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KATHIE M. HIERS

Kathie M. HiersKathie M. Hiers is the Chief Executive Officer of AIDS Alabama, a nonprofit organization in Alabama that provides housing and supportive services to low-income persons with HIV/AIDS as well as education, outreach, and testing. AIDS Alabama has subcontracts with the other nine AIDS Service Organizations and several clinics in Alabama to provide services to all 67 counties. Kathie has been with AIDS Alabama since January 2001. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of Mobile AIDS Support Services and a founder of the Lee Simmons Fund for People Living with AIDS in Mobile, Alabama.

Kathie has served locally as Co-Chair of the Central Alabama Ryan White Consortium, as well as a two-year term as President of the Metropolitan Birmingham Services for the Homeless, Birmingham's local Continuum of Care for homeless services. Kathie is a member of the Governor of Alabama's HIV Commission for Children, Youth, and Adults, the Alabama Legislative Workgroup, United Way of Central Alabama Council of Executive Directors, and the AIDS Service Organization Network of Alabama.

Kathie leads the advocacy efforts for the State of Alabama, educating legislators on the state's HIV/AIDS issues, promoting legislative investment in the HIV/AIDS portfolio, and implementing an annual Media Day in the state's Capitol in which hundreds of HIV-positive persons, advocates, and policy makers gather to highlight the extreme need for resources to fight the HIV epidemic in Alabama.

Each year Kathie provides a workshop for the University of Alabama at Birmingham Sparkman Program for visiting physicians from across the globe to orient them on the HIV epidemic in the southern United States. Kathie has been called upon for guidance on the development of state advocacy networks in the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Nationally, Kathie served as Co-Chair for the Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) from 2004 through early 2009.

She currently serves as President on the board of directors for the National AIDS Housing Coalition (NAHC), member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and as an elected member of the Convening Group of the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP). Kathie also serves on the board of the Community AIDS National Network (CANN). Kathie often serves as the regional coordinator for AIDSWatch in Washington, D.C., the nation's largest gathering of HIV-positive citizens and AIDS advocates, and she provides training to the AIDSWatch group on federal funding for HIV care and housing.

Kathie represented Alabama's nine Title III clinics in the Communities Advocating for Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition from 2000 through 2003. Several national periodicals, including HIV Plus, Poz, The Washington Blade, The Houston Blade, Positive Populations, Mother Jones, the Progressive, Marie Claire, Congressional Quarterly, and Southern Voice, have published interviews with Kathie. Her work in Alabama has also been featured in Jacob Levenson's book, The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS and Black America. Kathie's efforts on the Ryan White Reauthorization have also been highlighted in Andrew Skerritt's Ashamed to Die. Kathie co-authored the housing portions of the Southern States Manifesto, which addressed the emerging HIV/AIDS crisis in the southern portion of the United States in 2003; she also co-authored the Southern States Manifesto: Update 2008, which was featured as the headline story on MSNBC in July 2008, as well as in media across the United States. Most recently, Kathie has been featured in a documentary titled, "deepsouth" that highlights her work in one of the three main story lines. Kathie is also going to be featured in an upcoming story on HIV crisis in the South on the Dan Rather Report.

Kathie is frequently called upon to speak on AIDS housing, advocacy, and service issues. She has been a featured speaker for many press conferences and Congressional Briefings on the Ryan White Act, for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program, and on health disparities, as well as for the Southern AIDS Coalition. In 2008 she was featured at a Congressional Briefing in support of a National AIDS Strategy. In 2006 Kathie appeared on a national webcast for the Southern AIDS Coalition that drew thousands of viewers.

From 2003 to the present, Kathie has been featured or presented workshops at the U. S. Conference on AIDS, the National HV Prevention Conference, the HUD National Grantees Meeting, the National Conference to End Homelessness, the National ADAP Educational Conference, which she co-chaired in 2005, the National Association of People with AIDS Staying Alive and AIDS in America conferences, a Physicians for Human Rights conference, and many others. Kathie is a graduate of the University of South Alabama with a BA in English.