presenter bios

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Presenter Bios [pdf]

Stefan Baral, MD, FRCPC, CCFP, MPH, MBA, MSc is a physician epidemiologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (JHSPH). He has been involved in HIV epidemiology, prevention, and implementation research focused on the epidemiology, human rights contexts, and effective interventions for gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender women, and female sex workers across Western, Central, and Southern Africa and parts of Asia with support from USAID, CDC, NIH, amfAR, and the Global Fund. Dr. Baral acts as the Director of the Key Populations Program for the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the JHSPH.

Ward Carpenter, MD is a Board Certified Internist and expert in HIV Medicine, Transgender Medicine, and LGBT Primary Care. He earned his medical degree from UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School where he first discovered his passion for community health. For 6 years, he worked at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in NY, one of the premier LGBT health centers in the country, where he further developed his passion for LGBT health and especially transgender care. Dr. Carpenter currently works at the Los Angeles LGBT Center where he serves as the Director of Primary and Transgender Care Services.

Danielle Castro, MA, MFTI is a Latina trans-identified woman and is a psychotherapy intern for queer youth in San Francisco at Dimensions Clinic. She currently works for the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and is an international Capacity Building Assistance Provider for various organizations delivering HIV prevention and care as well as behavioral health services. She is the current co-chair for a transgender health empowerment workgroup of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s LGBT Action Committee, and also for the UCSF National Transgender Health Summit mental health track.

Destin Cortez is a self-identified transgender man and a native to California. He is currently working at APAIT as a Health Educator for the program HEART and SOUL. HEART is an intervention-based HIV prevention /risk reduction program focused for transgender women and gender nonconforming individuals. SOUL is a leadership program which gives the graduates of HEART the skills and training to become certified Peer Health Educators. He is also part of a Los Angeles trans masculine focus group that is addressing the barriers and creating a voice for the trans masculine community within the spectrum of HIV, mental, and physical health.

Frankie Darling-Palacios has worked as an organizer in the LA Transgender community for seven years. Frankie received her education at Cal State Northridge, majoring in Women’s Studies with an emphasis on Queer Studies. Her current role as an Outreach Specialist at APLA Health & Wellness has Frankie educating clients about the Affordable Care Act, their rights as a patient, and providing answers and guidance to how new healthcare laws benefit them.

Catherine Forbes, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Researcher in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where she currently provides psychotherapy for teens and young adults. Dr. Forbes received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus on child and community psychology from the George Washington University in 2003.

Ruben Gamundi, MD is Gilead’s West Coast Associate Director, Community Medical Affairs. His main role is to provide accurate/scientific information in the areas of HIV Treatment, HIV Prevention, and HIV/HCV co-infection to providers and allied health care providers. He has been working in the field of HIV disease since 1990. Prior to Gilead he worked for other pharmaceutical and consultant companies as well as at AIDS Project Los Angeles, where he acted as the Treatment Education Program Manager.

Hannah Howard has been an activist in the Los Angeles transgender community for over 10 years. Hannah helped create the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s transgender health clinic in 2008 when she co-led the Community Clinics Campaign. She helped transition the volunteer organization FTM Alliance into Gender Justice LA, Los Angeles’ only transgender led non-profit organization, and raised over $250,000 in grants and donations while on the organization’s board of directors, helping to grow its staff and size. Hannah led a highly successful effort to reform the LA Times coverage of transgender issues, which resulted in two straight years of almost universally positive coverage. Hannah works professionally as a computer programmer.

Mia Humphreys, MSW works for the Center for Strengthening Youth Prevention Paradigms, or SYPP Center, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Mia is responsible for the coordination and delivery of capacity building assistance nationally. In this capacity, Mia builds relationships with partner agencies and communities, develops trainings and materials/tools to assist providers in building their cultural competency for working with youth and LGBTQ communities, coalition development and sustainability, and facilitates strategic planning processes for system-level change.

Terri Jay is a self-identified native trans-woman. She is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Certified Addiction Specialist. Ms. Jay is currently working as a HEAL (Healing Empowering And Living) Counselor for APAIT Health Center. HEAL is a program that addresses substance abuse and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and is centered around the therapeutic intervention called Seeking Safety. She is also a member of APLA’s Red Circle Project which provides education and prevention services to the Native American/Alaska Native communities. She is also the co-chair of the Transgender Service Providers Network.

Lisa Kimsey, MA works as an Operations Manager at the Los Angeles LGBT Center where she’s been working in various capacities for seven years. She helped in the creation of the Trans Health Program at The Center. She oversees various programs such as benefits enrollment, billing, and front desk activities. She is also a Marriage and Family Therapist intern and has internships at both the LA LGBT Center and at Trans Youth Speak. She co-facilitates a youth support group for Transforming Family, whose mission is to empower children and families to create supportive and inclusive environments in which gender may be freely expressed and respected.

riKu Matsuda is currently a Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist with the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. riKu serves as an analyst on the annual Hate Crime Report and coordinator of the annual John Anson Ford Human Relations Awards. He is also the Commission’s liaison to the Media Image Coalition and the Anti-Bullying Coalition. riKu has worked in the areas of youth organizing, leadership development, media justice, immigrant/refugee rights, multi-ethnic community building, gender justice, and sexual rights.

Ayako Miyashita, JD is the HIV Law & Policy Fellow at the UCLA Williams Institute. Her focus is on law and policy matters which impact people living with HIV and AIDS (“PLWH”). Her work addresses matters such as HIV criminalization, the legal needs of PLWH, and privacy and confidentiality concerns in HIV-related legislation. Ayako regularly provides training and education on state and national laws and policies impacting PLWH. Previous to joining the Williams Institute, Ayako provided direct legal services to PLWH including assisting clients in obtaining disability benefits and other supports necessary to live independently. Ayako earned her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law, after receiving her B.A. from UC Santa Cruz.

Chandi Moore currently works for the Center for Transyouth and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is a co-facilitator for a program called BLUSH (Brave Leaders Unified to Strengthen our Health), which serves transgender and gender nonconforming youth ages 12-24. The program focuses on sexual health and empowerment through a curriculum to reinforce the needs of being able to make better choices. She was the co-chair for the TSPN (Transgender Service Providers Network) in 2012 and 2014. She was awarded the Trans Pride 2013 Community Award as one of the Transgiadivas, which she continues to keep active under social media.

Aydin Olson-Kennedy, MSW, ACSW is a well-known human rights activist and has spoken around the country for the past two decades about the importance of rights for transgender individuals, with emphasis on identifying and acknowledging domains of privilege. He is the founder of Stonewall Counseling in Chico, California, developed to provide no-cost mental health services for LGBTQ youth and adults and the co-founder of the Transgender Task Force at California State University, Chico. He currently works as an associate clinical social worker at the Los Angeles Gender Center in Los Angeles where he provides clinical care and therapy for trans youth, adults, and their families.

Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD is a pediatrician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and the Medical Director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has been working with gender nonconforming children and transgender adolescents for the past seven years, providing puberty blockers and hormone therapy for over three hundred youth. She has spoken around the country to professionals, families, and media about the importance of providing thorough, competent, and timely care for transgender youth.

Bamby Salcedo is a proud Trans Latina Woman and a highly regarded, nationally and internationally recognized activist, advocate, community organizer and social justice advocate and professional. Bamby has produced and developed several ground-breaking programs and advocacy organizations: Angels of Change, The TransLatin@ Coalition, and TransLivesMatter National Day of Action. Over the years, she has been recognized and awarded for her work locally and nationally. In addition, she is the subject of the 2013 documentary film, “Transvisible: Bamby Salcedo’s Story.”

Bianca Salvetti, MSN, CPNP knew she had a passion for working in pediatrics after she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in her teens. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 2005 as an RN, she moved to Los Angeles to work at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. During her 7 years in the ICU, she obtained her MSN and became a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She was brought to the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine in 2012 to pioneer a Medical Care Coordination program providing comprehensive services to HIV+ youth. There, her interest in working with other underserved youth populations lead her to joining the Center for Transyouth Health and Development, where she provides care for transgender and gender nonconforming youth and young adults, ages 12- 24.

Sabel Samone-Loreca (aka Ms. Lady Mocha) is currently a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV, holding the SPA 4 Consumer seat and serving as the co-chair of the Consumer Caucus. She started her career in social services in 2002, when she moved to Los Angeles. In addition to her HIV-focused work, she has been a ceaseless advocate for youth, trans people, and the homeless. She has worked with a number of agencies during her career, such as Californians Helping Alleviate Medical Problems (C.H.A.M.P) and Central City Hospitality House in San Francisco, which focuses on the homeless transgender community. She also worked with Minority AIDS Project and Skid Row Housing and Trust as a peer advocate, outreaching to the homeless community. She was a case manager at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, working in the Division of Adolescent Medicine. She was also a spokesmodel for the HIV STOPS WITH ME social marketing campaign.

April Soto, MD attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. She trained at White Memorial Medical Center for her residency in Family Medicine. She completed a one-year fellowship in HIV Medicine with the University of Southern California’s Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center. She has been working at Kaiser since 2010. She cares for general medicine patients as well as performs small procedures at the surgical walk-in clinic. She also cares for HIV infected patients. Dr. Soto finds fulfillment with patient care in general and one of her greatest passions is caring for the LGBT community with a special emphasis on transgender care.

Alexa Torres – not available

Cadence Valentine has been a U.S. Marine, filmmaker, professional race car builder/driver and much more, but her passions lie with working for social justice, especially for the transgender community of which she is part of. A graduate of Psychology and Queer Studies at Cal State Northridge and where she is currently earning her Masters in Social Work, she has advocated successfully for both campus and system-wide changes in policy impacting hundreds of thousands of CSU students. She is a highly regarded public speaker having held over 500 talks on trans awareness and education and has organized local to national level events. She has been instrumental in helping to achieve healthcare parity in the State and working to achieve similar victories for the Transgender community worldwide.

Zulma Velasquez is a 60 year old post-op transgender activist. Zulma came to the U.S. from Guatemala at a very young age with dreams of living her life as the woman she was. Zulma was one of the first transgender women in Los Angeles to work at a center focusing on the transgender population, as a health educator at Van Ness Recovery House. Since then Zulma continues to be an example to her community through her passion, dedication, and her voluntarism. Zulma is currently a SOUL Peer Health E

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