Organizing Committee

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Jodie Guest, PhD, MPH  

Conference Chair 

Professor,  Department of Epidemiology,  Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University 

Associate Program Director Physician Assistant Program, Emory University School of Medicine 

Dr. Jodie Guest is a Professor at Rollins School of Public Health and School of Medicine at Emory University.  She is an investigator for PRISM Health research group at Emory, Associate Program Director for the Emory PA Program, and Director for the Applied Epidemiology Executive MPH Program.  She also serves as faculty for the CDC's Epidemiology Intelligence Service program.  She has won many teaching awards including the Golden Apple for Excellence in Teaching for Emory University's School of Medicine, the Crystal Apple for excellence in graduate teaching at Emory University and the Teacher of Excellence Award in the School of Medicine.  Dr. Guest has a broad background in epidemiology and specific expertise in HIV cohorts and clinical trials, having focused much of her research in racial, sexual and gender minority populations in HIV care. She is the former Director of HIV Research at the Atlanta VA Medical Center where she co-founded and remains the PI for the HIV Atlanta VA Cohort Study (HAVACS).  Dr. Guest received her doctorate and Masters in Public Health degrees from Emory University where she graduated with Distinction in Research. 

Her community work includes Board of Directors for Georgia Humanities, Board of Trustees for Leadership Atlanta, the Rollins School of Public Health Alumni Board and Leadership Council for the Atlanta Zoo.  She is the logistics trail director for the Iditarod and heads the research component for Emory's Migrant Farmworker Health Project.  She is the Founder and Executive Director of Teen Corp, a medical and philanthropy organization created to bring experiential learning to youth leaders.

Follow her on twitter @jlguest.


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Francesca Gaiba, PhD

Conference Co-Chair

Associate Director, Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Northwestern University

Dr. Gaiba is research associate professor and the associate director of the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern University. Dr. Gaiba earned her undergraduate degree in 1996 at University of Bologna, Italy. In 1998 her book, The Origins of Simultaneous Interpretation: The Nuremberg Trial, was published by the University of Ottawa Press, and was later translated into Japanese and published in Japan by Misuku Shobo Ltd. in 2013. In 2007, she received her PhD in Anthropology from Syracuse University with a dissertation on friendships between straight women and gay men. From 2007 to 2009, Dr. Gaiba was the associate director of UIC's Office of Social Science Research, where she developed a successful grant support and administration program. From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Gaiba managed the UIC Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, focusing on program development and implementation, grant support and management, and high level institute administration. With Michelle Boyd, she was the co-founder of the WriteOut! Writing retreat for scholars of race and ethnicity. She is a Certified Pre-Award Research Administrator (CPRA). Dr. Gaiba brings a commitment to racial and LGBT justice and their intersections to her scholarship and academic work. She has published op-eds in Time,The Hill, Rewire,RoleReboot, Medium, and TruthOut.



Héctor Torres, PsyD

Conference Co-Chair

Chief Program Officer, Center on Halsted

Dr. Héctor Torres is a licensed psychologist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapies. His approach as a therapist is one that pays attention to human potential, interpersonal relationships, and understanding individuals' contexts. Dr. Torres believes that stigma, oppression, and power dynamics are often responsible of many individuals' distress and psychological symptoms, and therefore addresses these topics in therapy. In terms of clinical experience, Dr. Torres has focused on serving minorities and individuals living below the poverty line. He has worked in diverse clinical settings including community-based mental health agencies, evaluation clinics, state forensic hospital, and a pediatric hospital.

Throughout his career, Dr. Torres has engaged in different roles, including program director, researcher, professor, and clinician. His work with the LGBTQ community started in 1996. Since then, Dr. Torres has been involved in the development, implementation, administration, and supervision of several government-funded and foundation-funded projects addressing LGBTQ health issues.


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Brian Mustanski, PhD

Co-Chair, National Scientific and Program Review Committee 

Director, Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Northwestern University

Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University

Dr. Mustanski is tenured Professor of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University, Director of the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Co-Director of the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and Co-Director of the Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology for Drug Abuse and HIV.The majority of his research focuses on the health and development of LGBT youth and the application of new media and technology to sexual health promotion and HIV prevention with young men. Dr. Mustanski's work spans the translational spectrum and includes epidemiological studies, longitudinal cohort studies focused on developmental trajectories and risk/protective mechanisms, the development and testing of HIV interventions, and dissemination/implementation science.  He has been a Principal Investigator for multiple federal and foundation research and training awards totaling over $38 million. His current projects include a NIDA-funded dyadic-network cohort study of young gay/bisexual men that seeks to gain a multilevel perspectives on the drivers of substance use and HIV in this population, several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of HIV prevention program for adolescent and young adult gay/bisexual men (NIDA, NIMH, NIMHD), and an NIMHD-funded study of ethical considerations in LGBT adolescent participation in HIV prevention research.  Dr. Mustanski has published over 190 peer reviewed journal articles. Recognition for his work include being named a William T Grant Scholar, the Society for Prevention Research Award for Advances in Culture and Diversity in Prevention Science, and the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution from the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Mustanski is a frequent advisor to federal agencies and foundations on LGBT health needs and research priorities. In 2017, NBC News selected him from 1,600 nominees as one of 30 changemakers and innovators making a positive difference in the LGBTQ community. 



Patrick Sullivan, PhD, DVM 

Co-Chair, National Scientific and Program Review Committee 

Professor, Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

Dr. Sullivan is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Epidemiology at Rollins School of Public Health.  Dr. Sullivan has 22 years of experience in HIV epidemiology and prevention in men who have sex with men, in the United States and in international settings. He worked in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for 12 years, including service as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, a Branch Chief, and Acting Deputy Division Director in the Division of HIV AIDS Prevention. He also has experience in design and oversight of biomedical prevention trials, having served as the Associate Director of Scientific Support for the NIH-funded HIV Vaccine Trials Network. He is currently the PI of multiple NIH-supported research grants to develop improved methods for online HIV prevention studies. Dr. Sullivan holds a PhD in Comparative and Experimental Medicine and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Tennessee.


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Laura Donnelly, MPH

Conference Logistics

Associate Director, Research Projects, Programs Research, Innovations in Sexual Minority Health (PRISM), Emory University

Laura Donnelly has served in public health leadership roles in academic institutions, federal and state government agencies, and the private sector for over 16 years. She has extensive experience managing national and regional public health training, research, and technical assistance projects and demonstrated success working with health care providers, public health administrators, and community leaders to identify and address community health needs. She received her MPH from the University of California, Los Angeles and her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University.  


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April Winningham, DrPH, MHS

Conference Coordinator

Dr. Winningham has 25 years of experience in the field of HIV/AIDS as a researcher, educator, conference/meeting coordinator, public health consultant, and evaluator.  After earning a Master of Health Sciences from Georgia Southern University, she completed a Doctor of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health. As an NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow, she conducted research and worked with community-based prevention efforts with the Center for AIDS Intervention Research (CAIR) at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  She currently serves on faculty at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health. 

Dr. Winningham's research areas of interest include HIV prevention, sexual health as we age, sexual health among older adults, and strategies for engaging adult learners. As a researcher and grant writer, Dr. Winningham has been awarded funding at both the state and federal levels and has taken part in numerous public health practice collaborations funded by such agencies as CDC, NIH, and SAMHSA. Also, Dr. Winningham has served with two study sections and chaired several special emphasis panels with the NIH Center for Scientific Review.  For more than two decades, Dr. Winningham has sought out opportunities to engage her expert organizational skills by securing multiple contracts for event/conference coordination ranging from state and national professional associations to non-profit organizations and academic institutions. As a public health consultant, Dr. Winningham also lends her organizational skills, interpersonal skills and expertise in conducting needs assessments and data collection/data analysis to a variety of health organizations ranging from local to federal government agencies and from non-profit AIDS service organizations to statewide HIV planning committees. Further, Dr. Winningham has had a successful collaborative history in supporting the efforts in conducting HRSA Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need/CDC Needs Assessment activities with state health departments including Kentucky, Tennessee, Nevada and South Carolina.

2019 Community Advisory Board Members

Carey Roth Bayer, EdD, MEd, BSN, RN, CSE, Professor, Departments of Community Health and Preventive Medicine/Medical Education, Director, CESH in Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine

Stephen Molldrem, PhD Candidate, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Board Member, H.Y.P.E. to Empower, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)

Linda Ellis, Executive Director, The Health Initiative, The Rush Center

Jeff Graham, Executive Director, Georgia Equality 


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