Faculty and Advisory Board
Stewart L. Adelson, MD
Dr. Adelson is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons Dept. of Psychiatry in the Divisions of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Gender, Sexuality & Health, where he is an investigator in the LGBT Health Initiative, Chair of its Advisory Council, and a member of its Steering and Organizing Committees, as well as an Adjunct Clinical Professor and Weill Cornell Medical College. He is the principal author of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP’s) Practice Parameter on Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Sexual Orientation, Gender-Nonconformity, and Gender Discordance in Children and Adolescents. Practice Parameters are clinical practice guidelines developed by AACAP to encourage best practices in child and adolescent mental health. He is also a longstanding member of AACAP’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Committee, and the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry’s Human Sexuality Committee. He is the primary author of several peer-reviewed publications about the psychiatric assessment of sexuality, sexual and gender development, and psychodynamics in psychiatrically ill, sexually abused, and normally developing children and adolescents. Dr. Adelson teaches and supervises medical students, residents and fellows at Columbia and Cornell in Adult, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in general, and sexual development and LGBT mental health in particular. He has also taught regularly at national and international conferences on topics including sexual development, sexual orientation, and mental health in youth and adults. He serves on the Advisory Committee of the international LGBT program of Human Rights Watch. He has been a recipient of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Presidential Scholar Award, the Dennis Anderson award of the Lesbian and Gay Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Association of which he is a Past President, and the Yale University Saybrook College Master’s Prize.
Jon Appelbaum, MD
Dr. Appelbaum is an internist, geriatrician, and an HIV expert. He has been involved locally and nationally with the American Academy HIV Medicine, where is on the national board and serves as the board treasurer. He has served on the national steering committee for the Group on Diversity and Inclusion of the Association of American Medical Colleges. He is on the board of directors of HealthHIV, a national organization supporting advocacy, education, capacity building and research for individuals, organizations and communities. He has spoken on or been member of panels on topics such as health issues in the older LGBT patient, HIV and Aging and LGBT curriculum in undergraduate medical education. He has presented at PriMed, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, American Geriatrics Society and the National Association for HIV over Fifty. He served as the co-principle investigator for the HIV and Aging Consensus Project and is the medical editor for the HIV-Age.org site. He currently holds the Laurie L. Dozier, Jr., MD Education Director and Professor of Internal Medicine at Florida State University College of Medicine. At FSUCOM he chairs the Council on Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Appelbaum earned his MD at the University of Miami School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Prior to relocating to Florida, he had positions at Fenway Community Health and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His interests focus on LGBT health disparities and aging and HIV.
Kevin Ard, MD
Dr. Kevin Ard earned his MD from Washington University in Saint Louis and his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. He completed the Doris and Howard Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity and Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as the fellowship in infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals. Dr. Ard also served as a chief medical resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is the recipient of the Edward H. Kass award for clinical excellence from the Massachusetts Infectious Disease Society and the Soma Weiss award for excellence in teaching from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Currently, he is a faculty member in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ard has written and lectured widely on LGBT health disparities, intimate partner violence in LGBT relationships, and HIV prevention. His current interests include LGBT health education, the intersection of clinical medicine and public health, and the care of patients with HIV and hepatitis C.
Lem Arnold, MD
Faculty • Advisory Board
After one year of private practice and 7 years in a staff model HMO, Dr. Arnold started working as a physician in The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente Georgia, where he had opportunities as an openly gay physician to become involved in medical group leadership and eventually became a member of Kaiser Permanente’s National Diversity Council. There he found his second calling – education on culturally competent care, specifically for the LGBT population. In 1999 he led a group of clinicians and others over a year to create Kaiser Permanente’s “Provider’s Handbook on Culturally Competent Care: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Population.” That led to many opportunities to lecture on that topic to many different audiences including medical students, physicians, associate practitioners and others. He continues to enjoy a fulltime primary care pediatric practice that cares for patients from birth to 21 years old.
Al Ballesteros, MBA
Faculty • Advisory Board
Al Ballesteros is the President & Chief Executive Officer of JWCH Institute, Inc. a Los Angeles based non-profit, Federally Qualified Community Health Center. Al Ballesteros is also a Commissioner and past Co-Chair of the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV, appointed by the LA County Board of Supervisors. Other current community work includes: Member of the Board of Directors, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission; Member of the Board of Directors, Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County; Founder and Publisher of Adelante Magazine, a Latino Gay and Lesbian Monthly Publication produced and distributed in California.
Kari Bichell, MD, MPH
Dr Bichell brings strong experience in medical education, having completed a primary care faculty development fellowship, and having served as faculty at the University of Maryland Department of Family and Community Medicine where she headed a HRSA funded Chronic Care Improvement residency training initiative. She also has extensive experience providing primary care to LGBT patients, and currently serve as a site clinical Director at Chase Brexton Health Services, a federally qualified health Center whose 30 year history has always been closely tied to the Baltimore LGBT population.
Walter Bockting, PhD
Walter Bockting, PhD, is Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry and Nursing) in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the School of Nursing at Columbia University. He is also a Research Scientist with the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is Co-Director of the LGBT Health Initiative in the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia, he coordinated the Transgender Health Services at the University of Minnesota Medical School (1991-2012), which is the oldest continuously operating multidisciplinary service for transgender-specific health care in the United States (since 1966). Dr. Bockting’s research focuses on LGBT health, with an emphasis on gender identity development, mental health, aging and HIV. He is currently the Principal Investigator of an NIH funded longitudinal study on transgender identity development across the lifespan. Findings from this research are translated into interventions to promote resilience among transgender communities in New York City, San Francisco, and Atlanta, funded by the MAC AIDS Fund and a number of other private foundations. Dr. Bockting served on the Institute of Medicine Committee that produced the 2011 IOM report entitled “The Health of LGBT People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding.” He is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Transgenderism. Dr. Bockting is a past president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), and a past president and fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
Judy Bradford, PhD
Judith Bradford, Ph.D. is director of the Center for Population Research in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health at The Fenway Institute (TFI), and co-chairs TFI with Kenneth Mayer, MD. Dr. Bradford has participated in LGBT health research since 1984, working with public health programs and community-based organizations to conduct studies on LGBT people and racial minority communities and to translate results into programs to reduce health disparities. She was a member of the recent Institute of Medicine Committee on LGBT Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities.
Sean Cahill, Ph.D.
Sean Cahill, Ph.D., is Director of Health Policy Research at the Fenway Institute, where he works on LGBT health policy, HIV policy, elder policy, and youth issues. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration at New York University, where he teaches LGBT public policy, and serves on the Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Youth. Cahill is coauthor, with Jason Cianciotto, of LGBT Youth in America’s Schools (2012, University of Michigan Press). He also authored two books on LGBT family policy and nearly 30 articles and chapters on LGBT and HIV issues. Cahill’s most recent publication, with Robert Valadez, is “Growing older with HIV: New public health challenges,” the American Journal of Public Health (January 2013). He formerly held leadership positions at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute and Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
Timothy Cavanaugh, MD
Dr. Tim Cavanaugh has been the Medical Director for the Transgender Health Program at Fenway Health since November of 2012. Prior to joining the team at Fenway Health, Dr. Cavanaugh that worked 18 years as medical director and staff physician at Family Health Services/Comprehensive Community Action Program in Cranston, Rhode Island where we began formal outreach to transgender patients in coordination with the local transgender support organization. He has been working with transgender patients for seven years. Dr. Cavanaugh attended Dartmouth Medical School, and completed his Family Practice Residency at the University of Virginia Hospital.
Jeffrey S. Crowley
Advisory Board • Faculty
Jeffrey S. Crowley is a Distinguished Scholar and Program Director of the National HIV/AIDS Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and Senior Advisor on Disability Policy for President Barack Obama. As the President’s chief HIV/AIDS advisor, Mr. Crowley led the development of the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States, focused on lowering the number of new HIV infections, increasing access to care, and reducing HIV-related health disparities. During his tenure at the White House, Mr. Crowley also made major contributions to the development and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, comprehensive health care reform legislation enacted in 2010. His work helped ensure access to private health insurance for people living with HIV/AIDS and other people with disabilities, as well as expanding Medicaid eligibility to millions of low-income people who are currently uninsured.
Merle Cunningham, MD, MPH
Dr. Cunningham is a family physician with over 35 years of experience in various aspects of health care management in safety net organizations. Most recently, he served as Network Medical Director of the Sunset Park/Lutheran Family Health Centers in Brooklyn NY for almost 20 years where he had overall responsibility for the clinical management of one of nation’s largest and most comprehensive community health center networks. Prior to joining Sunset Park/Lutheran Family Health Centers, he held senior positions with the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the US Department of HHS Bureau of Primary Health Care, and Plan de Salud del Valle, a network of migrant and community health centers serving rural areas of Colorado.
Dr. Cunningham has played leadership roles in the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the Community Health Association of New York State (CHCANYS). He was an early volunteer in 1983, founding director and served continuously for 24 years on the Board of Directors of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in Manhattan, dedicated to serving the LGBT community of the Greater Metropolitan NYC area. Dr. Cunningham earned a medical degree with distinction in research on community health centers from the University of Rochester (NY), completed his Family Practice residency at Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx NY) and earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University. He has recently joined the faculty of the GWU School of Public Health and Health Services as a Visiting Associate Professor, following a period of serving as the 2010 Distinguished Visitor in the Geiger-Gibson Program in Community Health Policy & Leadership in the Department of Health Policy.
Emilia Dunham is the Study Coordinator at The Fenway Institute for the LifeSkills study, a multi-site NIMH-funded randomized control trial testing the efficacy of an HIV risk reduction intervention with transgender woman. Her prior work at The Fenway Institute included work in HIV prevention clinical trials and with The Network for LGBT Health Equity. She currently serves as the Recommendations Committee Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth. Additionally she serves the Policy Committee Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Emilia received a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Sociology where she was involved in several advocacy projects including a successful gender neutral housing program.
Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH
Faculty • Advisory Board
Dr. Garofalo is an associate professor of Pediatrics and Preventative Medicine at Northwestern University Fienberg School of Medicine. He is also an attending physician at Children’s Memorial Hospital where he directs the Adolescent/Young Adult HIV Program. Dr. Garofalo is a national authority on LGBT health issues, adolescent sexuality, and HIV clinical care and prevention. He has been the principal investigator on five National Institute of Medicine (NIH) and two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded research grants and serves as a co-investigator on three additional NIH-funded projects. He is the former past-President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. In 2010, Dr. Garofalo served as a committee member for the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities.
Marcy Gelman, NP
As a primary care provider, Ms. Gelman has cared for HIV/AIDS patients since 1991 both in Africa and in the United States. At Fenway Health, she was the first provider caring for transgender identified individuals and for five years served as the Director of the Transgender Clinical Care Committee. As Fenway’s Associate Director of Clinical Research, Ms. Gelman has focused her clinical and professional experience in training clinical research staff in the area of biomedical HIV Prevention modalities.
Tracey L. Gersh, PhD
Tracey L. Gersh, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the LGBT Health Resource Center (LHRC) of Chase Brexton Health Care, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center in Baltimore, MD. The LHRC was founded to provide LGBT individuals and their families with welcoming access to expert health information and resources that enhance wellness and quality of life. Dr. Gersh has nearly 30 years in the health care field, including 24 years as a clinical provider, and over 10 years as a senior leader in health care administration. Dr. Gersh received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completed her internship at the Durham Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, and completed the Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her professional interests include reducing health disparities and integrated models of care.
Alex Gonzalez, MD
Dr. Alex Gonzalez is the Medical Director at Fenway Health, where he oversees a staff of over 50 physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants, and clerical staff in the delivery of medical care to Fenway’s approximately 17,000 patients. Programs within the Medical Department include outpatient primary care; specialty clinics in alternative insemination, nutrition, diabetes, HIV, pulmonology, podiatry, general infectious disease, transgender health, women’s health, and male and female colposcopy; complementary therapy services in massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture; nursing programs such as team-based nursing, the weekly hepatitis immunization and STD clinic, and the patient triage line; and community-based programs such as the biannual mammogram van. Alex obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tulane University and a combined medical and public health degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency training in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is currently an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and he has worked at Fenway since 2005.
Christopher E. Harris, MD
Faculty • Advisory Board
Dr. Harris is Director of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, he was an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, Director of Pediatric Pulmonary Function Laboratory, and Associate Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center, all at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, Dr. Harris has been involved in community education on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health in the Southeast. He is a Board Member and former President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and is the GLMA representative to the Coalition to End Health Disparities.
Ruben Hopwood, PhD
Ruben Hopwood works part-time as the Coordinator of the Transgender Health Program at Fenway Health, a multidisciplinary program that oversees the care of transgender persons receiving behavioral health services and medical care. He has a PhD in Counseling Psychology and Religion from Boston University and has an extensive history working in mental health and social services in several states. He has been working at Fenway with the Transgender Health Program since September 2005 as part of the clinical treatment team. In his work, he provides mental health evaluations, co-leads a clinical care team, and presents clinical competency trainings, workshops, guest lectures, panel discussions, and consultations on transgender health care at multiple mental health agencies, medical facilities, medical schools, and universities.
Kevin Kapila, MD
Dr. Kevin Kapila has been a primary care provider at Fenway Health since 2002 and the Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Fenway since 2005. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and a HIV certified specialist through the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Dr. Kapila currently has two book chapters on LGBT health in press and has lectured extensively on issues related to LGBT medical and mental health care. Most recently, Dr. Kapila worked with The Fenway Institute to develop training modules on providing culturally competent care to MSM on the African Continent. He and the Fenway Institute’s Marcy Gelman have delivered these trainings in Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa. Dr. Kapila completed a combined Psychiatry and Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he served as program Chief Resident in Psychiatry in 2002.
JoAnne Keatley, MSW
Faculty • Advisory Board
JoAnne Keatley received a Master of Social Welfare degree from the University of California, Berkeley. At UCSF since 1999, she directs the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, a capacity building and technical assistance center. JoAnne is the Co-Investigator on the new HRSA SPNS-Transgender Evaluation and Technical Assistance (TETAC) Project. During the last decade she has directed multiple federally funded research and HIV prevention projects and has consulted on transgender health at the NIH, CDC, HRSA, SAMHSA and at the White House. JoAnne has received numerous awards and recognition including the first staff recipient of the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for LGBT Leadership and in 2009 the UCSF Martin Luther King Jr. Staff Award for advancing cultural diversity and social justice on campus. In 2011, she was honored by Kaiser Permanente with the National HIV/AIDS Diversity Award.
Scott Leibowitz, MD
Scott Leibowitz, MD is the Head Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist for the Gender and Sex Development program at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He holds the academic title of Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Leibowitz completed his child and adolescent psychiatry training at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2010 where he developed a consultative, psychosocial assessment and treatment clinic for gender nonconforming and dysphoric children and adolescents prior to moving to the newly formed Gender and Sex Development Program in Chicago at Northwestern. He is currently the co-chairman of the Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Issues Committee for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, on the Trevor Project’s Advisory Council, is on the gender and sexuality curriculum taskforce for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and is also a member of the Association for American Medical Colleges LGBT Patient Care Project. He is also a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
Harvey J. Makadon, MD
Faculty • Advisory Board • Director
Harvey J. Makadon, MD is the Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute, a division of Fenway Health, Boston, and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He teaches about how to improve access to quality care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in health care settings around the country and directs a HRSA funded cooperative agreement to improve cultural competence in LGBT health in community health centers.
Dr. Makadon is the lead editor of The Fenway Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, published by the American College of Physicians in 2008, with a new edition being released in early 2015. In addition to writing numerous articles and chapters related to LGBT health, he served on the Advisory Committee on the Advisory Committee to the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in the preparation of The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding in March, 2011.
Dr. Makadon was the recipient of the Community Service Award (2000) and the Harold Amos Diversity Award (2008) at Harvard Medical School; an Achievement Award from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association; and the Michael Tye Leadership Award (2004) from Fenway Health.
Gal Mayer, MD
Faculty • Advisory Board
Dr. Gal Mayer is the former Medical Director of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, a New York City health center with a mission to meet the healthcare needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. He is a board-certified internist and AAHIVM-certified HIV Specialist. Dr. Mayer has been providing medical care at Callen-Lorde since 1997 and was appointed as Medical Director in 2005. He has authored published research, abstracts, and textbook chapters, as well as lectured internationally on his areas of interest: LGBT health, transgender care, HIV care, and anal cancer screening and prevention. He also serves on the board of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) and co-chairs the GLBT Advisory Committee of the American Medical Association (AMA).
Dr. Mayer earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany, a Master’s degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a Medical Doctorate from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency at New York University Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital – where he also served as a Chief Resident in 2000.
Kenneth Mayer, MD
Faculty • Advisory Board
Dr. Mayer is a Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and Attending Physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and Director of HIV Prevention Research there. He is the founder, Co-Chair and Medical Research Director of The Fenway Institute, the research, training and health policy division of Fenway Health, the largest ambulatory facility caring for HIV-infected patients in New England. He previously was a Professor of Medicine and Community Health at Brown University, and Director of its AIDS Program. Dr. Mayer has served on the national boards of the HIV Medicine Association, the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. He is a member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society, and Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Center for Global Health Policy of the Infectious Disease Society of America.
Since 1994, he has been the Principal Investigator of the only NIH-funded HIV Prevention Research Clinical Trials Unit in New England focusing on bio-behavioral prevention and chemoprophylaxis and the Co-Principal Investigator of the Harvard HIV/AIDS Vaccine Unit, conducting trials in the NIH-funded HIVNET, HPTN, HVTN and MTN networks. He was the Co-Chair of an NIAID-funded protocol evaluating a community-based prevention intervention for African-American Men who have Sex with Men in 6 U.S. cities (HPTN 061) and is Co-Chair of a multicenter protocol evaluating the safety, tolerability and adherence with Maraviroc-based chemoprophylaxis regimens. He is the co-author of more than 500 peer-reviewed publications. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Clinical Infectious Diseases, the editor of three texts related to the impact of AIDS on diverse disciplines, as well as “The Social Ecology of Infectious Diseases” (Academic Press) and is Associate Editor of The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health (ACP Press).
He continues to teach and mentor medical students, residents, and fellows. He has provided care to people living with HIV since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.
Kathy McNamara, RN
Ms. McNamara has been with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) for 19 years and is currently serving as the Assistant Director of Clinical Affairs. She is particularly focused on the design and implementation of culturally and linguistically appropriate care that is patient centered and value added from the patient’s perspective.
Larry McReynolds, MA
Larry McReynolds has served as Executive Director of Lutheran Family Health Centers (LFHC) since February 2005 and has 20 years of experience in health care administration. Under Mr. McReynolds’s leadership, LFHC has evolved to become a NCQA recognized level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home for over 114,000 individuals with more than 750,000 annual patient visits in underserved communities around New York City. Mr. McReynolds has stepped forward with LFHC to fill gaps in access to care left by the economic downturn. In recent years, LFHC has absorbed 14 school-based dental clinics that were cut were from the New York City Department of Health’s budget expanding LFHC’s School Based Health Program to 31 clinics. Also, LFHC is currently operating 14 of HRSAs Community Medicine clinics, formally operated by St. Vincent’s Medical Center, that serve over 4,000 marginalized and homeless New Yorkers annually. LFHC’s ground-breaking distance learning post-doctoral dental residency program has grown to include over 200 dental residents who provide care to approximately 150,000 individuals in 85 community health centers in underserved communities in 15 states and the Caribbean. Additionally, LFHC established itself as a clinical campus for Arizona’s AT Still University School of Medicine in Arizona and had the first graduating class in 2011. Recognizing these national contributions, in 2008, the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded LFHC with its first-ever Distinguished Health Care Service Award.
Leandro Mena, MD, MPH
Dr. Leandro Mena is a physician with specialty training in infectious diseases. He has more than 10 years of experience in clinical and epidemiological research in the area of sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), with special interest in the dynamics of transmission and the role that social determinants of health play in perpetuating these epidemics in gender and ethnic minority populations. Dr. Mena currently supervises a research team with 10 members dedicated to clinical and epidemiologic research, and serves as the medical director of the Crossroads Clinic (STD/HIV clinic in Jackson, Mississippi), the only publicly funded exclusive STD/HIV clinic in the state, and Open Arms Health Care Center, a community based clinic that offers primary care services with an emphasis in the health care needs LGBTI populations.
Dr. Mena is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned his medical degree from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and his MPH from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Evette Patterson, RN, BSN
Evette Patterson is the Nursing Director for Piedmont Health Services (PHS) located in Carrboro, North Carolina. She joined PHS in 1998. In 2004, she participated in a collaborative and was part of the implementation team to initiate Open Access Scheduling at the Carrboro Community Health Center, a focus on “Doing today’s work today”. The process was responsible for modernizing the way PHS manages patient visits. As a result of this program, PHS has dramatically decreased patient cycle time, decrease length of days wait to a scheduled appointment and increased a patient’s ability to get an appointment with their provider. This process was so successful that the Carrboro Community Health Center was awarded the Dr. Evelyn D. Schmidt Award for Outstanding Service by the NC Community Health Center Association in 2006. Evette was also instrumental in enabling PHS to become Joint Commission Accredited. She was influential in the selection, setup and subsequent implementation of an electronic medical record into PHS.
Benjamin Perkins, MA, MDiv
Benjamin Perkins, MA, MDiv, is currently employed as the Associate Director for Community Engagement at the Fenway Institute at Fenway Health, where he oversees the department’s the community engagement, outreach, and education efforts. He has also served as project director of the federally funded HIV-prevention feasibility study for The BROTHERS Project (locally named “Project SOS [Saving OurSelves]”), also at the Fenway Institute at Fenway Health, and serves as a co-investigator for a research study address discrimination and mistrust among HIV-infected Black men.
A native of Los Angeles, Benjamin holds a B.A. in geography from the University of California at Los Angeles, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University at Los Angeles, and a master’s of Divinity (M.Div) from Harvard University.
Jenny Potter, MD
Dr. Potter has extensive teaching experience with both lay and professional audiences. She has over 20 years experience teaching medical students, residents, nursing and social work students in one-on-one and large group contexts. She has designed several curricula for health professionals, focused on women’s health, sexual health, LGBT health, and care for people with disabilities, and was one of the editors of a seminal textbook on LGBT health (The Fenway Guide to LGBT Health). She is currently co-director of a Behavioral Health Curriculum for medical residents at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and is the Site Director for a HRSA-funded Primary Care HIV Track at Fenway Health Center. As Associate Course Director for the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Continuing Medical Education (CME) course Primary Care Internal Medicine (PCIM), she oversees creation of course content, selects each year’s presenters, and engages in robust course evaluation efforts. She is a regular presenter herself at this course and in many other CME venues across the country annually. Due to her experience, she was appointed to the HMS CME Committee, which oversees all Harvard Medical School CME ventures.
Kelvin Powell is a community educator for prevention, education and screening at Fenway 16, where he leads outreach activities and conducts HIV and STI counseling and testing sessions for the Fenway Institute’s Prevention and Education Team. Mr. Powell has also served as a peer navigator and project coordinator at Fenway Health. Mr. Powell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi, Hattiesburg.
Sari Reisner, ScD, MA
Sari Reisner, ScD is a Research Scientist at The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. Trained as a Social Epidemiologist, his research focuses on: (1) health disparities and inequities in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) populations, with a focus on local, national, and global transgender and gender nonconforming health; (2) the epidemiology of infectious diseases including HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in marginalized, underserved populations, with specialization in biobehavioral intervention design and development; (3) psychiatric epidemiology concentrating on mental health and substance use/abuse risks and resiliencies in adolescents and young adults.
Dr. Reisner uses a participatory population perspective to work “with” not “on” communities in conducting epidemiologic research, guided by community-based participatory research principles. He has co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented his research nationally and internationally. Dr. Reisner is currently PI or Co-I of multiple funded studies, including as PI of a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant to found the Trans Masculine Health Collaborative (TMHC) and conduct a mixed-methods biobehavioral acceptability and feasibility study of innovations in sexual health screening for female-to-male (FTM)/trans masculine spectrum adults.
Dr. Reisner is a member of the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS) sexual orientation and gender identity and expression working group (SOGIE) at Children’s Hospital in Boston. He is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and an invited member of the Gender Identity in U.S. Surveillance (GenIUSS) Group convened by The Williams Institute. Dr. Reisner earned a ScD from the Harvard School of Public Health, a Master’s degree from Brandeis University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
Jason Schneider, MD
Dr. Schneider is an Assistant Professor at Emory University’s School of Medicine. He works in the Division of General Medicine based at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta, a large public-hospital serving a mostly indigent urban population. He serves as the associate medical director of the Primary Care Center, precepting residents in their continuity clinic and caring for his own panel of patients. His clinical and academic interests include sexual health and sexuality, the interaction of psychiatry and general medicine, and primary care for LGBT patients. Dr. Schneider has served as president of the Board of Directors of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association and was appointed by the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association to serve as Vice-Chair of the Advisory Committee on GLBT Concerns.
Mark Schuster, MD, PhD
Dr. Schuster, MD is the William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Chief of General Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Health Policy in the Department of Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston. He has a long history of conducting influential research on child, adolescent, and family health policy issues. An important focus of Dr. Schuster’s research interests is LGBT health. He was a core member of the team that wrote RAND’s report for the Clinton administration that demonstrated that gay men and lesbians could be successfully integrated into the military; and he recently served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities.
Mark Simone-Skidmore, MD
Dr Simone-Skidmore is an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and recipient of the Geriatric Academic Career Award. His academic and clinical areas of expertise focus on the care of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults, as well as the care of older adults with HIV. He was a member of the “HIV and Aging Consensus Project,” an expert panel convened by the American Geriatrics Society and the American Academy of HIV Medicine to develop guidelines for the care of older adults with HIV. He completed his geriatric fellowship training at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and his internal medicine residency training at Yale Medical School/Yale-New Haven Hospital. He is the associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Valerie E. Stone, MD, MPH
Dr. Valerie Stone became Chair of the Department of Medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital and the Charles S. Davidson Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in May 2014. In addition to overseeing the clinical activities of the department, comprised of over 250 physicians, Dr. Stone provides leadership to the department’s substantial educational endeavors, including those for Harvard medical students and Mount Auburn’s internal medicine residency program. She is an active primary care and HIV/AIDS physician and educator in both the outpatient and inpatient settings. Dr. Stone is a nationally recognized expert in HIV/AIDS care, and is the author of numerous scientific abstracts and publications on HIV/AIDS care and policy, and she is the first author of a book entitled “HIV/AIDS in U.S. Communities of Color.” Dr. Stone has also written extensively on innovations and current challenges in residency education. Until May 2014, Dr. Stone was Director of the Primary Care Residency Program and Associate Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was also previously the Director of the Women’s AIDS Program at MGH. Dr. Stone has served in national leadership positions in the American College of Physicians, the HIV Medicine Association and the Society of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Stone received her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and completed her residency in internal medicine at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals in Cleveland. She did a health policy and health services research fellowship at Harvard, and received an MPH in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health, and also completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at the Boston University School of Medicine hospitals.
Hector Vargas, JD
Faculty • Advisory Board
Hector Vargas, JD, is Executive Director of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, the world’s oldest and largest association of LGBT health care professionals working for equality in health care for LGBT people and LGBT health professionals. GLMA leverages the expertise of its professional membership though policy, advocacy and education programs to achieve its mission of LGBT health care equality. Vargas was previously the Deputy Director of the Education and Public Affairs Department for Lambda Legal, the national LGBT civil rights legal organization and key leadership roles in Lambda Legal’s education and communication strategies.
Carlos E. Rodríguez-Díaz, PhD, MPHE, MCHES
Dr. Rodríguez-Díaz holds a master degree in public health education, a doctoral degree in public health majoring in community health promotion and health education, and completed a post-doctoral program in HIV and global health research. Carlos is an assistant professor at the School of Public Health at the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico where he is the Program Coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Public Health with a specialty in social determinants of health and principal investigator in several projects addressing sexual health promotion, HIV and health equity. Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz is also the founding director of the Latin American Center for Sexual Health Promotion.
Over the course of the last 10 years he has been working among multiple disenfranchised populations in Vietnam, United States, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean region, including incarcerated populations, transgender groups, gay men, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Most of his research activities have been framed within community-based and participatory approaches. His early work in advancing community health education and LGBT health, and more recently in public health research, contributed to his selection for the 2010 Jay S. Drotman Award from the American Public Health Association which recognizes the work of a promising young public health professionals.
Carmen Milagros Vélez Vega, PhD., MSW
Dr. Vélez Vega completed a PhD. in Social Policy Research and Analysis, Graduate School of Social Work, at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus, and a MSW, and BSW from Florida State University School of Social Work. She is Chair of the Social Sciences Department at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, School of Public Health, and is a tenured Associate Professor. She has ample experience in community engagement activities and teaches in this area in the Schools MPH and Doctorate programs. She is part of the Faculty of the new Doctorate in Public Health in Social Determinants of Health program, and founding member of the Latin American Center for Sexual Health Promotion. She designs and teaches course in sexual health of LGBTT people for Public Health and other Health professionals.
Ralph Vetters, MD, MPH
Dr. Vetters is the Medical Director of the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center, a program of Fenway Health. He is from Texas and Missouri and graduated from Harvard College in 1985. His first career was as a union organizer in New England for workers in higher education and the public sector. In 1998 he went back to school and graduated from the Harvard Medical School in 2003 after also getting his masters in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health in maternal and child health. He graduated from the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center in 2006 and has been working as a pediatrician at the Sidney Borum Health Center since that time. Dr. Vetters focuses on providing care to high risk adolescents and young adults, specifically developing programs that support the needs of homeless youth and inner city LGBT youth.
Patrick Wilson, PhD
Patrick Wilson is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Director of the SPHERE (Society, Psychology, and Health Research) Lab at Columbia University. Dr. Wilson earned his PhD in community psychology from New York University and completed an NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. In addition to teaching at the Mailman School of Public Health, Dr. Wilson specializes in exploring the psychological, social, and cultural contexts that shape individual and community-level health outcomes. He conducts his work with the overall goal of improving the lives of those who are disproportionally affected by HIV and other health disparities. Dr. Wilson’s recent work includes examining institutional and community responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, designing and testing culturally appropriate behavior change interventions, developing novel technology-based methods for investigating health behaviors, and increasing cultural relevance in HIV/AIDS research. Specific topics of interest also include trauma, stigma and discrimination, religion, engagement in care, and personal factors including self-efficacy and empowerment. Dr. Wilson holds membership in several research centers and networks within and outside of Columbia University and conducts national and local studies that involve the participation of a diverse set of collaborators and community members. His research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.