Community Access National Network (CANN)

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Our Mission

The mission of the Community Access National Network (CANN) is to define, promote, and improve access to healthcare services and supports for people living with HIV/AIDS and/or Viral Hepatitis through advocacy, education, and networking. These services must be affordable to the people who need them regardless of insurance status, income, or geographic location.

Board of Directors

William "Bill" E. Arnold

Photo: William E. Arnold Bill is a longtime HIV/AIDS activist and consumer organizer and has been active in developing HIV/AIDS Organizations and HIV/AIDS policy at the local, State and national level since the mid 1980's.

He is a founding director of the Community Access National Network (formerly Title II Community AIDS National Network) and is currently its C.E.O. Arnold is active nationally and at state and local levels in advocacy and policy issues involving Ryan White Part B funding, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, and client issues of Part B funded programs.

These issues tend to center on access to appropriate HIV/AIDS care and treatments for HIV-positive Americans.

The Honorable Donna Christensen, MD - (D - US Virgin Islands)

Photo: Donna Christensen, MDDonna is a U.S. Virgin Islander physician and politician. She served as the non-voting Delegate from the United States Virgin Islands to the United States House of Representatives from 1997 until 2015.

Christensen supported Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Shortly before the Supreme Court affirmed the legislation, she said "For 99 years, presidents have been trying to do this. Finally, our president has made it possible for each and every American.” Christensen was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

She was also the first female physician to win a congressional election.

Michael Eging

(Photo not Available)Michael is a policy and government affairs professional based in Washington, DC. Mike began his career with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) where he served on the Labor and Human Resources Committee and then on the Senator’s personal staff. He was involved on domestic policy issues ranging from the FDA and Labor Department, to regulatory reform and lifting the burden of inefficient regulations off small businesses and local municipalities. From there, he struck out into the private sector, beginning with policy consulting work at Rescon, Inc. where his clients included many of the large global pharmaceuticals companies.

He wrote and edited The ADAP Report, focusing on national and state AIDS Drug Assistance Program policy; contributed and edited The Medicaid Pharmacy Bulletin, focusing on state reimbursement policy; and launched Positive Populations, with a focus on issues with HCV in communities. With a focus on domestic policy, beginning in 1997, he spent the next decade leading the policy and federal efforts for Roche. This role included global leadership and working with commercial teams to develop sustainable international and domestic programs to enhance patient access to medicines and delivery of health care.

In 2006, Mike transitioned to innovative smaller companies, first as Vice President of Government Affairs at Millennium then Ovation/Lundbeck and Reata Pharmaceuticals. In these roles, Mike focused on orphan issues that included access to medicines in federal and state programs and encouraging investment in smaller population therapeutic areas. Mike currently works with a number of stakeholders to seek solutions to encourage the next generation of development in antibiotics through his work at Upstream Consulting in Washington, DC.

Scott Evertz

Photo: Scott EvertzScott is a government affairs and public policy consultant based in Washington DC, providing counsel to non-governmental organizations and private sector corporations engaged in work in the area of public health. Prior to starting his own practice, he served as Vice President for International Affairs at OraSure Technologies, a leader in the development and distribution of innovative diagnostic products, including the OraQuick oral fluid rapid HIV test and OraQuick HCV rapid antibody test.

Before entering the private sector, Mr. Evertz served in the administration of President George W. Bush, serving first as Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and then as Special Assistant for Global AIDS Initiatives to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson. Mr. Evertz's office at the White House was responsible for development and implementation of domestic and international HIV/AIDS policy and, during his tenure, the multilateral Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria was created and the institutional architecture was developed for the bilateral President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. At HHS, he was Secretary Thompson’s principal deputy for global AIDS policy and his office served as the secretariat for the Secretary in his role as Chair of the Board of the Global Fund.

Born and raised in Washington DC, Mr. Evertz moved to Milwaukee Wisconsin to attend Marquette University where he obtained his Bachelors Degree with Majors in Political Science and Theology. He began a career in Wisconsin in resource development and for almost twenty years was either chief development staffer or counsel to a variety of not-for-profit organizations, assisting them raise annual and capital funds for operations and special projects. In spring of 2000, Mr. Evertz met Texas Governor George W. Bush and advised his Presidential campaign on HIV/AIDS policy and concerns of LGBT Americans. In spring of 2001, he was appointed to serve in President Bush’s Administration and returned to his hometown.

Darnell Ferrell

Photo: Darnell Ferrell Darnell currently serves as STEPS Coordinator (Social, Treatment, Education, Physical, Spiritual) with Priority Health Care based out of Marrero, Louisiana. Now a three (3) year resident of the greater New Orleans, LA area who has worked closely with those affected/infected with HIV/AIDS. Darnell brings over five years of experience to his current position at Priority Health Care, a community health center that provides wraparound care and social services in the greater New Orleans area.

In his current position as STEPS Coordinator, he connects community residents, mostly young Black gay and bisexual men to HIV, holistic health, and job supportive services. He continues to build collaborative relationships with community organizations and employers in order to support the needs of people living with HIV (PLWH) and/or at risk for HIV infection.

Darnell was recently appointed to (New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council Board). In this new role and opportunity Darnell will represent and advocate on behalf of those infected by HIV as it relates to the provision of high quality stigma-free HIV care and services under the Ryan White Program. Darnell's mission is to help impact the lives of people living with HIV and educate the masses who are still ignorant about the disease.

Edward "Eddie" Hamilton

Photo: Edward ''Eddie'' Hamilton Eddie is currently the Executive Director of the ADAP Educational Initiative, an all-volunteer project of SAVE ADAP, INC. ADAPEI focuses on HIV Public Policy, grassroots advocacy and all issues related to the Ryan White Programs and primarily the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs.

He is currently serves as a member of Columbus, Ohio’s TGA (Ryan White Part A Planning Body), Columbus’ HIV Prevention Planning Group and provides grassroots input to Ohio’s Statewide Ryan White Part B Advisory Group. From 2000-2001, he was also on the Board of Directors for the Provincetown AIDS Support Group that had coordinated the merger of 3 AIDS service organizations on Cape Cod to what is now the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod.

He is also a student pursuing his Master’s of Business Administration Degree with a concentration in Health Care Administration at Ohio University after completing his Master’s Degree in Legal Sciences at West Virginia University. Eddie brings the grassroots stakeholder’s perspective to the intersection of grassroots advocacy and Federal / State HIV policy.

Kathie M. Hiers

Photo: Kathie M. Hiers Kathie is the Chief Executive Officer of AIDS Alabama, a nonprofit organization that works statewide to provide housing and supportive services to low-income persons with HIV/AIDS as well as education, outreach and testing.

AIDS Alabama has subcontracts with the other nine AIDS Service Organizations and clinics in the state of Alabama to provide services to all 67 counties.

Kathie has been with AIDS Alabama since January 2001. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of Mobile AIDS Support Services and the founder of the Lee Simmons Fund for People Living with AIDS in Mobile, Alabama.

Jeffrey R. Lewis

Photo: Jeffrey R. Lewis Jeffrey is the former Chief Operating Officer of EHIM, a pharmacy benefits manager.

Prior to the position, he served as President of the Heinz Family Philanthropies and held a number of positions on Capitol Hill including Republican Staff Director for the Senate Special Committee on Aging under the leadership of the late Senator John Heinz (R-PA).

Mr. Lewis currently serves as the President of an Institute focused on health care innovation.

Maria Mejia

Photo: Maria Mejia Maria is the co-author of the book From a Warrior’s Passion and Pain, a real life account of her 28-year battle with HIV and AIDS. She is currently the co-chair of the Women and Minorities Outreach for the Dab the AIDS bear project. Maria is The CDCs AMbassador for the campaign, “Let’s Stop HIV Together” Detengamos el VIH juntos for the Center for Disease Control and an ambassador for the “The Stigma Project." She is also the Global AMbassador for The well project and an Ambassador for the ongoing campaign for Greater than AIDS (IPV, Women, HIV and Women) Empowered.

Diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and infected in 1988 at the age of 16, Maria began a long journey finding hope, pride and passion in an undereducated society unprepared to deal with the growing epidemic of HIV and AIDS. After ten years without treatment Maria found herself at a crossroads. She could begin medical treatment or continue to slide towards death. Thankfully she chose to live and to fight for more than just her own health.

Maria immersed herself in HIV/AIDS education in the year 1999 and became a powerful Human Rights Activist and HIV, LGBT advocate for education, treatment, testing and prevention. She has been featured in magazines, billboards, TV, radio as well as national and international conventions. Maria has been a part of four documentaries to help raise HIV awareness.

She is a volunteer for the Red Cross, an HIV educator and tester for Jackson Memorial Hospital and a motivational speaker all over the globe and an HIV consultant and a member of several digital advisory boards: Janssen Pharmaceuticals from Johnson & Johnson Digital advisory board and Spokesperson, community advisory board for "The well project" and mentors hundreds of women all over the globe to become advocates and helps millions around the world with Education and Stigma.

Gary R Rose, J.D.

(Photo not Available) Gary is currently Director of Global Medical Advocacy Virology for Bristol-Myers Squibb. In that role he manages advocacy relationships and related policy issues on global HCV, HIV and HBV. Rose was previously a senior associate at Mark Krueger & Associates working with clients including Millennium, Roche, GSK, BMS and others to advance key advocacy programs and policies in oncology, rare disorders and other conditions with serious impacts on patients and their carers. Before that, Rose was President of Health Systems Consulting, an independent consultancy specializing in programs to improve access to care for people living with HIV, HCV and leukemia.

Clients include Roche public policy, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of National AIDS Policy and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. In the late nineties through 2004, Rose served as Senior Vice President with Hyde Park Communications. His work included health systems consulting for clients including Hoffmann-La Roche Public Policy and Government Affairs; Bristol Myers Squibb Public Policy, Community Affairs and Reimbursement Divisions; Pfizer; the Cooley's Anemia and the TAEP Project. In the 1990s, Rose served as the Research and Treatment Coordinator for the AIDS Action Council in Washington, DC.

While at AIDS Action, Mr. Rose helped to form the ADAP Working Group and the Patients' Coalition for Responsible FDA Reform. He also served as a co-chair of the National Associations Responding to AIDS (NORA).

Christos Tsentas

(Photo not Available) Christos is currently a third year law student pursuing a JD/MPH dual degree at Northeastern University School of Law and Tufts School of Medicine in Boston, where he is focusing his studies on public health, international law, human rights, and global health.

Prior to graduate school, he served as the Legislative Director for Representative Barbara Lee in Washington DC, where he participated in developing, drafting, passing, and funding a range of legislative initiatives related to HIV/AIDS and global health issues including the creation and reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in 2003 and 2008.

Valerie Volpe

(Photo not Available) Valerie is Senior Director for Government Affairs at the non-profit, non-partisan West Health Policy Center in Washington, DC. The Policy Center’s focus is on addressing health care costs while preserving access and quality.

Previously, she worked in the pharmaceutical industry for the past three decades with focus on stakeholder relationships. Her work focused on partnering with key health care leaders on policy and access issues affecting the areas of infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, oncology, neurology and women’s health.

Kimberly A. Williams

Photo: Kimberly A. Williams Kimberly currently serves as Director of Federal Government Relations for GlaxoSmithKline, one of this nation's largest pharmaceutical companies. Kimberly's responsibilities include lobbying Congress and the Administration to win Federal Government support of issues important to the company. Kimberly's responsibilities also includes protecting intellectual-property rights, working to secure federal support for HIV/AIDS programs, diabetes awareness and prevention initiatives, supply chain integrity, women's issues, and eliminating healthcare disparities in communities of color.

Prior to joining GSK, Kimberly had a successful ten-year career on Capitol Hill both as a Legislative Assistant and a professional committee staff member for various former members of the Congressional Black Caucus. In these roles, she focused on health care reform, education, pension issues, and postal reform.

Kimberly is a graduate of Howard University, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

Jeff Coudriet

In Memorium 1995 - 2011

Directors Emeritus

The Honorable Maurice Hinchey, retired - (D - NY 22nd)

Board of Advisors

Wayne Duffus, MD

Mick Sullivan

Robin Webb

Staff & Consultants

William E. Arnold, C.E.O. - (Email Bill)

Brandon M. Macsata, General Consultant - (Email Brandon)

Thomas P. McCormack, Benefits Consultant - (Email Tom)

Marcus J. Hopkins, HIV/HCV Co-Infection Watch Project Manager & HEAL Blogger - (Email Marcus)