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Introduce Yourself

  • 1.  Introduce Yourself

    Posted 02-26-2020 13:36
    Welcome to Academy Communities!

    One of my favorite things about my job is getting the opportunity to meet and work with HIV practitioners!  Being connected to the community that I serve is so important and I always come away learning something from these interactions.  Until now, I only got the opportunity to talk to you at conferences or if you happened to call me to talk about credentialing.

    It's this kind of interaction that we hope Academy Communities will foster and grow, not really between you and me (although I do look forward to meeting you!), but from practitioner to practitioner.  Any good conversation starts off with an introduction, so please use this thread to tell us your name, provider type (physician, pharmacist, NP, PA, etc), how long you've been caring for HIV patients, and something fun about yourself.

    I'll start:

    My name is Dan Ebeling.  I am the Director of Credentialing at the Academy, but I'm not a medical provider.  I've been with the Academy since June 2016 and previously worked managing a certification program for sign language interpreters.  I earned my bachelors degree in Music Education from Hope College in Holland, MI and, while I don't teach, I sing professionally around the DC area.  My main gig is at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  Here's a recording of the Sopranos and Altos of the Shrine choir:  Choir of the Basilica: Regina Coeli 

    I'm looking forward to meeting you!

    Dan Ebeling (he/him)
    Academy Communities Admin
    Director of Credentialing
    (202) 659-0699

  • 2.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 02-27-2020 11:29

    Thank you for the invitation Dan!

    I am Andrew Jameson. I am an Infectious Diseases specialist and an HIV provider in Grand Rapids, MI. I work in a grant funded, hospital sponsored clinic through Mercy Health Saint Mary's hospital. I am active at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine working at both the undergraduate and graduate medical education levels. I am currently the HIV Clinic Site Director for the Spectrum Health-MSU ID fellowship here in Grand Rapids.

    I have been trained in Michigan with medical school at Wayne State, residency at Michigan State, and fellowship at the University of Michigan. I have been taking care of HIV patients since 2012 and in my current position since 2014. I am married with 4 kids and love the outdoors!

    Glad to get connected!

    Andrew Jameson, MD, FACP, AAHIVS
    Grand Rapids MI

  • 3.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 02-27-2020 12:43
    Hi Dan!

    My name is Milena Murray. I am an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Midwestern University where I teach Clinical Pharmacokinetics to pharmacy students. My clinic is at the Northwestern ID Center in downtown Chicago, IL. I have been a member of the academy since 2012 when I noticed "AAHIVP" on a friend's signature and said, "What's that?" The rest is history! I went to pharmacy school on the east coast and then moved to NYC for residency and Chicago for my ID fellowship. I fell in love with the Midwest and have made a home here. A fun fact about me is that I love to bake castle shaped cakes (with the help of bundt pans), chai is my favorite flavor but I will also use matcha. I also sing! Maybe that's an idea for our next board meeting...we can sing our reports, but I'll let you bring it up to Bruce for approval.

    I am looking forward to getting to know our members from across the nation and the wonderful idea sharing that will occur. This platform will help us to take better care of our patients and propel the academy forward.

    Milena Murray
    Midwestern University
    Downers Grove IL

  • 4.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 02-28-2020 09:37
    Hi Dan,

    My name is Amanda Binkley and I am currently an ID pharmacy specialist in Philadelphia, PA.  I am involved in both inpatient ID consult team/antimicrobial stewardship as well as the outpatient ID clinic for HIV/HCV care.  Over the past few years I have gotten more involved in organizations and recently joined the PA steering committee in January of this year. 

    I am looking forward to getting to know other providers and pharmacy specialists across the country.  This platform is a wonderful opportunity to expand our network and collaborate on ways to improve care for our patients. 

    Amanda ​

    Amanda Binkley
    Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
    North Wales PA

  • 5.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 02-28-2020 09:36

    Hello! My name is Ogechika "Oge" Alozie (MD MPH FACP AAHIVS). I'm originally from Nigeria but did an ID fellowship @ the University of Minnesota after residency @ Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    I presently live, play and more importantly for this forum WORK in El Paso Texas where I am the CEO of Southwest Viral Med (SWVM) a non-profit organization in El Paso. Founded in 2015 my team has been responsible for the care of over 1000 clients living with HIV. We have a new NP and a clinical PharmD who are amazing and along with the rest of the team do some really superb, top-ranked in Texas, HIV work. #humblebrag #proud #elpasostrong

    I believe that "patient care is the most important part of medicine. Technology is not a replacement for patient care, but rather a way to enhance and catalyze the care our patients deserve"

    I'm sure there is more I could say, but I look forward to the community engagement and this is really cool!


    Ogechika Alozie
    El Paso TX

  • 6.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 03-07-2020 09:18
    So happy to be a part of these conversations!

    My name is Michelle Collins-Ogle, I'm a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist. I provide comprehensive HIV care for adolescents and young adults with HIV in the Bronx, NY @ Montefiore Hospital. Prior to moving to NY, I was the PI and Medical Director of a Ryan White C clinic in rural North Carolina for 20 years. I moved to the Bronx to expand HIV care for LGBTQ Youth and those at high risk for HIV. I also provide comprehensive for transgender youth living HIV and those at risk as well. 

    I am a member of the board of directors for the Academy and it's been the best experience to work with such dedicated people. I've been a member of the Academy since 2014 and have enjoyed working with amazing, dedicated staff under the leadership of Bruce Packett. 

    I'm from the great state of Michigan and a Wolverine Alumnus...Go Blue! I received my MD from Wayne State School of Medicine in Detroit. I love to read! Mystery novels and Political Thrillers are my favorites. I'm married (26 yrs) and have 3 adult children.  ​I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone.

    Michelle Ogle
    Bronx NY

  • 7.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 03-17-2020 08:58

    I am Tsitsi Monera-Penduka. I am an HIV Pharmacist from Zimbabwe. I work in a teaching hospital HIV outpatient clinic where I help manage a cohort of over 5000 patients. I am also involved in clinical training, HIV pharmacotherapy and quality improvement. HIV Practice in Zimbabwe is somewhat different from the US, but I have learnt volumes from being a member of AAHIM that have improve my contribution to the care of patients in my clinic. I hope to learn enough to be credentialed this year, so I can successfully advance and formalise Pharmacy practice in Zimbabwe to include HIV Clinical/Advanced/Specialist Pharmacy.   

    Tsitsi Monera-Penduka
    Parirenyatwa Centre of Excellence for HIV prevention, treatment and care

    Tsitsi Penduka

  • 8.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 03-17-2020 09:06
    I am Godwin Asare a nurse and an HIV care provider in Atua Government Hospital one of the HIV populated places in Eastern part of Ghana. I have been in this unit for the past 3 years and counting and I must say I love what I do. Personally I attend to averagely 35 patients a day and averagely 2 new cases a day. This is huge and puts a lot of pressure on our scared resources and staff strength. The need to do more for my patients has motivated to personally financed my masters education in HIV/AIDS Management in the University of Ghana. I love my clients and always like to see them strong and happy. One thing I'm so passionate about is seeing HIV positive children. Children who through no fault of theirs become infected and they have to live with this condition through their whole life. Poverty is also one thing that such people deal with in this part of the world, it is sad but that is the reality. I'm currently seeing an increase in the viral suppression rate among my clients and that gives me hope.

    Godwin Ofori Asare
    koforidua, atua

  • 9.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 03-18-2020 08:57

    I'm Zach Backlin.  I am a Family Nurse Practitioner, though a little new to the role, having graduated in May of 2019 from Arizona State University.  I have been working the past 6 months in residential substance use treatment facilities in the Phoenix area, before recently having moved back home to Illinois to be closer to family.  My interest in HIV treatment started when I worked on my doctoral EBP project linking people with a Substance use disorder to testing and treatment for Hepatitis C, and I discovered I had definite interest in working with the HIV population as well.  I completed a post-graduate preceptorship through the AETC in my area, and have started treating patients with their guidance.  I have started investigating the use of Telemedicine in HIV care and am hoping to develop a practice with that model in the future.  

    Looking forward to using this community to develop connections and improve as a provider as well!

    Zachary Backlin
    Glendale AZ

  • 10.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 03-18-2020 16:53
    Hi Dan and fellow academy members,

    My name is Elizabeth Girón, and I am a newly minted PA-C, about to ensue my career in the emergency department at NYP Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. I have been passionate about HIV medicine and infectious diseases for the longest, which led me to acquire my first MS degree in microbiology. This passion continued growing and I completed an HIV specialized track/residency during my PA program at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. After completing my primary care clerkship in an HIV primary care clinic, my passion escalated and I knew I wanted to continue providing care in the future; hence my decision to become an HIV specialist. Especially living in NYC, I know that I'll constantly be utilizing my HIV knowledge and HIV prevention strategies in the ER. My grand plan includes working PT in HIVM once I gain my bearings in the ED.
    I look forward in connecting with fellow providers/clinicians, hearing from everyone and learning from your years of experience!!   

    Elizabeth Giron
    Brooklyn NY

  • 11.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 03-19-2020 11:16
    Hello all. I am Barbara Black, APRN. I have been an RN for over 20 years and a licensed FNP for nearly 3. I work in an FQHC that is Ryan White funded. I recently passed the HIV Specialist exam.
    Looking forward to the ACTHIV conference in Chicago....if it isn't canceled that is. :-(

    Barbara Black
    Corpus Christi TX

  • 12.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 03-20-2020 10:10
    Hi Dan and all,

    I am a newer physician (graduated from residency 1.5 years ago), and am working at a local FQHC with a Ryan White funded HIV program. I am in the process of reviewing the AAHIVM curriculum to try and become an HIV Specialist --- In addition to the other hats I wear: Family medicine PCP, Addiction Specialist (hoping to sit for my Addiction boards this year as well) and mental health specialist (I was a mental health counselor prior to going to medical school, so I am comfortable working with mentally ill patients and prescribing psychopharmacologic medications). 

    I am dual boarded in allopathic and osteopathic family medicine (passed my boards last year). I work in Erie, PA. I went to LECOM and did my residency training in Meadville, PA.

    Prior to medical school, in addition to working as a mental health counselor and intake coordinator for in-patient psych units, I was also a paramedic.
    My undergraduate degree is a BS in Behavioral Neuroscience from UMASS: Boston.
    I also obtained a Master's Degree in pharmacology from Tulane Universtity.

    I am married with 1 daughter (5 going on 45...)

    Sean Leonard
    Meadville PA

  • 13.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-13-2020 14:45
    Hi all... I'm working towards getting HIV Specialist certified, doing the 45 hours of con-ed. I paid my dues to be a member of AAHIVM. I'm trying to find out how to get into the mentoring program. I searched this forum and also the website and am getting search results that when I click on them I get access is restricted or I am not authorized etc.

    Sean Leonard
    Meadville PA

  • 14.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-14-2020 09:52
    Hi Sean!  Welcome to Academy Communities!

    This year we've been working to revamp our mentoring program and aren't taking enrollments for mentees at the moment.  But that should be changed in the very near future.  In the meantime, keep working on those HIV-related CE credits for your eligibility and, if you're ready, go ahead and register for the credentialing exam.  You will be able to complete the registration without being actively involved in the mentoring program.

    Thanks for your patience while we put the finishing touches on the program.  Feel free to e-mail me at if you have any other questions about credentialing or mentoring.

    Dan Ebeling (he/him)
    Academy Communities Admin
    Director of Credentialing
    (202) 659-0699

  • 15.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 03-26-2020 10:11
    Hey hey all!! First day in 3 weeks I have a chance to BREATHE so I decided to spend that time jumping on the community exchange and saying hi! 

    My name is Angela, I am one of the clinicians at Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers (an FQHC in Philadelphia) , specifically at the Jonathan Lax Treatment Center, a clinic that does primary care for people living with HIV. I have been at FIGHT since I completed my PA training in 2007 and I couldnt imagine working in any other field. Additionally, I am the education coordinator for all APP students within our FQHC and have a student with me full time. I also LOVE to teach, and that has gone around to numerous medical programs. As of now, I guest lecture at 7 different schools/programs! 

    My PASSION is teaching the next generation of HIV providers, specifically Physician Assistants and allowing them to see and learn at a clinic that provides state of the art care, a team-based model, and a place that does not practice "medicine as a business". While I do not have offspring of my own, I think of my students as my "kids" and I love "birthing them" into the world of medicine and continue to keep a relationship with all of them after they leave the nest! I am proud to say I have birthed numerous PAs and NPs into HIV medicine! 

    Last but not least, I am the Physician Assistant Committee Chair for the Academy as well as on the Academy board and am loving every minute of it! If you are a PA reading this, SAY HEY on our PA specific post!

    Angela Kapalko
    Physician Assistant Chairperson for AAHIVM
    Philadelphia FIGHT CommunityHealth Centers
    Philadelphia PA

  • 16.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 03-27-2020 12:21
    Hello Community, 

    I am finishing up my last year of infectious diseases fellowship at UCSD.  I am board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases and recently passed my AAHIVM specialist exam.  I hope to incorporate HIV primary care in my future career and am currently job searching in San Diego/ Southern California. 

    My main hobby walking and jogging with my energetic Australian shepherd Roxy, but I also enjoy dancing samba and salsa.

    Katherine Promer
    San Diego CA

  • 17.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-09-2020 11:34
    Edited by David Cupit 04-09-2020 11:34
    Hi everyone! My name is David "Greg" Cupit. I am proudly working for an FQHC in Houston Tx, Legacy Community Health. We are the largest FQHC in Texas and are RW funded. I am so proud to work in the Adult Health area of care where I am the "STD guy" lol. I currently see all walk-in patients for STD/PEP/rapid start PrEP as well as seeing sick patients when they are unable to get connected with their PCP. We  (Legacy) have a 90 mile foot print taking care of people from all over the Houston metro region. Ive been a nurse since 2003 and FNP since 2016. ​I'm so excited to study and take the HIV specialist exam this fall. Greetings to everyone!

    David Cupit MSN, RN, APN, FNP-BC
    Houston TX

  • 18.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-10-2020 10:31
    Hi all, it has been great to read about all of you!  
    I am an internal medicine physician-educator in Austin, Texas.  I am passionate about HIV primary care and gender-affirming care.  I currently work at CommUnityCare, a large FQHC in central Texas, where I practice a mix of general internal medicine, HIV primary care, PrEP, and gender-affirming care.  I also co-direct the primary care clerkship for medical students at the fairly new UT Austin Dell Medical School.  I am hoping to stand-up a gender-affirming care clinic at UT Austin soon.  

    I am trying to roll-out a formalized PrEP program at my FQHC but it's been logistically difficult to push back against the idea that it's not in primary care's wheelhouse, and to streamline the payment process.  If anyone has tips or wants to collaborate, please message me!

    Nice to meet all of you!

    Aliza Norwood
    University of California, San Francisco
    Austin TX

  • 19.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-12-2020 08:34
    Hi, Nice to interact with you all 

    I'm an HIV Case Manager where one of my primary goals are intensifying linkage to care among PLHIV and tracing drop-out patients. I also work closely in the community where I provide HIV awareness among vulnerable groups. Sadly due to lack of resources here most are unaware of PreP and its importance majority of people providing care are still reluctant in introducing PreP as another option i HIV prevention. I hope that I can learn more in this community related to innovative strategies in providing care not only to PLHIV, their families and the vulnerable groups.

    Manila Social Hygiene Clinic 
    Manila, Philippines

    John Axl Torres
    Manila, Philippines

  • 20.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-13-2020 20:17
    Edited by Andrew Doan 04-13-2020 20:17
    Hello everyone and Happy Monday!

    My name is Andrew Doan, but you can call me Andy. I live just a little north of Austin, TX and finished pharmacy school back in 2019...time flies! I currently work as a community pharmacist in both corporate and independent settings within Central Texas. Surprised to see how many of you are neighbors!

    During my time in pharmacy school, I helped establish The Kind Clinic (previously Austin PrEP Access Project) as a premier HIV, sexual health, and gender care services practice. One of the most rewarding parts of my career has been breaking down barriers to access and providing patient education opportunities when PrEP was first becoming available. I've loved every moment working in this field and hope to continue doing so to the most of my clinical capacity. I hope to stay engaged within this growing practice and also strive to precept or teach students at some point. I currently mentor current pharmacy students, serve at a nonprofit healthcare clinic as a volunteer pharmacist, and have been trying to get into rock climbing during my spare time. I've completed my CE for the AAHIVP exam and plan to take it in the fall.

    Nice to meet all of you and hope to get connected! Stay safe out there during these challenging times.

    Andrew Doan, PharmD
    Austin TX

  • 21.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-15-2020 12:41
    Dan thanks for the invitation and opportunity to join the community.  I currently work for Diamond Pharmacy Services (22 years now), the largest correctional pharmacy in the country.  I'm currently responsible for oversight of 14 Correctional Consultant Pharmacists, clinical review services as well special project oversight. Clinical review services include formulary development and ongoing review, drug utilization-disease state management review, and evidence-based medicine review applied to facility drug usage and cost-containment while being a member of several P&T committees.  I oversee HIV and Hepatitis C education for staff pharmacists, our client's providers and nurses, assuring that patients are placed on appropriate regimens and protocols. I also manage ongoing projects including our 340B program, maintaining oversight of program arrangements as well as company compliance with 340B guidelines. I also oversee the Drug Information Center which includes 5 clinical pharmacists who provide ongoing clinical education, support and initiatives including a virtual distance clinical pharmacy program for providers and nurse healthcare teams.  I love to go for hikes and walks with my two golden retrievers, bike riding and love listening to a wide range of music.

    Matthew Risko
    Diamond Pharmacy Services
    Jonestown PA

  • 22.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-16-2020 09:09

    Tagbo Ekwonu, MD AAHIVS. I am a Family Physician and HIV specialist providing a one-stop-shop for my HIV patients. Services include:
    • Primary care
    • HIV management 
    • Hepatitis C treatment. 
    • PrEP
    • Opioid addiction treatment with Suboxone.
    I practice in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

    Tagbo Ekwonu
    Eastowne Family Physicians,PA
    Matthews NC

  • 23.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-20-2020 23:53
      |   view attached
    Greetings Everyone,

    My name is Lucy Ogechi Efobi. I am a Nurse practitioner with a doctoral degree in family and emergency care from Rutgers University, Newark NJ. I joined an HIV clinic early this year as my first NP job and that makes me a "Newbie" in this game of HIV care and treatment :). It was quite interesting reading comments, recommendations and suggestions from experts in this community and I am glad that I am part of this noble community.

    As a new NP working with approximately 120 HIV patients with a collaborating physician, treating both HIV, STI, Hepatitis and PrEP, it was quite a challenge keeping up with treatment guidelines but one thing that kept me going was the love I have, treating and caring for this population. More so, readings from The HIV national curriculum was a big PLUS in understanding HIV treatment and care. 

    A big kudos to this noble community again, with your help, I am working towards my certification and any suggestions on this will be greatly appreciated. Secondly, I had developed protocols to work with during this remote pandemic period. Attached is my PrEP protocol which is under review by the Clinic Medical Director. You are welcome to send in your comments and recommendations. Also, I plan to develop one on STI, all thanks to this community.

    Finally, I am married with 4 lovely kids, a boy and 3 three ladies! Love to travel but one thing I am sure of is that "I LOVE MY JOB" and I love what I do!

    Lucy Oge Efobi, DNP, APN, FNP-BC, BSc.ed
    Hyacinth HIV/AIDS Foundation
    Newark, NJ

    lucy efobi
    Linden NJ

  • 24.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 05-12-2021 18:02
    thank you for sharing!

    Robin Peace
    Lumberton NC

  • 25.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 04-26-2020 17:13
    My name is Gary Newman and I was recently certified as an HIV Pharmacist in October, 2019. I currently work as an HIV specialist pharmacist at Accredo Specialty Pharmacy in Florence NJ. I am involved in Drug Utilization Review assesing for drug interactions, duplication of therapy, dosing , and completeness of HIV therapy based on current guidelines.  Other areas are the review and dispensing of Trogarzo and Egrifta therapies ,copay assistance, and drug utilzation review of non HIV medications for our HIV patients. I am licensed in NJ, PA, DE, MD, and VA.   I also do long term care consulting part time and have the BCGP certification. Being part of the American Academy of HIV Medicine has been extremely educational being an HIV specialist newbie. I look forward in the future to interacting with my colleagues in the AAHIVM community.

    Gary Newman
    Burlington NJ

  • 26.  RE: Introduce Yourself

    Posted 12-11-2020 12:33

    I am Akoaya Ekukanju and I am a Pharmacist with interest in community healthcare. I am a resident of Arlington, Texas but am originally from Cameroon. Like I said, I am particularly interested in community healthcare, medication management and lifestyle changes in economically disadvantaged areas. I love soccer, weight lifting and hospital movies like The Good Doctor etc. I also love mafia documentaries and movies.

    Looking forward to interact with this community and benefit from the educational opportunities.

    Akoaya Ekukanju

    Akoaya Ekukanju
    Arlington TX