Staff

Ellen Almirol, MPH MA

Data Analyst for xTLC and Expanded HIV/HCV Testing

Ellen Almirol is the Research Data Analyst for the Expanded HIV/HCV Testing and Linkage to Care Initiative (xTLC), in addition to projects on Retention and Re-Engagement for adult HIV patients. Her previous work experience includes The Fenway Institute (TFI) and Women’s HIV Interagency Study (WIHS), where her interests in HIV/AIDS and women’s health began and developed. Ellen holds a dual Masters from Boston University in Medical Sciences and in Public Health, with a concentration in Epidemiology.

Leigh Alon, BA

Project Coordinator, PrEP Chicago

Leigh Alon works on PrEP Chicago, a project to spread PrEP awareness on the South Side. She recently graduated from the University of Chicago with an undergraduate degree in Biology. She previously worked in training parents in enriching their children’s language environments as well as ran a college preparedness initiative, both on the South Side. Leigh has also worked in with various organizations in Israel on Arab-Jewish dialogue initiatives.   

Olivia Blocker, MSW

Olivia works as an interventionist for PS-PrEP, and she is one of the PrEPLine operators. She recently graduated from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration (SSA) with a concentration in Health Policy. For the past five years, she has been working as reproductive health advocate for survivors of sexual assault, sex workers, drug users, and other socially marginalized communities in a range of cities, countries, and cultural contexts.

Billy Davis

Community Outreach Worker, CCHE 

Billy is the Team Lead Operation & Outreach, Disease Intervention Specialist, & Project Coordinator for TRIP (Transmission Reduction Intervention Project). He has been working in HIV & STI prevention, screening, and counseling for nearly 10 years. His passion for bringing education and supportive services to the community is only surpassed by his ability to use his networking skills for referrals and outreach services. Billy utilizes his skills and knowledge to ensure success of current programs at The Village as well as to develop new programs and initiatives for the community.

Jessi Dehlin LCSW, MSW

Manager of Support Services, CCHE

Jessi is the Manager for Support Services for CCHE. She manages services offered at CCHE and The Village such as PrEPLine, Comprehensive PrEP Retention program (CPR) and People Organizing Progress (POP) as well as provides clinical support for CCHE staff and participants. Her previous work experience includes project development, project management, and conducting individual therapy with a range of client populations from low income men and women with diagnoses of severe mental health disabilities and/or addictions to women reentering the community from incarceration. Jessi's interests lie in the prevention of HIV by using a holistic approach to address additional barriers and obstacles that those at highest risk face. Jessi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who earned her Master's in Social Work, with a concentration in Mental Health, and her Bachelor's in Applied Psychology & Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Rebecca Eavou, LCSW

Director of Prevention, CCHE

Rebecca is the Director of Prevention for CCHE. She oversees program and staff development for the Center. Her previous experience includes research study design and implementation, counseling with adolescents and young adults, adolescent STI/HIV prevention, and wrap-around case management for individuals and families living with or affected by HIV. Rebecca is particularly interested in implementation science and the translation of research into clinical practice among individuals at increased vulnerability for HIV infection. Rebecca holds a Master’s in Clinical Social Work and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago. 

Matthew Ferreira, DVM, MPH

Data Analyst

Matt Ferreira works as a Research Data Analyst for CCHE. He is a veterinarian and recently finished his MPH at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is interested in infectious disease epidemiology and modeling, public policy, and community organizing.

James Harris, BS

Disease Intervention Specialist

James Harris was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, where he earned a BS in Public Health with a health promotion focus. He have a strong interest in HIV awareness among young men. He enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, and passing on knowledge of maintaing healthy lifestyles.

Rodal Issema, MPH

Data Manager/ Analyst

Rodal is a data manager/analyst at CCHE working on several projects including PrEP CPR and BARS. He recently finished his Masters from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He is interested in statistical methods and their application in the design, analysis and interpretation of data arising from public health and human disease studies.

Chuanhong Liao, MSC

Chuanhong is a biostatistician who manages data for CCHE's HIV transmission elimination programs.  She has over 15 years’ experience working with clinical trial data, and more recently with complex network data.

Andrew Richardson MSN, APN

Nurse Practicitioner, CCHE

Andrew Richardson MSN, APN is an Adult-Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with the University of Chicago Medicine’s Center for HIV Elimination. His clinical practice and research efforts have focused primarily on those living with HIV and the prevention of HIV. He has published and presented on these topics in both lay and academic contexts. He is currently finishing his Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health. 

Richard Rodgers, LPN

Richard Rodgers is the clinic manager for the HIV and Infectious Diseases clinic in the University of Chicago Medicine. Richard has worked with the Section of Infectious Diseases since 2004 and is a critical part of ensuring high quality patient care. He has a particular interest in making a difference in the lives of patients living with HIV and AIDS. Richard received his Nursing degree from Dawson Technical Institute.

Clovis Sarmiento, BS

Administrative Specialist

Clovis is the Administrative Specialist for CCHE. Prior to working at CCHE, Clovis worked as a Home Care Administrator in Michigan. He is a medical graduate from the Philippines and holds a Bachelor's degree in Medical Technology from the Lyman Briggs School of Michigan State University. Clovis completed his medical clerkship in the Philippines and worked with the HIV Aids Core Team at Southern Philippines Medical Center. He is excited to be part of CCHE and to learn the multidisciplinary approach in research and disease prevention.

Jessica Schmitt, LCSW

Jessica is a social worker for the Section of Infectious Disease and HIV clinic at the University of Chicago supporting patient care and linkage to care services. Jessica serves as the program manager for the Expanded HIV Testing and Linkage to Care (xTLC) and FOCUS programs, working with local partner hospitals and health clinics to routinize HIV screening. Jessica holds a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s in International Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Autumn Smith, BBA

Disease Intervention Specialist, Network Testing, StepUp TestUp

Autumn is a Disease Intervention Specialist working on the Network Testing and StepUp TestUp Projects. She has been working in HIV prevention and advocacy for seven years, with a focus on HIV awareness within the Caribbean Diaspora.  Autumn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a Minor in Spanish Language and Literature from the George Washington University and completed post-baccalaureate courses in Biological Sciences at Chicago State University. Autumn is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Health, with a concentration in Epidemiology, at Loyola University.

Tamika Songster

HiV Testing Coordinator
 

Tamika works on our Better2Gether and Chicago Dept. of Public Health testing programs. The goal of these programs is to extend HIV and STI testing services to Gay, Bisexual and other men who have sex with men on the South Side of Chicago. Tamika has many years of experience in Public Health. Most of her work has been in community based HIV/STI prevention and testing services. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Women’s Studies from Swarthmore College.

Michelle Taylor, LCSW

Michelle has been the social worker for the Section of Infectious Diseases and the HIV clinic at the University of Chicago for fourteen years. She is also the lead linkage to care coordinator for the Expanded HIV Testing and Linkage to Care Initiative (xTLC) and is often the first contact for new patients. Michelle received her Master's in Social Work from Tulane University. 

Capricio Wilson

Capricio Wilson is a product of Chicago, IL. He is the eldest of three siblings and a first generation college graduate in his family. Capricio has earned an Associate’s Degree from Robert Morris University in Paralegal Studies. He is currently a senior at Depaul University where he is obtaining a Bachelor’s in Political Science. Capricio has worked in areas of education, law, and community outreach. He is currently licensed as a paraprofessional educator through the Illinois State Board of Education. In the past, Capricio has studied public policy and volunteered his service to the Cook County Public Defender's Office for a year. Capricio is currently working on multiple projects to reduce the spread of HIV, including PrEP Chicago, a project to provide young MSM knowledge of PrEP to reduce and eliminate HIV transmission. Working in HIV prevention and outreach has been the most motivating task to date for Capricio. He is commited to becoming a pillar in the communities he serves to prevent the spread of HIV.