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Press Release

The National Latino AIDS Action Network (NLAAN) Announces New Leadership

August 11, 2009

New York, N.Y. -- The National Latino AIDS Action Network (NLAAN) is a collaborative network of more than 300 community based organizations, state and local health departments, and concerned individuals committed to reducing the number of HIV infections and AIDS diagnosis among Latinos across the United States and its dependent territories and today elected its new Leadership. Members of the Leadership Committee will serve two year terms and make decisions and recommendations about national, regional and local HIV/AIDS issues of concern to the Latino community as well as advocate at local and national levels for the Latino community's increased access to HIV testing and care.


New NLAAN Leadership Committee Members and Bios

Katherine Boger -- Buffalo, NY
Alianza Latina, Inc.: Executive Director
Katherine Boger has a Masters in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo specializing in International and Economic Development Planning. She has also received a certificate from the Woman Studies Department in Gender and Development. Katherine is currently the Executive Director of Alianza Latina, Inc, a small non-profit dedicated to HIV/AIDS health prevention education and intervention. She especially enjoys creating an interdisciplinary focus within HIV/AIDS education, especially focused in issues surrounding the socioeconomic situations of women of color, children, and the intersection with HIV infection.

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Patricia Canessa -- Des Plaines, Illinois
Salud Latina/Latino Health: Executive Director
Dr. Patricia Canessa is a graduate from Northwestern University in Psychology and Executive Management and holds a PhD degree in Family Systems Interventions from Rome University in Italy. Patricia Canessa, PhD. is the Executive Director of Salud Latina/Latino Health, a Public Health and Administration capacity building organization in Illinois. Additionally she has been an active member of numerous boards, planning and advisory bodies promoting the advancement of Latino health, immigration, education and welfare issues. Dr. Canessa has served as a consultant to the Pan American Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and developed numerous evidence-based strategies to diminish the impact of poverty and chronic disease among women, children and youth in Latin America. She currently coordinates the design and piloting a multi-state initiative to provide migrants with primary care services.

Dr. Jorge Delgado -- Washington, DC
National Minority AIDS Council: Assistant Director of Government Relations and Public Policy
Dr. Jorge A. Delgado currently holds a position at the National Minority Council (NMAC) in Washington, DC as Assistant Director of Government Relations and Public Policy, where he supports HIV/AIDS policy programs, particularly in Latino communities throughout the United States and its territories. He brings more than 20 years of experience to NMAC, including expertise in the HIV/AIDS health services administration field. Delgado most recently served as Deputy Secretary for HIV/AIDS Programs with the Puerto Rico Department of Health, where he monitored and implemented HIV/AIDS public policies involving the improvement of health programs and housing for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as served as a liaison between the Department of Health and Puerto Rico's community-based organizations and AIDS service organizations.

Ernesto Dominguez -- Portland, Oregon
Advocates for Youth/The Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center: Youth Leader/Peer Educator
Ernesto Dominguez is a youth advocate and strong supporter of LGBT youth empowerment. Through his years of work in the public, non-profit, and private sector he has worked to make sure all youth have access to complete and correct information about HIV/AIDS. Currently working with 8 local and national organizaitons that work to address issues of inequality in the GLBT youth community. Most recently his work has been centered around LGBT Latino youth, he recently was invited to present at the National Council of La Raza National Conference in Chicago Illinois, where he presented on the impact of HIV/AIDS on Latino youth. His work has focused on decreasing homophobia to increase awareness and education.

Sergio E. M. Farfan -- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana Latino Health Coalition For Hiv/Aids Awareness (LLHC): Co-Chair
Sergio E. M. Farfan has a Masters in Architecture, Masters in Higher Education and a Masters in Planning Education , he was Associate Professor in the Architecture Department at Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana until 1984. He is a consumer advocate, living with HIV/AIDS for 17 years, and at the moment the only Latino advocate from Louisiana representing two categories: the Latino infected community and the over 55 year old MSM group as well. Sergio began getting involved with the HIV Community, doing counseling and testing, and advocating on behalf of the Latino Community. He helped form the Louisiana Latino Health Coalition, and became Co-Chair in 2005. He experienced "Katrina" and "Rita", but even after all the devastation in South Louisiana, they still managed to commemorate "National Latino Testing Day" in Baton Rouge and Lafayette and link more Latinos to care.

Anselmo Fonseca -- San Juan, Puerto Rico
Pacientes de SIDA pro Política Sana: Co-Founder / Advocate
Anselmo has a BA in Computer Administration, and 8 yrs of experience in Management Information Systems in Medicare / Medicaid reimbursement and collections in Hospital / Skilled Nursing Home and Hospice settings, he has also served on a Medicare medical review board. Ten years ago, he co-founded an HIV/AIDS Rights Advocate non-profit CBO in Puerto Rico, to safe guard access into care and proper use of public funds, by participating for 6 yrs on the RWCA EMA of San Juan Planning Council and 2 yrs on the HIV Prevention Planning Group, he has also educated local Legislators and Congressional Leaders on the unmet needs and retention in health care, while synchronizing sound public policies.

Dora Gutierrez -- Boston, Massachusetts
Latin-American Health Institute (LHI): Director of Community Health Initiatives
Dr. Dora Gutierrez has a medical degree from Medellin, Colombia and has dedicated most of her career working in public health, for more than 10 years she worked with UNICEF in Latin American on policy and implementation of maternal and child health programs, more specifically on health and human rights related to women's health and infant feeding. Dr. Gutierrez joines LHI in 2000, a community based organization in Boston where she has done work on women's health, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, cancer and other health promotion issues. Dr. Gutierrez is the Director of Community Health Initiatives at LHI where she develops, implements and advocates for the improved health of the Latino Community living in Massachusetts.

Judith Levine RN -- Washington, DC
DC Chartered Health Plan/DC Health Care Alliance: HIV/AIDS Program Manager
Judith Levine has a BSN in nursing from the University of Maryland 1985; worked with people with HIV/AIDS since 1981, mostly in home and community settings and worked with both pediatric and adult patients; has been creating educational materials and has done so for all educational levels with a focus on being culturally appropriate; Judith has more than 15 years of management experience in home, community, and school health settings. For the last 5 years she has managed the HIV/AIDS program for the largest Medicaid MCO in Washington, DC.

Oscar Raúl López -- New York, New York
Latino Commission on AIDS: Director of Health Policy
Oscar Raúl López is the Director of Health Policy for the Latino Commission on AIDS where he advocates for policy change to ensure that all communities have access to HIV prevention, HIV testing and access to care. He has worked in public health for over 20 years as both a private consultant and as director for various non-profits and agencies. He has developed mobile health units, runaway youth shelters, managed non-profits and been recognized for his award winning programs for homeless youth, men who have sex with men and Latinos. Oscar has worked as a Treatment Adherence Specialist for the National Minority AIDS Council, as the Director of HIV/AIDS Education and Technical Assistance for the Office of Minority Health Resource Center and as the Unites States Manager for EngenderHealth. The Latino Commission on AIDS serves at the fiscal agent for NLAAN.

Daniel Charles Montoya -- Silver Spring, Maryland
American Institutes for Research: Director of External Affairs
Mr. Montoya is a candidate for his Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also received his Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance. As Director of External Affairs for the Health Program at AIR, Daniel Montoya serves as senior counsel to clients, inculding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention and the National Institute and Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the R. Scott Hitt Foundationa and as an Advisory Board Member for the Office of Minority Health Resource Center.

Wilfredo Morel -- Peekskill, New York
Hidson River Community Health: Director Hispanic Health and Peer Advocate
Wilfredo Morel is the Director of Latino Health at Hudson River HealthCare, Inc. He have always taken a role in providing overall team leadership for case management, community health education and outreach, HIV counseling and testing, peer leadership and support services. In addition he has developed and implemented a Health Promotion Program for the Peekskill Community and the Hudson Valley Migrant Program through educational presentations that are both staff and peer directed. Wilfredo has worked directly with at-risk youth, adults and HIV+ persons on the development and implementation of peer education programs involving direct training and outreach. During his tenure at HRHC, he has forged important relationships within ethnic and racial minorites served by HIV/AIDS programs and as a Latino, he has been instrumental in moblilizing new immigrant populations.

Lorenzo J. Ramirez -- Denver, Colorado
Latinos Using Cardio Helath Actions tor Reduce Risk (LUCHAR): Community Liaison
Lorenzo J. Ramirez has worked as a health and wellness adovcate in Denver's Latino community for more than 20 years. Mr. Ramirez has served on the Community Advisory Committee for the LUCHAR Project (Latinos Using Cardio Heatlh Actions to Reduce Risk) and currently serves as a Community Liaison for the project. He has served as Chair for the Advisory Council of El Futuro Community Center, as an Instructor for the American Diabetes Association's 'Por Tu Familia" Program, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado AIDS Project. Mr. Ramirez was appointed to the Denver HIV Resourced Planning Council where he was Co-Chair for the People of Color Committee and was intrumental in the development of the Annual People of Color Living With HIV Leadership Retreat. He was also a founding member of "Grupo Palanca" Colorado's first support group for Latino gay men living with HIV/ AIDS.

Juan Carlos Riascos -- Miami. Florida
Abbott Laboratories: National Community Affairs Manager
Juan Carlos Riascos has been an economist, activist and advocate for HIV research and community education for 16 years. Published author of the book "En el laberinto de la esperanza: memorias de una familia seropositiva", Editorial Norma, April 2002, a memoir chronicling the loss of his wife to AIDS and the challenges of being HIV+ himself while raising a daughter born with the disease. Coordinator of Clinical Education Initiatives "Hope Is Vital" , University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases. Presently working as National Community Affairs Manager for Abbott.

Britt Rios-Ellis, Ph.D -- Long Beach, California
National Council of La Raza/ California State University Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health: Professor and Director
Dr. Britt Rios-Ellis is a Professor of Health Sciences at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) and the Director of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training. She has directed several Latino health-related projects including the NCLR Latino Families HIV/AIDS Needs Assessment, the NCLR Latino Families HIV/AIDS Prevention Project, Rompe El Silencio (Break the Silence), Salud es Cultura: Protégete (Health is Culture: Protect Yourself), and Comienzo Sano: Familia Saludable (Healthy Beginnings: Healthy Families).

Francisco Ruiz -- Washington, DC
National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD): Manager, Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Francisco Ruiz joined NASTAD as a Manager in the Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Program in 2007. He provides guidance on how to address the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis among Latino communities. As Manager, he leads NASTAD's Latino Advisory Committee that consists of health department staff members from the U.S. and its territories. The core objective of the committee is to strengthen state and local health departments' capacity to implement culturally competent, relevant, and effective programming. Francisco's experience in the HIV/AIDS field extends to work in the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Bamby Salcedo -- Los Angeles, California
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles: HIV Prevention Services Project Coordinator
Bamby Salcedo is the Project Coordinator for the HIV Prevention Services Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Division of Adolescent Medicine. Previous to her current position Bamby was the Program Manager for the Transgeneros Unidas with Bienestar Human Services in Southern California. Ms Salcedo is a very proud Latina transgender woman who is recognized nation wide, she serves on various planning groups and organizations such as the California HIV Planning Group; in which she chaired the transgender-working group. She is currently the Co-Chair for the Transgender Task Force with the HIV Prevention Planning Committee of Los Angeles County.

Evelyn Ullah, BSN, MSW -- Miami, Florida
Florida Department of Health: Director, Miami-Dade County Health Department, Office of HIV/AIDS
Evelyn Ullah has a BSN Degree in Nursing and a MSW in Social Work. She has more than twenty-five years experience in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and has publishing multiple articles in the areas of chemical dependency and social work. She is a Board Member of the National Minority AIDS Council and served on the Institute of Medicine Liaison Panel for HIV Prevention Strategies in the U.S. Most recently she was the Executive Director of 25 Mitos/25 Realidades a PSA campaign that is being recognized nationally, currently working as the Principla Investigator on "AMIGAS" that will be used as a DEBI by the CDC, and architect of "Test Miami" an initiative to routinize HIV testing in Miami and eliminating the stigma associated with HIV testing.

Vivianne Valdes-Hurtado, ANP, MSN -- Durham, North Carolina
North Carolina AIDS Education & Training Center: Clinical Program Coordinator
Vivianne Valdes-Hurtado has a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing and a Masters Degree. She is a Nurse Practitioner by training and most of her professional experience has been in HIV. Vivianne started as a nurse at the bedside in the 90's in Miami and then as a Nurse Practitioner in Connecticut, Boston and since 2002 in North Carolina she has seen first hand the impact HIV has had on theLatino community and the lack of prevention training for patients as well as cultural competency training for providers. In her current role as Clinical Program Coordinator with the NC AIDS Education & Training Center she helps bring relevant HIV related training to clincians working with PLWH/A.

Miguel Vélez -- Washington, DC
Farmworker Justice: Public Health Specialist
Miguel Vélez holds a master's degree from San Diego State University in Latin American Studies with a focus on the culture and health disparities of the Mixteco indigenous people of Mexico and his BA in Spanish with a focus on Latin American history and literature from the University of Maryland. Miguel is fluent in Spanish with a working knowledge of Quechua, Mixteco, Portuguese, and French. Miguel is currently working with Farmworker Justice on HIV prevention programs including providing CBA services to CBOs on EBI programs Popular Opinion Leader (POL), Community PROMISE, RAPP, and Mpowerment as well as a CDC awarded Promotores de Salud program.

Richard Zaldivar -- Los Angeles, California
The Wall Las Memorias Project: Executive Director/President & Founder
Richard Zaldivar is the founder and executive director of The Wall Las Memorias Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting wellness and preventing illness among Latino populations affected by HIV/AIDS. The organization combines HIV/AIDS education and prevention with sensitivity to the spiritual needs and religious beliefs of it clients and supporters, and a commitment to social justice, The Wall under Zaldivar's leadership has been on the forefront of the fight against HIVAIDS in Los Angeles and beyond. As Executive Director, he oversees programs that reach out to Latino populations in the Los Angeles area, including men who have sex with men, communities of faith and the general public.



  
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This article was provided by National Latino AIDS Action Network.
 
See Also
HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics
The Body en Español
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