Dr. Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese currently serves as the Director of the Performing Arts Fellowship Program and as an Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine in the Programs in Physical Therapy at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. Dr. Abbruzzese earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology at Columbia College, a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and both a Master of Education and Doctor of Education degree in Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Abbruzzese has over twenty-five years of clinical experience in physical therapy and 15 years as an educator. Dr. Abbruzzese is a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow in the National Academies of Practice, which advocates for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice. She is on the Executive Committee of the Physical Therapy Academy and serves as chair of the NAP DEI Task Force. She is a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (CEEAA) and is part of the national CEEAA faculty. Dr. Abbruzzese also serves as the President of the Performing Arts Special Interest Group (PASIG) of the American Physical Therapy Association Academy of Orthopedics.
Jackie Baras, MSN, MBA, RN is the Director of LGBT Program, Director of Perioperative Quality and Director of Clinical Anesthesia Manager and OR techs for RWJ University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Jackie has more than 20 year experience of being a professional Registered Nurse. She has served the organization with multiple roles from Clinical Nurse, Head Nurse, Case Manager, Home care Planner, Nurse Educator, PI/Quality Manager and Director of Nursing in Skilled Nursing Facility. Jackie is both well respected as Nurse Leader and Transrights advocate in RWJ Barnabas Health (RWJBH) and community. She is known among various professional organizations both locally and nationally. She is a recipient of numerous awards in leadership, community outreach and scholarship. Jackie is pioneer in establishing the first LGBTQIA+ hospital based primary care clinic in the State of New Jersey called PROUD Family Health at RWJ Somerset and in 2020 she launched the PROUD Gender Center of NJ in New Brunswick, NJ-the first of its kind in the state to offer a broad and comprehensive range of services and experts specializing in LGBTQIA+ care in one central location. She is a major contributor in making RWJUH LGBT Healthcare Leaders by the Health Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign. She is a founding member of the first Transgender Family support group called PROUD Transitions, first and one of a kind in the State of New Jersey and the Creator and Founder of the first combined Education and Support group called PROUDLY ME “Eduport”’ program. Her lived experiences and personal story have serve as an inspiration to many Trans individuals and family members, who gather together to learn and support each every month. Also, Jackie is the lead facilitator of the PROUD Advisory Council, a group of self- identified members of the community whose goal is to identify emerging issues that may impact the current healthcare needs of the LGBTQIA community. Jackie serves as Chair of the Business Resource Group called BRG-PROUD (Promoting Respect Outreach Understanding and Dignity). She had made tremendous efforts in changing hospital policies including Patient bill of rights, visitation guidelines, equal employment opportunity, patient access registration, creation of new patient’s ID band, and inclusion of gender affirming related health care benefits and coverage among transgender employees. In 2017, PROUD BRG was awarded the Business Impact Above and Beyond award from the Diversity Best Practices’ Network & Affinity Leadership Congress. The group was selected from among 100 award nominations.
Jackie Baras is 2020 NJ Biz Nurse of the Year, 2020 Wells Fargo Community MVP award, and 2020 NYC Red Bulls Homegrown Hero. Jackie was recently awarded as the 2021 LGBTQ Community Service Award by the PRIDE Center of NJ and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Virginia H. Joseph Award for her significant and enduring contributions to the quality of life and pride of NJ LGBTQIA+ Community. Lastly, Jackie is NJ’s BIZ Health care POWERHOUSE 50 and NJ Biz’s 2021 Next generation of leaders list, which she was designated as one of the most influential healthcare executive in the State of NJ.
Jackie serves as immediate past Board of Director of Garden State Equality, the largest advocacy organization of LGBTQIA community in state of NJ and currently the President of the Philippine Nurses Association of New Jersey with almost 1000 members.
Alanna Bergman is a nurse practitioner and has provided HIV treatment and prevention services for the past six years. Alanna teaches advanced practice pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University in the school of nursing where she is also a PhD student. She is a research coordinator on several projects focused on optimizing HIV and tuberculosis outcomes. Alanna’s dissertation research focuses on stigma measurement among people living with intersecting stigmatized identities in South Africa. She will be measuring HIV and tuberculosis stigma in a nested prospective cohort across the care continuum to evaluate changes in stigma and its impact on care engagement and treatment adherence. Alanna is the 2021 recipient of the Frank Lamendola Achievement Award for Nursing Leadership in HIV Care awarded by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. She is also the current president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.
Vince Crisostomo is a gay Chamorro (Pacific Islander) long-term HIV/AIDS survivor who believes in the healing power of community and has dedicated more than 30 years to HIV/AIDS activism and LGBTQ communities. He is passionate about bringing health care to all and social justice equity to people of every sexual identity, HIV status, gender, race and age. Vince is currently Director of Aging Services at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Additionally, he sits on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s LGBTQI+ Advisory Committee, the San Francisco Mayor’s Long Term Care Coordinating Council and the California State Equity in Aging Committee.
Previously from 2014 to 2020 he managed SFAF’s Elizabeth Taylor 50 Plus Network for long-term HIV survivors. He was an active member of the Mayor’s Long-Term Care Coordinating Council where he co-chaired the HIV & Aging Work Group. Vince has led a number of grassroots HIV advocacy & LGBTQ 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. In 2019 he was named Community Grand Marshall for San Francisco Pride by popular vote.
Dr. Alycia T. Dickens is a recognized leader in the field of HIV/AIDS. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner, Community Educator and Advocate. She completed Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degrees in Science at Hampton University. While at Hampton University I was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses. She subsequently earned Clinical Doctorate/Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Duke University in May2012
Her research interests over the years have included HIV High-Risk Behaviors in Women and health literacy, of which she has a published article in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice.
She also had the great privilege to present her doctoral work at the 2nd Annual Nursing Science Conference in London, England. Regarding her clinical nursing experience, she has worked in General Rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU/MCV) in Richmond, in mental health, home health care and women’s health. She has also taught both undergraduate and graduate level nursing courses at Hampton University, Norfolk State and George Washington University.
She was a charter member and one of the past Presidents of The First Virginia Chapter of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) in Norfolk, Virginia. She worked as the Infectious Disease and Liver Transplant Coordinator at the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Hampton, Virginia for more than 11 years. She also worked as a Nurse Practitioner at the Infectious Disease Clinic at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is currently the Nurse Practitioner at the local CAN Community Health Care Center in Norfolk.
Sarah Dobbins is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and a Doctoral Candidate at University of California, San Francisco. Before becoming a nurse, she studied infectious disease epidemiology and worked in clinical research. As an NP at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, she cares for unhoused adults with HIV, serious mental illness, and substance use disorders. Her academic and research activities are centered on understanding the structural, psychosocial, and biological pathways underpinning cognitive impairment among marginalized older adults, particularly people living with HIV.
Gwen started as a volunteer in healthcare and was drawn to the nursing profession. While putting herself through nursing school she worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Our House of Portland, a 14 bed Residential Care Facility for people living with HIV. Once becoming a Registered Nurse, she had the opportunity to learn the intersection of HIV, Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder supports to help people thrive. After 18 years in HIV care, she is the Director of Our House Programs with Cascade AIDS Project in Portland, Oregon.
Anna E. Fowlkes, a native of Baltimore, was one of Baltimore City Health Department's 2019 "People Who Look Like Me" commercial and campaign. She was featured on the cover of the September 2017 edition of POZ magazine. The accompanying article featured Anna and her mate in a discussion about relationships among older HIV positive adults. Additionally, Ms .Fowlkes was one of the faces of New York city's 2014 “Age Is Not A Condom” campaign. Created by ACRIA, this campaign reminds and encourages older adults to practice safer sex. Since her diagnosis in 2006, Anna's role as an HIV and AIDS education and prevention advocate, activist and spokesperson positioned her to host the Baltimore City Health Department's e-learning HIV management program "Positively!", which is the definitive guide for promoting safe and healthy living. “Senior Dating-Older, Wiser, Safer” and "Love Ain't Supposed to Hurt" are videos which Anna wrote and produced on the topics of safer sex and domestic abuse.
In 2016, she attended the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa (IAC).where she worked as a volunteer. Anna also attended the Women Now Summit which was sponsored by Sister Love and the Positive Women’s Network Ms. Fowlkes was inducted into Sister Love's 2020 Leading Women's Society in 2013. She is a member of Positive Women's Network and the Maryland State HIV Planning Group (HPG) where she Chairs' the Special Population Committee. She served six years on the Greater Baltimore HIV Health Services Planning Council and was a member of the Baltimore City Health Department's Health Literacy Panel and Chase Brexton's Patient Advisory Council (PAC). She continues to work with POWAB (Places of Worship Advisory Board) and Older Women Embracing Life (OWEL).
Anna has appeared on several television news shows, including MSNBC.com and HLN's Weekend Express. She has shared her personal story on secular and Christian radio shows and has been featured in magazines and newspapers throughout the United States Ms. Fowlkes encourages everyone to: Get Educated: Knowledge is power, what you don't know can harm you. Get Involved: Be part of the solution and not part of the problem . Get Tested: Know your status and Protect yourself
Jeffrey Kwong is an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and HIV specialist. Dr. Kwong is a professor in the Division of Advanced Practice Nursing at Rutgers University and former President of ANAC. He serves as a clinical expert and consultant for Mt Sinai's HIV Project ECHO in New York City and developed one of the first nurse-led interprofessional care coordination programs for older LGBT adults at Columbia University. Dr. Kwong is the Co-Medical Director for the American Academy of HIV Medicine's HIV and Aging Initiative and maintains a clinical practice at Gotham Medical Group in New York City.
Murray Penner is U.S. Executive Director for the Prevention Access Campaign (PAC) and the U=U Campaign. Penner previously served as Executive Director at NASTAD from 2015-2018 and Deputy Executive Director and director of its care & treatment program from 2001-2015. He has strong expertise and experience in HIV and hepatitis treatments, the Ryan White Program, and drug pricing. Penner serves on the boards of AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC) and HarborPath, and has a bachelor’s degree in social work and psychology from Bethel College. He is a strong advocate for the rights of PLWH to have unfettered access to ARVs. Living with HIV since 1986, he has a deep personal interest in helping people achieve sexual health and well-being and reducing HIV stigma and shame.
Bridgette Picou is a licensed vocational nurse in Palm Springs, California. An avid writer, she pens a column in Positively Aware magazine called "Being Bridgette" about life as a Black woman with HIV. She is a sitting member of the Board of Directors for HIV & Aging Research Project-Palm Springs (HARP-PS) and Co-Chair and Community Advisory Board Member for The Well Project-HIV and Women. Bridgette is also an active HIV blogger and a member of ANAC, the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, Greater Palm Springs Chapter. Finding a voice in advocacy and activism is a natural progression, since she feels that every time she fights for someone else, she affirms her own life.
Dr. Sharma is Professor of Medicine in the divisions of General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is Principal Investigator of the Bronx/Manhattan New York site of the MACS-WIHS Combined Cohort Study and co-chair of its Metabolic Working Group. Dr. Sharma’s research focuses on metabolic complications and non-AIDS comorbidities related to HIV disease and aging, including falls, fracture, and frailty and functional and cognitive impairment. Dr. Sharma was selected as a Tideswell University of California San Francisco-American Geriatrics Society Emerging Leaders in Aging Scholar and has been funded by Gilead Sciences to develop a tailored model of integrated geriatric-HIV care delivery adapted to the specific needs of older persons with HIV. She has received additional funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health for her research.
Carole Treston, RN, MPH, ACRN, FAAN is the Executive Diirector of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, a global nurse membership organization supporting the development, engagement and leadership of nurses in HIV related issues nationally and globally.
Carole is a Registered Nurse who has worked in HIV/AIDS clinical care, research and health policy since 1987, including a 4 year appointment as the the Director of Operations for the PACTG/IMPAACT research network, funded by NIH.
At ANAC, she joins with other nurses from across the globe in the development of nursing education programs on domestic & global HIV issues and in calling for greater investments in nursing education, nursing working conditions and nurse leadership.
She has been a member of numerous local, national and global boards and appointed committees related to health care, HIV and social justice and has presented locally and nationally on HIV issues, HIV criminalization and the important role of nurses in health care and health policy. She is an experienced nurse clinician with a Master’s Degree in Public Health/Health Policy from Columbia University and is board certified thru the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and an appointed member of the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board. She is proudest of being a member of the global nursing workforce, which makes up more than 80% of the world’s healthcare workforce and is dedicated to compassionate, evidence–based person centered health care.
Dr. David Vance is a Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing and psychologist actively pursuing research in positive and negative neuroplasticity, neurocognitive aging, neurocognitive remediation, aging with HIV, and more recently neurocognition in cancer survivors. With a passion for successful cognitive aging and for mentoring scientific leaders, Dr. Vance’s work has resulted in over 300 publications including numerous book chapters and editorials, and he has disseminated his research prolifically in national and international presentations across 22 countries/territories. He has received a White House invitation to attend the first forum on aging with HIV and has participated as an invited member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Think Tank – Working Group on HIV and Aging sponsored by the Office of AIDS Research to develop the national research agenda, published in the Journal of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes.
Mitchell J. Wharton is an Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing and is the Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Their research scholarship focuses on identifying asset-based modalities of HIV prevention and health maintenance in marginalized populations by examining the intersections of age, race, sexual identity and behaviors, and human rights. Wharton maintains an active clinical practice in the Center for Perioperative Medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital and serve as President-Elect for the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC).