NCDE Summer Institute: Living with HIV/AIDS: Challenges & Strategies; Responding to persistent PTSD, grief and loss in minority, aging and GLBT communities

Monday, July 21, 2014

National Center for Death Education 2014 Summer Institute


Description: This workshop will provide an update of the current state of the art of HIV care across the spectrum: birth to death. You will hear from a panel of HIV experts who have provided care for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) for over thirty years including several PLWHA who have lived with HIV for over 30 years themselves.  Content will include discussions about prevention, the many phases of illness as well as the complications including mental illness, substance abuse, depression, PTSD, and the intersection of aging and HIV.  Explore the potential for a cure and strategies to live long and healthy with HIV.


Donna Gallagher, APRN-C, MS, ANP, FAAN, MA

Donna Gallagher, APRN-bc, MSN, FAAN, MA is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the New England AIDS Education and Training Center (NEAETC) sponsored at University of MA Medical /Graduate School of Nursing in Worcester, MA. Gallagher has provided the leadership and inspiration for this Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) program for over 26 years. The program mission is to provide HIV/AIDS education and clinical training and mentorship for health professionals throughout the New England region. As a nurse and Nurse Practitioner specializing first in Oncology and End of Life/Palliative Care and then as an HIV expert, Ms Gallagher has developed several model programs designed to serve patients with Cancer and HIV/AIDS throughout the spectrum of the disease.  She is currently focused on HIV in the Aging population and HIV Cancers. She has provided care for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA for over 30 years in the Boston area.

Gallagher is a graduate of Mt. Auburn Hospital School of Nursing, Diploma in Nursing, Emmanuel College, BS in Psychology, Simmons College, MSN and Adult Nurse Practitioner, Brandeis University, MA in Social and Health Policy.  She is currently completing her PhD in Social Policy.

Lenny Alberts, MD

Dr. Lenny Alberts graduated from New York Medical College in 1972. After training at Tufts Medical Center, he practiced for 7 years at Mt. Auburn Hospital, in Cambridge, MA, and then relocated to Provincetown MA in 1986, where he held several positions, including Medical Director and Director of HIV Services, at Outer Cape Health Services, a Community Health Center.

After retiring from clinical practice, he spent time conducting HIV Mentoring in India, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as lecturing for the New England AIDS Education and Training Center.  He currently is on the Board of the New England Association on HIV over Fifty and is a founding board member of International AIDS Education and Training Consultants. He most recently became a lecturer in the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences at UMass/Boston. He lives in Boston.

Jim Campbell, Chair National Association on HIV Over Fifty

Jim Campbell has been an HIV/AIDS activist since the spring of 1992.  In this time, he has given over 400 speeches to audiences of all ages. These have taken place in schools, churches, health care agencies, and corporate offices as well as at state, regional, and international conferences.  Internationally, Campbell has presented at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa (2000), as well as last year at the Care and Community Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Most recently, he presented in Barcelona, Spain about building relationships between ASO’s and traditional service providers serving aging populations. In 2002, Campbell, as president of a United Nations accredited non-government organization, had the privilege of contributing to The United Nations Position Paper on Aging for the Second World Assembly on Aging in Madrid, Spain. Although trained as an adherence counselor by the Department of Public Health/Massachusetts General Hospital, he has been concentrating on homelessness and aging issues in the HIV/AIDS community.

Currently he is Chair of the National Association on HIV Over Fifty (NAHOF) as well as the Director of the housing search support program for people living with HIV/AIDS at the Boston Living Center.  He is chairman of the policy committee of the Massachusetts State Independent Living Council (SILK).  He participates on the Massachusetts AIDS Policy Task Force and serves on the faculty of the New England AIDS Education and Training Center.  Additionally, he has severd as Clerk of the Board of Directors of Cambridge Cares about AIDS; the second largest AIDS service Organization (NGO) in Massachusetts.  Collaborating with Partners in Health and The Harvard AIDS project, he helps administer a peer driven Medication Reclamation in Haiti based on guidelines developed by the Global Network of People Living With AIDS (GNP+). Using these same guidelines he has over the past year he has begun a second medication project in Uganda. Recently he left his position as an organizer at the National Alliance of HUD Tenants to concentrate on NAHOF.

Working with the Kidney Foundation and Epilepsy Foundation, his focus is to bridge the gaps in both services and representation. Inclusiveness as well as power is always the focus of his work. “Nothing about us, without us,” he states, should be a universal slogan in communities facing any kind of disability.

Shirley Royster, Peer Advocate and Educator

Shirley Royster was in recovery for seven years when she decided to get tested. She had just met her soul mate of over 25 years. The year was 1986. At that time she had two young daughters and was working as a domestic violence advocate.

In 1986, not many women were tested for or diagnosed with HIV.  At that time only gay men were known to have HIV and there were no services available to women. It wasn’t until the early 90’s that women were recognized and received support group services. Royster, along with other lesbian mothers, founded a lesbian mother’s support group and also used the support of her family and friends to learn how to live with HIV.

Six years after testing positive for HIV, Royster became a member of Positive Directions. The mission of Positive Directions was to empower the HIV positive community, to arm them with knowledge and prevention information and to educate others using a speaker’s bureau format.  There she was trained as a Peer Advocate and Educator. She is still advocating, educating and doing prevention work in detox programs, transitional living programs, and in community forums.

Royster attended the 2000 International AIDS Conference in Durban South Africa with the Department of Public Health AIDS Bureau. She spent a week visiting AIDS programs and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’S) in South Africa.

She has served on the DPH AIDS Bureau’s Statewide Consumer Advisory Board for 13 years, Vice Chaired for 2 terms; and served on the Ryan White Planning Council as co-chair and chair. She was the first black woman to chair the Planning Council; Board Chair for Cambridge Cares About AIDS; and Vice Chair for Community Resource Institute. She continues to review proposals for DPH and the Boston Public Health Commission.

Royster said that the love she receives from her family, friends and community helps to keep her healthy and focused.