HIVMA Names Allison Agwu Chair of its Board of Directors
The HIV Medicine Association is pleased to announce Allison Agwu, MD, ScM, FAAP, FIDSA, as its new chair. The Association also elected a new vice chair and named five new directors. HIVMA addresses health disparities and inequities in its mission to end the HIV epidemic.
Dr. Agwu is a professor of adult and pediatric infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Her clinical care and research priorities focus on addressing health disparities and improving care, treatment strategies and health outcomes particularly for young people at-risk for and/or with HIV. She cares for patients across the age spectrum, both in the pediatric and adult Ryan White-funded HIV clinics at Johns Hopkins, as the founder and medical director of the Accessing Care Early Clinic and the program director of the multidisciplinary Pediatric/Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program. She is also the project director of JH-Women Infant Children and Youth Partnership, a Ryan White Part D-funded program aimed at improving care for vulnerable populations in central Maryland. She is an active member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Adolescent and Adult Antiretroviral Treatment Guidelines and chair of the Advocates for Youth Board. Throughout her career, she has been a champion and voice for those who often cannot advocate for themselves and brings that mission to her service as chair of the HIVMA Board.
“It is an honor to represent my colleagues and serve as chair of HIVMA during a time when access to lifesaving treatments and basic access to care is being threatened,” Dr. Agwu said. “We can end HIV as an epidemic without leaving any communities behind, and we need to commit to that goal now more than ever before.”
Anna K. Person, MD, FIDSA, was elected to serve as HIVMA vice chair. Dr. Person is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. She is also interprofessional education director of the Southeast AIDS Education and Training Center and director of education and faculty development in the Division of Infectious Diseases at VUMC. She has served on the HIVMA Board for several years and has been active in the Association and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, including as co-chair of HIVMA’s Health Care Access Working Group, a past co-chair of the Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition and a member of IDSA’s Training Program Directors’ Committee.
Dr. Person believes deeply in the intersection of science and social justice and has forged her career with that mission. Her special interest is in providing care for individuals of transgender experience living with HIV, and for more than a decade, she has been the supervising physician at a rural HIV clinic. As a clinician, she has been a powerful advocate for people with HIV in the face of increasing political hostilities. Dr. Person believes that her experiences as a clinician, advocate and leader will add to the life-changing work that is done by HIVMA.
The five newly elected HIIVMA Board members are:
• Nicholas Allen, DNP, is the infectious disease advanced registered nurse practitioner at the Washington Department of Corrections. He has been working in infectious diseases and HIV care since 2016. Prior to joining the medical staff at the Washington Department of Corrections, he practiced in the inpatient and outpatient community setting. Allen intends to bring his lived and professional experience working with underserved populations to help HIVMA advocate for a system that prioritizes providing care to communities disproportionately impacted by various social determinants of health. He also intends to help HIVMA support, expand and diversify the HIV care workforce.
• Joseph Cherabie, MD, MSc, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also the medical director at the Washington University PrEP Program, the associate medical director at St. Louis County Sexual Health Clinic and a clinical ambassador with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign. Dr. Cherabie’s priorities are to advocate for PrEP to be more equitable and accessible, including advocating for a national PrEP program, continued Ryan White Program funding, sustaining the 340B program and continuing the federal mandate for payers to cover PrEP. They believe strongly in status-neutral care that is trauma-informed, gender inclusive and grounded in equity. Dr. Cherabie is also an advocate for the removal of risk-based language that is commonly used in health care.
• Nada Fadul, MD, FIDSA, is a professor of medicine and assistant dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Education Programs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Fadul is also the medical director and principal investigator of Ryan White Parts C and D grants at the Specialty Care Center at UNMC. She has been actively involved in HIVMA and IDSA for a number of years, including serving as vice chair for HIVMA’s Awards Committee and on IDSA’s Governance Taskforce and HIVMA’s Leadership Development Committee. Dr. Fadul is passionate about implementation science and strengthening the role of interprofessional teams and advance practice providers in addressing HIV workforce shortages and disparities, especially in rural and urban underserved areas.
• Carlos D. Malvestutto, MD, MPH, is a clinical associate professor of medicine at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Malvestutto is also an investigator on multiple clinical trials studying HIV prevention, treatment and cure. In Ohio, Dr. Malvestutto has worked to improve access to HIV testing, access to PrEP and rapid linkage to care; developed a program to increase sexually transmitted infection testing in emergency departments; improved access to PrEP for the local Latinx/Hispanic community; and advocated to repeal HIV criminalization laws in the state. As a clinician, researcher and educator, Dr. Malvestutto has worked to address disparities and reduce barriers that exist across care settings. Dr. Malvestutto has served HIVMA as a member of the Ending the Epidemic Working Group and looks forward to supporting the Association’s continued efforts to achieve the end of HIV as an epidemic.
• Hansel Emory Tookes III, MD, MPH, is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. Dr. Tookes is the principal investigator of the University of Miami IDEA Lab, whose mission is to implement, disseminate, educate and advocate for the health of people who use drugs. The IDEA Lab also houses the IDEA Exchange — the first legal syringe exchange in the state of Florida. Dr. Tookes is a state and national leader on harm reduction policy, including his roles as clinical ambassador for CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign and on the Florida Harm Reduction Collective Board. He has also served on HIVMA’s Health Care Access and Primary Care Guidance workgroups and was recently appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Dr. Tookes believes that there is no way to end the HIV epidemic without a comprehensive strategy to prevent infections in high-priority populations, including people who inject drugs.
Joining Drs. Agwu and Person on the Executive Committee of the HIVMA Board of Directors will be Chair-Elect Colleen Kelley, MD, MPH, FIDSA, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Immediate Past Chair Michelle Cespedes, MD, MS, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York; and the HIVMA Representative to the IDSA Board Rajesh T. Gandhi, MD, FIDSA, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
The following members will continue their service on the HIVMA Board:
• Lydia Aoun Barakat, MD, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut;
• Catherine Bielick, MD, MSc, IDSA Fellow Liaison, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia;
• Philip Bolduc, MD, Family Health Center of Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts;
• Joseph S. Cervia, MD, MBA, FACP, FAAP, FIDSA, FPIDS, AAHIVS, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Liaison, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, New York;
• Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, PMHNP-BC, ANP-BC, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina;
• Kathleen Jacobson, MD, California Department of Health, Richmond, California;
• Darrell McBride, DO, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Scranton, Pennsylvania;
• Elizabeth Sherman, PharmD, Memorial Healthcare System, Fort Lauderdale, Florida;
• Virginia Triant, MD, MPH, FIDSA, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
About the HIV Medicine Association
The HIV Medicine Association is the professional home for more than 5,000 physicians, scientists and other health care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS. HIVMA is a community of health care professionals who advance a comprehensive and humane response to the HIV pandemic, informed by science and social justice. HIVMA is part of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. For more information, visit www.hivma.org.