Barbara Joseph


Barbara Joseph is the founder and Executive Director of Positive Efforts a non-profit HIV/AIDS prevention organization located in Houston, Texas. An ardent self‐disclosed HIV positive mother and grandmother, she has been an advocate in the field of HIV/AIDS for more than two decades and has devoted herself to addressing the issues of HIV prevention and treatment for African-American women. Ms. Joseph assisted in the creation and development of Houston’s first community non‐profit primary medical clinic, the Donald R. Watkins Memorial Foundation which provided HIV/AIDS primary care in African American communities and in 2001 the Joseph-Hines Medical Clinic was named in her honor. She has served as the Principle Investigator for the Project RARE and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Unsung Hero award and Powerful Difference award,  given to women doing extraordinary things that make a powerful difference in their communities.

Ivy Turnbull

Vice Chairperson /Public Policy Committee Chair

Dr. Ivy Turnbull is the Deputy Executive Director of the AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth and Families, located in Washington, DC, that advocates for public policies that benefit women, infants, children, youth and families living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and has spent much of her professional career creating family-centered, comprehensive coordinated systems of care for these vunerable populations. A strong and influential force in local, state and national arenas regarding HIV/AIDS and other health disparities, she was appointed to serve on the Regional Health Equity Council for Region II which encompasses New York and the US Virgin Islands. Dr. Turnbull received her BA from Saint Joseph’s College; her MA and EdM degrees from Teachers College Columbia University and her Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University. She is also a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson and Johnson Health Care Executive Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Bambi Gaddist

Treasurer/Research Chair

Dr. Bambi W. Gaddist has committed the past 30 years of her professional life working in the area of human sexuality with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS/STI community level research, technical assistance/capacity building, advocacy and the elimination of other health disparities. She is a co-founder and currently serves as Executive Director of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, a 501 (c) 3, non profit HIV/AIDS prevention organization located in Columbia, South Carolina. Dr. Gaddist serves as a Southern AIDS Coalition Community Liaison for South Carolina and served as Chair of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Care Crisis Task Force from 2006 until 2012.  Dr. Gaddist received a Bachelor of Science from Tuskegee University in the area of Physical Education and Health, a M.S in Physical Education Administration/Health from Indiana University, and a Doctorate in the areas of Human Sexuality and Family Life Education at the University of South Carolina.

Deborah Levine

Secretary/Membership Chair

Deborah Levine has over 20 years of experience providing capacity building and technical assistance to community and faith based organizations.  She created the health & wellness strategies division at Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement,  and served as senior manager for the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. She is the recipient of the New York City Borough President’s Certificate of Honor and the Amethyst Women’s Project Health Care Advocacy Award.  Her professional and community affiliations include: Star of Hope Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star-State of New York and Jurisdiction- Past Matron – Golden Rule #67, the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition, and the Einstein-Montefiore Center for  AIDS Research. Ms. Levine earned her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Fairleigh Dickinson University, her Masters in Clinical Social Work from New York University and completed her post graduate program in social work supervision and training at Hunter College.

Linda H. Scruggs


Linda H. Scruggs is a national leader with 20 years of experience working with women, men, families, and youth impacted by HIV/AIDS and other health disparities. In August 2012, Mrs. Scruggs and her colleague Vanessa Johnson, JD founded the Ribbon Consulting Group, which provides organizational consulting services to community base organizations, health departments and primary care centers to increase their ability to support and promote healthy communities.  Ms. Scruggs also served as the Director of Programs for the AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families in Washington, DC. for 10 years, where she started the National Consumer Corps Leadership Training Program, recognized as the national model for consumer empowerment, education, and training. Ms. Scruggs is a registered Master Trainer has served on numerous national and international committees and boards and has co-authored many articles. Ms. Scruggs received her MHS from Lincoln University.

Debra Fraser-Howze

Chair Emeritus

Debra Fraser-Howze is the Senior Vice President of Government and External Affairs at OraSure Technologies. Prior to joining OraSure Technologies, Ms. Fraser-Howze founded and served as the President/CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, the largest Black HIV/AIDS non-profit organization of its kind in America. She has been widely recognized for more than two decades for her leadership to communities of color regarding teenage pregnancy, social welfare, and HIV/AIDS. She advised two U.S. Presidents while serving on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 1995-2001. Ms. Fraser-Howze is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Hunter College School of Public Health, AIDS United, the AIDS Memorial Fund and Iris House. She  holds a B.A. in Interpersonal Communications from Hunter College and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Baruch College.

Jacqueline Coleman

Program Co-Chair

Jacqueline Coleman is the Principal and Visionary Leader for Vision Que! LLC, a private woman-owned consulting firm based in Washington, DC.  Ms. Coleman has over 20 years of experience training workforce in health equity and strategic, high performance work.  Significant accomplishments have been executed with public health entities and faith- based and community coalitions within the HIV/AIDS and health disparities arena in maximizing service delivery.  Ms. Coleman serves as a nationally recognized motivational speaker, life skills coach and convener/facilitator.  Her professional portfolio as a change management expert highlights organizational development, capacity and leadership development, and community mobilization.   Ms. Coleman is professionally trained in the fields of counseling psychology, adult education, and business management.  She strives to build a innovative foundation for the ‘business of operating public health.’

Vanessa Johnson

Program Co-Chair

Vanessa Johnson is a recognized advocate, community leader and champion for people living with HIV/AIDS. Her career accomplishments include 30 years of service in advocacy and program development scaling up domestic consumer responsive community health services. Ms. Johnson has dedicated 15 years to developing and providing capacity building assistance for HIV with a special emphasis on women living with HIV. She is an experienced facilitator and nationally certified trainer with a focus on leadership development, community mobilization and public health interventions. Ms. Johnson has served as Vice-President of several HIV/AIDS nonprofit organizations and is the recipient of the 2007 Ms. Foundation-Gloria Award, the NYS Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Award, and the Paul G. Hearne/Association of People with Disabilities Award. Ms. Johnson is a graduate of Temple University Law School and the owner of Just Cause, a limited liability corporation providing consulting and technical assistance services to organizations and individuals representing and serving individuals with chronic health conditions.

Debra Hickman

Chaplain / Development Committee Chair

Rev. Debra Hickman is the co-founder of Sisters Together And Reaching, Inc. (STAR) – a faith-based, non-profit, community-based organization that provides spiritual support and direct services and prevention education to HIV/AIDS infected, affected and at-risk African-Americans. She is an ongoing consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was selected to be among the first 40 CDC Leadership Scholars. Rev. Hickman was appointed to serve as a Commissioner for the Baltimore City HIV Commission and recently appointed by the White House Secretary of Health and Human Service Office to the Centers for Disease Control/Health Resource Services Administration Advisory Board. Rev. Hickman received her Masters of Divinity Degree from The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology on the campus of Virginia Union University and is a graduate of the Baltimore School of The Bible.

Pamela Payne Foster

Dr. Pamela Payne Foster is a Preventive Medicine/Public Health   physician who currently serves as Associate Professor in the Community and Rural Department at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa and as Deputy Director of the Institute for Rural Health Research. Her current research interest is the study of HIV/AIDS related stigma in rural African Americans in Alabama with a primary focus on decreasing health disparities in the Black and other underserved  communities. Dr. Foster received her BS degree in Chemistry Pre-Medicine from Xavier University and her MS in Biomedical Sciences and MD from Meharry Medical College. She completed an Internship in Internal Medicine and Residency in Preventive Medicine/Public Health at State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed her MPH at Columbia University. She has served on the faculty of Morehouse School of Medicine, George Washington University, SUNY Stony Brook, and the National Bioethics Center for Health Care and Research at Tuskegee University.