Derek Spencer, Executive Director, CRNP
In 1994, while volunteering at a local church that was serving the needs of men and women dealing with substance abuse, I gained a heightened awareness to the multiple health, spiritual and psychosocial needs of our community. Though I must say I never imagined working in the field of HIV, my journey to meet those very needs has lead me to this incredible opportunity to impact the lives of the HIV infected and the communities they live in.
I am an internist and specialist in Infectious Disease with a primary focus in HIV. I am a faculty member at the Institute of Human Virology and University of Maryland School of Medicine. I am an attending physician on the HIV inpatient services at the University of Maryland Medical Center and consulting physician for transplantation infectious diseases. I am also the Chief of Infectious Disease at the Baltimore Veterans Hospital. I am currently providing medical care for the Jacques Initiative and assisting in program development and clinical quality improvement. I’ve been committed to the idea of the Jacques Initiative ever since I started to work in West Baltimore in 2000. I was deeply concerned and troubled by the fact that the hospital wards were full of people dying from AIDS and only about one in three patients being treated with anti-retroviral therapy in our clinics were successful at controlling their virus one year after starting therapy. It seemed to me that a new and better approach had to be found and offered to the community. I strongly believe that a patient’s first interactions with a HIV care program can either be very positive and lead to life-long healing or disheartening and lead to years of struggles with the disease. The mission of caring for patients better I believe is embodied by the Jacques Initiative, and I am motivated to be part of that spirit.
I am a physician and a HIV specialist. I received my medical training in Ghana, West Africa at a time when HIV medications were just becoming available in developed countries. HIV care is a rapidly evolving field and I love and enjoy all the new discoveries that have become available over the years. Working in this field makes me aware every day of the impact that simple things can have on the life of another individual. As a physician at the JACQUES Initiative I have enjoyed how much more a holistic approach to medicine can improve patient care.
Jeff Weaver, Physician Assistant and Treatment Adherence Provider
410.706.4323 - Medical
410.706.0162 – Adherence Services
It is my privilege to provide comprehensive and integrated medical care to my patients, in addition to managing the process of initiating and maintaining the therapy of clients in our treatment adherence program. I believe in the holistic nature of illness, which motivates my holistic approach to wellness. Working at the JACQUES Initiative provides me the opportunity to practically live my faith amongst a team of people committed to the entire person of each of our clients.
Francine Brown BS; PA-C, Physician Assistant Certified
I am a Physician Assistant and have provided medical care in Baltimore for nearly 35 years. I am honored to be a member of the JAQUES Initiative family. It is my current privilege to serve the women who come to JACQUES. Twice a month the atmosphere in the clinic is transformed. No men are allowed. It is all about the women…Body/Mind/Spirit. There is ambience, i.e. aroma therapy; peaceful music; softer lighting. It is not the pap smear clinic. It is about the whole woman…head to toe. Some women have needs and concerns that they feel more comfortable discussing with another woman, such as relationship issues, menopause, fertility, esteem issues, sexuality, parenting. There is no topic that is taboo. My goal is to listen; educate; support; and always encourage the women of JACQUES on the journey of improving the quality of their life.
Ashley Rock, RN, MS, MBA, Program Director: Clinical Services
As a nurse who has been in the field of HIV for over 10 years, it is my passion and purpose in life to serve individuals living with HIV. At JACQUES I devote my energy to ensure clients are receiving excellent care and in turn, receive personal gratification and motivation from the clients who I see make life changes and achieve success against all odds!
Chris Williams, LCSW-C, Program Director: Case Management, Mental Health
I am excited about working at the JACQUES program. I have been brought on board to assist with the growth of an already experienced case management program, and to facilitate the development of mental health services to JACQUES clients. I am motivated by the strength and courage of the clients that I have served, and I look forward to continued work and JACQUES because I know the staff shares the same motivation.
Sarah Busse, LCSW-C, Social Work and Case Management
As a case manager, I work as part of the JACQUES team to ensure patients have the support and resources they need to recover and remain healthy. I love working with the staff and patients at JACQUES. On a regular basis, I have the unique opportunity to watch people’s lives change and their spirits heal; this is what motivates me to work at JACQUES.
Gene Chance, Community Liaison and Outreach Trainer
My work with the JACQUES INITIATIVE is very diverse. I am able to assist patients in many ways such as helping them get into care for their HIV, adhere to therapy, substance abuse, housing and mental health issues just to name a few things. What motivates me do this work is the knowledge and having seen first hand how we are able to change someone’s life and snatch them from deaths door. The reason I like working at JACQUES is having the freedom to just be able to do what is necessary to help a client recover.
Lynne Creditt, Community Liaison and Outreach Trainer
Michelle Beato, Medical Assistant
I have been working at JACQUES Initiative since 2008. The diversity of clients is what really motivates me to come to work everyday. I do a lot of one on one patient care. What I like the most about working here is that we provide a personal experience for everybody that walks through our doors, from staff to volunteers, and clients.
Tina Watts, Medical Assistant
As a medical assistant, my duties at JACQUES are to triage patients, draw blood, and to send the blood off to the lab, to check charts, put charts together, pull charts for next clinic day, to file paper work in charts, and to request medical records. I must say what motivates me here at Jacques is the genuine care and respect I have for our patients.
Jeree White, Medical Assistant
Dawn Snowden, Clinic Coordinator
As Administrative Coordinator for Clinical Services, I am responsible for greeting patients, answering phones, provide minimal triage, coordinates scheduling of appointments for consultation, treatment, testing & labs, process billing & insurance charges, verify insurance, and help to identify issues regarding clinic policies & procedures. I enjoy being a part of helping someone learn how to live their lives to the fullest. Seeing all the success that comes out of JACQUES is very rewarding for me. After fifteen years of working in this field, the need for the JACQUES motivates me, to help the community at large who are infected and affected live with HIV.
Jamie L. Mignano, RN, MSN, MPH, Information Dissemination
I have the amazing opportunity to share the the JACQUES Initiative's model with the community, the country and the world. I take what is happening each day at JI and translate it into words and data so that others can learn from the amazing experiences and successes of our clients and our community. As a nurse who has worked with the community in Baltimore since 2001, I have seen the barriers that clients must overcome in order to be achieve wellness. I am motivated by what I have seen and hope to help empower people to achieve wellness with our message.