased 31% including 8 new and unique corporate sponsorsNet Assets: Purchased new building and increased assets by 52%Fiscal Audit Findings: Decreased from 4 to 1Grant Audit Findings/Corrective Action: Decreased to 0 across all state and federal programsStaff Benefits: Added comprehensive benefit package to create legacy employeesOperational Efficiency and GrowthEmployees: Increased from 26 to 45Viral Load Suppression: Increased from 74% to 91%Clinical Patients: Increased 34%New Diagnosis to Prescribing Practitioner Visit: Decreased from 4 weeks to same day servicesPrograms: Added 6 including 3 new clinical services/locationsCommunity Education Outreach/Partnerships: Increased 63%Service area: Added 14 counties in East TennesseeStaff Development: Training and development increased by 235%Client Nutrition: Added a Registered Dietician and additional mobile market availabilityBi-lingual Staff: Increased from 2 to 5Organizational Advisory Boards: Created Client, African-American, and Hispanic CommitteesHIV, HCV, STI Testing: Increased by 43%Education & CredentialsCertified Public Accountant, State of Tennessee, License 24190M.B.A., Lincoln Memorial University, 2008B.A., Tennessee Wesleyan University, 2005Panelist/SpeakerNational Ryan White Conference on Care & Treatment 2016: Abstract Presenter Congressional Black Caucus Healthcare Task Force: How & Why The Drug Discount Program Works for Minority PopulationsFamilies USA: Roundtable Discussion for Patient and Consumer Advocates on Program IncomeSAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions: Sustaining Integrated CareDivision of Community HIV/AIDS Program (DCHAP) National Business Meeting: Behavioral Health Integration340B Coalition 2018: Communicating the Value of the Program Curant Health: Removing Barriers and Finding Solutions through Care ManagementCenter for Healthcare Innovation: Executive Healthcare RoundtableUniversity of Tennessee at Chattanooga: Professor for a DayUnited States Conference on AIDS: Community Leader Panel & OpioidsCommitteesCenter for Healthcare Innovation: Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity SymposiumChattanooga Chapter Association of Governmental Accountants: Executive Committee, President of the BoardNational Minority Aids Coalition: Leadership Institute CommitteeTennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants: Nonprofit and Governmental Committee Godsong Ministries: Finance CommitteeRyan White Clinics for 340B Access: Executive Committee, President of the BoardAids United: Public Policy CouncilAssociations/MembershipsTennessee Society of Certified Public AccountantsChattanooga Women’s Leadership InstituteAssociation of Governmental AccountantsNational Minority Aids CouncilRyan White Clinics for 340B AccessAmerican Institute of Certified Public AccountantsCommunity Involvement (including roles served) Chickamauga Lake Property Owners Association: President and Board MemberAssociation of Governmental Accountants: President and Board MemberCommunities in Schools: Vice President and Board Member Waconda Bay Community Club: Past-President and Board MemberThe Bethlehem Center Catoosa Citizens for Animal Care: Board MemberTennessee Emergency Management Task Force III: Canine Handler and Trainer.

Sharon Stancliff, MD
Associate Medical Director for Harm Reduction in Health Care,
AIDS Institute, NYS Depart. of Health
New York, NY

Sharon Stancliff, M.D. is Associate Medical Director for Harm Reduction in Health Care at the AIDS Institute, NYSDOH and she is a staff physician at Project Renewal where she prescribes buprenorphine in the setting of a shelter. Dr. Stancliff has been working with people who use drugs since 1990 including provision of primary care, drug treatment, HIV care and syringe access. She is currently focused on opioid overdose prevention through expanding access to naloxone and expanding access to buprenorphine in primary care and in less traditional settings such as syringe access programs.  She is board certified in Family Medicine, and in Addiction Medicine.


Jason Stern
Chief Operating Officer, 
Hepatitis Education Project (HEP)
Seattle, WA

Jason is Chief Operating Officer at Hepatitis Education Project (HEP), a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that provides advocacy, support, education and direct-services for people affected by viral hepatitis. In this role, he oversees programming, operations, grant management, and strategic plan development. Jason also supports the organization’s health policy and advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal level. Jason comes from the corporate sector where he spent over 10 years leading business development, marketing and strategic planning efforts. He worked along-side executive management developing go-to-market solutions and fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships to mobilize resources, improve innovation, and maximize impact. Prior to joining HEP, Jason was the Executive Director for PRONTO International, a global health nonprofit organization that works to reduce maternal and infant mortality in low- and middle-income countries. At PRONTO, he operationalized the start-up organization and secured major grant funding to expand programming into India, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.

Donna Sweet, MD
Professor of Internal Medicine,
The University of Kansas
School of Medicine – Wichita
Wichita, KS

Ashley Michelle Tarrant
Chief Operations Officer,
Medical Advocacy and Outreach
Montgomery, AL 

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 UCAL 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 locally and nationally in addition to having 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. Ashley enjoys reading with a local book club, 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.”

Mark Thompson
Program Coordinator,
NY State Dept. of Health AIDS Institute’s
(NYS DOH AI) YGetIt? Project
New York, NY

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 helps 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 from Iona College.

Mary Evelyn Torres 
Program Implementation Administrator,
Philadelphia Depart. of Health,
AIDS Activities Coordinating Office
Philadelphia, PA

Evelyn Torres has an MBA in Health Administration. She is the Program Implementation Administrator, at the Philadelphia Department of Health, AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO). AACO administers federal (including Ryan White and CDC), state and local funding for the provision of services to persons living with HIV and those at risk for acquisition of HIV. It has a budget of approximately 50 million. As administrator, Ms. Torres has direct responsibility for the overall operations of five AACO units involved in surveillance, sub-recipient monitoring and quality assurance, data collection/reporting, performance evaluation and continuous quality improvement; as well as education and special initiatives. She has over twenty years’ experience in the HIV field, including case management, program implementation and quality management. Ms. Torres implemented the Client Services Unit at AACO; a centralized medical case management intake unit that includes a client grievance line for AACO funded services. She has represented AACO in collaborative efforts with HRSA, CDC, the HIV Integrated Planning Council and other Philadelphia Department of Health units.

Alecia Tramal

Masonia Traylor
HIV/AIDS Activist, Youth Advocate, & Community Champion
Atlanta, GA

Masonia Traylor is an HIV/AIDS Activist, Youth Advocate, & Community Champion. She’s been featured on the cover of People Magazine, in Time Magazine, and Essence Magazine. She is also a campaign ambassador for She’s Positive, CDC’s “Stop HIV Together” and Kaiser’s, “Greater Than AIDS”. She is also a global blogger for The Well Project and a member of the Compass Intiative’s Southern Advocacy Group. She is currently completing her undergraduate bachelor of science degree in Public Policy w/ a minor in nonprofit leadership at Georgia State University as CEO of non-profit organization, Lady BurgAndy Inc.

Ivy Turnbull, Ph.D
Deputy Executive Director,
AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families
Washington, DC

Nadra Tyus, DrPH, MPH

Alexandra Valentine
Managing Director of Substance Abuse Services
Gay Men’s Health Crisis
New York, NY

Alex Valentine is the Managing Director of Substance Abuse Services at Gay Men’s Health Crisis and brings over ten years of experience in addiction treatment to the role. Prior to joining GMHC, she worked in addiction treatment programs in Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn, and the Bronx, most recently serving the South Bronx community as a Site Director at Montefiore Medical Center’s Division of Substance Abuse. She has overseen the operations of both outpatient and opioid maintenance treatment programs, and has helped to incorporate evidence-based practices and data-driven interventions into those clinic settings. She also served as the Director of Vocational Services at Montefiore, overseeing a staff of vocational rehabilitation counselors who assisted addiction treatment patients with engagement in educational and vocational activities. She currently oversees the operation of GMHC’s OASAS-licensed Article 32 outpatient program, as well as several grant programs which address several populations and needs such as opioid overdose, crystal methamphetamine use, access to syringes to prevent disease transmission, and substance use among women.  She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).

Deborah Wafer
Medical Scientist,
Foster City, CA

Dafina Ward
Sr. Manager,
Grants Ops & Strategy
Southern AIDS Coalition
Birmingham, AL

Dafina Ward, J.D. serves as Senior Manager of Grant Operations & Strategy for the Southern AIDS Coalition, a non-partisan coalition with a mission to end the HIV epidemic in the South through federal advocacy, capacity building, education, and grassroots organizing.  Dafina has over a decade of experience in grants management and program development with a focus on HIV and stigmatized health issues in the Deep South.  She is also a writer, with work published in The Washington Post, Role Reboot, and TheBody.com.  

Karen Jeaneen Washington 
Public Health Program Representative,
City of St Louis Department of Health 
St Louis, MO

Karen Jeaneen Washington completed her graduate degree in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University-St. Charles MO. Ms. Washington currently works as a Public Health Program Representative, for the City of St. Louis Department of Health- Communicable Disease Prevention Services. She has an extensive background in HIV/STI prevention and care services with over 18 years of public speaking, presentation, and educational experience in the HIV/STI field. With her education in counseling and professional background she has a unique and effective approach in providing awareness to the public, private, and community sectors while working with women and families. MS. Washington strive to provide clients with tailored treatment plans, safety plans, and education focusing on advocacy, prevention, HIV/STI testing, treatment, and care, as well as, resources in the area of violence against women.”

Andrea Weddle
Executive Director,
HIV Medicine Association
Washington, DC

Andrea Weddle is the executive director of the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), an organization that represents frontline HIV medical providers and researchers. Previously she served as the associate director of the association.  As executive director, she oversees the Association’s education, membership and policy and advocacy activities. She has extensive experience working on health care financing issues and serves as Vice Chair of HarborPath. Prior to joining HIVMA, she conducted policy research on Medicaid managed care programs as a research associate for the Center for HIV Quality Care and served as the staff director for the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. Ms. Weddle has a Master’s in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley and a Professional Writer’s Certificate from Georgetown University’s Professional Development Program.

Jeffrey J. Weiss, PhD, M
Associate Professor,
Icahn School of Medicine
Mount Sinai
New York, NY

Jeffrey J. Weiss, PhD, MS, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is the Director of the Respectful & Equitable Access to Comprehensive Healthcare (REACH) Program in the Division of General Internal Medicine. REACH is a community outreach and primary care-based harm reduction treatment program providing stigma-free care, including HCV treatment, to persons who use drugs. He has worked for 25 years in the United States and Europe as a licensed clinical psychologist providing care to persons with infectious diseases; conducting research on behavioral interventions to improve their quality and length of life including strategies to improve medication and treatment adherence; and providing education and mentorship to medical providers and public health professionals. His NIH-funded research studies led to the development of the open-access, web-based Psychosocial Readiness Evaluation and Preparation for hepatitis C treatment (PREP-C) assessment tool which has been accessed by over 1800 health care professionals from around the world and shown to improve rates of HCV treatment initiation among HIV/HCV co-infected persons. His current research focuses on the intersection of HIV. HCV, and the opioid crisis and he serves as a co-Investigator on two HCV elimination studies in Kentucky.

Aisha L. Wilkes, MPH
Behavioral Scientist,
Prevention Research Branch
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP)
Centers for Disease Control
Atlanta, GA

Aisha L. Wilkes, MPH is a Behavioral Scientist in the Prevention Research Branch of 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 (MSM), African American and Latino youth, incarcerated populations, and women.  Currently, her role includes overseeing: (1) health department projects intended to increase PrEP implementation among MSM and transgender populations and use of the Data to Care strategy to link and reengage persons with HIV (PWH) in care, and (2) a demonstration project to implement and evaluate the use of Telemedicine to reengage 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 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.

Grace K. Wilkins, RN, BSN, MPA, FNP-C
Family Nurse Practitioner,
Director of Clinical Operations, ECU Adult Specialty Care
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU),
Greenville, NC

Grace Wilkins is Family Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Infectious Diseases (ECU Adult Specialty Care) at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU). She is the Director of Clinical Operations in the ECU Adult Specialty Care Clinic.  She provides direct patient care to persons living with HIV/AIDS.  She has been a Nurse Case Manager providing care to medically complex HIV patients. She has extensive experience as a Clinical Research Nurse and Sub-investigator in the conduct of HIV Clinical Trials.  She completed her Master’s Degree in Nursing at Duke University School of Nursing.  She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, with an emphasis in Community Health from East Carolina University.  She completed her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Grace Wilkins’ main interests are: pregnancy care in women who are HIV infected –she maintains the antiviral pregnancy registry for ECU Adult Specialty Care; HIV prevention strategies including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis; linkage and retention in care of special populations.


David Alain Wohl, MD

Tommy Young-Dennis
Prevention and Outreach Specialist
Nebraska AIDS Project
Norfolk, NE

Mr. Tommy Young-Dennis, born in Omaha, Nebraska, is a gay Black man, LGBTQ+ advocate, HIV activist and educator.

After being diagnosed as HIV+ in 2010, Young-Dennis turned his devastation into action. Within three months of his diagnosis, he founded an HIV+ support group for young adults, began volunteering at Nebraska AIDS Project, and dedicated his time to supporting and educating others living with the disease. In 2017, Young-Dennis joined the Nebraska AIDS Project (NAP) full-time as their Prevention and Outreach Specialist, where he does onsite testing, Linkage to Care, and focuses on providing resources and education to the Black MSM community (Men who have sex with men), a population disproportionately affected by HIV.

In 2018, Young-Dennis was a recipient of the Young Black and Influential Award, a recognition given to outstanding leaders in Omaha’s Black community.

Kenya Young, MPH

Larry Zayas
Project Coordinator,
Centro Ararat
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Mr. Larry Zayas is a Project Coordinator at Centro Ararat, a native of Caguas, Puerto Rico. Mr. Zayas received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Dowling College in Oakdale, New York.

Mr. Zayas has served several roles at Centro Ararat, from being Vice President of the Board of Directors, to becoming the Privacy and Compliance Officer for the organization.

As member of the LGBT Community, Mr. Zayas has been an allied and an advocate to make the Transgender Community visible in Puerto Rico.

Currently Mr. Zayas serves in the Public Politic Committee for the Governor’s Advisory Council on LGBT+ Affairs in Puerto Rico and runs the Translucent Project to engage Transgender Women and Men into care.