New Leadership Affirms Commitment to Working to End the HIV Epidemic
HIVMA is pleased to announce the election of four new members to its Board of Directors and to name W. David Hardy, MD, as its new Chair. HIVMA is dedicated to promoting quality HIV care and advocating for policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the global AIDS pandemic.
Dr. Hardy currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases; he will soon be leaving his position as Senior Director of Evidence-based Practices at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, DC. He provides primary medical, HIV and HCV care for adolescent and adult patients at a community-based, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Washington, DC, and is involved in translational and clinical research.
As Chair of the HIVMA Board of Directors, Dr. Hardy is committed to leveraging the resources, influence, and collective voices of thousands of HIV care providers to: advocate for continued federal funding for comprehensive and accessible medical care for HIV-positive patients especially those in underserved communities; lobby for increased NIH funding to support ongoing and new basic and clinical investigations, notably the development of an HIV cure and preventive vaccine; continue to create professional HIV medical education programs to maintain a high level of evidence-based medical care for our patients; and to fight the stigmatization and criminalization of persons living with HIV in the U.S.
“We are at a uniquely pivotal time in the HIV pandemic where, thanks to our past achievements, the HIV community and leaders within the federal administration have declared that we can end the pandemic within the next few years. However, we now see emerging policies that threaten access to proven HIV treatment and prevention tools and that will reduce access to healthcare coverage for people with HIV. On the frontlines, we see a rise in new HIV cases among MSM of color as well as both new HIV cases and other infections linked to the opioid epidemic. At the same time, the number of sexually transmitted infections are reaching new all-time highs not seen for 25 years. As HIV clinicians and researchers, the need has never been greater for us to engage policymakers and our legislators to advocate for the policies and funding that will make the vision of ending the epidemic a reality,” said Dr. Hardy.
The four newly-elected HIVMA Board members are:
- Allison Agwu, MD, ScM, FAAP, FIDSA: Dr. Agwu is Associate Professor of Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her clinical and research interest focuses on youth and young adults with HIV. She is the Program Director of the Pediatric/Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program and is the founder and medical director of the Accessing Care Early (ACE) Clinic (youth-focused adult clinic). She is the Principal Investigator of the Johns Hopkins sites of the International Maternal Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials' Group (IMPAACT) and the Adolescent Trials’ Network (ATN) and is a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Adolescent and Adult Antiretroviral Treatment Guidelines and a former member of the Pediatric Guidelines.
- Jennifer Chang, MD: Dr. Chang is an HIV/AIDS primary care physician in the Department of Infectious Diseases with Kaiser Permanente at Los Angeles Medical Center. She is dedicated to teaching medical students and residents at her current medical center and also serves as a volunteer faculty member for Los Angeles County’s UCLA-Olive View Medical Center. She is interested in improving the quality of care and management of chronic HIV-related comorbidities, as well as prevention of maternal to child transmission of HIV/AIDS. Recently, she was awarded the National Minority AIDS Council HIV50+ Strong and Healthy award to address geriatric mental health issues in aging HIV-positive population in Los Angeles. Dr. Chang also is a past HIVMA Clinical Fellow and completed her fellowship in HIV medicine at UCLA.
- Michelle Floris-Moore, MD: Dr. Floris-Moore is Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases; Program Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship; and Associate Director, Simmons Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine. She is an ID clinician researcherwith expertise in HIV clinical and epidemiology research on non-AIDS complications of HIV disease and antiretroviral therapy (ART) in older adults. Her research focuses on non-AIDS comorbidities among people living with HIV and she has led studies investigating the impact of HIV-related inflammation on metabolic disease and atherosclerosis risk.
- Rajesh Gandhi, MD, FIDSA: Elected as Vice Chair, Dr. Gandhi is Director of HIV Clinical Services and Education at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He also serves as site leader of the MGH Clinical Research Site in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, Director of the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Clinical Core, and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gandhi has cared for people with HIV for 30 years, witnessing and participating in amazing advances in treatment and prevention but remains acutely aware of the immense challenges, including threats to programs that provide care and deepening health disparities that need to be addressed. He brings to the board his experience in conducting cutting-edge research focused on transforming the lives of people with HIV, including approaches that may someday lead to a cure. Dr. Gandhi previously served on the HIVMA Board from 2014 to 2017.
The HIVMA Board of Directors Executive Committee will include Dr. Hardy; Chair-Elect Judith Feinberg, MD, FIDSA, professor of medicine and infectious diseases and professor of behavioral medicine and psychiatry at West Virginia University; Vice Chair Dr. Gandhi; and Immediate Past Chair Melanie Thompson, MD, Principal Investigator of the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta (ARCA). Igho Ofotokun, MD, MSc, FIDSA, professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, will continue to represent HIVMA on the IDSA Board of Directors.
The following members will continue their service on the HIVMA Board:
- Michelle S. Cespedes, MD, MS, Associate Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
- Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH –Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Disease Control for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- Marwan S. Haddad, MD, MPH –Medical Director for the Center for Key Populations Community Health Center Inc. in New Haven, Conn.,
- Colleen F. Kelley, MD, MPH –Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, Atlanta
- Lynsay MacLaren, MPH, MPAS, PA-C –Staff and research clinician at Whitman-Walker Health, Washington, D.C.
- Kimberly Scarsi, PharmD, MS— Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Pharmacy Practice.
- James M. Sosman, MD, Professor, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wis.
- Alice Thornton, MD, FIDSA, Professor, University of Kentucky School of Medicine, Lexington, Y.
- Ira B. Wilson, MD, MSc, Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice at the Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, R.I.