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Health Disparities Steering Committee Members

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Czarina is currently pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy in epidemiology at the University of California, Davis with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS and injection drug users.  Her training and background is predominantly in epidemiology and behavioral health with a special focus on injection drug using populations.  Over the past few years, she has worked with the state-funded satellite syringe exchange pilot program and has been committed to supporting this model of prevention.  More recently, as part of her Master’s of Public Health, she has been heavily involved in the development of a resource Web site for syringe exchange providers seeking to establish satellite syringe exchange programs.  In addition, she has telehealth policy experience that aimed to promote better access and quality of care for underserved populations.  Overall, Czarina is interested in the reduction of health disparities across gender, race, and in injection drug users. 


Kama Brockmann is a Policy and Program Coordinator at OA.  She currently coordinates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Perinatal Project that assists labor and delivery hospitals with implementing rapid HIV testing for women with undocumented HIV status at time of delivery.  She also provides technical assistance to help health care settings implement HIV testing.  Previously she worked for the Early Intervention Section of OA as the coordinator of the Bridge Project.  Prior to coming to California, she worked with families affected by HIV/AIDS for four years as coordinator for Program and Clinical Services for The Family Options Project of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services AIDS Project.  She also worked with people with HIV and AIDS at Cook County Hospital and throughout the Chicago area.  She completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work at the University of Chicago and has been research fellow of the National Institute for Mental Health Office on AIDS.  Her dissertation, African American Women with HIV/AIDS:  A Quantitative Study of Their Patterns of Disclosure focused on African American women’s disclosure of their HIV/AIDS status to their families, friends, religious organizations, and substance abuse treatment providers. 


During the past five years, Daniel Coronado has participated in and coordinated volunteer work for community-based organizations in Sacramento in the areas of fund development and raising HIV/AIDS awareness.  Since earning his Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from University of California, Davis last year, Daniel has contributed to projects across the three branches of OA as an intern to Division Chief Dr. Michelle Roland.  His experiences at OA have inspired him to explore graduate-level programs in public health and move toward a career of linking community and county partners with resources and technical expertise necessary to build effective prevention programs targeting youth at risk for HIV/AIDS. 


Carol Crump has worked since 1986 in the areas of HIV, mental health, and substance abuse.  Before coming to OA in 1997, she served as the Executive Director of AIDS Project Central Coast, where she initiated Santa Barbara County’s syringe exchange program.  Related experience includes overseeing a NIDA-funded perinatal substance abuse treatment study, directing a community mental health services program, training domestic violence counselors, delivering street-based mental health interventions, and conducting outreach for sex workers, injection drug users, and homeless women.  As adjunct faculty in Antioch University’s graduate school of psychology, she taught courses in psychopathology, substance abuse, women’s psychology, domestic violence, and HIV care.  Carol has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. 


Valorie Eckert is a Research Scientist with OA.  She received her Bachelor of Science in the field of Immunology and Master of Public Health in International Health and Development/Epidemiology.  Since then, she has worked consistently with, and on projects involving, disenfranchised populations.  In the development of a Trauma Index Tool, she worked closely with Kurdish and Vietnamese refugees who had experienced war-related torture and trauma.  She has also been state evaluation lead of the National Corrections Demonstration Project, a multi-state project funded to develop and evaluate transitional case management services for HIV-positive inmates transitioning back into society and is currently involved with the Sexual Barriers in Prison Pilot project.  Valorie is also the Principal Investigator of California’s multi-site Satellite Syringe Exchange Project and has been an active data resource for the statewide Women’s Task Force.  Her current research interests include racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care and harm reduction practices among injection drug users. 


Matthew Facer first worked for OA as a Graduate Student Researcher in 1995 and became a full-time “real” employee in 1998.  He has worked within the Surveillance and Research Section throughout his tenure.  He has worked with the California HIV/AIDS surveillance database and has been a co-investigator on several epidemiologic studies conducted by the section.  He has also provided technical assistance to the HIV Care Branch.  Matthew has a doctorate in probability and statistics, focusing on statistical applications to biological and epidemiologic data. 


Dennis Fleming has worked in the HIV/AIDS field since 2001 and has been living with HIV for over 20 years.  Dennis has been a case manager, trainer, and quality manager for Ryan White Program as well as a test counselor, working with diverse groups, such as gay men, African American and Latino heterosexuals, and high school students, among others.  As an HIV prevention intervention specialist, Dennis focuses on Partner Services, Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, and behavioral interventions.  Dennis holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Arts in Education. 


Michael Foster has been working in HIV/AIDS since 1998, originally as a volunteer at a community-based organization in the northeast that targets lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender minority-race youth.  Michael also was awarded a fellowship through Teacher’s College at Columbia University and was assigned to work in the Policy Department of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York, New York.  From there, Michael spearheaded a public awareness campaign targeting inner-city adolescents through Policy Department at the AIDS Action Committee in Boston, Massachusetts.  Since then, Michael has directed several projects at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies in San Francisco, California that explore the use of evidence-based HIV/AIDS prevention interventions primarily targeting African American men who have sex with men in various contexts.  Michael has earned a Doctoral Degree in education, focusing on administration, planning and social policy, as well as a Master’s of Public Health in epidemiology. 


Theresa Harlan works in HIV legislation and policy, working directly with the OA Division Chief.  She is a member of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors Native American Work Group.  Theresa has worked with both urban and rural Native American communities in community development and the arts for both non-profits and state agencies.  She graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in ethnic studies and is Santo Domingo and Jemez Pueblo from New Mexico. 


Brian Lew began doing HIV/AIDS work in 1990 facilitating a support group for HIV‑positive men who have sex with men until 1997.  From 1987 through 2006, he worked for the California Victims of Crime Program, eventually managing their Mental Health Section; Brian coordinated and co-authored the program’s publication on mental health treatment guidelines for maltreated children.  In 2006, Brian came to OA as the Chief of the HIV Counseling, Testing, and Training Section and a year later became the Chief of the HIV Prevention Policy and Program Development Section.  During that time, he began collaborating with several Asian/Pacific Islander HIV organizations eventually co-organizing an Asian American/Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Action Summit in 2008.  Also during that time, he provided oversight of OA’s Latino and African American prevention initiatives.  In March 2009, Brian became the Chief of the HIV Prevention Branch at OA.  Brian has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. 


Alessandra Ross is currently the Injection Drug Use Specialist for the California Department of Public Health, Center for Infectious Diseases, Office of AIDS (OA), where she coordinates the state’s efforts to reduce HIV and hepatitis C virus infection among injection and other drug users.  Alessandra has worked in AIDS education and prevention since the beginning of the epidemic.  Her previous experience includes managing the training department at Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York, and assisting the Harm Reduction Coalition in establishing their Training Institute.  She has worked with two different teams to help set up needle exchanges in Eastern Europe.  Alessandra has a Master’s Degree in Public Health. 


Kevin Sitter has been working in HIV/AIDS since 1985.  He developed programs for men who have sex with men and people living with HIV/AIDS.  He has been an HIV case manager and an HIV test counselor.  Kevin has also worked with men who are married and also attracted to men, heterosexuals living with HIV, people over the age of 50 living with HIV, and people co-infected with hepatitis C virus.  Kevin has earned both a Clinical Degree in Social Work and a Master's in Public Health, focusing on HIV prevention and care services.


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Last modified on: 9/2/2011 12:23 AM