Javontae Lee Williams is an applied research scientist at Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative Widener University. Supported by a grant from ViiV Healthcare to Widener University, his team translates theoretical perspectives about LGBT communities into curricula for adults focusing on the needs of the rural south. Through a community based participatory research approach this work aims to reduce men’s risk for HIV, improve communication between provider and patient and reduce stigma by educating communities most impacted by HIV. For nearly 15 years he has worked as a nurse in various clinical capacities. He graduated from Temple University with honors distinction in Sociology and earned a Master’s of Public Health at West Chester University. Among his research interests are the behavioral effect on health, health disparities, the social aspect of HIV and AIDS and issues affecting the health of men of color as well as gay and bisexual identified persons. His blog can be found at www.javontae.com
Christina has worked in Sexual and Gender Minority Health since 2011. A career public servant, Christina currently works at the Department of Labor. Previously, Christina was the Sexual and Gender Minority Data Lead for the Office of Minority Health at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and spent three years at the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, as the data analyst for the Healthy People 2020 LGBT Health and Social Determinants of Health topic areas. She holds a Masters’ Degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a double major from Smith College in Neuroscience and Woman and Gender Studies. In her free time she rows boats, runs races, and entertains her hound dog.
Adam is the Academic Director of the Health Sciences Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, and is the Senior Researcher for the Division of Pediatric Urology at Mott Children’s Hospital. He teaches on health policy, LGBTQ health, and other broad topics in American health care. Adam is the former Gender & Sexuality Policy Coordinator for the American Medical Student Association, and is now an independent consultant on LGBTQ health and health policy. Some of his research and practice interests related to LGBTQ health are cultural humility & competence education for current and future health care providers, health policy as a tool for mitigating disparities, and access to health care services for LGBTQ people. Adam earned his BA in the Honors Individualized Major Program and MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education, both at the University of Michigan. After graduate school, Adam completed a policy fellowship focused on LGBTQ health with the Gill Foundation in Washington, D.C.
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Allegra Gordon, ScD, MPH is a social epidemiologist and an Instructor in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital and in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to understand the mental and physical health impacts of discrimination and the effects of gender socialization and gender norms on the health of young people across sexual orientations and gender identities. Current projects examine: the effects of the social and policy environment on substance use and health-related quality of life among sexual minority young adults; the links between body image, intimate relationships, and sexual health among transgender and non-binary young adults; and experiences with weight stigma and eating disorders risk factors among LGBTQ populations. She earned her doctorate in Social & Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Women, Gender, and Health at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and she holds an MPH in Sociomedical Sciences with a concentration in Sexuality and Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Dr. Brittany Charlton is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology. She is also an Associate Epidemiologist in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Charlton's epidemiologic research primarily focuses on reproductive health. One area of her work examines the development and prevention of sexual orientation-related disparities with a focus on reproductive health topics such as HPV/cervical cancer, teen pregnancy, and family planning. A second area of her research investigates the health effects of using contraceptives. Previously, Dr. Charlton worked on Capitol Hill as well as for non-profit organizations including NARAL and the Center for Reproductive Rights. She completed a year of national service in AmeriCorps, during which she was based at New York’s LGBT Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. Dr. Charlton trained as a predoctoral fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Ob/Gyn Epidemiology Center and was a Visiting Scientist at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark. She completed the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Sexual Orientation and Health Disparities Research at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Charlton holds a BA from The New School as well as an MSc and ScD from the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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Caroline Voyles, MPH
Student Chair, Philadelphia, PA
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Caroline is a PhD student within the department of Community Health & Prevention at Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has spent much of her academic and professional career since 2007 focused on LGBTQ health, including working as the LGBTQ Program Coordinator at a youth-serving non-profit organization in New England. She is passionate about social inclusion and human rights relevant to sexual and gender minority populations and her research currently focuses on participation in athletics among these groups. Caroline received her Master of Public Health degree from Dornsife in 2015, having concentrated in Community Health & Prevention. Caroline also is the Director of Student Placement & Partnership Development at Dornsife, and in this role connects students to experiential learning opportunities in the Philadelphia region and beyond. Prior to Drexel, Caroline received her B.A. in both Psychology and Russian Language & Culture at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
Immediate Student Chair, Chicago, IL
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Jade is an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago. She is pursuing an interdisciplinary course of study that combines statistics, philosophy of science, and public health. She currently works as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at NORC at the University of Chicago. Previously, she was the 2018 Department of Public Health Sciences Fellow. She also rows for University of Chicago's Women's Crew and volunteers with New Americans, an organization that tutors students preparing for their naturalization exams. She is excited about pursuing a future career in public health that takes an intersectional approach to researching health inequities.
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M. Aaron Guest, PhD, MPH, MSW is a socio-environmental gerontologist whose research interests lie at the nexus of health, identity, and the social & built environments. Aaron is an Assistant Professor of Aging within the Center for Innovation in Healthy and Resilient Aging in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University. He holds a PhD in Gerontology from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Public Health, a Master of Social Work, and Graduate Certificates in gerontology and health communication, from the University of South Carolina. His research centers on how marginalized, particularly LGBTQ, rural older adults social networks affect their health and quality of life. Specifically, he focuses on the interrelationship between identity, place, networks, and health. He applies his interdisciplinary background as a community-based scholar to address health inequities, improve health equity, and improve health outcomes through decreasing disparities among rural older adults.
Justin (he / they) is from Antonito, a small town in southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley. They recently received their MPH from the University of New Mexico with a focus on sexual and gender minority health. Justin currently works as a research associate for the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) on the Reducing LGBTQ Adolescent Suicide (RLAS) study. In their spare time, Justin volunteers as the Policy Co-Chair of the New Mexico Public Health Association and enjoys running half-marathons. They reside in rural northern New Mexico with their husband and seven chickens.
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Mariah K. Santiago, MPH has worked in LGBTQ+ health equity since 2012. As the Program Manager for Capacity Building and Training at San Francisco Community Health Center (formerly API Wellness Center), Mariah works on LGBTQ+ tobacco control and prevention programs and policy efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mariah is experienced in qualitative and quantitative research within various LGBTQ+ populations, public health policy focused on LGBTQ+ health equity, and supports community organizing for the Public Health Justice Collective. She holds a BA in Sociology/Sexuality Studies and an MPH in Community Health Education from San Francisco State University. In 2017, Mariah’s research poster was presented the 2017 Social Justice and Multiculturalism Award from the Asian American Psychological Association for research on Racial Residential Segregation, Social Capital, and Political Participation on the Psychological Distress of Asian Americans, with Dr. Rebanal. Mariah’s research interests center in health equity for queer and trans people of color, LGBTQ+ immigration health, structural competency, philanthropy and community health education. Prior to being elected as the LGBT Caucus’ Webmaster, Mariah was the Student Chair in 2016-2017 and Immediate Past Student Chair in 2017-2018.
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Heather holds a Doctorate in Health Education from Southern Illinois University. Her research focuses on transgender health, women’s health, mental health, and sexual health. Heather earned her Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Policy from University of Missouri. She also received a Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Missouri. Heather is currently a veteran outreach coordinator for Land of Lincoln Legal Aid.
About the Caucus
Since its founding in 1975, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus has been an association of public health professionals committed to furthering LGBT issues within the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the field of public health at large. In 2019, the caucus executive committee voted to update the caucus name to be more inclusive and better reflect the diversity of caucus membership. For more information about the LGBTQ Health Caucus, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.
Heather Tillewein, Communications Chair