President Bush Appoints New Members to HIV/AIDS Advisory Council

Co-Chairs Bring Substantial AIDS Policy Experience to Council

January 25, 2002 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(WASHINGTON, DC) – President George W. Bush has appointed 26 new members to his 35-member Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, including the naming of two former GOP officials as the co-chairs of the Council.

"While many activists claimed throughout the 2000 campaign that a Republican President would abolish the AIDS council, President Bush continues to deliver on his pledge to make the fight against HIV/AIDS at home and throughout the world a major priority of his Administration," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "After appointing the first openly gay White House AIDS 'czar' in history, and launching the first formal interagency task force on the global AIDS crisis, the President has brought a wide diversity to the Advisory Council, with openly gay members, people of color and women, all from throughout the nation."

Appointed as co-chairs of the Council are former Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Louis Sullivan, who served in the administration of President George Herbert Walker Bush, and former Congressman Tom Coburn (R-OK), who served as vice-chairman of the House Commerce Health and Environment Subcommittee, which oversees HIV/AIDS care and treatment bills. Sullivan was a leader in the administration's efforts to pass the first Ryan White CARE Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Coburn, who served in Congress from 1995 to 2001, was a lead sponsor of the Ryan White CARE Act reauthorizations in 1996 and 2000, and was a leader in making increased funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program a top priority of the GOP House conference.

Coburn addressed two national Log Cabin Repubicans conferences in Washington, D.C. – in 1999 and 2000. In his first address, which was covered in the Oklahoma media, Coburn said that gays and social conservatives should "reconcile" and find ways to combat HIV/AIDS together.

Among the new appointees to the Council are Abner Mason, former Log Cabin national president and current Chief Secretary to Governor Jane Swift (R-MA); Mary Fisher, an HIV-positive Republican activist who addressed the Republican National Conventions of 1992 and 1996; Charles Francis, founder of the Republican Unity Coalition and gay Republican activist; James Driscoll, longtime AIDS activist and former Log Cabin Republicans national AIDS policy advisor; and Joel Hastings, Director of Governmental Affairs for Lifelong AIDS Alliance in Seattle, Washington.

The Council will be based at the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. President Bush appointed former Log Cabin Republicans Wisconsin President Scott Evertz as director of ONAP in April 2001, and appointed him as executive secretariat of the White House Interagency Task Force on Global HIV/AIDS, which is co-chaired by Secretary of State Colin Powell and HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. President Bush also appointed Patricia Ware as Executive Director of the advisory council on HIV/AIDS. Ware, an African American woman, addressed the 2000 Republican National Convention on AIDS policy.

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay Republican organization, with state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time national office in Washington, D.C., and a federal political action committee.

President George W. Bush's Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

Thomas Coburn, M.D. (Co-chair), a family practice physician from Oklahoma, served in the U.S. House of Representatives 1995-2001. During that time, he worked extensively on the re-authorization of the Ryan White CARE Act. In addition, he wrote, and was instrumental in the passage other legislation relating to HIV/AIDS. Dr. Coburn has provided medical care for hundreds of HIV infected patients.

Louis Sullivan, M.D. (Co-chair) served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1989-1993 during the first Bush Administration. Since January 1993, he has been President of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. Under his leadership, Morehouse has developed and facilitated a number of programs that provide HIV research, care and other services in communities throughout the South.

Mary Fisher, who is HIV-positive, spoke at the 1992 Republican Convention on HIV/AIDS. Since then, she founded the Family AIDS Network, which was later transitioned into the Mary Fisher Center for AIDS Research and Education (CARE) Fund. The CARE Fund supports clinical and outcomes-based research for persons with HIV/AIDS and is the base from which Ms. Fisher continues her advocacy work. She resides in the state of Michigan.

Abner Mason is Chief Secretary to the Governor of Massachusetts. He served as the National President of the Log Cabin Republicans for three years, and has been a strong voice in the HIV/AIDS arena. As an African American gay male, he represents a population that is extremely impacted by HIV disease.

Charles Francis has built a career in public policy issues management, public affairs consulting and communications in areas ranging from healthcare insurance to non-profits such as The Red Cross. His expertise includes public education campaigns, and communications. Francis is chairman and founder of The Republican Unity Coalition (RUC), a gay/straight alliance, focusing on supporting Republican candidates. He lives in Washington, DC.

Hank McKinnell is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Pfizer, Inc., the World's largest research-based pharmaceutical company. Pfizer has developed and contributed a number of medications to improve the life and care of those living with HIV/AIDS. Mr. Mckinnell lives in New York.

Vera Franklin is Executive Director of the Ahalaya Native Care Center, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She is responsible for planning, directing and organizing services for budgeting and counseling to work with Native Americans Living with HIV/AIDS. She is a board member for Elizabeth House, housing for women living with HIV/AIDS and is on the Ryan White Title II Advisory Board for Oklahoma City

James P. Driscoll, Ph.D. is a resident of Oregon, and has been an HIV/AIDS activist since the late 1980s. He was a leader in the national campaign to improve the FDA's drug approval process for AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Mr. Driscoll is also known as a leading advocate for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

S. Joel Hastings is Director of Governmental Affairs for Lifelong AIDS Alliance in Seattle, Washington. He is a member of the Governor's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS for Washington State. He serves as Chair of Healthcare Access Alliance, a coalition of 20 patient advocacy organizations working to expand access to a wide array of pharmaceuticals to consumers of government programs.

Edward Sanders is the Senior Pastor and Founder of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He serves as Executive Director of the First Response Center of his church, providing services to those infected and affected by HIV disease. He also has outreach ministries in the areas of substance abuse, advocacy for children, sexual violence, and harm reduction. Rev. Sanders has been a presenter at the last two International AIDS Conferences in Geneva and in Durban.

Mildred Freeman is Director of Human Resources, Grants and Programs for the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland. NAFEO is the umbrella organization for the 118 historically Black colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Mrs. Freeman oversees all HIV/AIDS programming sponsored by her agency

Karen Ivantic-Doucette is an educator at the Marquette University College of Nursing and a practicing HIV/AIDS Family Nurse Practitioner in an HIV/AIDS Primary Care Clinic in the central city of Milwaukee. She has 22 years of progressive nursing experience in health care, education, and advanced nursing practice nationally and internationally, with 16 years primarily focused on the HIV pandemic.

John F. Galbraith, president of the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), is the executive officer of a charitable organization that focuses on providing quality healthcare to those in need across the developing world. One of CMMB's multi-year, multi-million dollar campaigns targets AIDS in southern Africa.

Dandrick Moton is Director of Community/Youth Relations for Prim-n-Proper, Inc. in Conway, Arkansas. He speaks to thousands of youth across the country about HIV and teen pregnancy prevention issues as well as other healthy life choices. His outreach particularly attracts male athletes in rural areas. Dandrick is 25 years old and intimately understands his generation's challenges with drug abuse and sexual issues.

Katryna Gholston is an HIV positive, African American, single mother living in Birmingham, Alabama. She is extremely articulate about the issues from a rural grassroots perspective, and serves on the Alabama Governor's Task Force on HIV/AIDS.

Joseph Jennings is a highly sought after speaker about HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and drug abuse prevention. Through his organization, Turning Point, he speaks to hundreds of thousand of youth, policy makers, educators, community activists and health care providers. As a former drug addict and gang leader, Joe brings a compelling and relevant message to a diversity of communities. He is based in Palm Bay, Florida.

Monica Sweeney, M.D. is Vice President for Medical Affairs at Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, Inc, located in a community with one of the highest HIV infection rates in the country. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Medicine at the State University of New York Health Science Center. She is the first African American woman to be elected president of the 177 year old Kings County (NY) Medical Society. Dr. Sweeny has been on the frontline of the AIDS war for many years and fights for a public health response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Rashida Jolley is presently a college student and a former Miss District of Columbia in the Miss America Pageant. She has spoken extensively throughout the country to youth and young adults on HIV/AIDS prevention and other relevant issues.

Cheryl-Anne Hall is Trinidadian, and the Director of the Caribbean American Family Health Center in Brooklyn, NY. Ms. Hall has spent the past 25 years in hospital administration. She was the director of one of the first AIDS Adult Day Treatment programs in New York State. She also helps to support a nursery that cares for HIV positive children who lost their parents to AIDS.

Sandra McDonald is the President and Founder of Outreach, Inc. Established in 1986, Outreach, Inc. is the first minority, non-profit, community-based organization in Georgia to provide AIDS awareness and prevention programs in metro-Atlanta's African American community. Ms. McDonald has served on local, state and national HIV/AIDS advisory Boards.

Perm Sharma, DDS has great interest is in the worldwide elimination of leprosy and HIV/AIDS and is very active in the international health community. He practiced dentistry in Burma, India, England, and the United States, and served as a member of the Marquette University School of Dentistry. In addition, he has 32 years experience in writing for scientific journals and editing professional publications. He resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Joseph McIlhaney, Jr., M.D., an Obstetrician/ Gynecologist, resigned from full time practice to become Founder and President of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health. The Medical Institute is a non-profit medical/educational organization that provides medical, educational and social data to groups involved in combating the epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS) and nonmarital pregnancy. Dr. McIlhaney has published extensively in the area of STDs and speaks in numerous settings about HIV/AIDS prevention.

Anita Smith, a Virginia resident, is Co-founder and Administrator for the Children's AIDS Fund. The organization's purpose is to limit suffering of children and their families caused by HIV disease by providing care, services, resources, referrals and education. Mrs. Smith also Co-founder and Officer of the Institute for Youth Development, which promotes a comprehensive risk-avoidance, message to youth. She has written and/or edited a number of publications including, "A Guide to Fiscal Year 1991 Federal Funding for HIV Disease: How Dollars are Spent, How to Access Them"; "Christians in the Age of AIDS: How We Can Be Good Samaritans Responding to the AIDS Crisis"; and, "Protecting Adolescents from Risk".

Nathan M. Nickerson is Director of the Public Health Division of the City of Portland's Department of Health. He is charged with the oversight of an array of HIV-related. For eight years prior, he served as the Program Manager for Adult Health Services with the City of Portland. There he was responsible for development for many programs involving homelessness and HIV/STD prevention.

Debbie Rock has been involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS for 16 years. She is presently the Executive Director of the Baltimore Pediatric HIV Program, Inc. Many of the people she serves are African American women and children. Ms. Rock has serves as Vice Chair of the Ryan White Planning Council for the Baltimore Metropolitan Area.

Lisa Shoemaker is one of six patients to be HIV infected by the Florida dentist, Dr. Acer, who performed two root canal surgeries for her in 1988. Since her diagnosis, Lisa has spoken to hundreds of audiences about compassionate care for those who are HIV infected, and for implementation of effective public health strategies, avoidance of drug abuse and promotion of abstinence education in order to control the risk and spread of the virus. She has been interviewed on major TV and radio stations including Oprah, 20/20 and The Maury Povich Show. Ms. Shoemaker lives in Empire, Michigan.

Incumbent Council Members with Unexpired Terms who will continue serving:

Ronald Dellums, California; Stuart C. Burden, Illinois; Philip Burgess, Illinois; Joseph Cristina, California; Ingrid Duran, Washington, DC; Cynthia Gomez, California; Caya Lewis, Maryland; Brent Tucker Minor, Virginia; John Perez, California