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Board of Directors

The ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+® ) is governed by a dedicated, diverse volunteer board of directors. The organization now benefits from the combined experience of six HIV-positive members, two ADAP recipients (plus two former ADAP recipients), one physician, one attorney, one religious leader, eight influential AIDS community activists and leaders, and two lifelong disability rights champions.

The board of directors includes:

[Back to Top]Michelle Anderson

Michelle AndersonMichelle Anderson, Ms. Plus America 2011, is first openly HIV positive woman to ever run for and win a national pageant title. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas and is very active in her community as a Advocacy Mobilizer for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Consultant for the Afiya Center HIV Prevention and Sexual Reproductive Justice, Co-Chair of Campaign to End AIDS Southwest, Treasurer/Board Member for ADAP Advocacy Association, member of the Texas Black Women Initiative and Blogger for A Girl Like Me! . Michelle has dedicated much of her personal life to educating others on HIV/AIDS throughout the greater Dallas area and across the United States.

She plans to finish her degree in Social Work where she will be able to continue to spread the message, and educate people regarding HIV/AIDS as well as use her title to raise awareness, end stigma, shame and blame associated with HIV infection among woman of color. Michelle has Certificates of Completion in: NAPWA (National Association of People with HIV/AIDS) Common Threads, NMAC (National Minority AIDS Council) Treatment Adherence Peer Program Training, and CHANGE (Center for Health and Gender Equity) Global Leadership Training, Leadership in Advocacy and Planning (LEAP) Strengthening Consumer Involvement and Leadership (SCILS) Project. Some of the most empowering appearances Michelle had the privileged of experiencing was sitting in panel discussion hosted by The Dallas Health Department (Regional Forum on Black Women and HIV/AIDS in Texas) in Houston, Texas to discuss the disparities of African-American women around HIV/AIDS. She also was an opening speaker for 97.9 The Beat HIP HOP for HIV and Dallas Health Department on World AIDS Day where she shared her story about becoming infected in hopes to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and the importance of getting tested.

She has done a number of appearances via video and radio such as CNN/HLN: What Matters, Syndicated radio show with Michael Baisden, HEAVEN 97, Plus Model Radio with Chenese Lewis, Public Service Announcements for ADAP Advocacy Association, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Re:Solve from Chronic Disease Fund, North Star Pro Blogtalk Radio, POZIAM Blogtalk Radio, Curvy-Girl and, The Condom Ladies Fishbowl Networks, and “Let’s Stop HIV Together” a CDC national campaign designed to feature individual stories to champion the power relationships in their personal and public fight to stop HIV. Her story has been featured in numerous news articles such as The Dallas Examiner by Marsha Jones, “Living with HIV” and “The Life of A Positive Queen”, “A Hard Lesson to Learn Living with HIV/AIDS” by Ray Jordon of the Dallas Examiner, “Celebrity Speaks Out on AIDS” by Sherri Jacobson and “Dallas HIP HOP event Encourages HIV Testing” by Marianne Brown of The Dallas Morning News and web articles by The Body and Positivelite.com in Canada just to name a few.

Michelle was nominated to sit on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) in 2010 and has traveled to Austin and Washington DC to speak with elected officials regarding the impact of and policies surrounding HIV/AIDS and in July of 2012, Michelle was bestowed the honor of receiving the Positive Leadership Award by The National Association of People with AIDS recognizing the use of her "Bully Pulpit" to raise awareness.

[Back to Top]William "Bill" Arnold

William ''Bill'' ArnoldWilliam "Bill" Arnold is a longtime HIV/AIDS activist and consumer organizer and has been active in developing HIV/AIDS organizations and HIV/AIDS policy at the local, state and national level since the mid 1980’s. Arnold is a founding director (1996) of the Community Access National Network (CANN), formerly the Ryan White CARE Act Title II Community AIDS National Network (TIICANN); he is currently its CEO. He is also a founder (1995) of The National ADAP Working Group, a Washington, DC based advocacy coalition of HIV/AIDS organizations.

His involvement with grassroots HIV/AIDS work has included roles from Board Chair and Board Member, to “Buddy” to AIDS Educator, Community Outreach Director, & pre & post test HIV Counselor. Arnold has testified on HIV/AIDS issues before several county legislatures, the New York State Assembly and the United States Congress on numerous occasions. In addition, Arnold has been active in global AIDS activities as Secretary/Treasurer of AIDSETI (AIDS Empowerment and Treatment International). He also serves on the Fair Pricing Coalition.

More recently, Arnold has also invested a lot of time in raising awareness about Viral Hepatitis.

[Back to Top]Aaron Baldwin

Aaron BaldwinAaron Baldwin serves as the first out LGBT & HIV-positive agent in the insurance industry, and a former ADAP recipient. His work at New York Life Insurance has pioneered new financial concepts and strategies, such as the first of its kind Positive Planning for the HIV Positive Community. By combining his knowledge of the LGBT community, with sound financial planning strategies from New York Life, Baldwin seeks to help his clients not only meet, but to exceed their unique planning.

Prior to joining New York Life, Baldwin spent over seventeen (17) years in various consulting and employment engagements, often leading the management of large corporate installations of Enterprise Content Management systems. ECM is an umbrella term covering document management, web content management, search, collaboration, records management, digital asset management (DAM), workflow management, capture and scanning.

His involvement with grassroots HIV/AIDS and LGBT work has included roles from Board Chair/Member and other positions at the Bay Area Youth Summit Foundation, Tenderloin Tessie Holiday Dinners, Openhouse, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and the AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Baldwin earned a bachelor degree from Baldwin Wallace University and attended the Master’s of Business Administration School at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

[Back to Top]Robert Breining

Robert Breining was born and reared in Philadelphia, PA. At a young age, Breining discovered the importance of working as a team to accomplish a goal. He has been playing soccer for over 20 years, and he currently plays for the Philadelphia Falcons; he has traveled as far as Copenhagen, Denmark to compete in an IGLFA (International Gay and Lesbian Futbol Association) Tournaments. In 2007, five years after the passing of his father and his HIV diagnosis, Breining had what he calls his 'Ah Ha' moment. He now looks at every life experience and asks, "What am I supposed to learn from this?" In 2007, he became a Campaign Ambassador for Hope's Voice and participated in their Does HIV Look Like Me? campaign.

That October he launched the POZIAM Community, a social networking website for people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. He wanted to give others living with HIV hope and a place "to just be themselves." In July of 2008, Breining launched the POZIAM Radio a bi-weekly internet radio show, with his Co-host Jeromy Dunn of POZitively Speaking on Sundays, and the following year Jack Mackenroth joined as his co-host. Last year, Breining was a featured speaker at the ADAP Advocacy Association's 2009 Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Breing is described as a "Positive Person with a Purpose." His goal is to help people living with HIV/AIDS discover similarities in each other...and form friendships. He has been living with HIV for 10 years and recently started receiving his medications through Pennsylvania's AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

[Back to Top]Janine Brignola

Janine BrignolaJanine Brignola is a mother, a student at Nebraska Wesleyan University, an HIV activist and advocate, and she is herself positive. Janine speaks to educate both freelance and with Hope's Voice "Does HIV Look Like Me" program, utilizing YouTube for video blogs under HIVchick. Janine has been featured in both print and television as well as billboards.

She has had blogs featured on the MTV Staying Alive campaign, she is a part of the Nebraska Red Ribbon Group and is also an ambassador for Dab the AIDS Bear. Janine enjoys spending as much time possible just being "mommy" to her son and she believes that it is her privilege and honor to be his mother and to be the activist she has become.

[Back to Top]Elmer L. Cerano

Elmer L. CeranoElmer L. Cerano is a nationally recognized advocate for people with disabilities. His impact as an uncompromising advocate has been recognized in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and throughout the nation. Mr. Cerano has served as the Executive Director of the Arc Maryland (formerly The Association for Retarded Citizens of Maryland) as well as the President and Chief Executive Officer of United Cerebral Palsy Association of Metropolitan Detroit.

In addition, Cerano served as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy Service and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. Cerano earned a bachelor degree from Western Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Sociology from Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan. In addition, Cerano earned a Certificate from the University of Grenoble and successfully completed course work in Governing for Nonprofit Excellence through the Harvard Business School.

[Back to Top] Eric Flowers

Eric FlowersRamsell, a family-owned company since 1967, has a rich history of creating positive outcomes for the health and safety of underserved populations. Ramsell works with its clients in public health, education and corrections maximize limited funds and resources through cost-effective coordination of care and services. By offering our partners highly-configurable web-based technology and expertise, Ramsell has become a leader in connecting people to the services they need.

Eric joined the Flowers family business in 1994 and quickly moved up the ranks, playing a crucial role in transforming the company into a leader in ADAP services. Starting as a Vice President, Flowers developed and managed the Enrollment & Eligibility Network for the ADAP programs in San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Mateo counties. He was promoted to CFO in 1996 and played a pivotal role in securing ADAP contracts with California and Washington. Assuming the role of President/COO in 2002, Flowers was responsible for the day-to-day management, strategic planning and implementation of corporate initiatives.

In January 2008, Eric was named CEO and President. As CEO of Ramsell Corporation, he has taken Ramsell beyond its initial roots in pharmacy and PBM services, expanding the company's tools, technology and services to broaden Ramsell's impact in new markets, including education, corrections, and social services.

A passionate advocate of community health issues, Flowers has a long history of helping others. While earning his B.S. degree at University of California at Berkeley, he counseled and tutored at The Best Resort, a group home for boys. In 2001, he joined the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics' (HAFCI) board of directors, working on a variety of committees including finance, audit, governance and programs, and served as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Board. Flowers was actively involved in the negotiations and subsequent merger of HAFCI and Walden House in July 2011 now known as Health Right 360. He is also on the Advisory Board of the St. Mary's College School of Economics and Business Administration where he earned his in 2004. In January 2014, Eric joined the boards of directors for Sutter East Bay Hospitals, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, and Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley. Eric joined the ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+) board of directors in 2011.

Eric lives with his wife, two sons, and chocolate Labrador in Oakland, CA.

[Back to Top]Darryl Fore

Darryl ForeDarryl Fore is a native Clevelander, who resides in Cleveland, Ohio. Fore has been employed in the fields of Banking, Theatrical production, Sales, Information Technology, Education and Property Management. He has been actively involved in the HIV/AIDS arena for more than 20 years. After being diagnosed with HIV+ in 1991, his volunteer commitment to HIV/AIDS issues increased. He felt compelled to do more to help others affected by the disease because of the intensive HIV education he had acquire at the time of his diagnosis.

His volunteer efforts have included: volunteering at his local AIDS taskforce, working as a HIV Pre-test Counselor, serving on the Ohio Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS advisory board, participating on HIV Clinical Trials Unit advisory board, implementing various HIV/AIDS community outreach projects and serving as a member of Ryan White Part A Planning Council. Fore has a strong interest in all forms of the Arts, from visual arts to performance arts.

He is a frequent volunteer in the Cleveland Theater and Film communities. He was once an avid reader of mystery novels until an opportunistic infection robbed him of that ability. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of The National Association of Black and White Men Together. He has a degree in Psychology from Cleveland State University.

[Back to Top]Philip A Haddad, MD

Philip A Haddad, MD, FACP, FCCP, FAHA is currently an Assistant Professor at the Louisiana State University Department of Medicine. Dr. Haddad specializes in Hematology/Medical Oncology and is licensed to practice medicine in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.

He received his Doctorate of Medicine from the American University of Beirut-School of Medicine. In 1997, Dr. Haddad completed his Internship in Internal Medicine at the University of South Dakota and his Residency in Internal Medicine two years later from the University of South Dakota-School of Medicine.

In 2002, Dr. Haddad received his Fellowship in Hematology, Oncology & Transplantation, from the University of Minnesota-School of Medicine. He is an active member of 24 professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, HIV Medicine Association and Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has been published on numerous occasions.

[Back to Top]Brandon M. Macsata

Brandon MacsataBrandon Macsata serves as Managing Partner of The Macsata-Kornegay Group, Inc. – a national political and fundraising consulting firm specializing in grassroots campaigns, media messaging and political fundraising. He is widely recognized for his ability to connect national, state and local stakeholders interested in influencing public policy. Macsata has extensive experience working with political candidates, national and statewide trade associations, and other corporate entities. In November 2009, Macsata was acknowledged by HIV-Plus Magazine to be amongst the “Top 25 LGBT Leaders Fighting HIV/AIDS”.

First diagnosed as HIV-positive in March 2002, Macsata has dedicated much of his professional and personal life advocating for persons living with HIV/AIDS. He currently serves as CEO of the ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+), a national non-profit organization working to improve the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). In his capacity as CEO, he has successfully assembled a wide spectrum of ADAP stakeholders to re-energize patient advocacy around the AIDS Drug Assistance Program at the national level. From November 2003 to March 2006, he authored a weekly news column on national HIV-related stories for The Weekly News in Miami, Florida.

He is also a former ADAP recipient. At the age of 27, Macsata was the youngest Executive Director of a national trade association; he managed the American Congress of Community Support & Employment Services (ACCSES) from 2000-2003, a national trade association representing the interests of community, non-profit agencies providing supports and services to persons with disabilities. Prior to moving to Washington, DC in 2000, he opened a 100-bed assisted living care facility in Wilmington, North Carolina. Serving as the facility’s assistant administrator, Macsata worked closely with community leaders and state agencies to advocate for seniors.

Macsata has advised candidates for political office, and has also run for office himself at the local and national levels. In 1995, he was just 79 votes short of beating a 22-year incumbent and becoming the youngest person ever elected in the State of North Carolina. In 2000, he formed an exploratory committee to run for the U.S. House of Representatives before ultimately deciding against running for that office. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. In April 2009, UNCW awarded Macsata – and his business partner – the Political Science Department’s “Outstanding Political Science Graduate” award in recognition for their accomplishments.

[Back to Top]Glen Pietrandoni

Glen PietrandoniGlen Pietrandoni, R.Ph, is a 1979 graduate of the St Louis College of Pharmacy. After a decade as an owner of a small chain of independent pharmacies in Chicago, he joined Walgreens as a store manager and pharmacist at various locations throughout the Chicago area.

With the advent of early HIV therapy in the late 1980s, Glen addressed the needs of this community by establishing a relationship with a nearby physician's practice devoted to treating HIV patients and by understanding the unique needs of this population. In 1996, Walgreens opened its first HIV-focused pharmacy inside the Howard Brown Health Center, the Midwest's largest gay and lesbian healthcare center, which provides primary patient care, case management, social services, and research under one roof. Glen served as Pharmacy Manager for the Walgreens site at Howard Brown Health Center until 2003. As Walgreens expanded its HIV services and locations, Glen moved into the corporate office to manage nationwide HIV and hepatitis patient programs and services throughout the company's enterprise of retail, specialty, and other business units.

Glen has received numerous awards and recognition for his work in HIV and community pharmacy, including Pharmacist of the Year from Drug Topics Magazine in 1998 and 1999, and Volunteer of the Year for Test Positive Aware in 2002. Glen is a member of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and supports numerous AIDS service organizations across the country.

[Back to Top]Elizabeth M. Shepherd

Elizabeth ShepherdElizabeth M. Shepherd is a graduate of East Carolina University with a concentration in Community Health Education and Promotion. Since being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1998, Elizabeth found her love and support at Lowcountry AIDS-Services who also realized she would be a great speaker, advocate, and counselor. In 2004 Elizabeth became a Peer Counselor for the Rural Women with AIDS Program a grant from the NIH and centered at the University of South Carolina. Elizabeth spent four years traveling the roads of rural SC counseling and advocating for women and their rights. In 2005, Elizabeth was one of the founding members of the South Carolina Campaign to End AIDS and since then has literally made a remarkable journey back to health after experiencing two cerebral aneurysms.

Elizabeth graduated in the top 7% of her class at East Carolina University, overcoming her traumatic life experiences and providing a excellent example of what one can do when pursuing their passion. Now she is a graduate student at East Carolina University in the Health Education Program and currently serves on the steering committee of the Positive Women's Network, AIDS-Alliance for Children, Youth and Families Consumer Leadership Program. Elizabeth works as a Regional Representative for Physicians Pharmacy Alliance and travels South Carolina in an effort to help ensure all eligible individuals can receive all the necessary medications for their chronic illness and live a higher quality of health, wellness, and life.

One outstanding achievement, which brings her on board of the ADAP Advocacy Association, is in 2008 on August 24, Elizabeth coordinated a Care and Treatment Town Hall meeting covering eleven counties in rural Eastern North Carolina in which Jeffrey Crowley, Larry Bryant, and Christine Campbell helped to facilitate. Mr. Crowley made the appearance on his way to Atlanta for the first of the ten scheduled meetings. Many of the national trips to advocate have slowed down due to the new job and graduate school but she is proud and happy to serve on the board. Elizabeth believes in total access to medications, ETHA, and the right to live for all individuals diagnosed with HIV regardless of economic status, color, disability or lack of.

[Back to Top]Chrys Thorsen

Chrys Thorsen

Chrys Thorsen is an education and technology consultant who innovates sustainable enterprise training solutions. In her lifetime as an IT professional, she has garnered over 35 IT certifications including Certified Cisco Systems Instructor and Network Professional (CCSI/CCNP), Microsoft Certified Trainer, Systems Engineer and IT Professional (MCT/MCSE/MCITP), ISC(2) Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and ISACA Certified IS Auditor (CISA). Living by the mantra that “the only true measure of a successful program is results on the ground - everything else is just noise”, Chrys designs, develops and delivers solutions with the end goal in mind.

In Africa, from 2009 – 2011, she worked for SmartCare, a PEPFAR-funded electronic health record (EHR) program that is a collaborative effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Republic of Zambia’s Ministry of Health. Recognizing that “drive-by activism” from a donor nation is a recipe for failure, Chrys led an international team to create the “viral teaching method” to continuously train and certify Zambian health professionals in the EHR software system. In 2011, Chrys developed the SmartCare exhibit for the annual PEPFAR conference in Johannesburg. At that conference, SmartCare won the PEPFAR Marketplace award for the “Most Innovative” PEPFAR project. By the time Chrys returned to the US in February 2012, over 700 Zambian health professionals (from all provinces and districts) had been trained and certified using the viral method. Today the count stands at over 3000 and climbing. Her team’s demanding certification exam is a government requirement for all health professionals who receive SmartCare training.

Chrys’ current project in Africa is The Advanced Technical and Business Management Institute of the United States, a school that will build a sustainable, international-market-ready labor pool from the Zambian people. Her international writing and design team at TBH Consulting has authored fifteen textbooks on an array of IT subjects, with four more in the works. Over the past 17 years as a master trainer, Chrys has delivered 400 IT certification classes and taught 5000 students.

[Back to Top]Joey Wynn

Joey WynnJoey Wynn has made a career in HIV advocacy, public policy and working in a variety of public health settings over the course of his 22 years in the state of Florida. In 1994, he was involved in the start up of the first Ryan White Outpatient HIV Program (SIS) Dept. at Mercy Hospital in Miami, FL. In 1996 he joined Florida AIDS Action (FLAAC), based in North Miami, it was a statewide advocacy agency providing medical treatment information & education for patients and physicians; with a focus on increasing awareness for funding from the State Legislature for HIV related services, especially the AIDS Insurance Continuation Program by bringing in a multi-bus tour with patients from around the state to the Capitol, resulting in the first million dollars of state funding earmarked for the AICP program as well as additional funding for other HIV projects.

Then he served for 5 years as the Ryan White Patient Care Administrator for the Broward County Health Department's AIDS Program office, overseeing provision of $20 million of HIV services for two clinics, four pharmacies, and seven subcontractor agencies throughout Broward County. His next step was a five year role in the Statewide Medicaid HIV Disease Management program, Positive Healthcare, as the statewide Community Relations Director. Acting as a liaison with the six HIV Ryan White "Part A" planning bodies across six cities, he worked directly with various HIV service delivery systems of care throughout Florida. Joey then worked for Broward House for 5 years as the Director of Public Policy. BH is an AIDS Service organization providing the entire spectrum of services for clients: Housing, primary medical care, substance abuse rehabilitation, mental health, and social services for people living with HIV.

He also served four years as a member of the Florida Statewide Medicaid Advisory group. He has worked on various local, State, and Federal Pharmacy formulary panels and workgroups over the past 17 years, and developed a Ryan White Part A funded analysis of Pharmacy efficiency / effectiveness in an evaluation report for the Broward County EMA, comparing Florida EMAs for cost & utilization with the Florida ADAP in 2005.

DIRECTOR EMERITUS:

[Back to Top]Gary R. Rose

Gary R. Rose is currently President of an independent Health Systems Consulting company. Formerly, Rose was a Senior Vice President with Hyde Park Communications. His work included health systems consulting for clients including Hoffmann-La Roche Public Policy and Government Affairs; Bristol Myers Squibb Public Policy, Community Affairs and Reimbursement Divisions; Pfizer; The Title II Community AIDS National Network; Cooley’s Anemia Foundation; ADAP Working Group; and TAEP Project. Previously, Mr. Rose was a Vice President at Nelson Public Relations in New York.

Earlier, he served as the Research and Treatment Coordinator for the AIDS Action Council in Washington, DC. While at AIDS Action, Mr. Rose helped to form the ADAP Working Group and the Patients’ Coalition for Responsible FDA Reform. He also served as a co-chair of the National Associations Responding to AIDS (NORA) and on the International Issues and Research Working Groups and as an official advisor to the committee that developed the Guidelines for the Use of Antiviral Therapies in HIV-infected Adults and Adolescents.

[Back to Top]Rani G. Whitfield

Rani G. Whitfield, M.D., a board certified family physician with a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in sports medicine, has become known as "The Hip Hop Doc" or "H2D" to many of the young adults in his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he practices medicine. Dr. Whitfield is an impassioned advocate for increasing the awareness of health related issues, such as HIV/AIDS, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and substance abuse affecting African American youth.

Dr. Whitfield received his medical degree with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Thereafter, he completed his internship and residency in family medicine at St Elizabeth's Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio in 1999 and a sports medicine fellowship at Ohio State University in 2000. In the most important book ever written about HIV/ AIDS in the African American community, "Not In My Family," by Gil Robertson, IV, Dr. Whitfield was featured in chapter 50 for his views on this important topic along with Jesse Jackson, Jr., Al Sharpton, and Patti Labelle, just to name a few.

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